I Wish that I Was Good Enough
“Am I good enough?…I wish that I was good enough” is felt by everyone at least once in their lives or even on a continual basis. There is no sense in blaming yourself if you feel the same way. The truth is that many factors affect you as a person, such as how you were raised, who currently surrounds you, and how you were treated in the past.
How you feel about yourself is shaped by how you perceive the world and how the world and people around you have impacted you, either positively or negatively. For instance, children who were bullied in school might regularly find themselves guarded and a little bit defensive in order to protect themselves from what people may say to them. They may feel like they were never intelligent enough or that they were never pretty enough.
Thinking,”I wish that I was good enough” often inflicts more harm than good on our emotional state. Telling yourself that you wish you were better denies yourself of the self-appreciation and self-love you genuinely deserve. If others make you feel bad or if you think badly about yourself, it does not truly reflect who you are and who you can be.
Throughout this article, we will explore the question, ‘Am I good enough?‘ why you might feel this way, and what you can do to overcome it. We will help you recognize the thought and behavior patterns that typically lead to such feelings and then offer some expert advice on shifting towards a healthier, more self-compassionate, and loving state of mind.
So, if you have got some doubts about your self-worth, you are not sure if you are capable of success in your next project, or you do not think you are worthy of someone else’s attention and respect, this article is for you. No matter what makes you feel like you are not good enough, and no matter what task is in front of you, the mindset you adopt matters most.
Am I Good Enough? Why Do I Feel This Way?
The reasons why you do not feel good enough are unique to you. They are based on your unique life experiences, how you coped with stress as a child, who supported you in hard times, how they supported you, and many other factors. Still, there are some typical causes of not feeling good enough that most people can relate to, such as:
1. Low Self-Worth
Low self-worth can keep you constantly questioning if you are good enough, and it often uses a critical inner voice to convince you that you are not. There are many potential causes of low self-worth, ranging from difficult childhood experiences to emotional abuse to consistent failure.
Whatever is causing your low sense of self-worth, it is important to resolve it as soon as possible. Low self-worth can lead to interpersonal issues that can seriously impact your quality of life. It can jeopardize your ability to make good important life decisions and makes you more likely to feel overwhelmed by negative emotions and less likely to fully experience positive ones.
2. Automatic Negative Thoughts
If your self-worth is low, you might feel like there is no point in even trying to be successful. You will entertain what psychologists call automatic negative thoughts—thoughts in which you jump straight to the conclusion that something terrible will happen without leaving any room for the possibility that things will go well.
For example, imagine there is an opportunity for a promotion at work. It is between you and several of your coworkers. You want this promotion to allow you to express yourself more freely within the company and open the door for greater opportunities later. However, the competition is so strong, and your mind convinces you that you cannot measure up to the talent and skill of your coworkers.
That is an automatic negative thought that can prevent you from trying your best. Without trying your best, your chances of getting the promotion are slim. Somebody else gets it because they believe in themselves, and that entire situation reinforces your inner critic’s claims that you are not good enough.
3. Negative Core Beliefs
Low self-worth, poor self-esteem, and self-doubt typically stem from deeply held negative core beliefs. A core belief is a truth you hold about yourself and the world around you. These beliefs usually develop in early childhood through experiences and evaluation of those experiences. Negative core beliefs are the primary cause for not feeling good enough, and they are often self-perpetuating.
For example, you believe you are not interesting enough to keep your date’s attention. Your feelings about that belief will likely sabotage any attempts to establish a strong connection. You will struggle with confidence because you believe you are doomed to fail, jeopardizing your efforts. When your feelings consume you and lead to not even trying to connect with them because you expect to fail, that will reaffirm your core belief that you are not good enough. We can carry negative core beliefs throughout our entire lives. Unless we recognize, address, and reframe them, they will continue influencing our thoughts and behavior.
Until we make the unconscious conscious, it will direct our life, and we call it fate.Carl Jung
There will always be someone greater than us, and there will always be someone lesser. Someone will be taller, someone shorter. Someone will be richer, someone poorer. Someone who has a lot of friends, someone with less than you. If you have a habit of comparing yourself to others, you will eventually realize that it never ends. You can compare yourself to others for days and never actually get anywhere.
Why do we compare ourselves to others? It may be because someone told us that we were not good enough and that someone else was better. That could have been a parent, a teacher, a childhood friend, or a romantic parent. No matter who it was and at what stage of life we were in when it happened, comparison can be emotionally challenging. It leads us to always look at ourselves and judge ourselves unnecessarily.
Perfectionism is renowned for leading to feelings of not being good enough. A perfectionist tries to achieve 100% success in everything they do, but their relentless striving often leads to exhaustion. Perfectionism typically stems from childhood experiences. Perhaps a caregiver, someone who you relied upon for love and affection, only gave you those things when you achieved something, such as good grades at school or when you behaved as they wanted you to. The problem with that child-parent dynamic is that the child learns that they are loved conditionally. They are loved only on the condition that they succeed. Equally, they equate failure with being unlovable.
