10 Ways To Stop Feeling Not Good EnoughJul 15, 2021
Do you experience self-doubt, inadequacy, and general “not good enoughness?”
As much as you may feel alone, you are definitely not. Most people have their own version of a nasty inner critic, even if they appear confident and capable.
Sometimes, our critical thoughts are so subtle or unconscious that we aren’t even aware of them. We just know that we feel like imposters or failures in some (or all!) areas of our lives.
In spite of the persistence of these thoughts, we don’t have to be at their mercy. There are ways to silence the internal dialogue and quit those feelings of “not good enough.”
Here are ten tips to help stop the negative self-talk.
1. Understand Where Not Good Enough Comes From
This is not the easiest undertaking, but it is an important one. While we may be able to shift our thoughts without fully comprehending them, having an understanding of why they exist in the first place can be useful.
However, the answer isn’t often straightforward. It’s likely to be a combination of childhood experiences that built incorrect core beliefs that dominate our adult lives. It could also come from traumatic experiences later in life or learned expectations from society.
It may even be that you are just an overly sensitive person with a strong perfectionist streak (but again, that often comes from early childhood experiences).
Regardless of the source, once you identify the roots, it can be easier to put the thoughts and feelings aside.
2. Focus On Progress, Not Perfection
Perfectionism has a lot to answer for when it comes to not feeling good enough! Often, we strive to be the perfect employee, boss, partner, friend, parent… whatever it is. But we forget that perfect doesn’t exist.
Rather than focusing on the outcome of your efforts, shift your focus to the process of showing up and taking action. Acknowledge your bravery and persistence on your journey rather than stressing out about reaching the destination
3. Build Awareness Of Your Thoughts
To change your thoughts, you must first become aware of them. Often, we just feel crappy without knowing exactly why. But if you have the ability to watch and track your thoughts, you will trace that crappy feeling back to an exact thought trigger. It can take a bit of practice to observe your thoughts.
Start with mindful moments during the day to observe your inner landscape, and it will become easier over time.
4. Separate Thoughts From Feelings
Feeling not good enough comes from thoughts about not feeling good enough, which we are learning to catch and observe. The next idea may come as a revelation, but here it is:
“Not every thought you have is true!”
If you spend time calmly observing your mind, you will quickly see how crazy it is, leaping all over the show – sometimes your thoughts are downright outrageous. This is excellent news! It means you don’t have to believe every negative thought you have about yourself, which means those unpleasant feelings can eventually be bypassed.
5. Become Your Own Best Friend
Would you ever speak to a close friend the way you talk to yourself? Highly doubtful! Then why on earth would you allow that kind of talk to continue in your mind?
When you catch a thought that triggers “I’m not good enough,” think about what you would say to a friend in the same situation. You would probably focus on their good qualities, encourage them for what they have done, and support them to keep going. You deserve the same.
6. Stop Comparing
Comparing yourself to others is a sure-fire way to feel not good enough. Remember, your life is unique, and your journey is unique. Use other people to inspire and motivate you, but never use them to beat yourself up about who you are or what you are or are not doing.
The first place you should stop comparing yourself to others is on social media. Most people’s feeds are not a true reflection of their lives or their internal landscapes. Those amazing parents, successful entrepreneurs, fitness and health gurus are not perfect, trust me. Remember to take your social media feeds with a pinch of salt.
7. Celebrate Your Successes
Sometimes, you need a bit of evidence to counteract those old stories playing in your head.
We said that thoughts aren’t always facts, so sit down and come up with some concrete facts that disprove those stories. You can whip them out every time you need a confidence burst. The successes don’t all have to be earth-shattering; celebrate the small wins as well as the big ones.
8. Remember, It’s Not About You
If someone else is triggering you to feel not good enough for any reason, remember that it’s not actually about you! As kids, we often lack the perspective to separate an angry parent or disappointed friends from our own inner failings.
But as adults, we can try to recognise that when other people are putting us down, blaming us, or being angry, it is often more about their emotional state than ours. If you are doing your best, don’t take on their drama – let it go.
9. Be Kind
Kindness is a great antidote for nastiness. Do your best to be kind to yourself. And then spread that kindness to others. Research has shown that acts of kindness benefit not only the recipient, but also the person reaching out! Do something nice for someone, and you will feel better about yourself.
10. Let Yourself Vent
It can be hard to think yourself out of your thinking – there’s just too much going on in your noggin!
Getting your thoughts out of your head into the world can be a huge relief. Journalling can be a helpful practice allowing you to recognise thought patterns and work through them. Talking to a friend or trusted coach can also be helpful.
But don’t beat yourself up if you have a hard time getting to the bottom of your feelings of not good enough. Many of these thoughts have been entrenched for decades and may be linked to deeply traumatic or upsetting experiences.
Talking to someone experienced in unravelling negative self-talk can be enormously helpful. Consider coaching or therapy to help you move from not good enough to more than enough.
Put An End To Not Feeling Good Enough
“You have been criticising yourself for years, and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.”
Louise L. Hay
Empowerment coaching, neuro-linguistic programming, and hypnotherapy are all powerful ways of recoding your brain and transforming your mindset. If you would like to chat about how I can help motivate and empower you to make positive life changes, contact me today.