How do I cope with "never being good enough?"
I'm always told I'm not good enough or trying hard enough. I put 100% in to every thing. I'm worn out, I've worked on all of my family relationships, I'm doing great in school, I'm kind to those in need and otherwise. I stick to my religious beliefs and leave room for mistakes and learn from others so I don't have to make as many and the ones I do I learn from.
Somehow it's still not good enough and nothing I do works. Nothing has changed, and I feel hopeless. Any suggestions or ideas?
Hello, and let me say first, what a great question!
There are so many people putting forth their 100% everyday and often times, do not get the credit they deserve. Without being able to fully understand where you're question is coming from, I think there are a couple of different ways to look at this question.
First, I think it's important for us to consider the message being sent by those in your life stating that you're "not good enough." Is that ACTUALLY what they said, or is this just what you heard? Sometimes, because of our own self-doubts and fears, we skew and misinterpret the messages we receive from others. Again, listen to the message being sent and attempt to remain objective. Is the message being sent coming from a place of love or concern? If so, have an honest and open communication with that individual about what your concerns are regarding the amount of energy and time you're spending on being "good enough." Explore with them how you feel you'r already giving your best.
If the person is unwilling to work at understanding this concern you have, then it may be time to explore the relationship. Some relationships we engage in can be toxic, especially if the other person is toxic. It may be they have their own "stuff" going on and they feel the need to constantly put others down to make themselves feel better. If you're in the direct path of this individual, then it serves to reason you will probably be in the direct fire, as well. Explore whether or not you want this relationship to continue in your life. If it's a relationship that MUST continue, then work on what you will do to distance yourself from their toxicity or their problems. Until they're willing to work on these issues for themselves, then it may be necessary to find an exit strategy, such as leaving the room or simply refusing to engage in the conversation.
Another perspective of this question is exploring the reason why it's important for YOU to satisfy the expectations of these other individuals? NO ONE will ever be 100% "good enough" for EVERYONE. Every single person has their own set of expectations in themselves and expectations in others. It would be impossible to satisfy all of those expectations for every single person in our lives.
The question becomes, what is it WITHIN you that feels the need to meet these expectations? There is most likely a part of you, yourself, as an individual that feels "less than" and feels as if you, yourself, are not good enough. It then becomes impossible to every feel "good enough" for others, because it's really YOU you're trying to feel good enough for. If you already feel as if you're doing everything you can do to be at your best version of yourself, then really work on LETTING GO of the rest. No one is perfect, and striving for perfection in our lives only creates more anxiety and stress. Find a middle ground in which you are happy with your accomplishments and your daily goals, and learn to let go of what's left. After all, tomorrow is a new day and you can work on more of your goals tomorrow!
I recommend doing this by finding a mantra, a statement or phrase you can repeat to yourself anytime you start to feel that sense of stress and pressure from striving for perfection. The mantra can remind you to let go of this expectation you have for yourself or that others have for you so you can also let go of the stress and anxiety surrounding the expectation. I leave you with one of my favorite quotes that perhaps you can use as your mantra, "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. " - Eleanor Roosevelt.
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The feeling of never feeling good enough usually stems from our early relationship with our parents or significant role models who made us to feel we were never good enough to meet their standards. In the healing process, you'll need to work on discovering the root source of where these thoughts and feelings come from and then learn to accept yourself just as you are unconditionally. I'd be pleased to help you in this process. I provide online private counseling through proventherapy.com.
Dr. Rachelle Vaughan
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I'm sorry that you feel this way despite all you do and as hard as you try. No wonder you're feeling worn out and hopeless! If you're doing your best and it's still not good enough then it's reasonable to expect that you would end up feeling burnt out. It's like there's no more fuel to keep your fire going!
I would encourage you to approach this with curiosity. In what areas are you not feeling "good enough?" What does "good enough" even mean? How are you measuring your success? Is it measured by what other people say, whether or not they approve, or what other people think? Is it measured by your own expectations, expectations of a boss, a parent, or a partner? Are they realistic and achievable expectations?
I once had a boss who always gave negative feedback and criticism. I started to get to the point where I questioned my career and whether or not it was for me. When I took a step back and checked the facts, I realized that the feeling of being "not good enough" was coming up mostly in my interactions with my boss. When I found myself thinking of quitting, I realized that it might be helpful to try talking to her about it first.
