Over the years I have learned that I am strong-willed and a mission-focused person. This helped me to take on things that felt professionally scary. I am not what you would call a confident person. I often question my decisions and worry about the outcomes far too often. I struggle with feelings of not measuring up and I often make the dreaded mistake of comparing myself to others. With the help of counseling, I now catch myself going into this habit cycle with a technique of accept (the thought), stop, drop (the thought) and breathe. I am no longer a hostage of my feelings.
If you are struggling with a “not good enough” mentality it might come down to three things we all often struggle with. You might have what I call a mindset struggle but luckily feeling good enough comes down to choice. Choosing to love yourself instead of judging yourself constantly.
Here are 3 reasons for not feeling good enough and what to do instead
1. You listen and believe the inner mind chatter that overtakes your mind and spirit
Our core beliefs often come from our childhood and the experiences of early life that shaped us. We might be plagued by thoughts that we aren’t good enough, not smart enough, or not pretty enough. Your list could go on and on. The key is to not go down the rabbit hole with your thoughts. You can stop yourself and say “I hear you” (Speak to where you think the thought is coming from – to me it is often the little girl within). Then say “I understand how you feel, but I have lots of proof that you are good enough”. What to do instead: Stop the thoughts by doing something empowering like focusing on your accomplishments – no matter how small you may think they are. When you have a moment write them down. Perspective is everything. You may not think what you have accomplished is much but others might see you as a champion.
2. You are focused on trying to please others instead of yourself
As a professional woman and entrepreneur, I got stuck in a place of playing to my ego. I started to judge myself on my professional accomplishments and comparing them to others. As someone wise said – what people think of you is none of your business. We have no proof that they think you are not good enough and even if they did think that, so what! We can read into things that simply aren’t there. What to do instead: The next time you start to read into someone’s comment stop and breathe. Tell yourself first what you know to be true. Ask yourself where is the proof before internalizing their comment. Go inward when you are looking for validation or motivation. Do not go on a quest to compare yourself to others. Lastly, surround yourself with positive and caring people within your professional and personal network.
3. You are a fear-based thinker
If you are at all prone to anxiety it is likely you might spend time blowing up your fears into full-blown problems before it is even warranted. I was guilty of this. In some ways, it served me really well. I would be prepared for any scenario, waiting for things to blow up and planning out a response before it was ever even necessary. It wasted a lot of time and emotional energy. Now I do my best to practice mindfulness and live in the present moment. I still take steps to be organized and prepared for things to go wrong but not to the extent that I am living in the future or marred by the past. Take something as simple as flossing. I would avoid doing it because in my mind I thought it took too long, but then I spent time worrying about getting gum disease. Now I just start my day with a few minutes of flossing and realize it doesn’t have to take up space in my head. I can practice “good enough” thoughts. We don’t have to be perfect at what we do. As the old adage goes – sometimes done is better than perfect. What to do instead: When you catch yourself worrying about what you need to do to be successful or organized stop and focus on small steps. Practice my “1, 2, 3 challenge”. Count out loud “1, 2, 3 – GO!” then take some sort of action that will move you forward no matter how big or small.
If you would like to join us in a deep discussion about not feeling good enough please register for our “Read it Next” book club this Wed. May 12th from 1-2:15 pm. This is an open and complimentary event for all women. Our author Anne Day will lead a discussion on two of her books: Good Enough- Embrace Who YOU Are. Unleash your Brilliance and 20/20 – Looking Back on a Life Well-Lived and the Lessons Learned.
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