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18 Things To Tell Yourself When You Think You’re Not Good Enough

18 Things To Tell Yourself When You Think You’re Not Good Enough

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…

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Featured photo credit: beauty heart lipstick love make-up makeup/BreakingPic via pexels.com

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Last Updated on January 15, 2021

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

Posture

First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

  • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
  • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
  • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
  • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

Facial Expressions

Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

  • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
  • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
  • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

2. Relax Your Face

New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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3. Improve Your Eye Contact

Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

3. Smile More

There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

4. Hand Gestures

Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

5. Enhance Your Handshake

In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

“Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

Final Takeaways

Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

Reference

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