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Published on May 15, 2019

11 Things to Do When You Think You’re Not Good Enough

11 Things to Do When You Think You’re Not Good Enough

Have you battled against the feeling of worthlessness? Irrespective of whatever a situation demands, are you not feeling good enough?

If you do, the first thing you need to know is that you are not alone. In fact, we’re all in this together.

I strongly feel every individual encounter this phase when life asks extremely tough questions. And just because we cannot answer every unpredictable question, most of us develop a feeling of hopelessness.

But don’t you think enjoying favorable situations and surrendering to the unfavorable ones is an intriguing question on your mental toughness?

To your surprise:

These testing times are essential for your transformation into a stronger and positive individual.

Or else, life just goes on sans any exploration, with no excitement.

Straightforward, feeling not good enough about yourself can make you or break you. I’m sure you want to make your way ripping those dark clouds hovering over you. Are you pumped up for the challenge? Here’re 11 things to do when you think you’re not good enough:

1. Stop Comparing and Competing with Others

Everyone is wired differently. But the problem with most of us is in the quest to become everyone else, we lose our originality.

With that, we lose an integral quality – Self Love.[1]

The never-ending comparison with people is destructive enough to evoke a sense of worthlessness. So please stop killing your uniqueness to become like others because you cannot: The More We Compare, the More We Lose Ourselves.

Let us avert any competition with others so that we bring out the best in us. This way, you’ll surely prevent yourself from surrendering to your lows.

2. Recall Your past Achievements and Credentials

If you can feel you are not good enough, trust me, you are capable enough to feel proud about yourself. Any positive emotion from your memory book can uplift your mind state and rejuvenate you.

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Better said than done, I know it’s difficult to think positive under the influence of negativity. But it is just an initiation which is required to creates a strong base for your rescue. Be it the smallest thing, any sense of your past accomplishment negates the feeling of uselessness.

So just switch on your positive reminders. It’s the perfect antidote.

3. Deactivate the Thinking Mode for Some Time

Fortunately, this isn’t as hard as it sounds. The mind is a powerful thing, and in a nanosecond, it can elevate or crush our mood because of the beliefs lurking behind our feelings.

So whenever you think you are not good enough, remember it is just the frequency and quality of thoughts which needs to change, not you.

Everyone encounters these hard times where you can’t do much to change it. The best approach is letting this phase pass without overthinking.

So – next time you think you are not good enough; remind yourself to stop thinking!

4. Express out the Negativity

Not only positive emotions, expressing negative emotions is imperative. It is the quickest way to unburden oneself from the misery of feeling not good enough.

Simply put, whenever you sense something is not right around or inside you; speak out! It might require valiant courage in the beginning. Sink into your mind that all it takes is one bold step.

As soon as you speak out, you’ll feel not only it offloads the feel of worthlessness but also reboots your confidence and esteem.

Sometimes, it is better to say no than to say yes and be crushed under the stress of possibly producing a poor product or disappointing the requestor.[2]

5. Choose the Right Person with Whom You Share Your Lows

This is important or it can sink you further. You just cannot unveil your pure unfiltered emotions in front of everyone.

That’s because when you are expecting a shoulder to lean on which is not there on offer, the effects of feeling useless may intensify and aggravate your pain.

So make sure you are flush out feelings of your hard times to one who knows you well; the one you can trust upon.

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But please make sure you share. You may not get the right advice but surely the strength to let go the tough times.

6. Any Act of Compassion Can Rejuvenate You

Compassion literally means “to suffer together.” Among emotion researchers, it is defined as the feeling that arises when you are confronted with another’s suffering and feel motivated to relieve that suffering.[3]

Yes… one of the best ways of reviving back your higher self is by uplifting others. When you fulfill the emotional or financial needs of others, not only does it bring a smile on their face, but also make you feel content.

Don’t believe me? try it!

Whenever you feel not good enough about yourself, follow compassion.

Never hold back if you are efficient enough to suffice people’s life anyway. Any such act is sufficiently powerful to provide an instant high you are seeking.

7. Focus on the Process Than on the Results

Do you frequently think about the possessions attached to success before achieving?

It is a common syndrome with many people in this fast-paced materialistic world. We think about the name, fame, luxury attached to success so much that when we come back to reality, it leads to frustration and impatience. We simply lose focus which adversely affects the execution of the process.

Why? Your mind refuses to endure because it has tasted success in imagination. Then, insecurity seeps in to provoke a thought you are not good enough.

Wondering what to do? Resist the temptation of overthinking about success by developing self control.

