Like any other relationship, the one you have with yourself should be nurtured. But over time, life can change and negative situations can trample over your confidence. It can be hard to overcome your fear of not being good enough when you constantly lack self-confidence. You might feel the urge to give up and ferment in your self-loath, but you should try to turn things around and make the most of it. This is why it's important to find the source of the problem. Why do so many people believe they're not good enough? Is it part of their DNA? Well, it might be.
"From a women’s perspective, I think there is definitely a physiological component. Women’s brains are wired differently than men. No matter the gender, I firmly believe that there’s also an environmental component that sometimes predates adulthood and goes back to childhood. Expectations are set in the school or social environments we experience as children and many times, those notions carry on through adulthood," says Vice President of human resources and organizational development for Paychex Laurie Zaucha in an interview with Bustle over email.
But even if these things did happen doesn't mean these feelings are going to stay with you forever. You have control of your environment and what you decide to surround yourself with can determine how you will perceive life. That's why it's so important to be cautious about who you hang out with and how you decide to talk to yourself. It can be exhausting (and boring) to live in a world where you stop yourself from experiencing life because you're afraid to fail You deserve to be happy, and the only way life is going to change is if you make some changes, too. It's time to grab life by the horns and find a way to overcome your fear of not being good enough.
1. Find The Root Of The Fear
It's important for you to find the source of why you feel this way. The better you understand the reason, the easier it can be to overcome. "You need to look at the root of this fear. Is it based in any reality, or is it based in what we perceive others are thinking of us? Many times this is not accurate, and if we sat and were honest with ourselves, we would be kinder to ourselves, and admit that there is no one telling us we are not good enough but ourselves. If we allow ourselves to have the thoughts and beliefs that what people say positively about us might be true, we start to plant the seeds of feeling good enough," says psychologist Nicole Martinez Psy.D., LCPC, in an interview with Bustle over email.
2. Fake It 'Til You Make It
"If you aren’t confident, pretend that you are. Confidence can be faked — or perhaps better explained, confidence can be learned, practiced, and built. The more you do it, the better you’ll be," says Zaucha. While you don't want to pretend to be someone you're not, you want to build yourself up from within so you can become more confident in the long run.
3. Focus On Past Successes
Sometimes it's hard to be positive when your current situation isn't looking great. But when that does happen, think about your past successes to help you overcome your fear of not being good enough. "Focus on past successes. Remember what you did to overcome a challenge or achieve a certain goal. Replay that feeling in your mind. Visualize a successful outcome over and over again," says Zaucha.
4. Expose Yourself To The Feared Activity
One of the best ways to over your fear of not being good enough is by actually doing the thing that you fear the most. "If you fear an activity or an event or an interaction with another person, the best way to conquer the fear (based on research) is to expose yourself to the feared activity. Exposure (and gradual increase of exposure) can help alleviate fear and anxiety around feeling inadequate. When you fear you won't perform 'well enough' or 'perfectly' do it anyway. This, in turn, will help to boost self-esteem and identity," says licensed clinical psychologist Dr. Kim Chronister in an interview with Bustle over email.
5. Don't Use Self-Deprecating Language
It's time to believe in your words when you communicate them to other people. You don't want to disregard your thoughts just because you don't think they're good enough or afraid that someone else won't like them. "Have a point of view. Don’t use minimizing phrases like 'I was just thinking …' or 'I could be wrong, but …' Make statements rather than asking questions. Cut all of that self-deprecating language out of your vocabulary and simply say what you want to say – and do it with confidence," says Zaucha.
6. Be Mindful Of Your Body Language
Believe it or not, you can feel 100 percent better if you become more aware of how you choose to present yourself. "Whether it’s your body language or what you are wearing, make sure you look confident. Sit and stand tall. Wear business-appropriate clothing. Make eye contact. Smile confidently and have a firm handshake. These actions all seem pretty simple, but physical impressions are more important than you may realize," says Zaucha.
7. Practice It Every Day
"Practicing being confident is a great starting point. The more you do it, the better you will get at it," says Zaucha. The more you practice being self-confident, the better you can become. Make sure you talk to yourself more positively and surround yourself with things that are going to make you happy.
8. Celebrate Your Successes
"Confidence will turn your thoughts into action, and that action will help you achieve anything you set your mind to. And don’t forget to take note of — and celebrate — your successes when they happen," says Zaucha. No matter how small your successes are, you should celebrate them. This act can boost your spirit up and allow you to remember how much of a badass you are.
9. Figure Out What Your Learning Style Is
It can be easy to feel defeated when you feel like you're different from someone else. You might not feel good enough because someone learns quicker than you, but everyone learns differently and you shouldn't lose confidence because of that. Instead, try to figure out your learning style so you can overcome your fear and gain confidence. "Experience and realism are key. When you are learning a new skill: know your own learning style (for example: do you need to dip your toe in the shallow end, or do you dive right in?) Research all you can to find out what it really takes to get good at something you want to, and make a plan that is realistic," says NY state licensed marriage and family therapist Gracie Landes in an interview with Bustle over email.
10. Remember To Love Yourself For Who You Are
Sometimes you don't feel good enough because you compare yourself to other people. Stop this. You need to remember that you bring so much to the table and the world would be so different without you. Love yourself for who you are. You deserve to be celebrated for being you. "When I have these feelings and thoughts that I am just not good enough at work, in personal relationships, in my family, etc, I try to always remind myself to love myself for who I really am. I always try to name at least three things that I love about myself and that I’m proud of being good at. I understand that it’s simply impossible for a person to be everything to everyone and to be perfect at everything," says CEO and co-founder of Grabr Daria Rebenok in an interview with Bustle over email.
11. Stop Overthinking It
If you're anything like me, you have a hard time not overthinking everything. But this way of thinking is toxic and can hurt your self-confidence. "Not feeling 'good enough' is a symptom of thinking of oneself too much. We need to get out of our self to remember what we are truly made of. The power that we have lays dormant underneath all the incessant thinking," says meditation guru and Topdeck MOVE spokesperson Biet Simkin in an interview with Bustle over email.
12. Work On Your Well-being
Honestly, you won't feel great about yourself if you don't feel good from within. You need to take the time to maintain your health to boost your confidence and get over your fear of not being good enough. "One of the main things we want to do with energy we save is transmute it in our meditations. I don't believe that we need to give up life to meditate or give up desire to meditate. Quite the contrary, I believe in success, world travel, luxury, fun, sex etc.! This is one of the reasons I partnered with Topdeck Travel for the launch of their MOVE program. With Topdeck’s wellness program, we can give people an experience that is spiritual while they travel and [push] their limits and minds when on the road is the best juxtaposition for meditation that there is. In today's world we don't need to give up our belongings to reach enlightenment," says Simkin.
13. Remind Yourself That You're Not The Only One Who Feels Like This
Remember one thing: everyone has felt this way sometime in their life. It's normal. But you don't want to have to deal with this fear of not being good enough for the rest of your life. Take charge by figuring out how you can battle this thought and become more confident. "I always try to be true to myself, as I’m trying to understand the source of my self-doubt and how I can work around it and improve it. I constantly surround myself with people who appreciate me and support me and see a better perspective in me, that sometimes I don't see in myself. It’s important to understand that you’re not the only one that feels this way. Even people who seem that they have it all feel like they are not good enough in some aspect of their life,” says Rebenok.
Even though it's completely natural to feel like you're not good enough every once in a while, you want to overcome your fear of not being good enough by not overthinking things, celebrating your successes, and working on your well-being.