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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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Carol Morgan

Dr. Carol Morgan is the owner of HerSideHisSide.com, a communication professor, dating & relationship coach, TV personality, speaker, and author.

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Last Updated on January 24, 2021

How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

Do you say yes so often that you no longer feel that your own needs are being met? Are you wondering how to say no to people?

For years, I was a serial people pleaser[1]. Known as someone who would step up, I would gladly make time, especially when it came to volunteering for certain causes. I proudly carried this role all through grade school, college, even through law school. For years, I thought saying “no” meant I would disappoint a good friend or someone I respected.

But somewhere along the way, I noticed I wasn’t quite living my life. Instead, I seem to have created a schedule that was a strange combination of meeting the expectations of others, what I thought I should be doing, and some of what I actually wanted to do. The result? I had a packed schedule that left me overwhelmed and unfulfilled.

It took a long while, but I learned the art of saying no. Saying no meant I no longer catered fully to everyone else’s needs and could make more room for what I really wanted to do. Instead of cramming too much in, I chose to pursue what really mattered. When that happened, I became a lot happier.

And guess what? I hardly disappointed anyone.

The Importance of Saying No

When you learn the art of saying no, you begin to look at the world differently. Rather than seeing all of the things you could or should be doing (and aren’t doing), you start to look at how to say yes to what’s important.

In other words, you aren’t just reacting to what life throws at you. You seek the opportunities that move you to where you want to be.

Successful people aren’t afraid to say no. Oprah Winfrey, considered one of the most successful women in the world, confessed that it was much later in life when she learned how to say no. Even after she had become internationally famous, she felt she had to say yes to virtually everything.

Being able to say no also helps you manage your time better.

Warren Buffett views “no” as essential to his success. He said:

“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”

When I made “no” a part of my toolbox, I drove more of my own success, focusing on fewer things and doing them well.

How We Are Pressured to Say Yes

It’s no wonder a lot of us find it hard to say no.

From an early age, we are conditioned to say yes. We said yes probably hundreds of times in order to graduate from high school and then get into college. We said yes to find work, to get a promotion, to find love and then yes again to stay in a relationship. We said yes to find and keep friends.

We say yes because we feel good when we help someone, because it can seem like the right thing to do, because we think that is key to success, and because the request might come from someone who is hard to resist.

And that’s not all. The pressure to say yes doesn’t just come from others. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves.

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At work, we say yes because we compare ourselves to others who seem to be doing more than we are. Outside of work, we say yes because we are feeling bad that we aren’t doing enough to spend time with family or friends.

The message, no matter where we turn, is nearly always, “You really could be doing more.” The result? When people ask us for our time, we are heavily conditioned to say yes.

How Do You Say No Without Feeling Guilty?

Deciding to add the word “no” to your toolbox is no small thing. Perhaps you already say no, but not as much as you would like. Maybe you have an instinct that if you were to learn the art of no that you could finally create more time for things you care about.

But let’s be honest, using the word “no” doesn’t come easily for many people.

3 Rules of Thumbs for Saying No

1. You Need to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Let’s face it. It is hard to say no. Setting boundaries around your time, especially you haven’t done it much in the past, will feel awkward. Your comfort zone is “yes,” so it’s time to challenge that and step outside that.

If you need help getting out of your comfort zone, check out this article.

2. You Are the Air Traffic Controller of Your Time

When you want to learn how to say no, remember that you are the only one who understands the demands for your time. Think about it: who else knows about all of the demands in your life? No one.

Only you are at the center of all of these requests. You are the only one that understands what time you really have.

3. Saying No Means Saying Yes to Something That Matters

When we decide not to do something, it means we can say yes to something else that we may care more about. You have a unique opportunity to decide how you spend your precious time.

6 Ways to Start Saying No

Incorporating that little word “no” into your life can be transformational. Turning some things down will mean you can open doors to what really matters. Here are some essential tips to learn the art of no:

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1. Check in With Your Obligation Meter

One of the biggest challenges to saying no is a feeling of obligation. Do you feel you have a responsibility to say yes and worry that saying no will reflect poorly on you?

Ask yourself whether you truly have the duty to say yes. Check your assumptions or beliefs about whether you carry the responsibility to say yes. Turn it around and instead ask what duty you owe to yourself.

2. Resist the Fear of Missing out (FOMO)

Do you have a fear of missing out (FOMO)? FOMO can follow us around in so many ways. At work, we volunteer our time because we fear we won’t move ahead. In our personal lives, we agree to join the crowd because of FOMO, even while we ourselves aren’t enjoying the fun.

Check in with yourself. Are you saying yes because of FOMO or because you really want to say yes? More often than not, running after fear doesn’t make us feel better[2].

3. Check Your Assumptions About What It Means to Say No

Do you dread the reaction you will get if you say no? Often, we say yes because we worry about how others will respond or because of the consequences. We may be afraid to disappoint others or think we will lose their respect. We often forget how much we are disappointing ourselves along the way.

Keep in mind that saying no can be exactly what is needed to send the right message that you have limited time. In the tips below, you will see how to communicate your no in a gentle and loving way.

You might disappoint someone initially, but drawing a boundary can bring you the freedom you need so that you can give freely of yourself when you truly want to. And it will often help others have more respect for you and your boundaries, not less.

4. When the Request Comes in, Sit on It

Sometimes, when we are in the moment, we instinctively agree. The request might make sense at first. Or we typically have said yes to this request in the past.

Give yourself a little time to reflect on whether you really have the time or can do the task properly. You may decide the best option is to say no. There is no harm in giving yourself the time to decide.

5. Communicate Your “No” with Transparency and Kindness

When you are ready to tell someone no, communicate your decision clearly. The message can be open and honest[3] to ensure the recipient that your reasons have to do with your limited time.

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How do you say no? 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

    Resist the temptation not to respond or communicate all. But do not feel obligated to provide a lengthy account about why you are saying no.

    Clear communication with a short explanation is all that is needed. I have found it useful to tell people that I have many demands and need to be careful with how I allocate my time. I will sometimes say I really appreciate that they came to me and for them to check in again if the opportunity arises another time.

    6. Consider How to Use a Modified No

    If you are under pressure to say yes but want to say no, you may want to consider downgrading a “yes” to a “yes but…” as this will give you an opportunity to condition your agreement to what works best for you.

    Sometimes, the condition can be to do the task, but not in the time frame that was originally requested. Or perhaps you can do part of what has been asked.

    Final Thoughts

    Beginning right now, you can change how you respond to requests for your time. When the request comes in, take yourself off autopilot where you might normally say yes.

    Use the request as a way to draw a healthy boundary around your time. Pay particular attention to when you place certain demands on yourself.

    Try it now. Say no to a friend who continues to take advantage of your goodwill. Or, draw the line with a workaholic colleague and tell them you will complete the project, but not by working all weekend. You’ll find yourself much happier.

    More Tips on How to Say No

    Featured photo credit: Chris Ainsworth via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] Science of People: 11 Expert Tips to Stop Being a People Pleaser and Start Doing You
    [2] Anxiety and Depression Association of America: Tips to Get Over Your FOMO, or Fear of Missing Out
    [3] Cooks Hill Counseling: 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

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