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10 Questions to Ask Yourself When You Feel Discouraged and Worthless

10 Questions to Ask Yourself When You Feel Discouraged and Worthless

When was the last time you felt you had to prove something to the people you love? How often you do you feel like you’re never good enough for your mother, father, grandparents, caregivers, or lover…No matter what you do, you never get a “That’s great! I’m so proud of you!” Or maybe they tell you so but it’s only on very special occasions, and it’s presented like, “You know well that we’re proud of you. It’s a given.

When you feel that you’re not good enough, you often find yourself in isolation, sitting in the dark room abandoned and longing for love from the people you need it from most.

I remember the time when I achieved what I felt was a significant level of my success. I had gotten my voice out in some well-recognised magazines and newspapers, and had collaborated with well-known people. Everyone around me was so excited about my growth that it made me wonder why they were more proud and exhilarated about my achievements than I was. I realised that I was questioning my success and passion. I thought, “I’m not doing as great as some other people in this world. Anyone can have what I have. I still have a long way to go!”

I called my parents to share the news about my victories, and all I got was “Oh, ok. How’s the weather?” I felt devastated. It seemed that my deepest fears were reinforced by the people I love. What else do I need to do to at least deserve “It’s great. So, happy for you!” I got angry, sad, helpless, lonely — the whole garden salad of emotions. Then, I asked myself how I can give somebody so much control over how I feel about my victories, future, and passion.

Anger can be a powerful emotion to breakthrough, if you use it right. – Karolina Tatarenkova

I started to ponder what just happened. I live and breathe emotional fitness, yet it happened to me. Then, I digged deeper and went through a process that I will share with you here because I know that I’m not alone in this boat.

1. Is it really about me?

When you experience pain as a result of interaction with other people, you tend to personalise everything they say or don’t say and take it to heart. I realise that the opinion of those people whose love you have never got and always cherished is precious to you — like water in the desert. But it doesn’t have to be.

Remember, it’s not always about you.

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2. Do I focus on what I have or what I’m missing?

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    The reason certain people don’t give you the love you want might just be that they never got the love they always longed for as well. They might be doing their best. Sometimes their way of controlling you or not giving you words of encouragement might be their way of showing love. Sound fucked up? Because it is.

    When you hold on to your history, you do it at the expense of your destiny. -Bishop Jakes

    It could be that the message they got about praise and encouragement is that it’s waste of time. Actions speak louder than words. You had probably heard this saying many time before. The actions they chose to show you love is according to their dictionary of how love is expressed, not yours. So, don’t expect them to live life according to your terms.

    3. What will it take to love myself?

    In order to expand the love you experience, you need to embark on your spiritual journey to discover unconditional love for yourself. Love is a choice, and if you have never experienced love it’s because you never chose to love. Love can be a healing force that unifies everybody. You can love someone without needing anything in return from them. That’s were freedom comes in.

    I wanted recognition from my parents at that moment to feel loved and, to be honest, to feel love for them too. Sounds like barter or a business transaction, not love.

    4. When will I start practicing self-love?

    Loving yourself unconditionally will take care of the fear of not being good enough. Do your best in all of your endeavours. Even when you think you haven’t done your best, you still do your best as long as you’re enjoying yourself along the journey of reaching your purpose.

    You can’t love somebody fully without loving yourself first. – Karolina Tatarenkova

    I have a challenge for you. For the next 21 days, imagine it’s night time and you’re somewhere outside of the city, enjoying the sacred darkness of the night. You can’t really see yourself, it’s that dark. From that place of serenity and tranquility, write down three things you love about yourself.

    The deeper you explore, the greater sense of totality and personal power will come in.

    5. Is it bringing me closer to what I want from life?

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      I follow my passion and my heart. I know you do, too. It was disrespectful to my passion in life to question my accomplishments. It’s self-sabotaging. Why is it that you still find yourself rushing to prove others that you deserve to be loved and to love? By others I mean those who’s attention and love you were longing to have but did not when you were young.

      Why? It’s a powerful question. We spend too much time trying to figure out why that we forget that it doesn’t really matter. It’s rarely about why.

      6. What lights me up?

      If you rely on someone’s validation of your success, you will never be free. You will never be able to create art and fulfill your passion. It will be so easy for anyone to derail you off your path.

      Next time, when you are uncertain about your success — reflect back on why you are in this business, this relationship, and this career in the first place.

      7. Might it be that I’m looking for something I can’t get?

      Wasting your life and drowning in suffering because you have never had the love and attention from your parents you deserved or even witnessed other kids have will not get you anywhere but desperation and self-pity. By focusing on what you can’t have you will create obstacles.

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      If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. – Wayne Dyer

      By referring back to the memories of your parents never encouraging you for the great achievements that should have made them outrageously happy, you reinforce the limiting belief of not being good enough and worthy of people’s attention.

      8. Am I making a living or designing my own life?

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        Coaching and counselling people, I can confidently say that you can’t force people to see from your own reality. We all have our own reality, and each reality is valid. Accept that you can’t control people or even change their behaviour by telling them not to do something. We all have been emotionally wounded at some point of our lives. However, some chose not to allow that wound to stop them from finding fulfillment in life, whereas others continue picking that scab, never allowing it to disappear.

        Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it’s always your choice. – Wayne Dyer

        When you find yourself rejected by the people whose love you never got, don’t allow it to feed your soul. It might have been their fault that they never loved you the way you wanted them, but it’s your fault to allow it define who you are in the present.

        9. Can I just let it go?

        It might be scary as hell to let go of the feeling of not being good enough. Maybe it’s time to forgive and move on. You might think that not forgiving them for not loving you that way you wanted them serves you as a protection. But it doesn’t.

        Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough. – Oprah Winfrey

        It fact, it poisons you, your soul, and your passion for life. Because you’re not only thinking that they robbed you of that moment in the past, but also that they robbed you of the future as well. No one can take away your future from you.

        10. Is now a good time to forgive?

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          Not forgiving is a self-fulfilling prophecy because it has everything to do with you and nothing to do with the other person. You trap yourself in isolation and loneliness, and try to prove that you’re worthy of love. It feeds this imprisonment. Problems need energy to live. Find people in your life who support you and empower you to become a better version of yourself.

          Unforgiveness unchecked becomes a cancer in your soul. – Bishop Jakes

          Next time you feel like yet again you’re not enough for your loved ones, tell yourself the following: “Every time I’m wasting my energy on where I have been or on what I haven’t had, I’m not going to have the energy, audacity, tenacity and courage I need to energize where I’m going”.

          Let it go…

          You want to cry – cry. You want to ponder – ponder. But never, ever again let anyone rob you off your celebrations, achievements, and passions.

          Featured Photo Credit: Sisters ,boat , couple , wildflower via pixabay

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          Featured photo credit: country/langll via pixabay.com

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          Last Updated on January 15, 2019

          How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward

          How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward

          Many of us feel awkward talking to strangers. I’m a very outgoing person, even though I sometimes feel uncomfortable walking up to someone and asking a question or starting a conversation. I consider myself pretty high up on the extrovert meter. So what is it that makes us pause and become worried or anxious about talking to people we don’t know?

          In this article, we will discuss why we feel this way as well as some tips on how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

          Step right up, don’t be shy!

          Why We Feel Awkward Talking to Strangers

          The next time you feel uncomfortable talking to a stranger, tell yourself that’s completely normal. There are numerous reasons why it’s actually natural to feel awkward talking to strangers:

          Our Stress Levels Rise Around Strangers

          Numerous studies have show that our levels of cortisol go up when we are around strangers.[1] Cortisol is the hormone inside of us which produces stress responses.[2]
          So there you go, right off the bat you can see part of your standard response to strangers is due to a chemical reaction!

          A very interesting by product of increased cortisol is that it makes us less empathetic. More than likely this can be traced to our evolution. The increase in the cortisol and the corresponding decrease in empathy makes us want to stay away from strangers. We are biologically wired to feel concern around strangers.

          Evolution Taught Us to Be Wary

          Evolution has also taught us to be wary of strangers in general. Humans as a whole have spent a large chunk of their history banded together in small protective groups. We did this in order to help protect each other and maximize resources.

          When you think about it in this context, outsiders to our small groups or strangers are considered potential threats. Fear of strangers is common across almost all human cultures.

          Culturally Conditioned

          We can also thank our society for helping us feel uncomfortable and sometimes afraid of strangers. The term “stranger danger” is something most of us can relate to either growing up or raising kids. Or both.

          I remember hearing this from my parents, mostly about not getting in someone’s car I didn’t know. And as the father of 2 teenage girls, you can be sure I’ve talked to them about this very concept more times that they want to hear.

          The thought that strangers can be dangerous is built into us as it is. Toss in the amplification of the media on strangers doing things such as kidnapping kids and it takes it to an even higher level.

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          Now that we’ve reviewed some of the reasons why we are nervous, let’s look at why you should talk to strangers more.

          Benefits of Getting over the Awkwardness

          Let’s take a quick look at some of the advantages of how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward. These are some high level benefits of talking to strangers.

          1. Broadens Your Network

          After you talk to someone, you didn’t know previously they become someone you know at least a little bit. This alone helps broaden your network of people you know. This is helpful in many ways whether it is work related or socially related.

          2. Improves Your Communication Skills

          I am a huge proponent of the value of solid communication skills and have written about it often. The more you talk to people, especially people you don’t know, the better your communication skills become.

          Interacting with a wider variety of people will bring the added benefit of improving your communication skills.

          3. Continually Learning

          So many of us don’t actively seek to learn new things. This is one of the primary keys to staying engaged in life and our own personal self fulfillment.

          Almost every time I speak to someone I didn’t know previously, I’ve learned something new. When we speak to strangers, it pushes us out of our comfort zones and we tend to learn new things.

          4. Increases Self Confidence

          Every time we learn to do something we were previously anxious about, we feel better about ourselves.

          Forcing ourselves to talk to strangers will lead to increased self confidence. As we get more and more comfortable doing something that previously made us feel awkward, our self confidence will go up and up.

