Sometimes life just gets to be a little too much and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Whether it be expectations from your boss, colleagues, friends, family or other half–or even the sky-high expectations you have of yourself–occasionally, it all comes to a head and you are left feeling like you are not good enough. In times like these, it can be difficult to gain the perspective you so sorely need to pull yourself out of that terrible slump. Here are 18 things to remember that should get you well on your way to feeling better.
1. This too shall pass.
As cliché as it sounds, no matter how terrible you feel right now and how desperate your situation may currently seem, it’s just a fleeting moment in your life. While it may seem as though your world is ending, trust in the fact that the sun will rise again tomorrow and shine new, hopeful light on you and your predicament.
2. No one can do better than you…
…because there is not a single person out there who is like you! You are blessed with unique attributes that make comparing yourself to anyone else not only futile and discouraging but also, quite frankly, impossible. No one has lived the life you’ve lived, so no one is better equipped to tackle your challenges than you. Remember this whenever you catch your subconscious trying to convince you that you are not as worthy as someone else!
3. This challenge will only make you stronger.
Even though you may feel broken and bruised now, you will recover from this ordeal a more resilient person. When we get injured, the scar tissue that develops to mend our damaged skin is stronger than you could ever imagine. It’s the same for your heart and soul: trust in their ability to heal, too. In keeping with this…
4. Celebrate your failures; they are a lesson.
As the wonderful Oprah Winfrey says, “Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another step to greatness.” When terrible things happen (either of our own doing or otherwise), it can be difficult to see the forest for the trees. However, in every failure or negative moment, there is a lesson to be learned. Take heart, and have faith in the fact that thanks to this experience, you will be better equipped to deal with whatever life throws at you next.
5. You’re good enough to try, and that’s all you need to do.
Now that you know that failures should be celebrated and not feared, the time has come to realise that everything you’ve accomplished up until now and everything you’ll achieve henceforth comes from you taking a leap of faith and trying. No matter how convinced you are that you are going to fail, make the attempt: it’s the most important part of any endeavour and the only one that is really asked of you.
6. Progress trumps perfection, every time.
It is so easy to get caught up in others’ expectations that we forget that perfection is an unrealistic (and frankly, boring) ideal. By shooting for perfection, you are setting yourself up for feeling like crap when you inevitably fall short. Progress, on the other hand, is a better measure of how brilliant you are and how much you’ve grown. Celebrate every small step forward.
7. You are not alone.
Although insecurity tends to confine us to a very lonely place, know that there are people around you who are desperate to show you how amazing you are and how much you matter. Even if you can’t see your own worth right now, they most certainly can; and while you may feel like you’re burdening them by expressing your feelings, I can assure you they don’t see it that way. Remember that even when you don’t feel good enough, your friends and relatives think you’re the bee’s knees. Don’t be afraid to reach out.
8. Everyone is fighting a hard battle.
While your problem is deeply personal and unique to your situation, take comfort in the fact that there are others who are also feeling less than great; not, of course, so that you can take pleasure from their pain, but because this means you are not alone in your plight. No matter how desperate you may feel, there is someone out there who will be able to relate and bring solace. All you need to do is find them.
9. There is so much to be thankful for.
When I’m down, one thing I like to do is list three things that I am grateful for, right in the moment. It is a great exercise for gaining a little perspective: even though it may feel like the world is crashing down around me, being able to make a gratitude list reminds me that there is a silver lining. Give it a try–you’ll be surprised at the results!
10. You are deserving of love.
You may feel terrible about yourself now, but I can guarantee that there is so much beauty in you. In times when you don’t feel good enough, try making a gratitude list…for yourself! Name three things that you love about yourself. Be as silly or as ceremonious as you like. If you’re having trouble with coming up with something, be grateful for your lungs, which allow you to breathe; your mouth, which allows you to smile; your soul, which makes you you. You are a thing of wonder; believe it!
11. Your mind can be cruel; don’t always take it at its word.
We are often our very worst critics. Even if we are kind to others, it can be hard for us to be nice to ourselves. We tend to judge ourselves extremely harshly, whether we’re aware of it or not, simply because we’re conditioned by society to believe we need to look or behave a certain way. When we don’t conform to these impossible standards, it’s easy to slip into negative self-talk. Be aware of this and don’t believe everything you think.
12. You have a choice.
Now that you know your subconscious isn’t always your best friend, it’s time to understand that you have a choice. You can either choose to let that nagging voice of discord run its mouth, or you can choose to fake it until you make it and replace your negative thoughts with positive ones. All it takes is the resolve to wear those rose-tinted glasses (no matter how cheesy it may feel at first) and practice! Commit to it, and I promise you’ll feel a change.
13. Your approval is the only one that matters.
We spend our lives bending over backwards trying to please others, trying to conform to others’ ideals and losing sight of what really matters: our happiness; our fulfillment. At the end of the day, people come and go but you’re stuck with yourself for the rest of your life. Do yourself a favour and focus on how you feel about yourself before worrying about the others. I’ll bet that once you strip away others’ expectations, you’ll like what you see.
14. You have overcome so much already.
You may feel terrible now, but remember how much you’ve already achieved. Think about the path that has led you to where you are now. Reminisce about your life from an objective perspective and see how much you’ve accomplished and overcome. Even though it may not seem like it now, you are a warrior and you are capable of so much.
15. You are still giving it your all.
Even when life knocks you down, you’ll still be there fighting. The fact that you feel the way you do right now is an indication that you still care and you still want to succeed. You haven’t given up and that means so much more than you realise.
16. There is always a way to get unstuck.
No matter how desperate the situation, there’s always something you can do to move forward. You may not see it right in the moment, but you will uncover it eventually, either on your own or with the help of your friends. In that “aha” moment, you’ll come to realise how close you were to the solution all along. Hindsight is always 20/20, isn’t it? Don’t lose hope; the answer you’re seeking is out there.
17. You are in no hurry.
Just because everybody else is running ragged doesn’t mean that you need to hold yourself to the same, crazy standards. The biggest goals and achievements in life take time to accomplish. Don’t pressure yourself into getting everything done on the quick and get down on yourself when you don’t quite manage it. It’s okay to take a little longer and savour the process.
18. It’s okay to not be okay.
Sometimes, you need to surrender to your feelings and allow yourself to not be Super(wo)man for once. The world will carry on turning without you holding it together. Give yourself permission to give in to your emotions and know that it’s okay to give yourself a break. You’ve worked so hard–you deserve it.
No matter how dark the clouds above your head, there are better days right around the corner. Believe in yourself, give yourself a break and you will get there.
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