Not Good Enough? Only You Can Change How You Feel. Here’s How…
“I’m just not good enough” is a phrase I hear from many of my clients. Maybe they don’t use those exact words, but the feeling behind many of their roadblocks can be traced back to whether or not they feel like they measure up in their own minds or in the mind of someone else.
For example, one client said to me, “I’m not happy.” Why? “Because I worked really hard on a session for my client and she didn’t respond well at all.” Is that really your fault? “If I was a better coach, they’d love everything I do.” Is that realistic? “Maybe. Maybe, not. I just feel like I’m not good enough to be a coach.” Bingo!
People seem to try to cope with these feeling of being “not good enough” in one of two ways: They either reinforce their unworthiness through self-destruction, or they constantly push themselves to achieve an insatiable amount of MORE.
When you let “I’m not good enough” drive you, you give your power away and you’re no longer in charge of your life. You’re letting your life be defined by what you think society, culture, family, and peers want from you. When in reality, those who matter love you as you are and aren’t measuring you by some impossible standard. And those who don’t matter aren’t thinking about you at all. It really boils down to your own perception of yourself. You’re telling yourself “when I am X or do X, I will be enough.”
It’s time to break free from this catch-22. Here are eight things to remember when you’re feeling that you’re not good enough…
1. Mindfully embrace the moment. Don’t worry about what happened in the past or what might in the future. All you can influence is NOW. Greet it with acceptance and curiosity, looking for what it can teach you.
2. Make friends with your inner critic. Your inner critic is trying to keep you safe: safe from judgment, safe from failure, safe from disappointment. It resides in your vulnerability, where it really hurts. But when you examine that vulnerability with mindfulness, you can thank your inner critic for a job well done. Always look for the positive and quit dwelling on the negative. I love how Lori Deschene put it, “We can’t hate ourselves into a version of ourselves we can love.”
4. Stop negative self-talk. Don’t believe everything you think. Not all thoughts are true. Challenge them and tell the unhealthy ones to go away. As Jon Kabat-Zinn wisely said, “Until you stop breathing, there’s more right with you than wrong with you.”
5. Focus on the reasons why you are enough. Practice greater self-awareness and take note of how your life impacts others. Did you make someone smile, relieve a worry, dry a tear? You matter.
6. Be authentic. Comparing yourself to others and hiding who you really are is unproductive. Look at yourself and other people through a lens of compassion and understanding rather than judgment and jealousy. See that we’re all people on a journey with something unique and valuable to offer to the world.
7. Remember how far you’ve come. It’s so easy to forget all the baby steps it took to get you to where you are. But each one was a victory that you won! Remember them. Don’t let them slip away without celebration.
8. Let others love you. Take down the walls. Let their love reach you, even if you’re feeling angry, shamed or anxious. They want to give you love, because they know you deserve it. Listen to them. Their love is the greatest gift you can give yourself.
From this moment forward, observe every unworthy or unlovable thought with mindfulness. Be curious about its positive intention. Acknowledge to yourself that the old way of talking to yourself is no longer acceptable.
And, every time you say out loud a self-loathing or self-deprecating comment, stop yourself and reframe your comment to a positive comment. The more you speak positivity into your life, the more peace you will achieve, until one day, I promise, you will believe that you are good enough.
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