I thought I had a good enough handle on my ‘I’m not good enough’ belief until I started my own business, and whoosh, it came screaming back.
There are days when I feel confident, when I believe in my own ability; but it can be hard to remember those moments of positivity when I feel self-doubt, when I feel like an impostor, or when I’m sure I won’t ever quite measure up to the amazing success of the other women entrepreneurs I watch and admire.
Most of us are worried about whether we’re good enough. Especially women.
We feel it as being nervous, anxious, shy or we experience it as other feelings, but the core is a universal fear and self-belief that we’re not good enough. As a result, we create layers around ourselves of who we believe we need to be vs. who we really are, and the gap in between is how we experience ourselves, through a lens of I’m not good enough.
I’m not good enough is a self-destructive belief
There is a myriad of ways our thinking and behaviour is shaped by this belief – many we’re unaware of – that hold us back and keep us playing small. For example, when you:
- Crave approval and validation from others
- Fear criticism and take everything personally
- Say “it’s nothing” or “it was luck” when you’re acknowledged
- Feed your fear with sugar, alcohol or something else that gives you the certainty of short term comfort even though it’s an unresourceful habit
- Feel like you have to prove something
- Want to be everything to everyone and look like you’ve got it all together
- Put things off until everything else is in place
- Doubt yourself by worrying and feeling stressed about making a mistake
- Compare yourself to others in way that puts you down
- Hide in being busy or by trying to hide your weaknesses and flaws.
We all deserve to be good enough
Brené Brown says in her book: The gifts of imperfection – “I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging”
Have the courage to connect into the real you
Here are 7 ways to change your focus, get out of the I’m not good enough trap, and develop the practice of having the courage to be you.
1. Accept yourself
You are whole and complete – right now, and exactly as you are. There is nothing to fix in you. Every belief you have about you is made up. So ditch the negative one and make up another one that has you be good to great – so you can focus on progress, not perfection.
2. Trust yourself
Learn to have self-integrity. The fastest way to increase your self-esteem is to follow through on the promises that you make to you.
3. Be positive
Take time to acknowledge you, even for small things. Develop a ritual of asking yourself every day: what three things can I acknowledge myself for today? Learning to love yourself will be the greatest gift you can afford yourself.
4. Don’t make it about you
C.S. Lewis was smart to point out that humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less. We have a tendency to put too much focus on ourselves and let our egos get in the way. As a result, we feel self-doubt or another negative emotions. When you focus on others your perspective about you will change.
5. Do work you’re passionate about
Create a path for yourself that excites you and make a commitment to grow and improve from there. Do what you’re good at and what you enjoy.
6. Set yourself up to succeed
Stop having to get it completely right before it’s good enough. Focus on being happy rather than being perfect – it’s much more fun.
7. Stop comparing yourself to others
Define your own standards of success rather than trying to meet someone else’s expectations.
Rather than look at the best in others and compare it to the worst in yourself, instead model others who have the results you desire.
In conclusion, your choice of focus will always determine your experience. If you knew that you could handle whatever work had to offer, what would you attempt or endeavour to do?