You also need to understand it is normal and happens with almost every individual. Don’t be hard on yourself and take a break. It is just a matter of time you will be back on track.

8. Work-Out to Experience the Liveliness

Feeling not good enough? Most of the times, a small workout session is all you need to push yourself back to life.

Any form of exercise not only detoxifies your body but also releases happy hormones in mind. You don’t need to hit the gym every time; there are many exercises to help you stay on track from home.

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A healthy body and mind is the best combination to recover from your lows speedily. Don’t just think… start!

9. Stop Fulfilling the Undue Expectations of People

Are you always trying to fulfill others’ expectations on you?

If yes, you are digging your own grave. Not only you’ll lose people, but you’ll also your individuality.

Ever wondered how long will you be able to sustain?

Not long enough!

If it continues, you won’t be able to respect your priorities. It is bound to evoke the feeling of uselessness.

To get rid of it, showcase your nudity by yourself than to live in fear of getting exposed by people.[4]

I’m sure you cannot deny everyone’s expectations on you but be clear about the difference between taking the essential responsibilities and being others’ puppet.

10. Stop Believing in Social Media Profiles

How often do you see a smiling picture posted in social media? Can you identify the broken hearts behind that smile though?

Never — and this is where you miss your mark.

The irony is whenever you feel not good about yourself, most of us sub-consciously spend a long time over the phone scrolling the social media. Those deceptive smiles are all over you and a sense of comparison follows.

Please stop now! Use social media wisely. Don’t allow it to ruin your thoughts.

11. Stop Criticizing Life and Start Appreciating It

Are you blessed with basic necessities of life needed to qualify for happiness- food, clothing, and shelter?

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If you are this fortunate, you are over most of the world’s population.

So whenever you think you are not good enough, just stop there and appreciate your life for all the blessings it bestows you.

Yes… thankfulness is what is needed to beat the blues! It enables you to see the bigger picture. And you adapt to the demanding situations better.

Always remember:

Only when you accept the lows, your positive attitude will deal with it better.

Final Thoughts

All of life is peaks and valleys. Don’t let the peaks get too high and the valleys too low. -John Wooden

My friend, look at the positive side! You are one brave individual has the guts to accept something is wrong with you. Not only that, you are ready to fix it.

If you are not feeling good enough, that means your feeling quotient is working fine. And that’s great!

The only concern is the uncontrollable negative thoughts that drive you away from positivity. What you need to do is slow down the thinking process and gradually revive back your positive self.

Always remember:

Whenever you feel down under, you need to handle yourself with extra love and care.

Nothing is permanent, this too shall pass.

Take this as an opportunity because when you think you are at the brink of losing, it is actually the beginning calling!

More Articles to Give You a Motivation Boost

Featured photo credit: Ivan Karasev via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] tiny buddha: What Self-Love Means: 20+ Ways to Be Good to Yourself
[2] Dumb Little Man: The Courage To Say No
[3] Great Good Magazine: What Is Compassion?
[4] Happy Realization: Either you are nude or naked; know the difference?

More by this author

Amanpreet Singh

Amanpreet Singh is a soulful blogger by passion and a mindful businessman by profession. From the negatives of depression to the positives of meditation, he loves sharing his experiences from the inner world.

Positive Motivation vs Negative Motivation: Which One Is Better? 11 Things to Do When You Think You’re Not Good Enough How to Quit Your Unfulfilling Job and Lead Your Dream Career How Do You Meditate? 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners

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Last Updated on April 9, 2020

How to Listen to Your Inner Voice for Greater Fulfillment

How to Listen to Your Inner Voice for Greater Fulfillment

Five years ago, my husband Jake was training for a triathlon. He had just purchased a new road bike and woke up one sunny Saturday morning to take it out for its first spin.

As we were lying in bed, he looked at me and said, “I don’t have a good feeling about this; I hope something doesn’t happen.”

I suggested if he had a bad feeling, maybe he shouldn’t go. He thought for a moment, his logical mind kicked in, and he replied, ”Of course I should go, it’s fine. I need to train. It will be okay.”

Fast forward two hours later when I got a call from an unknown number. I answered with trepidation, knowing exactly what this call was going to be. A man told he had just found my husband in the middle of the road. He had an accident and the ambulance was on its way. He would stay with him until it was there.

Turns out, he was lucky to have just broken his femur and hip. Jake knew that morning that something wasn’t right. But instead of trusting his intuition and listening to that inner voice, he went anyway. It happens to all of us.

