In life we can feel we are not good enough because of our current circumstances, words others have spoken over us or simply having a constant “glass half empty” mindset. We are wired so differently, some of us are thick skinned and can easily let negative feelings slide off of our backs, others can sit and churn over these feelings for weeks, months or even years.
It is our responsibility to fight, yes fight off the feeling that we are not good enough, that we do not belong, that we do not enhance or bring anything to the table. It is damaging to our self image and personal development. It can mean we do very little whilst maintaining a “what is the point” attitude or way too much in the hope of someday arriving at the point when we feel we are finally enough.
I have definitely felt I was not good enough at various stages of my life due to a number of factors; the most prominent two being, having an absent father and being verbally bullied in secondary school. As a child and teenager I often wondered why my father chose not to play a part in my life. It made me feel inadequate, rejected and misplaced in society. I wrongly assumed I was not special and therefore did not expect to be treated as such. I wondered why a few of my peers gave me nicknames and enjoyed humiliating me in class. I was a shy, awkward looking teenager who steered away from large groups at school and instead hung out with one or two friends. I blossomed late (17/18) and looking back was definitely not the epitome of “cool”. For years I carried guilt, shame and an extreme inferiority complex.
One day, I cannot recall when (I was definitely a Christian though), I made a decision to like myself. It probably sounds bizarre but throughout my teenage years and early twenties, I did not like who I was, what I looked like, the fact that I was shy and an introvert. When one does not like themselves they tend to overdo everything in the hope of feeling they are just as “good”, “special” and “important” as another. In my case, I did not require recognition from others but from myself; I craved to have the feeling of waking up and going to sleep knowing I was enough. You see, the battle was happening in my mind not with anyone else.
It is fine to strive for progression in our lives but not because we believe this is what will make or define us. We must avoid the temptation of living a life of constantly proving ourselves to ourselves. It is exhausting and soul destrying.
How can you begin to accept yourself?
1. Think about your motives. What drives you?
2. Think about what you enjoy doing and take this up as a hobby.
3. Treat yourself once a week – a new book, gadget, nail polish, coffee and cake in a “nice” tea shop.
4. Surround yourself with people who encourage and inspire you and in turn with those you can inspire and encourage. It is a two way street – we should aim to give and not only to receive.
Have you ever battled with not being enough?
How did you overcome this, perhaps you are still on the journey?
What advice would you give to someone facing this challenge?