How to Stop Believing ‘I am not good enough’
(and See that it Is a Ridiculous Lie)
ShoomKloom Editorial Staff
‘When you believe in yourself, you have 100% of the people you need on your side.’
‘I am not good enough’ has been my mantra throughout my life.
This thought I wrapped around myself like a precious piece of clothing. It acted like a filter through which I would perceive myself in all kind of circumstances:
- When meeting a man: thinking I am not attractive or engaging enough
- At work: thinking I am not adequate and not skilled enough
- Looking in the mirror: thinking I am not beautiful enough
- Being amongst friends: thinking I am not entertaining enough
I wasted time and energy, and deprived myself of laughter and confidence with doubting myself.
Learning to Dismantle Old Limiting Beliefs
Why do we get stuck in this negative thought of ‘I am not good enough’?
A thought in itself is never a problem.
A thought always comes and goes and is meaningless by itself. What becomes the problem however is what we DO with the thought.
You have an argument at work, a relationship crisis or you’re the only one who doesn’t get a piece of cake at a birthday party. The thought ‘I am not good enough’ pops up in your head.
You have two options:
You choose to not give it attention (zero imagination, no feeling attached, no meaning given). You know your inner core and fulfillment during the time this thought comes in and goes out of your head.
The thought is not influencing you. You stay centered and content.
You choose to grab this thought (your mind and emotions start racing, you feel miserable, you try to get rid of it, you want to blame someone, you feel bad, you judge yourself, you think about past stories…).
You BELIEVE (your own lie) that you are not good enough.
Result: You will feel miserable.
Now you might think: ‘Well I don’t have this ability to choose option A or B because it all just happens to me.
That is exactly what I used to think.
But a few years ago I found out that I do have a choice and that I can practise making a healthy choice over and over again.
Wanna know how?
You Must Know this: Our Beliefs Act Like Tinted Glasses
Same as sunglasses, a belief will color our view and reality. But you can discover that you are not the belief itself and you are not the tinted glasses either.
A belief is a thought to which we give meaning, imagination and our identity. We believe that this thought is ‘ours’.
It is as if we claim ownership but it owns us.
As small children, we start creating an identity: I am a girl / boy, I am good, now I am bad and so on… and we grow up into believing that each of our thoughts reflects who we really are.
When mum and dad tell us frequently ‘what you did is bad’ and ‘you are wrong’ – as kids we translate this into believing ‘I am inherently wrong and bad’.
At this young age, we don’t have the ability yet to differentiate between a behavior which can be inappropriate or wrong and who we really are – which is never bad or wrong.
Adding to what our parents want from us – we get swamped with expectations from society, media, peers telling us what we should do – be – have and achieve.
No wonder we fall into the trap of pleasing, wanting approval and trying to do or say the right things.
We end up believing that we can never live up to an ideal of what we think we should be (which is true) – and that as a result we are not good enough (which is not true) because we can never satisfy the expectations others may have of us.
A thought only appears ‘real’ in your own mind.
Can you see that tinted glasses color your perception and reality?
Can you see that if you don’t compare yourself with others – you are are always good enough?
Do you want to take a break from believing 'I am not good enough.'?
Learn To See The Lies You Believe
Each time telling myself ‘I am not good enough’ has been believing in a lie. Because I was so busy comparing myself with others or believing in an illusion; I didn’t respect, love nor accepted myself.
Do you get stuck in your head with this thought ‘I am not good enough’?
Here are some reason why that happens and common beliefs which are lies we tell ourselves:
#1. Believing if you could be more like someone else, you would be good enough
Do you think that the other is better and happier than you?
It is clear that it is impossible to be like someone else. You have your own strengths, your precious ways of being, your quirks and flaws which all together make up your unique self. Even when others may inspire you, you can never be like them.
There is nothing to be gained in comparing yourself with others except to feel contempt, frustration and feel lost in your endless mind chattering. You are the best and only version of yourself.
Can you see that each comparison is an act of violence against yourself?
#2. Believing that thoughts are always true
Do you think that the thought ‘I am not good enough’ means that you are not good enough?
Maybe people told you that ‘you are not good enough’ at some point in your life or maybe you started fabricating this by yourself.
Either way: it’s not true.
There is a difference between wanting to be the best that you can be – which is a lifetime journey that we all share – and not being enough as a human being.
You can learn to take your thoughts less serious. Many of your thoughts are meaningless.
You are good enough, smart enough, beautiful enough…and always more than enough!
Do you see how you give more importance to a thought that comes and goes than to the love available in the moment?
#3. Believing if you could change the past, you would feel good enough now
Do you think ‘If only I had done ‘it’ different in the past, I would be happier now?’
Changing the past is an impossible task. Wanting to change what has happened comes from your self judgments and difficulties to accept change.
We do live in an ever changing world.
Look at nature which is constantly shifting: the seasons, days turn into nights and caterpillars into butterflies. Our preferences shift, our relationships change and our bodies become older.
And you are always in the present moment.
Can you see that life is all about moving along and to not hold on to that which is already long gone?
Can you see that clinging to the past prevents your unfolding into the greatest harmony?
#4. Believing that what you feel is always true
Do you think that each time you feel bad means there is something wrong with you?
Feelings are not reliable. One moment you love, next moment you hate. Any feeling comes and goes.
We are more often busy with imaginative feelings than with what is happening in the very moment.
