How many times do you whisper to yourself “I am not good enough for this!”?
How many times did you pull yourself from a situation just because your mind said, “there are better people around you”?
How many times did you discredit your own work just because your heart said, “It’s nothing in comparison to others”?
How many times did you find yourself stuck in the vicious circle of “I will never be enough!”?
No matter what the answer is. The mention of these statements even once is DEROGATORY and self-destructive. Yes, even once!
The thought of ‘not good enough’ is not just a thought anymore.
It has become a lifestyle.
The brunt of which is devastating and fatal.
If you are also a victim of “not good enough”, read on to know what does this to you and how you can fix it.
Just because you lost a few times, doesn’t mean you are a loser. Those few times don’t define who you are. Nothing defines who you are but you and your intent. YOU ARE PERFECT.
11 Reasons for ‘Why Am I Not Good Enough?’
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent”.– Eleanor Roosevelt
The voices lurking around in your head are far more influential and mighty than other people’s judgment about you. What society thinks of you will have a negligible impact when “you” yourself don’t believe in “you”.
A sense of worthlessness, low self-esteem become commonplace when you think that you aren’t good enough. Why? Let’s find out!
1. You think they are better
It is a common human tendency to gauge their success against others. Your mind is constantly measuring other’s achievements instead of your own. So, here’s the catch: There will always be someone who is better than you, who has gained more success than you, who is more proficient than you or who is more intelligent than you.
If you keep on chasing the standards, chances are you will soon fall short and find yourself in a hole of shame and resentment.
2. You don’t do anything about it
Most of us have a habit of self-blaming but in return do absolutely nothing about it. Have you ever heard of the phrase, “Dreams don’t work unless you do”? Well, the same applies here.
If you change nothing, nothing will change. This terrible feeling that may result in deteriorating mental health will never leave your system unless you stand up against it.
3. You don’t take care of your health
It’s a fact that an unhealthy or tired employee will certainly be less productive than a healthy and well-rested employee. Neglecting your health in a drive to be the best, won’t actually make you the best.
You can’t expect to have two hours of sleep in a day and still achieve the same level of performance that you could have achieved had you been on a proper sleep schedule.
4. You try to do EVERYTHING (but end up doing NOTHING!)
It’s perfectly okay to admit that you are not good at everything that exists. That’s not even humanly possible. In a world where relentless multitasking is highly-valued, people tend to try their level best at everything all-at-once.
In the end, they underperform in their master-plays also. This often leads them to believe that they are a failure and “not good enough”.
5. You are LOST
You often don’t give enough attention to what you are doing when you have your table full of work. In fact, sometimes you don’t even remember what you did in the past hour.
This means your mind was invested in something else while you were trying to do something else. In such situations, you fail to give your best which produces below-average results.
6. You give up in the middle
The feeling of not good enough will eventually become powerless if you make a determined move against it. However, that’s so rarely found. Most of us succumb to the habit of comparing and measuring our growth with others.
Disappointed with the results, you tend to quit, coming back to square one: I am not good enough!
7. You don’t act upon the opportunities available
All the achievers around the world reckon the opportunities that destiny avails for them and make the best use of it. But you, on the contrary, find it difficult to believe that this is YOUR good fortune. Thus, in the fight, it ceases to exist.
8. You are a lazy-prick but don’t want to admit that
Because that makes you feel worse about yourself! As harsh it may sound, if you are lazy, admit it and do something about it.
You can’t expect to be transformed into a multi-billionaire who is also a social media star while you are gorging on junk on your couch. You need to get up and get to work.
9. You are a big-time procrastinator
Procrastination has been a traitor to your productivity since time immemorial. The constant urge to keep pushing the work for the next day is pretty much real. This is another major reason why you are often left feeling not good enough.
10. You already think of “what if I fail?’
Oh lord, but what if you pass? The what-ifs will naturally pull you down if that’s all you think about.
If you already don’t feel good about yourself and on top of that you stuff your head with questions and doubt – the vicious cycle will never break.
11. You expect a LOT from yourself
The feeling of not being enough is a byproduct of unfulfilled expectations. We all know that. But still, we wilt to the natural human tendency.
You keep thinking of what you should be and what all you must achieve, at the failure of which, you are back to the not-good-enough mode. You fail to remind yourself that you are just a human-like million others, not GOD.
This feeling of not good enough is certainly not a good place to be in. It plays with your mental peace and takes away all your zeal to work. But, let me remind you – YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
It Can Be Because of Your Past!
While the reasons stated above are all behavioral aspects that mostly has to do with ‘You’. There are some situations in life that are inevitable and they cast such a big impact on your mind that you succumb to several negative thoughts.
