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11 Things To Remember When You Think You’re Not Good Enough

11 Things To Remember When You Think You’re Not Good Enough

Have you ever felt like a fraud? You know what I’m talking about. Like somewhere, somehow, they let you into this “club” and everyone else belongs there but you? You might feel that way at work. Or in graduate school. Or even as a parent. We all go through times when we here feel inadequate. So here are 11 things to remember during the times when you feel like you are not good enough:

1. You are not the only one who feels this way.

When I was started my Ph.D. program, I felt like the dumbest person in every class. I couldn’t believe how many smart people were there, and I had the sinking feeling that somehow they made a mistake letting me in. I didn’t know if I could measure up to their intelligence or compete in the same league with them. Years later, I found out that pretty much everyone felt this way, too. So trust me, you are not the only one who feels like a “fraud.” Almost everyone does at one time or another.

2. You are unique and have special talents.

If you can barely make Hamburger Helper (like myself), don’t compare yourself to your sister who is a gourmet chef. I’m sure you can do many things that she can’t. So focus on your own passions and talents. You are you. You are not your sister. Or your brother. Or your dad. Or your friend. Or your boss. Or a movie star. You have your own special talents to offer the world. Focus on that.

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3. You have to fully accept and make peace with the “now” before anything else good can happen in the future.

So many people don’t live in the “now”. They think that once they get that perfect job, or that perfect husband, or that perfect house, then they will be “good enough”. Well, that’s not true! Even if you get all of those things, that doesn’t mean you will necessarily feel better about yourself. Your self-esteem starts within you. When you truly love yourself, outside conditions won’t shake your sense of self-worth.

4. You need to stop chasing perfection. It doesn’t exist.

Perfection is a myth. It’s subjective. What’s perfect to me is not perfect to you. So if you think that there is some grand, objective measurement of perfection and that the rest of the world is judging you against, then you are wrong. Most people are too worried about their own lack of perfection to judge you.

5.You need to love yourself the most when you think you deserve it the least.

When there is pain, love is the answer. If you have ever seen a child cry about something, they always respond well to a parent or a loved one giving them hugs and kisses and telling them that everything will be alright. So you need to learn to do that to yourself, too. As strange as it may sound, you can love yourself and comfort yourself. You deserve it.

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6. You need to change your thought patterns.

Our sense of self-worth is based in our thoughts. We have been programmed for many, many years with thoughts about ourselves. Messages come from our parents, from our peers, from teachers, from the media and from our own labels. But guess what? They are only thoughts. Just because you think these thoughts, it doesn’t make them true. One of my favorite sayings is, “Don’t believe a negative thought you think!”

7. You need to stop dwelling on your “failures” and “mistakes”.

I don’t believe in failure. Or mistakes. I only believe in “learning opportunities”. If something doesn’t go right, then congratulations! You have just learned a way that doesn’t work. I think we best learn what does work by learning what doesn’t work. So be grateful for your supposed “failures” and “mistakes” because they lead you one step closer to success.

8. You have the power to change your future.

You can control your thoughts. And you can control your actions. Once you realize and accept these to basic truths, everything can change. So instead of dwelling on your “failures,” change your thought processes. Take those lessons and channel them into a plan for your future. Change your negative thoughts into positive ones and then get in the driver’s seat toward better self-esteem and a brighter future.

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9. You should accept yourself for who you are.

Stop thinking that you’re “not okay”. You are okay. In fact, you are better than “okay” as long as you believe you are. I’ve talked to many men who say that they are much more attracted to an overweight woman with self-confidence than they are to a woman who looks like a super model and feels bad about herself. Confidence is attractive. It draws people in. If you love yourself for who you are, other people will notice.

10. You should be grateful for who you are and what you have.

The grass is not always greener on the other side. Maybe your career isn’t where you want it to be, so you feel inadequate. Well, the person who holds your dream job may not even like their job … or their life! Or that super model you envy might actually hate herself. So look at yourself and your life and be grateful for everything you have.

11. You are awesome.

That’s pretty self-explanatory. But really, you are. Everyone reading this is awesome in their own way . The trick is having you believe it. So pat yourself on the back don’t feel that you are not worthy. You are worthy.

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Here’s the takeaway: Your sense of feeling like a “fraud” or that you’re no good enough is just all in your head. All of it starts and ends with you. So if you remember these 11 things, you will on the road to better self-esteem in no time.

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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