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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.

More by this author

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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Published on April 7, 2021

6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

Some of the most manipulative people are so good at what they do that their words and actions can convince you into thinking they truly care about what’s best for you when in reality, it’s quite the opposite. The most common signs of a controlling person are rarely obvious to outside observers. And for someone enmeshed in a controlling relationship or friendship, it can be incredibly challenging to stay away from this toxic person, even if you’re aware of their emotionally abusive tendencies.

While it’s ultimately up to you to decide whether to preserve or leave a lopsided, unfulfilling relationship, it’s nevertheless critical to understand the following six signs of controlling people so you can better advocate for yourself and mitigate the influence of their manipulative tendencies in your own life.

1. They Push Their Own Personal Agenda

Do you know someone who always tries to micromanage the words, behaviors, and attitudes of people around them? Does this person act like they have the right to know anything they want about you, including your location, what you’re doing in a given moment, who you’re talking to online, or any other private information about you? And when planning events and special occasions, does this person dominate conversations, steer plans in their own preferred directions, disparage others’ suggestions, and refuse to collaborate with anyone who might disagree with them?

If you answered “yes” to some of the above questions, then those are clear signs of a controlling person whom you absolutely need to be cautious around. Controlling people are reluctant to even consider alternative ideas, let alone enthusiastically work with people who have differing views. They prefer to be the captain of every ship—regardless of how much or how little an issue personally impacts them—and they have an arsenal of manipulative tactics to deploy if someone stands in the way of them achieving their own personal agendas.

In long-term relationships with controlling people, you may feel constantly pressured to meet their demands, follow their schedule, and focus on whatever they feel is most important. It’s not an exaggeration to say that these people act like the universe revolves around them, which can be exhausting to deal with for their family members, friends, and colleagues.

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2. They Make Everything Transactional

Controlling people aren’t always self-centered, but they’re not too empathetic either. Empathy for them tends to appear in the form of strategic concessions they use as a means to get what they want. They typically view interpersonal relationships as transactional opportunities to extract more value from people surrounding them, which can have a draining effect on those they interact with.

For example, one sign of a controlling person may be their insistence on “keeping score.” This can involve doing nice things for you with the ulterior motive of demanding something from you at a later date in exchange for what you thought was just an act of kindness or a friendly support.

Perhaps they shower you in praise (also known as “love-bombing”) or gifts then blow up at you if you don’t intuitively know they’re expecting something back from you. None of us are mind-readers, but controlling people behave as though everyone else should think and act like they want others to and those who fall out of line are punished for failing to meet their impossible expectations.

A controlling person may also threaten to withhold support if you don’t adhere to their demands, but they do so in such subtle ways that the guilt they impose blinds you from the unreasonable nature of their behaviors.

Some statements to be wary of include:

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  • “I did ___________ for you. What do you mean you can’t do ___________ for me?”
  • “Remember how I helped you with ___________? That took a lot of time and energy from me, but I guess you didn’t appreciate my help.”
  • “I always give you ___________. Don’t you care about my needs too?”
  • “You’re so selfish!” or “You don’t care about me at all!” (gaslighting if you respond with hesitation or politely decline their request for help for perfectly valid reasons, such as not having enough time or resources to assist them)

3. They Criticize Everything

One of the most common telltale signs of a controlling person is their capacity to criticize anything and everything, even small things that seemingly don’t matter. As with many toxic traits in relationships, these problems typically start out so small that you may not even notice. At first, you may even agree with their criticism or at least be able to understand their perspective when they bring up an issue.

However, the criticism tends to get more intense, more constant, and more perplexing for people who maintain relationships with controlling people. You’ll likely notice how they rarely seem to criticize something they do. It’s almost always other-oriented and these types of people are so manipulative that any rationale they offer can seem plausibly legitimate.

Some warning signs of a controlling person who’s overly critical to the point of abusiveness include:

  • Criticizing things about you that you have little to no control over (e.g., appearance, disability, family)
  • Criticizing your personal choices and interests, such as educational pursuits, career, clothing, favorite music, time spent on your hobbies, etc.
  • Punishing you for expressing vulnerability by invalidating thoughts and feelings you share with them
  • Attacking you whenever you express an opinion counter to theirs

4. They Balk When Someone Criticizes Them

We all know the adage, “what goes around, comes around.” But this statement doesn’t apply as much to toxic, controlling people. They’d much prefer to dish out criticism without ever having to take it in return.

For instance, if your friend constantly talks about your appearance with little regard for your emotions but flips out if you make just a single comment about their appearance, there’s a possibility that they could have some hidden controlling tendencies left unchecked. Remember, these people aren’t just controlling in their behaviors towards others. They’re also actively trying to stay in complete control over every aspect of their lives, which includes how others view them.

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This seemingly insatiable desire for control can prompt them to lash out against even the smallest bits of criticism, leaving people around them too weary or scared to speak up again in the future. While it’s possible they may suffer from something called rejection sensitivity dysphoria, this does not excuse them from the consequences of their words and actions. They should seek professional help to better manage their reactions to criticism.

5. They Socially Isolate You

Not all controlling people do this, but for manipulative narcissists, socially isolating victims is a go-to strategy for maintaining control because it’s effective at preventing people from truly understanding how toxic their partner, family member, or friend is treating them. Think of it this way—if you don’t talk to many other people in your life, there’s less of a risk that you’ll damage their reputation by revealing their abusive tendencies.

Socially isolating others also gives the person more control over you and your life as it becomes more difficult to break away from them if you don’t have other healthier channels of communication and interpersonal support to turn to.

This process doesn’t happen overnight, nor is it something you can readily recognize as abusive. At first, it may seem reasonable, such as asking you to stop engaging so often with family members with whom both of you disagree on major social or political issues. As the social isolation progresses, they may suggest cutting people out of your life—especially if they don’t like that person, regardless of how you personally feel—or even conjure up high-stakes problems like “it’s me or them” under the guise of saving you from people in your life whom they don’t like for whatever reason.

In a controlling person’s life narrative, they’re always the protagonist who’s incapable of any wrongdoing. The blame is always redirected at someone else, whether that’s you or other people in your life. The more they isolate you from other supportive people in your life, the more susceptible you’ll be to falsely believing that they’re right and you “don’t need” your other friends and family when you have someone as perfect as this person.

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6. They’re Emotionally Abusive

It’s hard enough to be in control of your own emotions but when someone else is constantly belittling you and your interests or leveraging guilt and shame to manipulate you into saying or doing what they want, this can make it even more challenging to stay in control of your own life and emotional well-being.

Emotional abuse is another sign of a controlling person that is often overlooked in relationships. After all, human personalities vary widely in terms of passivity, and it’s not uncommon for one person in a relationship to be significantly more passive than the other. This becomes an issue when the controlling partner or friend exudes signs of emotional abuse, which can start subtly and become much more pronounced over time.

Concerning signs of emotionally abusive language or behavior to watch out for include:

  • Dismissing your needs and/or belittling your interests in counterproductive ways
  • Privately or publicly shaming or humiliating you
  • Making you feel as though you can never live up to their expectations or do anything right (according to their own vague, subjective standards)
  • Gaslighting you into thinking they said or did something that never actually happened (making you question your own reality)

Final Thoughts

It’s sometimes hard to see the negative things about someone with whom we have a relationship. We may sometimes unconsciously overlook the signs of a controlling person, especially if that person is someone we have known for a long time or are close to us. However, cutting them off your life is the best thing you can do for yourself. Just watch out for these six signs of a controlling person and take immediate action when you spot them.

More Tips on How To Deal With a Controlling Person

Featured photo credit: Külli Kittus via unsplash.com

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