Updated: Jun 30, 2020
One of the most limiting beliefs people can have is that they are just not good enough. This belief is responsible for preventing people from being the best they can possibly be or achieving the most they can humanly achieve. Everyone experiences it at one point or another but some people never overcome it. For some it begins in childhood, others experience it later but whenever it happens, if not addressed, it can affect everything a person does from that point forward.
The problem with allowing this belief to persist is that as long as you buy into it you will try to do everything perfectly and this is a tireless pursuit. Perfection is a myth so trying to achieve it is pointless and only results in a never-ending state of discontent.
When you form the belief you are not good enough you continually find ways to validate it. You tell yourself there is something wrong with you because your parents got divorced, or your first beau cheated on you, or an elementary school teacher screamed at you because you couldn't count money in Grade 2. (That actually happened to me). Trust me, this habitual pattern of thinking will follow you throughout life until you face it head on and beat it down.
If you are not living an authentic life because you feel this way, sit down right now and think hard about how it is impacting you. Ask yourself the first two questions below, write the answers down and reflect on them. Then answer the last two questions, thinking about how you can perceive the answers to the first two differently, from a more holistic perspective. This is termed "reframing" and is a very effective technique for showing how your perceptions of past events can affect your life and behavior. You should find, to your surprise, that you don't have to continue viewing events negatively, but rather as learning experiences that can guide you in the future.
1. How do the feelings that you're not good enough translate to situations you continually find yourself in, i.e. recurring patterns?
2. How has your life overall been affected as a result of these recurring patterns?
3. Looking back on the events in your life that caused you to believe you weren't good enough, how do you think you could perceive them more positively or objectively?
4. If you decide right now to accept that you really are good enough, how will you modify your expectations of the future?
As you begin to perceive the events of your past as learning experiences, you will feel empowered and motivated to pursue careers and activities you previously only dreamed of. Life is meant to be experienced and enjoyed. Rather than beating yourself up for being what you consider to be sub-standard, work instead on being a better, happier version of yourself every day.