Don't believe the 'i'm not good enough' voices
Do you know the voices I mean?
Those internal ones that tell us that there are things that we can’t possibly do, either because we don’t know how to do them properly or because we aren’t good enough to do them. These voices enter our minds both at work and in our personal lives and they can be quite powerful and persistent.
They can make you feel you haven’t got a clue about what you are doing and in turn, you question everything that you have done before.
And before you know it, the voice becomes ‘perhaps i’m just not good enough, perhaps i’ve never been good enough and maybe I won’t ever be good enough.’ So you work harder and get promoted, you go to the gym and you get fitter or you achieve a goal that is important to you. But, still the feeling hangs around and nags at you. Sound familiar?
Before we go any further, let me tell you it isn’t just you that feels like that, I sometimes get those feelings too. I can almost hear you now ‘what kind of life coach is she?!’ Everybody gets those feelings at least some of the time. Some people get them occasionally and some people are battling those internal voices on a regular basis. Remember they are feelings, not reality.
Why do so many of us feel like we are not good enough?
There could be many reasons but often the feeling may have started in childhood. You may be able to remember a parent or a teacher comparing you to one of your siblings or friends ‘why can’t you be more like her/him’ or ‘only 70%, that’s not like you’. Comments like that helped the feeling to develop and as an adult, your mind continues to believe that you are not as good as you ‘ought’ to be.
When you get good feedback or maybe recognition for a project you worked on, do you find that the feelings subside?
That’s because you are looking, either consciously or unconsciously, for somebody else to give you good feedback, ie to give you validation. Guess what – you don’t need everybody’s approval. This may take the feeling away temporarily but when you hit another roadblock, the voices and feelings will come back.
When they do, you feel you now have ‘proper proof’ that you just aren’t good enough. The knock on effect is you will settle for less than you deserve in your life, in relationships and at work, because you don’t feel that you deserve better.
Ok, so here’s the thing, like most things in life it’s not about whether you get those feelings or not, it’s about how you deal with them and get some control back.
Here are my top tips to help you ignore those voices:
- Remind yourself of everything you have achieved so far.
Make a list of all the things you have done to date that you once thought you couldn’t do, but you did them anyway. It’s important to focus on your progress not on making things perfect. And focus on how far you’ve come rather than on how far you have left to go. This is absolute proof that you are good enough.
- Celebrate your wins.
No matter how small your successes, make sure you take some time to acknowledge and celebrate them. Celebrating small wins reminds you that you have success on an everyday basis and this will train you to be more mindful of this, especially when those voices come knocking.
- Put your negative thoughts in a boat.
When you get a negative thought, imagine packing it into a little boat and letting it float away on the water. This will train your mind to let those thoughts go rather than trying to stop them, which sometimes makes things worse.
- Do not compare yourself to other people.
We all know people that seem to have it all and social media doesn’t help, with images of the perfect life. I can assure you that everybody has their own challenges, but perhaps the difference is they have learnt to deal with whatever their ‘stuff’ is.
- Ok, why aren’t you good enough?
If you honestly still think that you aren’t good enough, then I need you to go and get a pen and paper. Write down the reasons why you think that and leave enough space for comments. Now, in the comments space, reply to each reason with an answer as to why it’s not true.
When you read the reasons back, often they make no sense because when you are looking at things logically you can prove otherwise and that’s exactly what you’ve just done.
- Talk to somebody.
Sharing your thoughts and worries is proven to help stress and anxiety. By telling other people, you may find that they feel exactly the same about themselves. If you don’t have somebody in your friends and family network that you wish to confide in, please consider booking some sessions with a Life Coach as we are trained to help you re-frame your thoughts.
If this article is relevant to you, I hope these tips help. Get into a routine of doing them on a regular basis and I think you will find that they make a difference.
Stop putting things off because you don’t think you are good enough. Go and do all those fabulous things that you want to do. Some will work out for you and some maybe won’t. But until you try, how can you know?
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