Who are you when you are not good enough?

Confidence in ourselves is something everyone craves, and is also the thing we assume every other person on planet Earth has, but us.

I am beginning to believe that confidence is the secret to many people getting away with certain things, with a lack of confidence being the reason why others cannot achieve their goals. A 34-year-old woman approached me recently for life coaching and her main concern was her lack of confidence in certain situations.

She was an IT consultant, and had been working at the same company for around four years. Despite loving her job, being extremely good at it, and getting along with her co-workers and superiors, she began to notice that everyone around her was being promoted, leaving her stuck in the same position. For whatever reason, promotions didn’t seem to be on the table for her, no matter how hard and successfully she worked.

When I asked her what she thought was happening, she revealed that it was making her infer that she simply wasn’t good enough for a promotion. I asked her what outcome she wanted to get out of her coaching session, and the only thing she wanted was to truly believe that she was good enough for the promotions.

I love it when clients take the responsibility for what is happening in the outside world. Thinking you are not good enough for a key life aspiration is what we call a limiting belief, which, at some point in your life, has been fixed into your unconscious mind.

My first approach was to ask my client how the word ‘you’ and the phrase ‘not good enough’ were the same. This always generates a good discussion, and it pushed her to open up and talk about her belief system. When we dug a little further, the client soon realised that her feeling of self-doubt was something that went back all the way to her eight-year-old self.

The time in question was a clearly traumatic experience in her middle childhood. Her favourite PE teacher had failed to pick her for the tennis club team, stating that her efforts to join were simply not good enough. These three little words, ‘not good enough’, had stuck with her ever since.

This triggered the mindset that no matter how hard she tried, she would never be able to achieve her goals. It may be hard for some to believe that a seemingly small event could have such an impact on the adult mind, but it’s true. At the age of eight, she was just starting to explore the world, seeking approval, praise, and belief in everything she did. She wasn’t given the belief, understanding, or attention she needed at this critical time, and unconsciously didn’t want to experience the same pain of failure again.

We continued to use this Time Line Therapy and eliminated her limited belief. After linking her feelings to her eight-year-old self, she decided to go and speak to her manager about her promotion.

We came up with a firm action plan, she talked to her manager about her accomplishments and proved to both herself and her manager that she more than good enough for a promotion. In her performance review she confidently explained about her future aspirations in the new role and was eventually awarded a promotion.

She has now realised there was more inside her than she could ever have imagined, and that she had unconsciously locked away her potential all these years by limiting her own beliefs.

So, next time you think you are not good enough for what you would like to achieve, ask yourself: “Who am I being when I think I am not good enough?“.

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