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Last Updated on November 27, 2020

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

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

Have you battled against feelings of worthlessness? Irrespective of whatever a situation demands, are you feeling not good enough, like you’re falling short?

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 encounters 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.

However, these trying times are essential for your transformation into a stronger and more positive individual.

Feeling not good enough 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 are 11 things to do when you think you’re not good enough.

1. Stop Comparing and Competing

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

With that, we lose an integral quality: self-love[1].

The never-ending comparison with people can evoke a sense of worthlessness, especially today when social media feeds are full of amazing photos to compare out lives to. However, these tidbits don’t represent the complexities of life.

One study found that “participants who used Facebook most often had poorer trait self-esteem, and this was mediated by greater exposure to upward social comparisons on social media”[2]. The more you compare, the worse you feel.

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Take a moment to admire the great things in your own life, and only compare yourself to who you were yesterday.

2. Recall Your Past Achievements

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

Be it the smallest thing, any sense of your past accomplishments will help negate the feeling of uselessness.

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 your mood because of the beliefs lurking behind your feelings.

When you think you are not good enough, remember it is just the frequency and quality of thoughts that need to change, not you.

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

Instead of thinking and worrying, do something to take your mind off the negative thoughts. It could be exercise, painting, reading, or talking with a friend. Find what works for you.

4. Express the Negativity

Expressing negative emotions is imperative. It is the quickest way to unburden yourself 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.

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If you don’t have someone around to speak out, write out your negative feelings in a journal. This is another way to offload the thoughts that are causing you problems.

5. Choose the Right Person to Share Your Lows

You just cannot unveil your pure unfiltered emotions in front of everyone. This involves a level of vulnerability that demands trust and safety.

When you are expecting a shoulder to lean on that is not there, the effects of feeling useless may intensify and aggravate your pain, so this choice must be a careful one.

Make sure you flush out feelings of your hard times to one who knows you well. You may not get the advice you’re looking for, but you may get the strength to go through the tough times if you know you have a support system behind you.

6. Offer an Act of Compassion

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 your higher self is by uplifting others. When you fulfill the emotional or financial needs of others, not only does it bring a smile to their face, but it also makes you feel content.

Don’t believe me? Try it!

Whenever you’re feeling like you’re not good enough, follow compassion. Try out some of the ideas below if you don’t know where to start[4]:

If you're feeling like you're not good enough, practice kindness.

    7. Focus on the Process Rather Than the Results

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

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    It is a common syndrome with many people in this fast-paced, materialistic world. We think about the name, fame, and luxury attached to success so much that when we come back to reality, it leads to frustration and impatience. We simply lose focus that 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 the thought that you are not good enough.

    Wondering what to do? Resist the temptation to overthink success by developing self-control.

    8. Work out to Experience Liveliness

    Feeling not good enough? Most of the time, 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 our mind. You don’t need to hit the gym every time; there are many exercises to help you stay on track from home.

    A healthy body and mind is the best combination to recover from your lows speedily.

    9. Stop Fulfilling the Undue Expectations of People

    Are you always trying to fulfill others’ expectations of you? Most of us have been doing this for a long time.

    If yes, you are digging your own grave. Not only will you lose people, but you’ll also lose your individuality. If it continues, you won’t be able to respect your priorities. It is bound to evoke the feeling of uselessness.

    Learn to say no to expectations and, instead, follow your own path with the people who accept it[5].

    10. Stop Criticizing Life and Start Appreciating It

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

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    If you are this fortunate, you are ahead of most of the world’s population. So, whenever you think you are not good enough, just stop and appreciate your life for all the blessings it bestows on you.

    A healthy sense of gratitude enables you to see the bigger picture, and you adapt to demanding situations better.

    If you’re not sure how to develop a gratitude practice, check out this article.

    Final Thoughts

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

    Look on the bright side! You are one brave individual who has the guts to accept that something isn’t quite right. Not only that, but you are also 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 your positive self.

    Always remember:

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

    More on What to Do When Feeling Not Good Enough

    Featured photo credit: Ivan Karasev via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] tiny buddha: What Self-Love Means: 20+ Ways to Be Good to Yourself
    [2] Psychology of Popular Media Culture: Social Comparison, Social Media, and Self-Esteem
    [3] Greater Good Magazine: What Is Compassion?
    [4] Blessing Manifesting: 56 Random Acts of Kindness Ideas
    [5] 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.