A difficult past often internalizes a message in your mind which you carry all along with your life. Out of which, the message of ‘not good enough’ is quite common. Thus, it can be a major reason why you often feel dejected. Here’s why!
1. You had critical and demanding parents
Children are constantly looking for acceptance and love. At this tender age, if they are constantly put under the scale of comparison or regularly undermined – it implants the seed of self-doubt in their heads. Thus, in an effort to be ‘good’ in your parents’ eyes, you lose your individual personality and eventually grow into a person who feels worthless.
2. You have had a traumatic past experience
Negative thoughts may be rooted in your mind because of a traumatic past. It can be physical abuse, sexual torment or even emotional play – a difficult relationship or an unforgettable incident. The bitter end, leaves you shaken which gives rise to the various negative core beliefs.
3. You have superficial friends
Friends aren’t really friends if they judge you and compel you to believe that you aren’t enough. After family, you spend the most time around your friends and if they put you in a spot where you doubt your capabilities, it defies the whole concept of ‘friends’. The toxicity maligns you and you carry the wounds all your life in the form of self-doubt.
4. Your inner voice is judgmental
Your own voice is more powerful than any of the voices surrounding you. If you ever contemplate and talk to yourself and listen to your thoughts – you will find it’s full of negativity. Yes, and that’s the major reason why you don’t feel good about yourself.
5. You were devoid of safety and attachment (as a child)
Some children grow up in an abusive childhood. The reason can be anything – alcoholic parents, toxic relationships or depressed caretakers, but the dearth of safety in the environment develops a feeling of constant distrust in them.
The reasons will hold very little value when you learn to accept yourself. Remember, you don’t have to prove to anybody that YOU ARE ENOUGH.
Now that you know the real reasons behind that dark hole in your mind, let’s uncover the ways to fill it with light.
10 Ways to Rise from “Not Good Enough” to “I Am Enough”
1. Connect with your inner critic
It’s time to stop all that negative self-talk and get back on the grind with the spirit of ‘I can do it!’. Remember your inner critic passes common judgments in an attempt to prevent you from troublesome situations. You need to train your inner self to take these situations as a challenge.
It’s not necessary you will always emerge as a winner. In the times that you won’t consider those failures as learnings.
2. Use empowering words in your daily language
You are free to do what you want to do. So, stop telling yourself you “should” do this or you “have to do that”. Do what your heart pleases because you are not answerable to anyone except your own self.
You will be amazed how just a simple twist of words in the conversation with your own self can have a significant impact on your thought process.
3. Don’t succumb to the ‘ideal’
There’s no written ‘ideal’ to anything or anyone. The definitions for an ideal are different for everyone. While you might have your own, remember that you are enough for yourself. Don’t idealize your relationships and choose a partner who believes in partnership, not leadership.
Relationships should not make you feel like you are a failure or minimize what you are capable of. Stand up for yourself and stop holding yourself responsible for anything and everything.
4. Be honest to yourself
When you feel you are not good enough, you often try to be someone else and, in the midst, lose your own identity. That’s certainly not the way out from this sense of worthlessness. Unless you are honest with your own self, you can’t accept you for what you are.
Authenticity also helps you in developing long-lasting relationships since you are aware of your needs and wants. Remember, the world must appreciate you for who you are not for what you have become.
5. Celebrate your wins
A win is a win, however little or big. So, pause for a while, reckon your wins and celebrate. It can be anything – positive feedback from your client, a promotion at the workplace or rank at your sports concert. Just because you achieved it, doesn’t mean it was easy.
Be easy on yourself and appreciate your efforts. You deserve it. Plus, these small little celebrations keep you focused on your way ahead.
6. Learn to love yourself
You will not want love from anyone else once you learn to love your own self. You will not run in the desire of acceptance if you learn to accept your own self. You will not have to find solace in someone else once you reckon you are your ONLY soulmate.
Be gentle on yourself and stop seeking validation from others. You don’t need it.
7. Don’t measure yourself with circumstances
You are not your body type. You are not your degree. You are not your income, not your mistakes, not even your family. You are you. For your heart and soul. So, stop identifying yourself with circumstances.
Just because you failed a test, doesn’t mean you are a failure. Life has so much more planned for you. Be patient and do your bit. You will be surprised where life has got you!
8. Set social media limits
In today’s era of “stories”, when you are constantly updated with the day to day events and their successes (professionally or sentimental) you are bound to feel that you are falling short. However, most of us fail to remember that everyone is posting their wins, not the failures.
To dodge this toxicity of the virtual world, it’s best to limit your social media usage. Try to control your urge to revert to it every time you are sitting idle or want a moment away from work.
