If you often find yourself wondering what to do when you feel like you aren’t good enough, I want to offer the following words of comfort and support…
Ever feel like you just don’t measure up?
Like regardless of what you do, it just doesn’t seem to matter?
Yeah, I thought so.
Even though this is one of the worst feelings in the world, and it’s normal to feel completely alone, the reality is that we’re ALL human beings who experience insecurity and self-doubt.
But of course, recognizing logically that we’re not all alone doesn’t necessarily translate over to feeling less alone.
If only it were that simple, right?!
Let’s face it, we live in a world of posts, tweets, likes, airbrushing, and cosmetic surgery. All too often, we are bombarded with messages that we’re supposed to look perfect, feel fantastic, and juggle countless responsibilities without complaining. On top of these demands, we’re supposed to make it look effortless.
ALL OF THE TIME.
That’s a pretty tall order.
And the thing is, we know better. We really do. Yet it doesn’t seem to matter how many supportive people we have in our lives or how much positive self-take we try to incorporate. Because that nagging feeling that we’re somehow falling short is always in the back of our minds.
I’ve heard it said in a variety of ways.
“Don’t compare your start to their finish.”
“Don’t compare their best to your worst.”
“Don’t compare their onstage to your offstage.”
OK, great, so we know all of this stuff. We’re on to the media and the advertising companies. We’re not going to be duped. And yet, even armed with all of this knowledge…
Why is it so hard to truly FEEL like we’re good enough?
Because on top of all of the fake perfection we’re surrounded with, we’ve also been sold the lie of scarcity.
This lie of scarcity tells us that if someone else is experiencing success in an area, there isn’t enough success leftover for us.
As a result, we’re left feeling insecure, untrusting and frankly, pretty miserable.
I’ve noticed that when I limit my social media scrolling, I’m not nearly as inclined to fall into the comparison trap. Consistently reminding myself that this comparison trap is toxic really helps too. It enables me to avoid spiraling into that icky place where I feel like I’m not measuring up.
A couple of years ago, I started to seek out every opportunity to celebrate the achievements of people I know.
Every single opportunity.
Acknowledging each and every success experienced by my friends, family, neighbors, acquaintances…it always feels good to celebrate their achievements.
I acknowledge and celebrate these successes as my own.
As a result, my attitude shifts.
This subtle yet profound shift feels similar to what I experience when I regularly express gratitude.
Expansive and free.
Connected to those around me.
Peaceful and content.
Basically, I’m doing my best to practice what I call my “Good Enough” lifestyle. And the peace and acceptance I’ve gained have been pretty remarkable.
What to do When You Feel Like You Aren’t Good Enough
First, please know that I’m not implying that by doing the following you will never feel insecure, lonely, or unworthy.
You’re human, after all!
But I promise you, if you incorporate the following into your life and practice these suggestions on a regular basis, your perspective and feelings of worthiness will shift in remarkably positive ways!
We are going to try and eliminate all of the extra, self-imposed “shoulds” and “have to” demands swirling around in your brain. Instead, let’s try to focus on the essentials.
Ask yourself the following questions:
Is the house clean enough?
I’m talking super basic here. Not a ton of deep cleaning. A couple times a month (or whatever is realistic!) of sweeping, mopping, dusting, cleaning the kitchen sink, and cleaning the bathrooms is the goal.
If things don’t look grimy and gross, they are good enough!
Am I getting enough physical activity?
Unless intense exercise is your outlet, perhaps this is not the season in your life to train for a marathon. Remember, let’s be realistic.
Do you walk your dog?
Can you incorporate a few minutes of stretching into your daily routine?
Is cleaning the house one of your responsibilities?
How about parking a little farther away in the parking lot the next time you hit Target?
Guess what? These examples all totally count as physical activity.
Seriously, it’s all ENOUGH for right now!
Am I healthy enough?
Give yourself a break, ok?
Do the best you can in whatever ways you can.
Some days this might mean you’re eating the recommended servings of fruit and veggies. Then there will be those days when chocolate and wine are what might be needed for your sanity.
Try for moderation and then please, do your best to relax and extend yourself some well-deserved grace.
Am I teaching my children enough?
Since there are so many educational possibilities, it’s easy to feel like there is always something more we should be doing. If you are a fellow homeschooling family, consider doing the following:
Hit a little bit of math every day.
Read to your children (or have them read independently).
Listen to historical audiobooks or podcasts.
Watch some educational documentaries.
Get out the board games, puzzles, and a deck of cards.
When you have the energy to plan more, great. Otherwise, rest assured that you’ve got all of the basics covered!
Is the food I’m feeding my family healthy enough?
Some days the answer might be no.
Pizza again? Chinese takeout? Ice cream?
No doubt, you are going to have days like these!
And this is OK!
Because I don’t care how organized you are, life can get NUTS! But when these not-so-healthy days alternate with mostly healthy options, it’s called perfectly fine thank-you-very-much!
And please don’t confuse complicated and time-consuming dinners with healthy. Soup and sandwiches are awesome. So are great big salads. Smoothies and eggs work too.
Easy. Healthy. Done.
Do I look good enough?
This one’s tough, isn’t it? So, so tough.
Since you have a lot on your plate and people to look after, there never does seem to be enough time to focus on self-care.
So wash your face, moisturize, put on some lip gloss, throw on some cute earrings if this is your thing, and take a deep breath.
What is something you DO that makes you feel beautiful?
Gardening? Sketching? Baking? Hiking? Reading?
Do that thing (or things!) and soak up the beauty you feel.
I guarantee you’ll feel better!
Am I enough?
Yes, yes, yes!
I guarantee that the people who love you don’t walk around all day, stressing about how you are not doing enough for them. What makes their lives better is when you are as happy and healthy as you can possibly be.
The joy really does trickle down from you to them.
I’m often reminded of how much happier my family is when I’m happy.
When I cut myself some slack, put my feet up more often, and relax.
Allowing myself to let loose and abandon my mental to-do list a little more allows for so much more peace of mind.
While singing in the car and dancing in the kitchen and laughing hysterically over something ridiculous.
As a result, this lightens the mood not only for myself but for everyone around me.
Seems like a win-win situation, don’t you think?
So take from these suggestions what you’d like, and leave the rest. I just really, truly hope you’re able to give yourself some gentle understanding.
When you focus on “Good Enough” there often ends up being a whole lot more room for laughter, joy, grace, and love.
And coudn’t we all use more of these things in our lives!?
Laughter. Joy. Grace. Love.
Sounds like a recipe for sucess to me!
Have you been able to embrace “Good Enough” in a specific area of your life? If you care to share, please leave a comment. Let’s support each other!
I have found since taking an art class that my housework (I DO mean Work) has taken a back seat; way way back. Thank you for helping give myself permission to align my focus a little differently!!!!
Sarah Takehara says
I am so happy that you have this artistic outlet! There are only so many hours in the day and we only have so much to give. It sounds like you are prioritizing your creativity and self-care. Good for you!