Do you ever feel like you’re not good enough?
Like no matter how hard you try, you’ll always fall short. You’re not alone.
This is a common feeling that many people struggle with. But where do these feelings come from?
Often, they stem from comparing ourselves to others. We measure ourselves against external standards and fail to develop our own internal measures of success. The good news is there are things you can do to combat these feelings and start feeling more confident in yourself. In this week’s thought for the weekend, I explore some strategies for overcoming self-doubt and feeling good enough.
Identify the Root Cause
As I mentioned earlier, the primary cause of feeling not good enough is often comparing ourselves to others. We look at other people’s accomplishments, possessions, or lifestyles and feel inadequate in comparison. The problem with this is that comparison is not a fair or accurate measure of success. We all have different paths and journeys, and our successes should be measured against our own goals and values, not against others.
So, the first step in overcoming this feeling is to identify the root cause and acknowledge that it’s an unfair comparison.
Change Your Perspective
Once you’ve identified the root cause, it’s time to shift your perspective. Instead of comparing yourself to others, try comparing yourself to a less fortunate person. This may sound harsh, but it’s a powerful exercise in gratitude and perspective. When we focus on what we do have instead of what we lack, we can cultivate a sense of contentment and fulfillment. Think about all the things you have in your life that you’re grateful for, no matter how small they may seem. Focus on the positive and let go of the negative.
Another effective strategy for feeling good enough is to affirm yourself regularly. This means acknowledging your own strengths and accomplishments and celebrating your successes. Take time to reflect on what you’ve achieved in your life, whether it’s big or small, and give yourself credit for it. We often overlook our own accomplishments and focus on what we haven’t done yet. By affirming yourself and giving yourself credit, you can boost your self-esteem and confidence.
Set Realistic Goals
Sometimes, feeling not good enough is a result of setting unrealistic expectations for ourselves (I’m a master at thinking I can get more done in an hour than is realistic). We may have high ambitions and lofty goals, but if they’re not achievable or realistic, we set ourselves up for failure. Instead, set achievable goals that align with your values and priorities. Start small, and build up gradually. Celebrate your progress along the way, and learn how you fell short, don’t beat yourself up about it. Remember, progress is progress, no matter how small.
“Success is going from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm”
– Winston Churchill
Talk to Someone
Finally, don’t be afraid to seek support from others. Feeling not good enough can be a lonely and isolating experience, but you don’t have to go through it alone, even if you have to do the work yourself. Talk to a friend, family member, therapist, or coach about how you’re feeling (we’re pretty good at listening). A listening ear, practical advice, emotional support, even a reminder of the obvious is sometimes, all we need to see things more clearly.
So, in summary
Feeling not good enough is common, in fact – really common, but it doesn’t and shouldn’t be a permanent state. By identifying the root cause, changing your perspective, affirming yourself, setting realistic goals, and seeking support, you can start feeling more confident in yourself and your abilities.
My reminder of the obvious is that you are innately good enough, just as you are, and you deserve to feel good about yourself. Give yourself permission to let go of comparison and focus on your own unique journey and who you are. A little self-care and self-compassion goes a long way too.