Are you struggling with feeling not good enough? No matter how much you accomplish or try, you still feel this lingering feeling of not being enough. You might be in a perpetual cycle of doing things to fill a void to distract yourself from feelings of unworthiness.
Typically the narrative we tell ourselves about not feeling good enough derives from our upbringing. If you are fed messages by your caregivers that you are enough and valuable, you are more likely to have that foundation of self-acceptance and worthiness. If you were raised in an environment where you were criticised and felt like you had to shrink parts of who you are, you’re more likely to struggle with low self-esteem. However, it isn’t always this binary. Some people come from loving backgrounds who still suffer from not feeling good enough because of other negative experiences such as social media, bullying or even academic pressures. We are not born with feeling not good enough, we are taught to think that way about ourselves as a result of negative experiences we go through in life.
Overcoming feeling not good enough is a process that takes times. When we’ve become accustomed to that feeling for such a long time, our brain convinces us that it’s a part of our reality which is non-fixable. By letting that narrative of unworthiness win, we cheat ourselves out of opportunities that will make us feel loved, valued and that invites emotional healing. However, just because you don’t feel good enough right now doesn’t mean that you can’t change the narrative. You can choose to take control of how you think about yourself.
Three reminders for when you don’t feel good enough:
1. You are enough- You were born enough and nothing can take that away from you. Sometimes circumstances arise which make us doubt who we are. When we are used to disappointment, it reinforces that narrative that we aren’t enough for good opportunities, love or abundance. We believe that if we acquire more things, or become more of something else we would become more worthy. In a society where our value is closely tied to our status, material possessions, it’s normal to feel like this. Just because you don’t feel good enough in the present moment doesn’t mean that you always will.
2. Comparison is the thief of joy- Not everyone has it all figured out. No one is in your lane and no one is your competition. When you compare yourself, you’re unfairly putting two completely different lives and human beings in competition with the other. You do yourself a disservice when you compare yourself. They don’t know the challenges you’ve endured. Your progress does not have to look like anyone else’s. This is your life and you are in control.
3. Give yourself love- You’re deserving of love and compassion even when you feel like you aren’t enough. Shower yourself with appreciation and love always but especially when you don’t feel good about yourself. Nothing is inherently wrong with you just because you feel this way. Acknowledging that you are struggling is the first step to transformation.
Five tips to help you overcome feeling not good enough:
1. Inner Child Work- Inner child work is an opportunity to resolve your childhood emotions and experiences. Go into a quite space and write down all the negative experiences you remember in your childhood. Then reflect on how they may have impacted you by asking yourself; has this experience shaped the way I think about myself now? When you start to see a direct correlation between not feeling enough and your childhood experiences, you’ll start to see that the way you feel is a narrative that has been taught to you but can be changed. If this work is too much for you, I would suggest seeking help from a therapist who would be able to offer you professional support.
2. Get intimate with your inner critique- In order to fully understand why you don’t feel good enough, you have to unravel your thoughts. Next time you find yourself not feeling good, interrupt your chain of thought and ask yourself the following; How you are feeling? Why do I feel like this and what triggered those feelings? Then start to think about alternative ways you can look at the problem.
3. Separate yourself from your negative thoughts- When negative thoughts about yourself arise, try to separate yourself from the thoughts you are experiencing. For example; if you feel not good enough say “my thoughts are telling that i’m not good enough”. You will begin to gain better perspective and start to realise that we can change the narrative we tell ourselves.
4. Mantra- Write down anything that can trigger you into feeling like you’re not good enough. For example; being rejected from an opportunity. Find or create your own affirmations that you can refer to when those feelings arise. Find some comforting words that help you feel good and refer to them when you’re feeling low.
5. Talk to someone- The hardest thing is going through it alone. Talk to a friend or family member tell them how you’re feeling. If you need extra help, look for a support group near you or call your GP and ask for to get in contact with a therapist service.
Questions to you:
Do you ever feel like you’re not good enough?
What advice would you offer a friend who feels like this?
I’d love to hear from you!
Love, Ash xx
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