How to Feel Better About Yourself
You are not doomed to feel unworthy or not good enough forever. It is entirely possible to shift your frame of mind, challenge negative beliefs, and feel confident and worthy in yourself. It may be easier for some than others, depending on how you have handled these feelings in the past. If you feel unworthiness that has been around for a while and has led you into depression and anxiety, you may need an extra support system to help you. Still, no matter who you are and your current state of mental health, the following tips and advice should help you improve your mood and give yourself a break from the negativity.
1. Let Go of Unrealistic Expectations
Often, not feeling good enough stems from perfectionism. We want to do things perfectly, be our best looking, smartest, wittiest, most crying, loving, attentive, wise, and thoughtful selves every day, but how realistic is that? The more we expect ourselves always to be our best, the more likely we will feel disappointed when we have a day even slightly off. Instead of striving for perfectionism, it is best to accept your ups and downs, including the feeling that you are not good enough.
You do not have to berate yourself for having that thought. It is completely natural and happens to most of us. When such thoughts arise, the best thing you can do for yourself is not to try to escape, but to pay attention to them, then bring your attention to your breath, pause, and let the thought go. This is how we practice acceptance, a prerequisite for letting go.
2. Practice Self-Forgiveness
As you begin to let go of unrealistic expectations, a great place to start is with self-forgiveness. How do you usually treat yourself when you make a mistake? How do you feel about yourself when you let someone down, even if your mistake was an easy one to make? Like many people, you are probably quite harsh and unforgiving toward yourself. Instead of harsh criticism and self-grudges, try to practice self-forgiveness.
If you slip up or let someone down, you might think you should be punished, but does that approach serve you? Does it even serve others? Sure, it is important to be personally accountable when things go wrong, to apologize, and make amends when necessary and appropriate. Still, you do not need to be too harsh on yourself. Understand that everyone slips up sometimes. Everyone procrastinates, experiences failure and forgets to be mindful of others’ feelings now and again.
3. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
Comparison kills joy. You will always feel less if you constantly compare yourself to others. That is not just true for unfavorable comparisons, either. Even if you compare yourself to others to make yourself better, that will inevitably backfire because you believe that someone else is less talented than you. You might feel superior temporarily, but when you start to feel down, you will perceive others as judgmental toward you in the same way.
No one knows your truth but you. If you’re secure in yourself, no one and no(thing) can touch you.Brittany Burgunder
4. Practice Self-Compassion
There already exists within you a part of yourself that loves you unconditionally. Much of the work surrounding personal growth and self-acceptance does not create that self-love as much as uncovering it. Life can toughen us up and make us suppress our vulnerable side, but through self-compassion, we can reconnect with ourselves in a way that helps us experience abundant self-love and self-compassion is a tool we can use to get there. A key part of self-compassion is embracing your negative feelings with loving-kindness and allowing yourself to have positive thoughts. Too often, when we doubt our self-worth, we do not even allow our positive thoughts to exist.
5. Set Goals
Nobody is born confident. It is a feeling we develop through consistent effort and success. If you want to build confidence, it is important to set some goals. They do not have to be lofty. The whole point is to make them achievable. Set small, achievable goals regularly, goals that you now you can view but which are nonetheless challenging. Completing these goals will build your confidence and inspire you to take exciting risks.
When to Seek Help For Not Feeling Good Enough
It is normal to have occasional doubts about your self-worth. You are human, so it is impossible for you to be in a good mood and happy about your life all the time. Still, when such thoughts come up, we must deal with them. They can be uncomfortable and challenging, but they will only come back stronger if we deny or suppress them.
If you have been struggling with feelings of low self-worth and it is beginning to harm your life, such as your job, health, or relationship, it is crucial to seek help. Do not be fooled into thinking that seeking help is a sign of weakness—it is a sign of incredible strength.
Therapy for Not Feeling Good Enough
Low self-worth and not feeling good enough can sometimes lead people into a feedback loop of negative thoughts and behaviors that only make them feel worse about themselves and may lead to thoughts of self-harm and suicide. It is wise to speak to a mental health professional for support. A licensed therapist or counselor can offer support in several ways.
Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
A popular type of support for those who experience low self-worth is cognitive-behavioral therapy or CBT – evidence-based psychotherapy that addresses and aims to shift the interconnected relationship between our thoughts and beliefs, feelings and emotions, and subsequent behaviors.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a wonderful technique that has been around for decades now and has consistently helped those with feelings of low self-worth overcome their unhelpful patterns of thought and belief and reframe them into a healthier frame of mind. In CBT, a licensed therapist will listen deeply to your concerns. They’ll support you in developing a keen awareness of your thought patterns and help you recognize that they are just thoughts, not necessarily reality.
Am I really good enough? The reality is that nobody else can tell you whether or not you are good enough. You may get turned down from a job, rejected by a lover, or experience failure, but at the end of the day, being good enough comes down to how you feel inside. It is a state of unconditional self-love and acceptance that, though not always easy to cultivate, is worth all the effort of trying to achieve. Until you work towards that radical level of self-acceptance, you may never feel good enough.
The good news is you can achieve self-love. It is hard at times to love yourself, and you might face challenges, such as memories of past mistakes or unhealthy relationships, moments of self-loathing, striving to be the best version of yourself or a hell-bent need to be perfect. Still, with consistent practice and mindful living, there comes a day when you wake up, and you cannot help but smile with the thought, Yes, I am good enough.