The majority of my clients have shared this feeling with me. This includes clients who have no financial worries, those who are successful in their careers, those who are having healthy relationships, and every other category you can name. There is no general statement covering those who feel that they are “just not good enough.” Sometimes I ask them to close their eyes and tell me whose voice they hear telling them that. Not surprisingly the answer is often, “my mother’’ or “my father’. I had one who said she wasn’t smart enough and the person who told her that was a teacher. It reminded me of my senior high school guidance counselor who said, to me, “You will never get to college and you will never be a teacher.” She was mistaken as I did very well in college and had a very rewarding and successful teaching career. I don’t know why I chose not to believe her, probably because my mother told me how brilliant I was and that going to college was not optional!
The key being that I felt I had a choice. I chose to see her as an awful counselor instead of a testimony of my value and abilities.
Why is this feeling so powerful? How can it be eliminated? The answers are easier than you might imagine. The first step is to realize that thoughts are not ‘things’
You can change a thought by having a ‘plan B’ thought. Each time you have a negative thought find something that debunks it. For example, “I can’t do anything right.” Identify some things you do right and replace that thought immediately. Or, “I don’t earn enough money.” It’s easy to find many people that earn less than you do or that don’t even have any job! James C Dobson said, “Comparison is the root of all feelings of inferiority. The moment you begin examining other people’s strengths against your most obvious weaknesses, your self-esteem starts to crumble!”
The most obvious approach is to ask your self the simple question, “not good enough for what?” If you can identify the origin of the belief, it’s easier to tell your self that the person who said it was wrong! Parents mistakenly think if they compare you to other siblings or other children it will make you want to be better or work harder. It has the opposite effect. You feel you can never be as good or have any value for your own strengths. Because we don’t challenge our own thoughts or beliefs, we are forced to continue the ‘habit’ of feeling that way.
Our early programming is powerful but not so powerful that it can’t be overcome. The part of you that feels ‘not good enough’ is just one part of you. Identify and nurture the part of you that is confident and successful. Everyone has strengths we just ignore them and focus on our weaknesses, using those to support why we aren’t ‘good enough.’
Learn from mistakes instead of seeing them as failures. Focus on your strengths and refuse to compare yourself to others! You are unique and stronger than you realize. Everyone is ‘good enough’ and worthy of eliminating that old out dated belief!