          So, how to talk to strangers to reap these benefits?

          How to Talk to Strangers

          Here are some tips to on how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

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          1. Say Hello

          Putting “say hello” first may seem a bit obvious but let’s take a deeper look. Much of the social awkwardness when speaking to strangers is simply breaking the ice. The first words that will engage someone.

          Most people will respond when someone says hello or hi to them. And those that don’t, you probably don’t want to talk to anyway.

          Practice being the person that opens the door to a conversation. Say hello.

          2. Ask About Them

          Something that I have noticed over the years is that people love to talk about themselves. Even fairly private people tend to open up when asked about events in their lives.

          You can ask leading questions that get people to talk about themselves and recent events. Things like recent movies watched or the summer vacation are great to get someone talking.

          As a father, I also know that people love to talk about their kids. Asking about kids is a fairly easy topic to bring up and in general, most people will expound upon all the great things their kids do or are involved with.

          3. Just Do It

          One of the biggest reasons we don’t do things we want to or know we should is because we overthink it. Quit thinking about it so much and just do it.

          When you give yourself the time to analyze every little angle about a situation, you also give plenty of time to talk yourself out of it. You’ll wind up thinking what if this happens or what if that happens.

          Try to force yourself to jump right in without thinking about it too much. Whenever I have done this, I always feel great about it afterwards, no matter how it turned out.

          4. Don’t Take It Personal

          One of the greatest lessons in life I ever learned was don’t take anything personally. We all go through life with our own sets of experiences and see things through our own lens. The way people react to different situations has almost nothing to do with us. It has to do with previous experiences and the way people feel about things other than us.

          When someone’s reaction isn’t what you’d hoped or expected, chances are it has nothing to do with you. Remember that and keep it in context.

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          5. Get a Chuckle If Possible

          I used the word chuckle purposely because it makes me laugh. In my opinion, it’s one of those funny words. We all like to laugh because it makes us feel good. And when someone makes us laugh, we typically remember those people in a positive light.

          One of the best ways to make a conversation easy and free flowing is to get some laughter going. It doesn’t mean you have to be the master joke teller or anything. See if you can work in a way to make the person you are talking to get a smile or some laughter in. In fact, laughing at yourself maybe a nice try.

          6. Detach

          A great feeling is when you don’t mind which way something turns out, that you will be fine no matter what happens. Kind of like when I watch my two favorite football teams play against each other. I don’t really care who wins, I just want a fun game.

          Treat talking to strangers the same way. You don’t really care how the conversation goes because you are detaching from the outcome. Make it a fun time with yourself and if the conversation goes well, awesome! If not then no big deal, move on.

          7. Share Your Stories

          Well, all like to feel connected to other people. And many times we wind up hanging out with people that we have things in common with. No surprise here.

          To help with how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward, tell stories that have commonalities with the person you are talking to. Kids are an easy one. I have a daughter who was a competitive cheerleader and now plays club volleyball. I have instant connection and stories with strangers I speak with who have kids that play sports. It’s easy to relate to.

          So when you are speaking to a stranger and you have a story or mutual connection point, bring it up.

          8. Give a Compliment

          Almost everyone likes hearing a compliment, whether they admit to it or not. As a general rule, we don’t give out enough compliments. It’s amazing how one small remark someone tosses your way about how good you look can literally make your entire day.

          When you are speaking with someone you don’t know, see if you can work a compliment in. Nothing creepy here. Not a good idea to tell someone you just met that they are the prettiest or handsomest person you ever met. However, if you can share how you like their tattoo or shoes or something like that, it will help put the conversation into an easy going, smiling place.

          9. Relax Your Body Language

          If you go into a situation all worried and nervous, it shows on your body. Your shoulders are tensed up, there’s a look of consternation on your face, things like that.

          When you engage a stranger in conversation, make it a point to relax your body language. Take a deep breath before you engage the person, let your body relax, and put a smile on your face. This will help relax you and it has the added benefit of putting the other person more at ease.

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          If they see that you are relaxed, it helps them relax. Plus having open, engaging body language is very conducive to inviting someone to open up into a conversation with you.

          10. Practice, Practice, Practice

          Like everything else in life, talking to strangers gets easier with practice. The more you do it, the easier it becomes.

          Make it a point to talk to several strangers each week and it will definitely help you relax as you do it more and more.

          After a while, it will become something you don’t even think about, you just do it. And that takes all of the awkwardness out of being in these type situations.

          The Bottom Line

          As we have seen, it is perfectly natural to feel awkward talking to strangers. We are biologically built that way and we have our own society constantly warning us how dangerous it is. It’s no wonder we feel awkward talking to strangers!

          There are numerous benefits to learning to be more comfortable talking to strangers. See if you can employ some of the techniques mentioned to learn how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

          Once you start practicing speaking with strangers more often and utilizing some of the tips, you will become more comfortable doing so. This in turn will lead to a learned new skill and increased self confidence.

          Remember, everyone you know was a stranger at one time. Now get out there and make some new friends.

          More Resources About Strengthening Communication Skills

          Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

          Reference

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