9. Self-contemplate, don’t compare.
The act of comparing has a history of making people feel miserable. You need to stop doing it altogether. Take some out to self-contemplate and identify your strengths and weaknesses – it will help you on your way ahead.
Your real competition is you yourself. Try and be better than what you were yesterday. Make yourself a priority and allocate sometime in the day, just for yourself.
10. Recall the good-enough times
In the critical times when you are feeling not good enough, fire up your imagination and think of the times when you felt “enough”. Visualize the exact moment with every little detail. Now let the happy feelings take over for a while.
Address yourself as a winner for that moment, or positive expressions like “I rock!” Or “I’m awesome!” will also serve the purpose.
All these ways will render useless if your vision is still fixed on “I am not good enough”. Shift your perspective and start to believe that YOU ARE MADE FOR A GREATER PURPOSE.
These are some ways that will help you crawl out of the dark hole of “not good enough” – the light at the other side of this long tunnel is blissful! Just get up and start walking.
3 Myths About “Not Good Enough”
These myths are so widely believed that it is almost considered as truth. In fact, they were based on hardcore logic until it was found that the assumptions that laid the foundation of the logic are not certain. Exactly why they are also referred to as “Logical fallacies”. Let’s talk about each of them one after another.
1. The “enough” can be defined.
NO. Not at all.
There will always be something more, something more than “enough”.
A girl who has the perfect figure will be enough when he achieves a spot in The New York Times, a man who has 7-figures salary will be enough when his body will be in shape, a lady with a fulfilling job will be enough when she learns to keep her family happy. And the cycle goes on and on.
So, you see, this “enough” can never be defined. The boundaries are far too loose.
2. If I know the first time I started to feel “not good enough”, maybe then I will believe I am good enough.
This can be partially true if you agree to perceive the event in the form of learning.
You need to be empathetic towards the person who implanted the seed of “not good enough” in you. You need to understand that they themselves are in the same misery which they unconsciously delivered it to you.
Don’t belittle the person who told you that you aren’t enough, because you don’t want to be the same person. Somewhere this vicious cycle needs to break.
3. If I find enough evidence of my enough-ness, I will feel enough
No, you won’t.
Because if there’s evidence there surely is a definition… and there isn’t. (refer fallacy #1)
Plus, why on earth will you need evidence for saying that YOU ARE ENOUGH! You are. You don’t need to give any justifications for it – neither to yourself nor to others.
You don’t need to hustle to prove that you are enough. You need to hustle because you want to achieve your goals. You are enough even if you don’t.
In fallacy #2 the person can also be YOU. You need to be more delicate while handling your already wounded esteem. If it makes anything better: YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL.
What is the Voice of “Not Good Enough” Actually Saying?
Start with questioning the definition of “enough” – closely analyze what the voices have to say and you will naturally understand what they wish to convey. It is usually one of the following:
1. It is just an addiction
Yes, you heard that right.
A lot of times it can just be out of your habit to play the victim. The message is so deep-seated in your system that you think the best way out is to get back into the hole of self-pity where you repeatedly tell yourself ‘I am not enough” even though you don’t believe it entirely.
2. It’s just fear of disappointment
Maybe you have a fear that your needs wouldn’t be met.
And it’s easier to put the blame of ‘I am not enough for this’ instead of getting up and actually doing the necessary. It might look easier in the short run, but in the long run, it will transform into symptoms of depression as it pushes your self-esteem under the ground.
3. It’s a self-protection mechanism
Maybe your inner critic is afraid of you making mistakes.
Thus, it’s trying to prevent you from the possibility of taking up any challenges. However, you must also learn the art of self-forgiveness for 360-degree growth. So, learn to fight this voice with a conscious choice and you will soon defeat it.
It’s okay if your inner voice is talking against you. Let them. Make your wall of positive defense so strong that it can’t creep in. Say to yourself: I KNOW I AM MORE THAN THIS!
10 Things to Remember When You Fall Short
When the sense of worthlessness sets in, it becomes almost impossible to hold onto the faintest “good” thing in you. You literally tear yourself apart until each piece again screams “You are not enough”.
At such critical times, it becomes very difficult to hold yourself together. So, here are a few things that will help you get past it (try to remember them).
1. The people you compare yourself to compare themselves to others.
Yes, that’s right.
We are all human beings and the moment you understand it you will look at others with an eye of understanding instead of jealousy and judgment. We are all in this together evolving through the natural course of the universe.
2. Your mind is a liar (mind you, it’s very convincing)
Just because your mind said it, doesn’t mean it is true.
