Not good enough

We all have those negative voices in our heads, constantly reminding us about the ways in which we don’t measure up. This is certainly true in our society about body image, so many people are at war with their own bodies. “I’m ugly.” “My breasts are too small.” “I’m fat.” “My nose is too big.” “That person’s better than I am – prettier, thinner, more fit, sexier.” “If only I was…, but I’m not.” “I’ll never be…”

We all hear negative voices for different reasons. It could be the result of the constant media images that encourage unrealistic ideas of perfection. Maybe it stemmed from a parent’s criticism or being teased by other kids as a child, or an embarrassing experience, or an insensitive teacher, or even a painful, life-altering circumstance, like rape or disability. Whatever the cause, it can make us lose our confidence, feel less brave, less content, and simply less comfortable with our place in the world. It can lead to us not liking ourselves much and also affects our feelings toward other people and situations. We might feel resentful, angry, jealous, self-conscious, depressed, competitive, paranoid – you name it.

It might seem that the best idea is to simply take a more positive attitude. But that’s easier said than done. The fact is that our negative voices really are trying to tell us something and maybe we should listen to them. But we must listen to the meaning behind the words, instead of the words themselves.

Most insecurities boil down to one thing: “I’m not good enough.” If we give in to that belief and all the painful emotions that come with it, we’re actually handing over our own power to external circumstances. What if you didn’t try to cover up your feelings but instead recognise them as opportunities to empower yourself.

Say for example you’re a women who is constantly comparing yourself to other women. When you meet a woman, you judge her by her looks. Maybe you think she’s more attractive than you, so you feel threatened by her. Because of that, you may not be very friendly or open to her. You may not even realise that you’re doing it.

Instead of reacting to your negative voices by feeling jealous or self-conscious, use your awareness of the feeling in a different way. Feel the emotion, but don’t give in to it. Remind yourself that your jealousy (or whatever) is coming from a fear in yourself that you’re not good enough. Ask yourself if you really want to give that fear strength. These fears drain you of your ability to feel comfortable and strong in whom you are.

Yes, you have a right to be resentful or self-conscious, if you want but remember, you also have a right to appreciate yourself (and others). Try using your negative voices as a source of information about why you’re feeling the way you are. Once you have that awareness, you can be in more control of what to do with those feelings.

Category: Articles