As scary as it was, it made a huge difference. I practiced the skills I teach my clients including constructive criticism and assertive communication. I told her that as much as I appreciated her trying to help by giving me feedback, I found myself feeling very discouraged after our meetings. I braced for her response, which actually came to me as a surprise. She admitted that many people have told her the same thing, and that it wasn't me. She said that it was her own "stuff" that she needed to work on.
After that I chose to focus on the evidence that I was doing well and that my job has meaning and value. I realized that "good enough" is how I choose to define it. I worked on letting myself be human and realizing that I am doing my best and that's good enough (and that doesn't mean I can't still learn and grow).
Giving yourself permission to be human and stop judging yourself so harshly creates space for learning and growing without burning out. It also gives you a sense of peace because you're not trying to live up to unrealistic expectations. It's saying "I'm okay as I am, regardless of what anyone says or thinks." It's also saying "I'm doing my best and I can do better, try harder, and be more motivated to change."
Bottom line is, if you check the facts, you're doing great in many ways. So whether the "not good enough" message is coming from outside or within, try to replace it with another narrative. Maybe something like, "I'm okay as I am, even if I make mistakes and I'm always learning." If you're getting criticism from others, try talking to them about it. Let them know how they can best support you. Maybe that means celebrating your accomplishments with you- no matter how small.
Most likely they want what's best for you and don't realize how their actions are affecting you. If they don't want what's best for you, then you might want to consider how you can filter them out of your life or set healthy boundaries with them. Keep your head up and stay focused on your strengths. The fact that you are reaching out for help shows that you're proactive and open-minded; hang in there and it will get better!
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It sounds like you are aware of your positive traits but you are struggling with someone who does not acknowledge nor celebrate your efforts or achievements. It seems like that is affecting your inner voice, which allows you to accept yourself for who you are.
My suggestion is to explore that relationship and decide if that person’s opinion should determine how you feel about yourself. If this is an important relationship, you could communicate to this person how the lack of positive feedback is affecting you. Then, work on spending more time with those who value you, and can give you praise, encouragement, and constructive criticism. Also, explore your religious beliefs, and what is they say about who you are as a person. Finally, explore with a Counselor your inner voice and try to figure out if the negative message is settling in and harming your self-esteem. Through therapy, you could learn to self-compassion and acceptance wich will help your self esteem.
¿Cómo manejo el sentirme que “no soy suficiente bueno”?
Siempre me dicen que no soy suficientemente bueno o no trato lo suficiente. Yo pongo el 100% en todo. Estoy agotado, he trabajado en todas mis relaciones, estoy muy bien en la escuela, trato bien a las personas que lo necesitan. Me aferro a mis creencias religiosas y dejo espacio para los errores, y aprendo de otros para no tener que cometer los mismos. Aun así no soy suficiente y nada de lo que hago funciona, me siento desesperanzado. ¿Alguna idea o sugerencia?
Al parecer estas consiente de tus características positivas, pero estás teniendo dificultad con alguien que no reconoce tus esfuerzos, ni logros, y eso está afectando esa voz interior que te permite aceptar quien eres.
Mi sugerencia es que explores esa relación y analices si la opinión de esta persona va a determinar cómo te valoras a ti mismo. Si es una relación valiosa, puedes comunicarle a la persona en cuestión como te afecta la falta de comentarios y opiniones positivas. Luego enfócate en pasar más tiempo con personas que te valoran, te dan halagos, te motivan y te aconsejan. También explora que dice tu religión sobre quién eres como persona y cuál es tu valor. Y por último, explora con tu Consejero si ese mensaje negativo esta afectando tu autoestima. A través de la terapia puedes aprender tecnicas auto compasión y aceptación que ayudaran a fortalecerte.
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Hi, I'm Amelia! Oh, this is a common problem, unfortunately! Let me say first of all, that doing more, giving more, loving more, performing more will never provide you with a sense of worth. Nor will it satisfy those that are critical and judgmental. I am so sorry to hear that this is what you've heard all your life! You are a human BEING not a human DOING.
If you can get yourself in counseling with a trusted therapist who will accept you, encourage you, hear you and support you, you can begin to work on what truth worth is. My best to you!
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