There’s a phrase that says ‘Don’t believe everything you think’ and it’s most certainly true. Thoughts are just thoughts. Whenever it tries to pull you down, remember, it’s all in the mind! 😊
3. There’s more right with you than wrong with you
“As long as you are breathing there is more right with you than wrong with you, no matter what is wrong.” — Jon Kabat-Zinn
The mere fact that you are alive, breathing and capable of making your own life-choices is enough to make you feel valuable in the times when “not good enough” strikes you with full force. It’s a powerful reminder when your vision is restricted to your flaws.
4. Your progress is admirable
The urge to achieve perfection is one of the biggest reasons for self-loathing.
You forget to focus on your progress which in itself is an accomplishment. Thus, the next time you are clogged with voices that say you aren’t enough, instead of stumbling backward, stand up and give yourself a pat on the back for coming this far.
5. The online stories are only reel (NOT real!)
All that you see on your mobile screens is just glitz and glamour.
And why not, will you post your struggles for public display? Now you understand why all the updates on social media talk about achievements, promotions or marriage. No one tells you about they worked day and night, heal peek for 2 years straight for that progress you just saw on Instagram.
6. You need love the most when you feel you deserve it the least
It’s difficult but it’s true.
When you are angry or depressed with your own self, you tend to isolate yourself emotionally. This epiphany can change your perspective and make you realize that love is all that you need (especially in such times).
7. There’s nothing wrong to let-it-out
In fact, it makes you feel lighter and a lot better.
There’s practically nothing your best friends (or anyone close to you) can’t help you cope. They will add a different perspective to the situations that will keep you grounded and composed. Dodge the thought that says “don’t disturb them, they already have a lot on their own plate”. After all, they are your friends for a reason.
8. Your “now” is beautiful!
Only if you look at it the right way.
You need to embrace your present if you wish to feel satisfied with the future. In the run to create a rewarding “later”, don’t forget to remind yourself of the peaceful “now”. Learn to accept where you are and the journey ahead will naturally be satisfying.
9. It’s not all about you
Instead, it can be repercussions of their own misery.
The feeling of not good enough often emerges out of the criticism you receive in the world. While you keep blaming yourself for not being enough, the reality is these verbal spats are just an outcome of their own suffering. Thus, remind yourself that you don’t have to carry the baggage of someone else’s negativity and that you are not what someone thinks of you.
10. Shut down your inner critic
If it’s necessary.
The inner critic must motivate you to work harder and not put you down. So, if by any chance it does the later, don’t fear to shrug it off. Just whisper to yourself “Ah I know, where we are going. I am not ready to believe that” and you will immediately feel more powerful than before.
(10+1) You can make things better! *Bonus*
Of course, you can.
You can do whatever you wish to. Just believe in yourself and start small. Eventually, you will find yourself achieving milestones you didn’t even dream about.
There’s a popular phrase that says ‘To err is human’ which means, mistakes are bound to happen if you are a human. Don’t dwell on them. Remind yourself that YOU ARE STILL LEARNING.
7 Phrases You Must Say to Yourself Every Time You Feel You Are Not Good Enough
Words have power. Real power. Try to communicate these to yourself when not-good-enough plays with your mind and you will yourself experience it.
1. You are NOT responsible for everything in the world
2. You are HUMAN, not GOD.
3. It’s OKAY to make mistakes
4. There’s NO ONE like you in the whole world
5. There’s MAGIC in every human being.
6. It is NEVER too late, to be what you want to be.
7. If you are going through hell, KEEP GOING.
Any epiphany that makes you feel better will serve the purpose. If there’s a specific phrase that makes you feel satisfied. Repeat it to yourself once EVERY DAY!
How to Start Feeling Enough?
Take out a pen and paper, list the top 3 sources of negative thoughts in your life. It can be anything – right from a social media platform to a person at work/school.
Now figure out the ways that can help you minimize your involvement with these.
Draft a few action steps against these sources and act on at least one of them every week.
Then for the next few days spend the freed time with people who can boost your morale and fill up your life with positivity.
Now repeat the process until you can shout the following right from the center of the whole world: “I AM ENOUGH!”
You Really ARE Enough!
By now most of you must be like “It’s easier said than done.”
But you need to start somewhere.
So, let this be your turning point –
Repeat after me: I. Am. Enough!
Surabhi has a deep passion for words. She puts her heart and mind into whatever she pursues and craves for creative ventures. She has always been keen on creating original content that can make a difference. In her experience as a content writer, she has had the opportunity to work on several fields with Psychology being her favourite. Surabhi says, words have the power to transform the world, better than a sword. So she hopes to contribute her bit to this revolution. At TheMindFool, she feels lucky to have the opportunity to share content capable of bringing about a change in the lives of the readers.