When you think you’re not good enough, you’re not acknowledging your self-worth, which is key to a happy, satisfying life. Yet it’s so easy to fall into the trap of self-doubt. So how can you pick yourself back up when you’ve doubled down in self-downing?
Use these 11 powerful reminders to boost you back to confidence when you’re not feeling good enough.
1. Nobody does it better.
Stop comparing yourself to others because your path is unique. While it may seem everyone is better than you, you’re competing against a superficial view of their lives (especially if you’re looking through the lens of their social media feeds).
You’ll never really know what’s going on inside their heads or hearts, as most people put on a positive show for the rest of the world to see. Most likely, they’re also comparing themselves to you or others because feeling inadequate is much more common than you think.
So, know you are one of a kind and are doing the best you can with what you have. This means no one can live your life better than you. So, stop comparing and start living.
2. Stop believing your trickster thinking.
A powerful phrase to help us stop identifying with our thoughts comes from Eckhart Tolle: “You are not your thoughts.”
Often, your thoughts are not even your own: they are past criticisms received from caregivers or behaviors learned during childhood that you then translate into self-deprecating beliefs.
Once you’re used to this type of thinking, your mind will dream up as many negative thoughts as you allow it to.
Luckily, you don’t have to believe any of it.
The next time you catch thoughts of low self-esteem, remember they are not the truth. They’re just thoughts. So, let them go.
3. Get over yourself.
Stop allowing your mistakes to rule your life because everyone screws up sometimes. And if you continue to beat yourself up over your limitations, you’re going to continue to believe you’re not good enough.
Don’t allow your failures to define you—it’s how you face the challenges that can shape you.
Remember, all the pain you’re suffering right now is paving the way for you to learn from your life lessons (and from life itself) so you can live with more resilience later on.
4. All is as it should be (and that’s OK).
If you thought you already had everything you needed, how would you feel about yourself now?
Consider this: you didn’t get to choose your family. You didn’t choose where you were born or your body type.
However, you are unique and have gifts and abilities no one else has. Sure, maybe someone else grew up with money or has a natural supermodel physique, but that doesn’t make any one of these people better than you. They are simply different, with a diverse set of talents and capabilities.
Know that you are exactly where you should be and have the faith to use what you currently possess to live your best possible life.
5. Take your eye off the ball.
This may seem counterintuitive, but when you focus on the final destination instead of the process, you may set yourself up for disappointment.
If you’re concerned more about the goal rather than the journey, you’ll always feel like you’re not doing as much as others (or as much as you expect you should be doing). If you’ve bought into the hustle culture, you may even judge yourself for going too slow.
This end-result approach will easily overwhelm you, adding the stress to do more, have more, and be more.
Instead of focusing on the result, concentrate on realistic expectations, small steps, and milestones.
So, take your first mini-step today, then concentrate on the next and the one after. Soon, you’ll find yourself closer to your goal than you’ve ever been.
6. You are more worthy than you believe.
It’s easy to fall prey to moments of self-pity and self-despair. But the moment you feel unworthy is the moment you also close people out because you think you don’t deserve their love.
It’s precisely when you’re indulging in low self-worth that you need to let the love in. Your connections are your lifeline to helping you see your true, brilliant worth. This includes letting yourself feel self-love as well.
Accepting and cherishing the attention and the love you think you don’t deserve is the greatest gift you can give to yourself right now. So pick up the phone and meet up with a loved one.
7. Accept your present gloom to create a brighter future.
Resistance causes suffering and denial is your surest path to inner gloom.
Yesterday’s disasters can be today’s opportunities and tomorrow’s fruits. But if you continue with self-downing, you can fall into a rut of self-hatred, keeping you stuck in a perpetual negative mindset. Instead, accept your feeling of unworthiness to let your discontent go.
When you accept your limitations, you give yourself room to grow and move forward with a lighter mental load and greater self-worth.
8. Your story is more powerful than you know
The stories you tell yourself can drag you down if you let them. Instead, healthy inner talk can change your perspective and buoy you up in times of self-doubt.
As soon as you weave a destructive inner narrative of not being good enough, it’s easy to repeat the same story repeatedly. Soon, your stories are not just affecting your relationships, but other aspects of your life, such as your work and hobbies.
Some examples of destructive self-talk are:
- I’m too ugly to be good enough to date that person.
- I’m not intelligent enough to get a better job.
- I’m not strong enough to handle a tough conversation with my boss or my partner.
Instead, you can choose to change your inner narrative by allowing yourself to see your stories for what they are: stories. They don’t have any basis in truth or data.
Show yourself some compassion to change your story and make it a winner.
9. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.
Don’t give up on yourself just because you failed or lost something.
You may not have won that promotion or that date. You may have lost a loved one or a partner. But you don’t have to give up on yourself.
“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”—Calvin Coolidge
The key here is to have the willpower to carry on despite your fleeting feelings of low self-worth. Invest in yourself to carry on with your head held high.
10. This feeling isn’t new.
Everyone is prone to self-doubt and feelings of inadequacy. So, this probably isn’t the first time you’ve thought, “I’m not good enough.”
Think back to past times when you’ve felt worthless. What happened?
You got through it because you’re here today.
Maybe you persisted in your goals, or maybe you changed direction. Life continued as always, whatever the outcome of your actions (even inaction is a choice). But you lived through it and felt better about yourself, at least for a time.
Recapture that feeling of hope and know you can get through the doubts this time, too.
11. Sometimes just being good is good enough.
It’s okay to have high standards and lofty goals. But, at the end of each day, don’t judge yourself for not being the epitome of perfection. We all have bad days where we may deal with dilemmas and challenges, some of which we have no control over.
Just do your best, which will look different for everyone.
A younger person may have more stamina than a more mature person. A person who is a lifelong learner may fare better on a test than someone who’s returning to university studies for the first time in 20 years.
Your best can also vary from day to day, depending on your health or the health of a close loved one. Doing your best can also change from day to night based on your energy levels and your mood.
Doing your best is good enough when you free yourself from self-criticism and guilt. Doing your best means the freedom of finally feeling and being good enough, no matter your life circumstances.
Remind yourself how great you truly are
Feeling good enough depends on remembering your innate worthiness.
Sure, you can continue to wallow in your self-misery. But wouldn’t it be nice to start feeling good about yourself again by reading just a few of these reminders and taking them to heart?
The next time you get down on yourself, remember that you can turn your life from miserable to marvelous once you start believing in yourself. All you need is to start with just one reminder…
So, which one will you choose?