Do You Feel Like Your Efforts Are Never Good Enough?
Before you read another word or do another thing, join with me in declaring this to be the Year of Hope. Let’s end the concept of “Never Good Enough” and enjoy each and every small success in our daily living.
If you’re currently feeling like nothing you do will ever be good enough, I’m here to tell you each of us has felt that way at one point or another in our lives.
I remember when I was little and my parents constantly compared me to my brother. It was a “no-win” situation for me because, quite frankly, my brother was just about perfect in everything he did. Besides, I was three years younger. Unfortunately, my parents never suggested the three-year difference was a factor in my inability to “catch-up.”
It’s time we stop comparing ourselves to the messages we constantly receive from our family, friends, and the media. Each of us was born with a human spirit…anything is possible!
For whatever reason, we never seem to outgrow our need for validation. We are desperate for others to accept our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
Let me make one thing painfully clear: If you have someone in your life who has a controlling personality, you will never feel good enough. The way these people control us is by constantly making us feel inferior. It’s who they are. The more you try to improve what they object to, the more things they will point out are wrong with you.
You need people in your life who will hold your hand while you cry about the friend who lied about you. That’s the kind of validation we all long for.
Your husband can’t validate your feelings when he’s glued to his iPhone while you’re describing how much it hurt when you weren’t able to hang the new wallpaper by yourself. You’ll never feel good about yourself when the people who matter continue to multi-task and refuse to give you their full attention.
The feeling that you’re never good enough isn’t something that isolates you from the world. It’s quite the contrary. At one time or another, each one of us has felt diminished. We need to:
- Remind people of their worth to us
- Walk beside them when they’re too weary to travel alone
- Step in to include them when they are being left out of the conversation
- Support them in their efforts to improve
- Offer assistance when they’ve lost their courage
When Those Who Are Supposed to Love and Support Us Fail
You’re not thin enough.
You’re not smart enough.
You’re not successful enough.
The one person who has the most influence on your life is you. It’s bad enough that everyone surrounding you is failing in the humanity it takes to make someone else feel good about themselves. But, what’s even worse is that we tend to berate ourselves on a daily basis.
The first thing you need to do is to drop the stereotypical thinking. I know plenty of women who weigh 140 pounds. look terrific, and are physically fit. I also know women who weigh the same, who are weak and unhealthy. You need to understand who you really are. Why can’t you feel good about the fact that you ate healthy last night? Forget about the previous evening and concentrate on the good thing you just did.
We desperately seek acceptance by the people who mean the most to us. Learn to rejoice in each baby step forward with those same people. Change doesn’t happen overnight.
If you love art but shy away from it like I used to, get yourself some transfer paper and trace the picture you want to paint. It’s much easier to paint inside the lines than it is to draw those same lines.
Instead of remaining fixated on the things you don’t do as well as you’d like, make a list of those things you’ve accomplished with grace and dignity while others still struggle with them.
Learn to see your true spirit. Ask yourself what it would take for you to become good enough. Write down the tangible steps you believe are necessary to achieve your goal. Prioritize those steps so you don’t concentrate on the final objective. Instead, rejoice in each new accomplishment bringing you closer to the ultimate goal.
Remind yourself each day that every great achiever at one point in their journey lacked certainty when they began their project.
If you’re overweight, eat a healthy meal today. Remind yourself that you’re a good person. You ate healthy today, and therefore you know you’re capable of doing it again tomorrow. Trash the feelings of shame, fear, and doubt preventing you from achieving your goals. Strive for that one small step forward that begins your journey to the new you…the one worth bragging about.
Embrace Your New Confidence
It took me 50 years to realize that the seven-year-old child I once was did nothing to trigger the abuse she suffered. Although my father told me “I was the one who wanted it” I know how terrified I was. No child could ever wish to suffer that much pain and terror.
God has given us the gifts we need to enjoy the life we wish to live.
Don’t continue the downward spiral of believing you’ll never measure up. Face the fear you have and determine if the accomplishment is really what you want to do in life. Is your reluctance tied to a goal you truly don’t care about? Is it someone else’s plan for your life instead of your own?
You are at a different point in the journey than I am. I’m nearing the end of my journey and I believe I have figured most things out. I don’t intend to push myself to achieve things I don’t care about and neither should you.
Make that list of all the things you do well and begin to build on it. Promise yourself the same thing I do each night before I go to bed: “Tomorrow, I’m going to do better than I did today.”
You’ll be amazed at the confidence you’ll build when you stop trying to be what others demand and start improving the life you want to live, one day at a time.
Don’t compare yourself to others. Stop worrying about what someone else is doing or wearing. Congratulate yourself for the improvements you made yesterday and commit yourself to build on them today. You are already amazing. You simply need to believe it.
Looking for encouragement? Read these Wise Old Sayings