My childhood couldn’t have been much better. I was a high achiever, had talent, and had supportive and kind friends and family. By college, I had various awards under my name, graduated cum laude, and landed a dream job.
But I was never good enough.
My “Not Good Enough” story has been playing on repeat my entire life. I knew it didn’t serve me, but it was a pattern so ingrained into my daily life that I was having an inner struggle to shake it. It was like biting your lip. You do it once and all of a sudden you accidentally do it 5 more times in 1 day. And it hurts more each time.
A few years ago, with the big 3-0 approaching, I threw myself into a quest for personal growth. I read books, found a women’s group that fostered personal growth, opened my eyes wider, and gathered as much advice from 30+ women as possible. I was prepping myself for what was a dreaded milestone. Packin’ up the personal growth goods.
I started talking with other women about this “Not Good Enough” story, and to my surprise, almost every single women I spoke to felt like they weren’t good enough in some way.
They weren’t a good enough mother, daughter, employee, lover, entrepreneur, or friend. It was always something.
When I DID find women who felt they were good enough, I latched on. “Please, take me with you”, I thought. I began interviewing these women to learn what their secret was. How they treated themselves with respect, without being showy. There were a lot of consistencies, and I wanted to pass along these to our Reset Retreat community.
6 simple ways to help break your “I’m Not Good Enough” story:
- Know you’re at the table for a reason: Have you ever found yourself in a meeting and felt completely unqualified? Clearly, it’s a fluke you’re here. No. You are at that table, that meeting, in that relationship for a reason. Own up to it.
- Write affirmations: Writing down positive truths and saying them out loud can change our own truths. When I was at my peak of feeling “Not Good Enough,” I wrote down, “I am good. I am bold. I am beautiful. I am kind. I am enough.”, and tucked the piece of paper in my wallet. I brought it out at least 1 time a day to read it out loud.
- Give yourself permission to fail: You are not perfect. Perfect doesn’t even exist. Give yourself the permission to not be “good enough” once in a while, because we are human.
- Get a gratitude journal: Or what I like to call “I’m a badass journal.” Do you find yourself forgetting to celebrate your wins? Are you always trying to do better that you forget how much you’ve already conquered? Give yourself the deserved time to revel in what you have achieved – from big lofty goals to something small and ordinary. It’s okay to be proud.
- Get your perspective back on track: The feeling of not being good enough often rears its nasty head during stressful situations. During stressful situations our minds start racing and we go into “freak out” mode and spin out of control. When this happens, focusing on something physical/tangible can bring you back down to reality. For example you’re at a conference table. There’s a cup in front of you. It’s white. It has a handle. It is warm. It’s filled with coffee. Boom, you’re back in the moment.
- Stop comparing yourself to others: You may have a girlfriend who is extremely financially successful, has a beautiful family, and always seems happy. But once you dive deep down, she may be going through a separation and is afraid of losing her job. Sometimes we meet people who really are as happy as they seem, which is great, but it’s frequently not the case. Everyone has their own struggles, and it’s not typically the first thing broadcasted on Facebook. Be kind to yourself and stop comparing.
The feeling of not being good enough is something I work on everyday. I lived more than 30 years playing this story in my head, so like any pattern or addiction, it takes time to change. Hopefully, one day I will wake up and realize, “Wow. I don’t ever worry about that anymore.”
Do you have a “I’m Not Good Enough” story? What helps you work through it?