At some point in our lives, most of us will feel like we’re not good enough. We might feel like someone we’re dating is out of our league, like we’re not qualified for a new job or like we’re not prepared to handle a specific situation. It’s a natural feeling, and hopefully one that goes away. However, some of us perpetually feel like we aren’t good enough for anything. We feel we’re not deserving of love, success or happiness. It’s more than being in over our heads—it’s a deep-rooted sense of shame. If you constantly feel like you aren’t good enough, here are three things to remember to help you overcome that shame.
1. Stop Comparing
Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” When we use other people as our measurement for ourselves, we’ll almost never be happy. Usually, we’re comparing our worst selves to their online personas, which are hand-selected and filtered. We don’t see their struggles or bad days. Plus, life isn’t a race or a competition. It’s not a linear progression either, so stop comparing your trajectory to someone else’s.
2. Be Honest
Emotional honesty is one of the most difficult things for many people. It’s scary and intimidating, but it’s hard to move beyond shame if we don’t express what we’re feeling. When we don’t address negative emotions, they stew and eventually become anger and shame. Talk to a therapist, counselor or trusted friend about your emotions. Be vulnerable and honest, and your shame will lessen.
3. If You’re Treated Badly, it’s Not Because there’s Something Wrong with You.
Yes, others may say or do things that are hurtful, and it’s okay to be impacted by others. But temporary hurt (feeling that you are hurt by someone’s words or actions) is not the same as shame (feeling that there must be something wrong with you because you were treated that way) . If you constantly feel like you aren’t good enough when someone treats you badly, try as best you can to realize that this is not a statement that you’re not enough. It happens to everyone, and learning to feel hurt, and respond from a place of setting healthy boundaries, is the best thing you can do.