As women, many of us, okay, most of us, struggle with feelings of inadequacy. We feel like, no matter how hard we try at life, relationships, parenting, work or any other area of our lives–we somehow don’t measure up. It’s easy to see how we can arrive at the conclusion that we are falling short: perhaps we struggle in our relationships with others and look across the aisle and see other women clearly flourishing in their relationships. Our take away? We are failing. Perhaps we have difficulties raising our children (more likely they have behavior issues of their own), but we internalize their problems as a failing on our part. We see our co-workers getting promotions at work, and we immediately see that as some sort of shortcoming of our own. We think that perhaps we didn’t show enough dedication, or maybe we didn’t work hard enough or–the dreaded and most painful thought–maybe we simply aren’t smart enough.
All of this self-blame and negative thinking is seriously detrimental to our self-esteem and doesn’t forward the “happy life” goal most of us claim we want. After all, who wakes up in the morning saying to themselves, “Today, I just want to see myself as someone who doesn’t measure up!” No one says that out loud, but subconsciously, many of us approach our lives as an arduous task that we have to struggle and toil our way through to survive each day. Ugh! Isn’t that exhausting?
What if, we change our thinking? Instead of comparing the blooper reel of our lives to everyone else’s highlight reel, can we simply try to no longer compare ourselves to others? As Maya Angelou said, “You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anyone.”
Maybe we just need a nudge, a re-direction of sorts, toward a more self-accepting approach to our lives. Reframing how we see ourselves in this crazy universe may be all it takes. Well, that and a lot of intentional self-work, and we can lift ourselves up and get back on track to living a more peaceful and self-loving life.
Tips To Break Free From Feelings Of Not Being Good Enough:
Tell your inner critic to go on silent mode. Understand that the little voice that tells you that are not good enough will always be along for the ride; however, you can make peace with it and turn down the volume.
Stop self-sabotaging yourself. Really, when you think about it, feeling like you don’t measure up is really an excuse to not measure up, isn’t it? It’s like a get-out-of-jail-free-card, of sorts. As Lori Deschene, author of The Tiny Buddha says, “We can’t hate ourselves into a version of ourselves we can love.” Let that sink in for a couple of minutes.
Call a cease fire on your need for perfection! Women struggle mightily with their need for perfection. It’s like there is no middle ground–if we don’t do something absolutely perfectly, we jump to the irrational conclusion that we have failed and, therefore, we are not good enough. Rather than celebrating our near perfect performance, we berate ourselves for our imperfections. In the end, who cares? We do. To live a full and satisfying life, we need to allow ourselves to not be perfect. Otherwise, we will remain eternally caught up in the struggle for unobtainable perfection.
Be kind to yourself. Now. Beating yourself up takes the joy out of each day and offers no positive outcome. It’s not like negative self-talk miraculously produces feelings of self-love or kindness to others. Be your own friend, and if your friend talked to you the way you talk to yourself, would you still want to be friends with that person? Highly unlikely! No one wants to get pummeled verbally, why do we do it to ourselves?
You get to choose how you respond to every situation, every day. It’s the law of attraction in action: Choose to be miserable and you’ll find plenty of reasons to be miserable, but on the other hand, choose self-acceptance and you’ll find ways to be at peace with yourself.
Changing lifelong behavior patterns takes time and repeated conscientious effort. Believing we are good enough and that we are lovable is not only possible, but it is a necessary ingredient to attaining a fulfilling and meaningful life for ourselves.