And we also generate feelings about having a feeling (for example feeling bad or angry when we feel sad). Sometimes we do what ‘feels’ right and sometimes we don’t do what ‘feels’ right and both turn out ‘right’.
Can you see how much time you waste with believing a feeling to be true and with following that feeling?
#5. Believing to be the center of the universe
Do you think that if loved ones don’t do what you want … it means you are not good enough and not loved?
Your feelings ‘feel’ always so real. Your feelings have a way of making you believe that you’re the center of the universe.
This idea started as a child and was part of your survival. As an adult, it is romantic to think that nobody suffers as much as you, that nobody loves as much as you do, and that the way you have an orgasm is the best.
Wishing that others contribute to your happiness is natural, but when they have other plans it doesn’t mean anything about your lovability.
And whilst you are always good enough, you are never the best or the worst. You are a shining star amongst many others.
Can you see that being the centre of your own universe is different of thinking being the centre of our universe?
#6. Believing you should always have positive thoughts and feelings
Do you think that having negative thoughts mean that you failed again?
Life is all inclusive. There will always be storms, discomforts and pain. Our body will age, loved ones will die and we will face hurt and tears. None of this makes you better or worse. Negative thoughts will arise and something will feel bad.
You can learn to allow and meet what is uncomfortable, without fighting or wishing it to be different, without becoming a victim and without judging yourself as wrong or not good enough.
Do you see that while you can choose peace, you choose inner war in the form of self judgments and criticism?
For most of us, after a lifelong habit of believing certain thoughts to be true, it will require some time to develop a different perspective.
Enough of feeling “Not good enough”
Learn To See Truth
How to shift attention from ‘I am not good enough’ to ‘I am good enough’.
#1. Realise the trap of mis-identification and stop believing the meanings you give
I used to be identified with every thought I had. Everything ‘bad’ that happened meant ‘something’ about me – mostly in a negative connotation. That I had done it wrong or that I was not good enough.
I have come to see that so often the meaning I give, has nothing to do with reality.
But as long as I believed my thoughts to be true, I kept just endlessly talking to myself in my head, comparing myself with others and trying to become this ‘someone better/ someone else.’
Try it out now:
- Have a thought, for example ‘I am not good enough’.
- See how you connect images and bodily sensations with it. Holding on to those and identifying with them is how you give meaning to this thought.
- Now stop believing these images and sensations. Just doubt them for a moment and watch how your images and sensations change into something else.
- Learn to see your thoughts as random. They don’t mean anything and only feel real if you hold on to the meaning you give them and make them significant by believing them.
Once you come to recognize that your thoughts are not revealing ‘truth’; a new chapter of your life will unfold.
#2. Appreciate the small things about you.
- Look in the mirror.
- Look into your eyes.
- Take a moment to observe the pattern, color and what radiates from your eyes.
- Appreciate your body: it’s softness, your senses, the way your hands create things, how you feel the touch of sunshine on your skin.
- Appreciate your laughter, how you make others giggle, how you care for your family or friends and your unique gestures of kindness.
- Practice daily an act of kindness towards another person and appreciate 5 small things about yourself.
Can you see that the ordinary things about yourself are just simply beautiful and exquisite – and more than good enough?
#3. Talk to yourself the way you would talk to a friend.
Imagine sitting next to a friend who comes to share with you all his or hers flaws, mistakes and everything he or she feels is not good enough about them.
What would you tell your friend to boost their confidence?
Talk aloud to this ‘friend’ while watching the tone of your voice, the words you use and how you feel whilst you uplift someone you care about.
Can you see that in your internal self talk; you often talk to you with layers of harshness, impatience and contempt?
Can you see it is in your hands to be supportive, understanding and loving towards yourself?
Start to become that good friend for yourself.
This commitment will benefit you a lifetime!
Remember you will spend each and every moment with yourself regardless of being kind or unkind to yourself. It is up to you.
This includes everything you don’t ‘like’ about yourself: your flaws and imperfections, your embarrassments, your mistakes, what you try to hide, your spots, warts, wrinkles and grey hairs.
Together with what you adore about yourself – this is all YOU – unique – always good enough as you.
You will never become that ideal, perfect, flawless person you might want to be.
It is just for a short while that you are here on the earth… you might as well enjoy it.
Can you see you are always yourself and that being yourself (without any comparing), is more than enough?
#5. Investigate your thoughts
I started a self investigation process in 2016. This made me see my habits and thinking patterns in a new light. I could recognize what thoughts really are and I could free up the bondage of being hostage to my thoughts and feelings.
The thought ‘I am not good enough’ still pops up.
However I can see this thought for what it is because now I know that a thought:
- comes and goes
- has no real substance
- is not personal and is not ‘me’
- appears in the moment and has no reference to the past
- doesn’t mean anything about who I really am
- is often a collective thought and not ‘mine’
One of the questions which shifted my believes was to see the following:
‘If I don’t think it – where is it?’
For me this question has been empowering and liberating.
When you know for real that you have a choice in what you feel and think – and have the ability to give attention to a thought or not – you can step out of your usual ways of tormenting yourself.
Then fulfillment is in your own hands.
We can spend our time wasting with comparing, wishing to be like someone else and feeling less than others or we can become empowered with knowing that we have a choice in what we feel and think, and start to live fulfilled lives.
A bird sitting on a tree, is never afraid of the branch breaking! Because its trust is not on the branch, but on it’s own wings. Always believe in yourself.