FEELING NOT GOOD ENOUGH: CLIMBING BACK OUT OF THE SELF-PITY HOLE
I’ve been thinking over this past while that I should write a post on how to cope with feeling like you’re not good enough. I’m absolutely swamped with French homework at the minute but I think this might be more worth while to post about… so I’m going to go ahead and prioritise.
There’s nothing that sucks quite like rejection (of any kind) or the inferiority complex that comes with it. We’re all our own worst enemies too – there’s nobody in this world that can make me feel as bad as I can. You’re all the same, everyone is. That’s how it works. The hardest person to ever please will always be yourself and invariably if you don’t come up with some way to drag yourself away from the niggling “no good” voice, then it’ll eat away at you until eventually you believe it. That’s rock bottom. That’s the don’t pass go, don’t pick up 200 euro point. You’re done. Stop. Go no further. End of story. So you really don’t want to ever get anywhere near that territory.
I’m not an expert on dragging yourself out of feeling not good enough. I’m constantly balancing on the edge of the self-pity/self-rejecting hole. A large part of me wishes I could go off up a mountain somewhere and concoct a genius plan for building self-confidence and getting back up again after a knock or two. I’m sure I’d come back with some extreme mediation-detox-be-at-one-with-myself-whilst-walking-on-flaming-coals- kinda answer, but nobody’s got time for that. Besides, my temple prefers a chocolate-infused, Ben& Jerry’s regime revolving around staying in bed all day watching channel 4 documentaries of people who followed that same sugared diet a little too long. And that’s another don’t pass go situation all over again.
The fact is, sooner or later we all end up feeling insecure about something or other, so it’s a thing that we’ll all have to deal with. And dealing with it is incredibly important. So, just in case it’s of any help to anyone out there, I’m going to shed a bit of light on the things that make me feel better when I get that “not good enough” feeling every now and again.
1. You’re over-thinking it. Worse again, you’re thinking wrong.
I do this thing where I get down about something and just let it escalate. I’m awful for it. But it’s all this over-thinking that leads to me looming about my self-pity hole for significantly longer than I should, so it’s a habit I’ve started trying to recognise and stop right before I get too far into it.
2. Everything happens for a reason.
Any rejection, any relationship that went bad, any failures or obstacles that gets thrown at a person happens because it was meant to. Rejection doesn’t mean you’re not good enough, it means that the other person didn’t realise what you had to offer.
I’m not into horoscopes, I don’t fully understand about stars and planets aligning and I really don’t think that every Gemini will have an equally crap Monday if the woman at the back of Cosmo says so. But I do believe in fate. And I believe strongly in it. Any door that closes wasn’t really open in the first place…someone else has something better planned for us. Sit tight. Future you will send you “I told you so”s.
3. You can’t go forward looking over your shoulder.
My mother used to tell me this one a lot and it’s stuck. There is literally nothing you can do to change the past, but you can do all kinds of wonderful things to make it better for next time. Start by changing something small or setting a little goal to achieve. Head up. Best foot forward. Annnndd…. march.
4. Stop setting your standards impossibly high. Nobody’s that perfect. Maybe Beyonce. Nobody else.
Accept that you’ll never be the best player in the field. Everyone has their insecurities (scroll back up a few lines) and everyone is struggling with demons of their own. Give yourself a break. You’re probably never going to be a renowned supermodel who goes on to win the Nobel Peace Prize days after saving babies from a burning house which you so happened to stumble upon while walking home after giving a talk on how you solved world hunger. It doesn’t work like that. It never will.
5. Don’t let pride stop you from talking about it.
Another guilty habit of mine is being too proud to admit when things aren’t okay. It wasn’t until my friend Isobel pointed out how interfering pride can be that I even realised it too. When I’ve taken a knock to my confidence or when my self-esteem gets shot, I hate talking about it because I don’t like admitting that I’m not on top of things. I hate the idea of losing a bit of control over my otherwise perfectly controlled life. And I hate myself for being too proud to talk to people about it all. But then, once you do start to talk, it gets easier. People don’t even have to do anything really to help you bar listen. Talking is a way of accepting yourself and letting things get fixed, even if it’s someone else who has to help you fix them.
Once upon a time Oprah was told that she wasn’t fit for television and Walt Disney lost his job because of a lack of imagination. These things happen. It’s all about picking yourself up, dusting yourself off and rising above it.
I hope that helps.