You often hear people say, “Go with your gut”, “Trust your instincts”, “Follow your intuition” and “Listen to your inner voice.” That all sounds great, right? If only it were that easy.

With all the external noise and internal conflict, how do we listen to our inner wisdom?

When you can tune in to that inner voice, you can make better and faster decisions, solve problems with greater ease, and live a more fulfilled and happy life.

But HOW?

I’ve worked with thousands of people over the course of my career and have learned that while this inner voice shows up in a variety of ways for each of us, we ALL have it.

In this article, I’ll outline some tips and strategies for how to identify and listen to your own inner voice. If you can find that voice and truly listen, it can save you a lot of time, energy, angst….and perhaps even a broken hip along the way.

I understand this might be easier for some than others. But regardless of who you are and how you’re wired, I just know, in my gut something will work for you.

What Is Your Inner Voice?

Call it Gut. Knowing. Insight. Soul. Innate Wisdom. That’s the voice we’re looking for.

The dictionary defines intuition as:

“The ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning.”

It’s a hunch, a feeling, an inkling, a sense.

In Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, he explores the inner processes of intuition and instinct, examining how we make snap decisions and judgments. He has numerous examples of people having a hunch, feeling or intuition and how, while there was no hard evidence to back them up at first, science and data eventually backed up what they knew to be true.

Did you know that 95% of our brain activity happens at an unconscious level? Studies from numerous cognitive neuroscientists show that only 5% of our cognitive activity (decisions, emotions, actions, behavior) comes from our conscious mind.

We are taking in information through all our senses all the time – and processing it at an incredible speed. So that intuition, hunch, inkling, sense, voice, is coming from masses of information we can’t even cognitively or consciously process.

Then there’s cognition:

“The mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses.”

This is more about understanding. Problem solving. Discernment. Organizing.

This is the logical, thinking part of your mind. Weighing pros and cons; coming to rational conclusions based on data or other factors. These are the voices of reason which often try to override your instincts.

What If You Don’t Hear Any Voice?

Your inner guidance and wisdom aren’t always a voice in your head. Often, it’s a feeling, a sensation, image, energy or emotion. You might notice it your body. There’s no one best or way to experience your inner voice. The important thing is to identify when and where you feel it.

Is It a Feeling in Your Gut?

This is true for many of my clients and for me, personally. You may have heard the gut being called our “second brain.” This is because of the enteric nervous system (ENS). It can operate independently of the brain and spinal cord, and the central nervous system. We really can think with our gut![1]

Celebrity therapist and pioneering hypnotherapy trainer Marisa Peer has this to say: “The stomach is the seat of all emotions and your feelings are the most real thing you have; so the trick is to listen to your feelings. If something feels wrong, your inner voice is saying it is not right for you. If you get the horrible lurch in your stomach, your inner voice is telling you ‘this is wrong’.”

Perhaps It’s in Your Heart

When I asked a Jessie Gardner of HeySoul.com, a friend and colleague known for her acute sense of self-awareness where her inner voice resides, she said, “My heart for sure. Always my heart.” That’s no surprise, our hearts are very intelligent organs.[2]

“Most people don’t know this, but the heart can feel, think and decide for itself. It has around 40,000 neurons and whole network of neurotransmitters with very specific functions, which make it a perfect extension of the brain. It’s automatic, almost instinctive, as if a mysterious, primal voice were telling us that the center of our true being, our conscience, is located right there.”

Maybe the Voice Is in Your Head

When I talked to my Dad about his inner voice, he balked at the idea of feeling it in his gut or heart. Instead, he shared about the voice that comes from the back of his head that talks to him not with him.

Try This: Look, Listen, Feel

We experience inner wisdom in different ways. Maybe you relate to one of my examples? Maybe you “see” a picture, vision or image that comes up in your head. Perhaps you feel sensations in your body – energy, emotions or feelings. As we go through examples of how to listen, pay attention to how and where yours shows up.

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Why Don’t We Listen to Our Inner Voice?

If this inner voice is so powerful and effective, why don’t we listen?

Logic or Reason Takes Over

We often have a feeling or a sense of something, just like my husband did, but very quickly, our logical mind kicks in to try to understand and comprehend what we feel. This especially happens when we don’t have data or information to back up our hunch or inner voice. We, and of course, others believe it’s not valid if we can’t justify or explain ourselves. So we push our instincts aside.

A recent client told me about how he ignored his inner voice not long ago. He dropped off his 16-year-old daughter at the mall. As she got out of the car, he thought, “I should tell her to make good choices.” But, because her friends were in the car and he didn’t want to embarrass her, he decided not to. His logic, reason and social graces took over. A few hours later he got a call from the mall police. His daughter had stolen a ring. “I knew I should have told her to make good choices.”