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

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    Last Updated on November 27, 2020

    17 Ways for Building Resilience and Staying Tough

    17 Ways for Building Resilience and Staying Tough

    Have you ever failed at something or gone through a rough patch? Have you made a mistake or suffered a setback and found yourself eating way too much ice cream afterward?

    Take heart! You’re in good company.

    Even Beyoncé and Albert Einstein have faced hard times. But the difference between people who rebound from difficult situations and folks who stay curled up in a fetal position is the way they CHOOSE to respond to these events.

    The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “resiliency” as the “ability to recover from or adjust easily to adversity or change.” The good news is, you can learn how to become more resilient. Yes, you can make the CHOICE to bounce back from bottom.

    So, put down that ice-cream carton and get ready for a pep talk. Here are 17 strategies for building resilience that will help you overcome obstacles and rock your life.

    1. Failing is Normal—Just Keep Going

    According to Kenneth Ginsburg, author of Building Resilience in Children and Teens, the first of the “7 C’s of Resilience” is “COMPETENCE.” For young people to succeed, they must develop skills to deal with difficult situations. This goes for adults, too!

    To bolster your competence, take a look at a learning curve. It shows you that you can improve after you fail simply by persevering. But your performance won’t improve steadily. Knowing this fun fact can prevent you from giving up too soon.

    If you take a closer look at the “curve” below, you’ll discover that it’s actually jagged. Those peaks and valleys mean that you’ll get better on some days, as promised, but you’ll also have days in which you hit a plateau or your performance plummets.

      So, give yourself some slack and hang in there. If you persist, you will succeed.

      2. Adopt a “Growth Mindset” to Build Confidence

      Ginsburg’s second “C” for building resilience is “CONFIDENCE,” the belief in one’s own abilities. Here’s an interesting fact. It turns out that the way you view your abilities is more important than your actual abilities. Let me give you an example

      According to psychologist Dr. Carol Dweck, praising yourself for being intelligent or telling your children they are smart encourages a “fixed mindset,” the belief that your ability is static.[1] When you fail a test, you feel defeated because you believe your set amount of intelligence wasn’t enough to succeed.

      On the other hand, praising effort and hard work cultivates a “growth mindset,” the belief that intelligence can be developed. When you do badly on an exam and believe you can get smarter, you view it as a challenge. You put in extra time and effort and do better the next time.

      Whether it be sports, parenting, business, or pretty much anything else, your capacity to get back up after being knocked down depends on your mindset. To learn how to shift toward a more growthful mindset, take a look at this article: 5 Ways to Cultivate a Growth Mindset for Self Improvement

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      When you understand that you can strengthen your abilities through effort, you will do better in work, school, and life over time.

      3. Use Failure as Feedback

      Did you know that Oprah Winfrey was demoted early in her career as a news anchor because she did not have the “it factor” for TV? She went on to reinvent her career and rule daytime talk shows for 25 years. She told Harvard’s 2013 graduating class,

      “There is no such thing as failure. Failure is just life trying to move us in another direction.”

      Perhaps your talk didn’t go over as well as you’d hoped because you gave it to the wrong audience. Maybe your last relationship didn’t work out because your ex was not a good match for you. A square peg won’t fit into a round hole no matter how hard you try to force it and you’ll wear yourself out in the process. What’s the point? Find a square hole!

      As Zig Ziglar says,

      “The most successful people are the ones who learn from their mistakes and turn their failures into opportunities.”

      4. Come Up with Alternate Pathways to Your Goals

      When you suffer a setback, don’t throw in the towel. Come up with a different plan to get where you want to go.

      For example, I decided to become a rock star when I was 30 years old. Even though my music was well-received, an A&R agent in LA told me I was too old to make it in the music business. So, I shifted my attention to launching a CD overseas and got signed to PolyGram in South Africa.

      Research by Dave Feldman and Diane Dreher on “hope interventions”[2] found that when people set a goal, visualized three steps to get there, imagined three obstacles that could get in the way, and then developed three strategies to overcome them, they were successfully able to solve problems in their lives and reach their goals.

      Set up a meaningful goal and come up with alternate routes to reach it in case you hit a roadblock. Where there’s a will, there’s a way!

