"You're Not Good Enough"
Since being home for such a long time for my school’s “winter session,” I’ve had an insane amount of time to think about everything and anything. One thing that I’ve always struggled with, and I know others have as well is self doubt, knowing your own worth, and the idea of not being good enough. I can’t help but feel as if we are constantly stuck between thinking we’re simultaneously too much and not enough. When we do put our all into it, we feel like we’re trying too hard and being too ‘extra.’ But then when we pull back, and we confine ourselves to the limits deemed socially acceptable, and we are suddenly not enough. We haven’t tried hard enough, didn’t put enough effort in, didn’t truly give it our all.
We fall short.
Sometimes for real.
Sometimes we fall short and actually stop trying, and then we lose ourselves, our motivation, our drive—our identity.
We fall into this endless cycle of “do your best, try your hardest, but not that hard, you don’t want to be too successful and seem shallow…but then wait, you’re not trying hard enough, you must be stupid.” The worst part of it all is that we are all so insecure. We are told this once, maybe twice, and we instantly believe it. We believe the lies that other people tell us about ourselves. We say we know who we are, yet we believe the words of others so easily. We let other people tell us what we can and cannot be and what we can and cannot do. Almost instantaneously, “You’re not good enough” becomes “I’m not good enough,” “I know I’m not smart enough,” “I can’t achieve all that I want to achieve.” And then we don’t.
I don’t want to live that way anymore though. I’m tired of letting other people’s opinions of me determine my life. I know when I’m doing the best I possibly can and when I’m not. I am old enough, smart enough, and fully capable of understanding self regulation. Most of us are.
The tricky thing with this situation lies not with what others say about us, but with what we allow ourselves to believe. It’s our own insecurity that makes us interpret the negative thoughts and words of others as valid and worth our mental energy. My number one issue is that I internalize what others are doing and saying and form unrealistic standards for myself. I am such a perfectionist that when I don’t meet these standards I feel so incredibly mediocre.
I can sit here writing this post and tell you to be more secure and more sure of yourself. I can even tell myself that because clearly I need to hear it too. I’m not sure that would do any good though. Self doubt is a lot more complex than morning mantras and motivational quotes off of Pinterest. Even if we fully understand it in our heads, we probably won’t truly embrace it in our hearts. Knowing you’re good enough is one thing, but believing it is another.
Completely knowing our own worth is something I’m sure all of us are constantly working on. It’s something that can only be done from within. I can’t tell you that you’re good enough, and even though you absolutely are, you must tell that to yourself. Tell yourself that you are good enough every single day. Wake up, look in the mirror and physically speak out loud something that you like about yourself. Let yourself know that you are capable of anything you set your mind to and when other people tell you otherwise, drown them out with your own voice.
We all waste too much time and energy on the negativity of those around us. I’m still trying to figure it out myself, but if I had to give one piece of advice that I know is solid, it is that obviously we want to surround ourselves with those who only bring us joy and positivity, but sometimes that is not entirely possible. There are going to be countless times in life when you have to be around people that bring you down and tell you that you are not good enough. The only way to stay sane and motivated around these people is so be secure in your own worth and capabilities—to feel from the inside out that you are, in a million different ways, good enough.