We often override our instincts with logic, reason, desire, and, in this case, societal pressure or social graces. But we don’t have to.

We Don’t like the Answer

Sometimes we know what we need to do, but don’t like the answer. This happens with clients all the time when I ask what they sense they should do. They answer, but then reply, “But I don’t want to do that!”

Once, a client told me the story of her wedding, and a knowing that she simply ignored. As she walked down the aisle, she knew that she should not marry the man standing in front of her. Truthfully, she knew long before that day. But she didn’t want to hurt his feelings, call off the wedding, let friends and family down. So, she went through with it. Inevitably, that marriage ended in divorce – and this story is all too common.

We Don’t Know How to Distinguish, Hear or Listen to It

That’s what the following strategies are for! Let’s dive in.

How to Listen to Your Inner Voice

Here are 9 different ways to tune into your innate wisdom and inner voice:

1. Find Quiet

“Be still. The quieter you become, the more you can hear.” – Ram Dass

There are lots of ways to find quiet in the busyness of life. Turn off the phone, shut off the TV. Get some time and space to yourself.

You know what’s coming next, don’t you? Yes, I’m going to recommend you meditate. I know meditation seems to have become the panacea for everything that ails you, and there a good reason for that: it works. It’s one of the fastest, easiest and most effective ways to tap into your inner voice. Meditation aides us to connecting with our true self. Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati said “If you quiet the mind, the soul will speak.” I completely agree.

Another great way to find quiet is to be in nature. Why? Because there’s a connection. It’s grounding. You’re able to tap into the “oneness” of everything. This can shift things energetically. Want the double whammy? Meditate in nature.

You might find your quiet in nature, meditation, yoga, exercise, prayer. Whatever it is, find your quiet.

    2. Push Pause

    Most of us are running a hundred miles an hour in every direction. It’s hard to hear anything at that pace. Have you ever been driving down the freeway with the windows down, listening to music, when the person next to you starts talking. Can you hear them? Of course not. It’s too loud. There’s too much going on. You need to roll up the windows, press pause on the music and stop.

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    Our inner voice is speaking to us all the time, but sometimes it’s just too loud or we’re too busy to hear it. Pressing “pause” allows to tap into our innate wisdom.

    When I was studying Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), Mike Bundrant at the iNLP Center gave me a fantastic tool that I share with almost every client. It’s called the AHA Solution.[3] It’s often used to identify patterns of self-sabotage, but in this case, we can use it to listen to our inner voice.

    Next time you have a feeling, a sense, a hunch or intuition, follow this protocol.

    A. Aware: Be aware of what you are feeling. Pay attention and notice.

    H. Halt: This is the pause button. Think about the ways you can respond to what you’re hearing or noticing. You could listen to your inner voice, ask more questions and seek to hear it further. Or, you could choose to ignore it completely and let your cognitive mind take over and convince you it’s okay.

    A. Act: Now that you have options, decide which action you will take.

    3. Invite Your Inner Wisdom to Show Up

    If you want someone to come to your house, you’ve got to invite them over, right? Try taking this approach with your inner voice. While it’s always running in the background, it may have taken a backseat because it can’t seem to get through all the noise. It’s going to speak up more often when it knows you’re open and listening. Take a moment now and invite your inner wisdom to show up. Let it know you are ready and willing to listen. Wait to see what happens.

    4. Ask Your Body

    I love this one; our bodies are so dang smart. They will tell us if we ask and listen. But too often we have disconnected from sensations in our body to push through in the interest of productivity.

    A few months back I was working with a client who came to our appointment with a massive headache. She stopped midway through our session and asked if I would mind if she went and took a couple Advil. Of course I said it was no problem, but asked if she was interested to understand the cause of her headache first. She nodded.

    I had her close her eyes, take a couple deep breaths and ask her head, “What do you need from me right now?” The answer? “I need rest.” She burst into tears. She was exhausted but felt she couldn’t stop. She was leaving for a trip in a couple days, had her son’s birthday coming up and felt completely swamped. However, when she asked the question, her inner wisdom knew what she needed.

    Try this at home. Next time you get something that’s bothering you physically, stop and be still for a moment. Ask that part: What do you need from me? What’s this about? Or What’s going on? And then wait and listen for an answer. This might sound a little out there, but trust me, it works.