      5. Develop Your Superpowers

      You were born with unique set of gifts that no one else in the world has. Making a commitment to develop your natural superpowers through study, discipline, and practice can boost your competence and confidence. It may seem like it would be hard work but it’s actually fun. Nothing feels better than getting better at something you love to do.

      Jimi Hendrix practiced his guitar ALL the time. He wore it when he boarded planes and made scrambled eggs. He became a master guitarist because he constantly sought to boost his intrinsic talent. I’ve recorded hundreds of songs but I still take songwriting lessons to hone my skills as a singer-songwriter.

      Find some YouTube videos, buy a book, or take classes to improve your skills. Even if you only do it as a hobby or a side project, developing your innate skills gives you the energy and expertise you need to overcome challenges in your life.

      6. Find a Supportive Tribe

      Ginsburg’s third “C” for building resilience is “CONNECTION.” He encourages parents to offer children and teens the security they need to stand on their own and come up with creative solutions to problems. Adults need positive encouragement and community, too.

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      It’s not a sign of weakness to seek support. Even the mighty Avengers (Captain America, Iron Man, Hulk, etc.) join forces when threats grow too large for any one of them to handle alone. Dorothy Gale achieved greatness in The Wizard of Oz because of a little help from her friends The Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Cowardly Lion.

      Surround yourself with like-minded friends and acquaintances who can keep you on track with your goals. Find an accountability partner and check in with each other once a week. Be sure to form connections with “power-with” people, those who find their power from within themselves and enjoy aiding each other’s journeys.

      The next time life knocks you down, put out the bat signal for your tribe to come help you. They’ll help you rebound faster and own your power.

      7. Remove Kryptonite From Your Life

      As important as it is to surround yourself with a positive tribe, it’s also essential that you distance yourself from people who rain on your parade.

      If you have naysayers in your life, realize that this “power-over” mentality is a sign of inadequacy, not a show of real strength. There’s no need for people to aggravate, torment, or control you if their sense of self is intact. When people try to kryptonite you, it’s a sign of their weakness, not yours.

      To protect yourself from people who try to belittle or manipulate you, learn how to discriminate between helpful information and controlling criticism. The former fills you with energy and gives you a sense of direction; the latter leaves you feeling defeated and drained. Consider the source.

      8. Set Good Intentions

      Ginsburg’s fourth “C” for building resilience is “CHARACTER,” it’s about learning right from wrong.

      Superheroes use their power to save the planet. Super-villains often possess superhuman strengths, too, but they wield them for personal gain. Which camp do you fall in? Does it depend on what you’re doing?

      Create a list of your values and stand by them no matter what. Being true to yourself and living with integrity will help you get through hard times.

      9. Practice Kindness

      The fifth “C” for building resilience is “CONTRIBUTING” to the welfare of others. The tiniest act of kindness can make a positive difference.

      According to Talya Steinberg, Psy.D,[3]

      “Studies show that receiving, giving, or even witnessing acts of kindness increases the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood in the brain.”

      Being kind makes you feel happier and more at peace, which helps you stay grounded in difficult situations.

      What little act of kindness can you do today? Give your loved ones an extra hug? Call or email a long-lost friend? Here’re more ideas for you: 29 Ways to Carry Out Random Acts of Kindness Every Day

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      And be sure to high-five yourself the next time you see your reflection in the mirror. Being kind to yourself counts.

      10. Listen to Music You Like

      The fifth “C” for building resilience is using COPING strategies to deal with stress. One easy shortcut for buoying yourself up when you feel down is listening to music you like.

      Research shows that hearing your favorite music releases dopamine, a feel-good neurotransmitter. When you’re happy, you organize information better, think more creatively, and become a better problem solver.

      I like to sing “Roar” to give me moxie. What about you? All you need is 15 minutes of your favorite tunes. So listen up!

      11. Give Yourself a Hug

      Another quick way to build resilience when you feel badly is to give yourself a hug. Sounds silly? It’s not.

      According to Dr. Kristin Neff, author of Self-Compassion, hugging yourself releases oxytocin (the love hormone that makes you feel safe and loved) which decreases stress.[4]

      The next time you’re challenged, give it a try. Even if you’re in public, you can discreetly fold your arms around yourself. You’ll be surprised by how much better you feel.

      12. Say Positive Affirmations

      When you mess something up, your inner critic often makes it worse by telling you that you’re not good enough or you’re an imposter. Just because these digs stress you out doesn’t mean the limiting thoughts are true.

