Would you ever tell your best friend she’s not good enough? Would you tell her that she isn’t stacking up to other women on Instagram or that she is failing at everything she’s trying in life? If you wouldn’t talk so terribly to your best friend, then why would you do it to yourself? Feeling adequate, or inadequate, starts within.
At some point in our lives, we’ve all felt like we weren’t good enough. The reasons for feeling this way are complex and track back to how we were conditioned as children, but that’s not the point of this article. The goal here is to give you hands-on tools to combat the pain of feeling like you’re not enough.
Stop comparing yourself to people, whether on social media or in real life. How many times have you looked at a person’s Instagram and thought, “Why doesn’t my house look that clean?” or “We both have three kids, why am I not that skinny?” This way of thinking is so toxic to our psyche. Looking at someone’s highlight reel on Instagram or Facebook isn’t indicative of their entire life — or even their day; it’s just a perfectly posed 15-second highlight.
What about that gorgeous picture of her pristine kitchen? If she were to zoom out you’d most likely see goldfish crumbs littering her entire sofa. How about the picture of the mom with three kids and a “perfect” body? Maybe her mother lives with her and babysits the kids while she works out? We don’t truly know the ins-and-outs of people’s lives, and we shouldn’t compare our stage of life to theirs. If social media is messing with your head and making you feel like you’re not enough, don’t be afraid to hit Delete and refresh your news feed with positivity and good vibes only.
Practice Makes Progress
Most of us were taught as children that “practice makes perfect,” but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Perfection doesn’t exist. What practice truly makes is progress. Failure can make us feel like we’re not enough. But each time we “fail,” it’s really just an opportunity to practice and try again. Failure pushes us toward growth, and life is all about experience and embracing opportunities — not about the end result.
Act the Way You Want to Feel
Do you so desperately wish you felt worthy? Start treating yourself that way! Though it may sound silly at first, pretend you’re someone you wish you were more like (positive role models, only, please). Then, treat yourself as if you were that person. Compliment the other person (you) on how she looks, on how she’s rocking #TheMomLife, and on how she’s cooking healthy meals for her family. You would never tell your role model she’s not good enough.
Do Small Acts of Kindness
Doing something for someone else is proven to be good for the soul — a real self-esteem booster. Buy a coffee for the person behind you at Starbucks or simply hold open the door for someone. When you show kindness toward someone else, the positive energy will instantly bounce off of them and stick onto you.
Reframe Your Thoughts
It’s time you start thinking differently about yourself. Life isn’t happening to you, it’s happening for you. Instead of fueling yourself with bad self-talk, such as, “I’m not enough,” reframe your thoughts. Say, “I am enough.” Free yourself from the negative self-talk, and replace it with the truth. Make “I am enough,” your new mantra. When the negative ideas begin sneaking up on you, karate-chop them in your mind and replace them with: I am enough.
Additionally, reminisce about a time when you felt your best; when you felt accomplished. Sometimes, when we’ve buried our unique and incredible qualities for too long, we forget they even exist. Use your mind to bring them back to the surface.
If you feel like you’re stuck in your thoughts of not feeling enough, think about what you’re doing right — right now. Fixating on the qualities you feel you lack makes you miss out on all the beautiful things you already are. Feel grateful for the things that are going well in your life at this moment. Instead of obsessing over what you can’t do, or what you wish you had, make it a habit to pick at least one thing you really like about yourself or your life, right now.
Photo credit: Unsplash