Why You Never Feel Good Enough And Ways To Overcome It
Deep down you know it. You feel you are not good enough. Your life can be so difficult when you are burdened with the feeling that you have to live up to somebody else’s standards.
You walk around with your head down – and why shouldn’t you? Since early on you’ve learned the thought “I’m not good enough”.
If only you were better looking… maybe you wouldn’t feel so small whenever you go out with your friends.
Or when you make more money… you would be happier. Perhaps that would make you enough for someone to be with you. Obviously, this type of thinking is very distorted.
If you could get that promotion… then you would probably believe you are good enough and you could hold your head high during the next family reunion.
Can you see where this is going?
Life is nothing but pain when you own the toxic belief of “I’m not good enough”. Or the feeling that you are inferior to other people. Imagine the anxiety that arises when worrying about being less than.
But here’s the thing – you ARE enough, even if you’re not feeling it. Not because you graduated with good grades or for dating someone gorgeous. Also not because your company makes 2 million dollars in revenue or for getting your dream job.
You are good enough because of you! Because you have value as a human, because you’re special in your way, and there’s no one else like you in the world.
Your worth should never depend on anything external. You are the one who gets to decide how good enough you are. And the way you perceive yourself, set the standard for others on how you demand to be treated.
I Always Felt That Who I Am Was Not Good Enough
I remember how it used to be for me before I began my childhood trauma healing journey. I had always felt that I’m not good enough, not doing enough, or having enough.
Therefore, I was continuously stuck in the mindset of “I have to prove myself to these people so that they would love me”.
Life for me, back then, was about putting on an act. I didn’t view myself as deserving of good things or being good enough just as I am.
I needed approval from outside of myself to justify my existence. My brain was conditioned in a way that I had to become “more” in order to prove myself “worthy of love”.
I was so busy judging myself and qualifying myself as “I don’t measure up” that I became even more fearful of being judged by others.
I clung to a public agreement like a drowning man to a thread but constantly felt inadequate wherever I went.
If you have the ‘I am not good enough’ voice you already know how humiliating and painful it can feel.
It took me many years to realize that the responsibility of valuing myself as a person fell to me first before any other external source.
Here’s how to move past the awful feeling you are not enough as others.
Choose to Be You
Because here is the thing: you only seek the approval of others because you don’t see yourself as good enough. So you want others to give you the ‘you are ok’ stamp so you can feel good about yourself.
Here’s a question: why else would you care that the guy sitting on the side of the table thinks you are a nice person?
Do you remember how you felt when your parents took you to the zoo?
What happened when you saw all those exotic animals for the first time and laughed your head off about how funny they looked and acted compared to you and your friends?
Did the animals straighten their hair and try to act their best to prove themselves good enough for you? Did they check their teeth and worry that they were not movie-star white enough?
Never! Absolutely not!
Wouldn’t it be weird if the snake tried to act like the dolphin because the dolphin was pulling a bigger crowd?
Or the flamingos look at the eagle wistfully and lament, “Boy, I wish I had wings like those! I would really be a star in this place!”?
Chances are those animals continued doing the same thing they were doing when your group showed up and continued being themselves when your group left.
They could not have cared less about what you or any other spectator thought about them because it didn’t matter. They are who they are and as far as they are concerned, that is more than enough!
What a concept to adopt!
How To Stop Feeling You Are Not Good Enough
How would it be to go about your day knowing that you felt good about yourself and that you no longer needed outside validation to consider yourself as good enough? How would it feel to just be you and still be secure in the knowledge that you are okay just the way you are?
If you are tired of feeling incompetent follow these steps and begin your journey of personal development:
Connect with Your Emotions
When you run into an unpleasant emotion, what happens? You block it! You shun the emotion; it doesn’t feel good inside and so you want to escape it.
But here’s the thing: when you block these feelings that pop up every time you don’t feel good enough, you miss the lesson they are trying to tell you and you make matters worse. It’s time to start listening to your emotional guidance system.
Your negative feelings are a result of destructive programming you’ve adopted in the past, particularly during childhood.
Maybe your parents always reminded you of your flaws at every turn. Maybe your caregivers didn’t meet your needs properly and started the cycle of “I am not good enough”.
Over time such an environment would imprint into the child the mistaken idea that something was wrong with them and they must, therefore, be flawed or not good enough.
Later on, this child becomes an adult whose subconscious is convinced of their unworthiness.
The unpleasant feelings that you feel all point to this sabotaging programming deep within you. So embrace them instead of suppressing them.
Own your past and re-parent your inner child
It’s now on you to love and nurture that inner child and give him or her what your caretakers couldn’t give you. Yes, they made mistakes that caused you a lot of pain, but as an adult, it’s your responsibility to change your life. No one is coming to save you. It’s a harsh truth I had to learn myself.
You have the power to heal and create the safe, secure inner and outer environments your younger selves always wanted.
You can practice compassionate self-talk that will care for your needs. Here are a few examples:
“Sure, I don’t feel good enough unless everybody approves of me and thinks I am great. It’s because my parents would always withhold their affection whenever I made a mistake. I’m afraid of ever experiencing that again!”
“Of course I feel inadequate! The kids in school always used to make fun of my hair and I got stuck with the programming that I’m nobody. But just because I was bullied in school, doesn’t take away my value. I am still worthy, just the way I am”.
You see? An approach like that VALIDATES your feelings, and not dismissing or repressing them. And this is important because given what you have experienced, you SHOULD feel like this exactly!
These unpleasant feelings are telling you that you have some healing to do, and the sooner you accept their calling, the sooner it can begin. Acknowledgment is always the first step toward awakening and feel good enough about who you are.
Become an Observer
Now that you know your negative thought patterns are a result of your past trauma, try to be mindful of the sources of these thoughts.
Instead of acting your impulses, try to explore in which circumstances the ‘not good enough’ trigger rear its head.
You will quickly realize that this burdening sensation was never your fault.
For example, maybe as a child, your mother screamed at you so much your then child’s brain concluded (wrongly, I must add) that there was something wrong with you. Otherwise, why would your mom always explode at you? Today you know better.
Your mom’s reactions were not your fault. It was her baggage, not yours. But now as an adult, you might be terrified when people are upset with you. So just reflect on when it happens, and then remind yourself that you have the right to communicate your needs.
This awareness of why you behave the way you do will allow you to see through the false stories you tell yourself and make it much easier for you to be yourself.
Replace Your Paradigms
To truly experience the change you seek you have to replace the paradigms the feelings you are not good enough, with positive beliefs.
I created an empowering tool just to help you do that. You don’t have to go through the many years of trial and error that I did.
Using this not only will you have a better understanding of the negative tendencies that are driving you, but also you will get rid of the ‘not good enough’ thinking and replace them with positive patterns.
You will be more comfortable than you have ever been in your own skin. But more importantly, you will know the truth about yourself which is that YOU ARE AWESOME AS YOU ARE! You always have been.