      Research shows that saying positive things such as “keep going” and “you can do it” can replace negative self-talk and help you get on your feet again.[5]

      Need some ideas for positive affirmations? Here’re some: 10 Positive Affirmations for Success that will Change your Life

      13. Relabel “Fear” as “Excitement”

      When something scares you, your sympathetic nervous system gets you ready for fight or flight. Did you know that you experience the same physiological reactions when you’re excited?

      The next time you get sweaty palms, try reinterpreting that response as excitement and use that nervous energy to master whatever you’re trying to do, whether it be giving a talk, going on a job interview, or winning a race.

      The fact that your inner critic is messing with your mind could mean that you’re on the brink of a new growth opportunity. Take advantage of the adrenaline and go for it.

      14. Stand in the Wonder Woman / Superman Pose

      According to Amy Cuddy, best-selling author of Presence, adopting the Wonder Woman power pose — hands on hips, feet wide apart, shoulders back — for two minutes can make you feel powerful.

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      This postural feedback gives you the experience of being a laid-back alpha (i.e., a superhero). When you need a jolt of power, try it. It works! If you’re a guy, just pretend you’re Superman or Thor when you do it.

      You can learn more about the power of this pose in this TedTalk:

      15. Write about Tough Times

      The last thing you probably feel like doing after a painful experience is dwell on it, but research by Dr. James Pennebaker shows that writing about tough times can actually improve your psychological and physical well-being.[6]

      Jot down your thoughts and feelings about the emotionally charged event for 20 minutes per day for four consecutive days. Afterward, you will feel mentally and physically stronger.

      16. Stop Passing Judgment on Yourself

      The final “C” for building resilience is to learn how to feel a sense of CONTROL over your life. The Serenity Prayer wisely advises us to accept what we cannot change, change what we can, and learn to tell the difference. But let’s be honest. That last part can get tricky.

      Eating balanced meals, exercising, and getting enough sleep helps you bounce back from tough times. But what if you have a bad habit that prevents you from engaging in these healthy habits? Here’s a tip a wise woman gave me years ago that can help you break the pattern:

      Imagine for a moment that each time you eat that extra cookie, or drink that extra glass of wine, or stay up too late watching TV, a layer gets laid down in an imaginary bowl. Every time you repeat the pattern, another layer goes down and the layers stack up over time.

      To get unstuck, just observe yourself eating that extra cookie instead of judging yourself for it. At the same time, imagine that a layer gets removed from that make-believe bowl as a result. If you engage in the bad habit again, do not pass judgment. Watch yourself with compassion and see another layer come off in your mind’s eye.

      Over time, this metaphorical bowl grows emptier and you begin to catch yourself sooner in the process (e.g., when you first put your hand in the cookie jar). Eventually, you’ll be able to stop yourself before you even begin. This gentle mindfulness tool can help you change habits that seem beyond your control.

      17. Set Yourself Up for Success

      My friend Mike enjoys skiing really fast, to the point where he is about to break his neck, because it puts him in the moment and brings out his best performance. If he were to try a steeper slope, he would fall; the bunny slopes would bore him silly. Like Goldilocks, he found the hill that was “just right“ to put him in the zone.

      What does this last point have to do with building resilience? When you’re in the zone, you do your best work. If the activity is too simple, your mind wanders. If it’s too hard, you get knocked out of the moment, too. These are the critical moments when your inner critic sneaks in to fire zingers at you.

      To create a successful outcome, consciously choose to do things that are fairly challenging, but not too challenging. This Goldilocks approach will keep your inner critic at bay and bring out the best in you. When you succeed in one area of your life, you’re more likely to succeed in others.

      Final Thoughts

      We all experience defeat at some point; it’s part of being human. But you have a CHOICE about how to react to hardship. If you CHOOSE to learn from your mistakes and persevere with a growth mindset, you can succeed at pretty much anything, especially if you come up with alternative pathways to your goals and surround yourself with people who believe in you.

      When you feel overwhelmed or stressed out, write about it, listen to your favorite tunes, give yourself a hug, say positive affirmations to yourself, relabel fear as excitement, or stand in the Wonder Woman/Superman pose.

      Just a couple of these hacks can help you get your mojo back. Just remember to keep going. You’ve got this.

      More on Building Resilience

      Featured photo credit: Michael Descharles via unsplash.com

      Reference

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