    5. Put It in Your ‘Slow Cooker’

    When my Dad has a big problem he’s trying to solve or an important decision to make, he thinks about it before bed. I realize this might go against all advice regarding thinking about stressful things before bed, but that’s just the thing. He isn’t thinking about it or trying to solve it. He just puts the problem in the back of his mind for the night.

    In the shower the next morning, solutions start bubbling up. These are usually spoken to him as if someone is talking to him. “What about this? Why don’t you do this?” It’s usually a very simple answer he hadn’t yet considered. And his response back to himself is frequently, “Why didn’t I think of that?” But he did!

    This goes back to the 95% unconscious part that’s running in the background. When he stops thinking, his mind stops racing and puts the problem in the back of his mind, the unconscious part of him comes up with all sorts of great solutions. A colleague of mine used to refer to this as putting things in her ‘slow cooker’.

    6. Flip a Coin

    Have you ever flipped a coin, only to decide to do the exact opposite of what the coin said? Flipping a coin instigates our instinctive response because it gives us something to react to. When writing this article, My 7-year-old daughter was sitting at dinner one night, deciding who she wanted to put her to bed. She started doing the game, “Eeny, meeny, miny, moe.” Each time she finished, she landed on my husband. So, she went again. And again. Until six attempts later when she landed on me and replied, “I choose Mummy!” When a decision is taken out of our hands and happens to us, it gives us something to react to.

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    Try this with a decision you’re trying to make. Flip a coin. Are you happy and ready to go with that answer? Or do you want to go against the decision and try again? Well then, you already know what you want, don’t you?

    7. Eat the Decision

    I just had to include this one. I know it might sound a bit odd, but bear with me. Years ago, I read about a CEO who made all his big decisions this way. Let’s say he was considering acquiring another company. He would sit down and imagine he was eating that decision. Then he would stop and wait and see how he felt. Did he feel energized and alive or sick to his stomach? I love this idea and have tried it myself. It allows you to get out of your head and go into your body to make the decision. This might not be for everyone, but maybe it’s for you!

    8. Take a Step

    Sometimes you don’t know until you’re “in it.” When you’re faced with two choices, make the best choice with the information you have and what you feel is best, and then start moving. You’ll know if that choice is really right for you as you’ll feel good as you move forward. You’ll know it’s wrong if you continue to feel heaviness or resistance. The more you move forward the clearer the signal will become.

    9. Get Some Help

    Whether it be a best friend (who knows how to listen and ask the right questions), a coach or therapist. Having scheduled time to tune in and having someone ask the right questions allows you tap in to what you already know. You already have the answers within you, sometimes you just need a little help to uncover them.

    Moving on with Your Inner Voice

    Like with anything in life, practice makes permanent. It takes time to grow and nurture your inner voice, especially if you’ve ignored it or pushed it to the side for some time now. The more you listen and hone your skills, the better and faster you will become at hearing and listening to your intuition, your gut, your innate wisdom.

    Play with the strategies above and see what works. Better yet, as you read through the ideas, identify which ones you felt or sensed would be good to try. Try those first.

    Practice on small things first, like what you want to eat, what to wear or whether you want to attend that party Saturday night. You don’t have to start with major life decisions, whether you should buy that house or if you should take that job.

    Then:

    • Notice when and where your feel your inner wisdom.
    • Notice when you feel a pull, have a hunch or instinct about something.
    • Notice when you have that sense and your mind tries to override it.
    • Notice when you start talking yourself out of something or start talking yourself into something.

    Need more evidence that this will work for you?

    Think about a time in your life when you recognized and listened to the inner voice – what was the outcome? Now, think about a time when you heard that voice, but for some reason, ignored it or pushed it aside. What was the outcome then? You, know, that time when you felt like you shouldn’t do something, but did anyway? Or had a bad feeling but kept moving forward?

    Final Thoughts

    Pay attention. Next time you have a bad feeling, a sense that something isn’t right, an inkling or a pit in your stomach, pay attention.

    Following your inner voice will lead you to the truth of what’s best for you. Tuning into your innate wisdom will help you make better and faster life decisions, solve problems with greater ease, and live a life of greater happiness, success and fulfillment.

    In the words of Madeleine L’Engle, “Don’t try to comprehend with your mind. Your minds are very limited. Use your intuition.”

      More About Self-Understanding

      Featured photo credit: hiva sharifi via unsplash.com

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      Reference

      [1] Scientific American: Gut Feelings
      [2] Exploring Your Mind: The Heart Has Neurons Too
      [3] Mike Bundrant: The A-H-A Solution

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