Nothing kills your excitement for adventure and new experiences more than feeling like you are not good enough.
Relationships, work, family… we’ve all felt less than enough in certain situations. And at its worst, this self-doubt can leave you paralysed, unable to take action. And that’s not fair on you. You deserve to believe in yourself and know that you are more than enough. But I know you’re not going to take my word for it.
So, to help you realise that you are enough, we’re going to take you through eight exercises you can use when you feel self-doubt.
Why do you feel like you are not good enough?
Before we dive into the exercises, it’s essential to understand where your feelings of self-doubt stem from. Some of the main culprits include:
If you were constantly told you aren’t good enough as a child by teachers, parents, family members etc., that thought may become your reality. Because, when you’re told something enough, you start to believe it, especially as a kid.
Anxiety and perfectionism
These mental health problems highlight negative self-talk to make you feel bad about yourself. Perfectionism, in particular, involves having unrealistic expectations of yourself that you couldn’t possibly fulfil, for example, posting your first video on TikTok and expecting to get five million views in one hour for it to be a success. So, if you suffer from either of these conditions, it’s no wonder you never feel good enough.
If you’ve ever been bullied, whether as a child or an adult (because yes, adults do bully each other as well), you’ve likely been subjected to belittling. This degrading acts as a way to “put you in your place” and make you believe you are worse than the person attacking you. This can lead to self-doubt that expands into multiple areas of your life.
Eight ways to feel good enough
Now that you know the leading causes of self-doubt, how can you improve it so you can go after the life you want?
Identify the cause
Try and pinpoint the exact reason you don’t feel good enough. For example, are you worried about the way you look? Are you scared that someone will laugh at you? Once you pinpoint the thing you fear, you’ll be able to tackle it head-on.
Look at the facts
Think about the scenario causing you anxiety. What evidence do you have that you aren’t good enough? Stick to only the facts, no emotions. You’ll find that there is little to no evidence that you aren’t good enough, and you may even find evidence to suggest you are good enough!
Not feeling good enough is a manifestation of fear. And like with most intense emotions, journaling about them can help alleviate some of the stress. So grab your notebook and start writing about why you feel unworthy and what is worrying you. It’s fantastic to see the revelations a journaling session can create.
When self-doubt is engrained in your belief system, you need to actively counteract it and change the belief into one of self-confidence. Affirmations are great for this. Every morning, look in the mirror and repeat to yourself:
“I am good enough exactly as I am.”
Over time, your words will become thoughts, and your thoughts will become your beliefs.
It’s safe to say that feeling not good enough is future centric. That means you’re worrying more about what might happen instead of living in the moment.
So, it’s good to ground yourself into the present by practising mindfulness daily.
Mindfulness will also help you dissociate from your thoughts and clear your mind of worry. Just five minutes a day is enough to create significant change in your life.
Manage your expectations
If you expect perfection from yourself, it’s no wonder you don’t feel good enough. By nature, human beings aren’t perfect. And that’s ok!
As a perfectionist, you may not even realise that your expectations are astronomically high because, to you, they seem reasonable.
To help with this, you need to lower your expectations of what you can do to more realistic levels. For example, if you are trying to write a novel but have never written a page of text before, expecting yourself to complete a book in 30 days is unrealistic. A more realistic goal would be to write one page in a week. It feels counter-intuitive and challenges your core beliefs, but over time you’ll find confidence in being able to achieve your new goals.
We often fear failure and see it as the enemy of success. However, there are countless stories of people failing before they succeed. Or succeeding in unusual ways. Look for those stories online and take inspiration from them. The takeaway is that it’s better to try than to shy away from the battle.
Feel the fear and do it anyway
The best way to get rid of your self-doubt is to challenge it. And for some people, they need real-world proof to believe they are good enough. That’s why it can be beneficial to do things you feel not good enough to do, even if you are shaking with fear, and try it a few times. In almost all cases, you’ll realise it’s not as bad as you thought, and you are better than you thought you would be.
For this to work, you need to repeat the things you feel not good enough to do many times to lessen the anxiety and change your beliefs.
Self-doubt is a horrible feeling that stops us from chasing our dreams. But you can take steps to learn that you are good enough exactly the way you are.
If you follow these tips, your self-confidence will bloom over time, and you’ll see doors opening all around you to exciting opportunities you never thought you were good enough for.
For daily inspiration, check us out on Instagram @malpaper