We all feel inadequate from time to time. However, when we continuously build our sense of worth through external things, this could have a huge impact on our self-esteem.

Using external factors or people to define how we feel about ourselves could have an adverse effect, not just on mental health but the choices that we make in life. The reality is that no one is perfect. We all have flaws and insecurities that we often do not want others to see.

In addition to having flaws, we all have talents and that makes us who we are. Unfortunately, a lot of people are unaware of their natural gifts and are often fixated on looking at the negative. As a result of this, they look for external things/people to make them feel like they are good enough such as:

  • marital status
  • children
  • career
  • bigger house
  • more money
  • plastic surgery
  • fancy car
  • luxury holidays

Although these things are important, using external factors to build your identity can hinder your self-esteem.

Why we don’t feel good enough

There are many contributors to why people may not feel like they are good enough including:

  • low self-esteem
  • people-pleasing tendencies
  • seeking approval or validation
  • comparing yourself to others
  • always feeling like they need more

Negative core beliefs

One of the main contributing factors to not feeling inadequate is linked to unsolved issues with low self-esteem that a person may have developed from childhood, or later in life due to negative experiences. Where they may have developed negative core beliefs that they may have about themselves that are not true such as:

  • ‘People that love me leave me’
  • ‘I am unlovable’
  • ‘I am not worthy’
  • ‘I am a failure’
  • ‘I am worthless’
  • ‘I am not good enough’

Often these negative core beliefs are developed during childhood based on what we see, hear and feel as children. It can also occur based on life experiences. For example, if a child witnessed a parent leaving when they were little or was abandoned they could develop a negative belief that people that love them will abound them.ear It is becoming increasingly common for people to build their identity in their careers or businesses or status in life. The dictionary defines success as ‘the accomplishment of an aim or purpose’. Even though success is measured by an accomplishment of an aim or purpose, the truth is that success is firstly created in the mind as there are so many things that we can accomplish and still feel unsuccessful.

You cannot measure success by external factors as we are not in control of things outside of ourselves. Since these external factors can be lost, removed, replaced or disappear and it can leave someone feeling like they are not good enough. The Coronavirus outbreak has been an example of this.

When we always want more, this can leave a feeling of not being enough.

Remember that feeling successful is an emotional state and which starts in the mind.

How to feel good enough

Evaluate the negative core beliefs:

  • Take time to explore what your limiting or negative core beliefs are and where you inherited them from. For instance, were they created from childhood or personal experiences? It’s also important to ask yourself if these core beliefs are currently affecting your life and which areas are most affected.
  • We have the power to turn anything that is negative into something positive. For instance, if your negative core belief is, “I am not smart enough”, you can use positive affirmations to affirm your positive attributes such as, “ I am smart or I am intelligent”. Our mind is created in such a way that we can choose to feed it with positive or negative things. So if you are continuously saying negative things about yourself, you could start to believe it. Equally, it’s the same process when creating positive affirmations.

Self-awareness

You can’t change what you do not know, but you can certainly change what you know. The key to understanding your core beliefs is understanding yourself. This means becoming more aware of the ways in which you may be acting out your limiting beliefs. Are you limiting yourself in the partners that we attract or career choices?

It’s important to become more aware of how we may consciously sabotage our life through what we think about ourselves. Observing and evaluating how you behave is key to feeling good about yourself. Begin noting your awareness down so you can become more aware of what needs to be changed.

Setting small goals to help you reverse the negative behaviours would be helpful. If you believe that you settle for less in relationships then it’s time to build your confidence by going for the type of relationships that you need and want.

Self-acceptance

The truth about life is, not feeling good enough is linked to how we feel about ourselves, rather than what we can achieve. That is why we cannot use things outside of ourselves to build ourselves. That’s why these words are called “self-esteem or self-acceptance”; the only person that can create that is you and not anything or anyone else. The reason why many people do not feel ‘enough’ is that they want more and often do not appreciate what they have or who they are.

Self-acceptance is based on the acceptance of your strengths, areas of development and being okay with it. I can appreciate that this can be challenging, as the most challenging relationship that we could ever have is the one with ourselves. As a result of this, self-acceptance is hard because no one wants to accept negative things about themselves. However, accepting yourself for who you are, brings freedom, power, peace and fulfilment.

Build your self-esteem

One of the best ways to build your esteem is to become aware and make note of ways that you could be hindering building it. Once you become more aware of how you could be hindering your self-esteem, it’s now time to avoid self-sabotage. Here are some basic ways to start.

  • Do things that make you happy.
  • Spend time with people that support your personal growth and make you feel good about yourself.
  • Make a list of all your accomplishments.
  • Heal and let go of the past.
  • Challenge yourself and come out of your comfort zone.