The first one is deeply rooted and will have come from some sort of a traumatic event, something that you are aware of, which really unsettled you. However, more often than not, it stems from something that you may not even really remember and that could have appeared insignificant at the time but hurt you more than you thought and left you with some scars. All of these hidden and unconscious things lead us to believe that we should be something more and can cause anxiety. When there are underlying reasons and the behaviour has become a constant state of being, some deep inner work is often required.
The second type is much more common and caused by our environment. The first thing to look at is who’s around you, who you’re spending time with and whether these people are good for you. Sometimes, we spend time with folks that actually are actually detrimental to our well-being, either because they always ‘know best’ and patronise us, put us down, make us feel like we are somehow inferior to them or quite simply drain us. They won’t necessarily be acting like this on purpose. Their behaviour just reflects their own insecurities and their own need to be reassured.
Another common cause is our own self-talk, so what you will need to do next is to stop telling yourself the story that you aren’t good enough. We all have that little voice that tells us how horrible, stupid and fat we are, that we should do better, and ‘oh, look how well they’re doing…’ The truth is that we are making it up half the time and just being too harsh on ourselves. You could argue that it’s a form of abuse as you would never speak like that to someone else.
So you need to remember that you actually have the choice to listen to that little voice or to shut it up. The more you tell yourself the story and the more you’ll believe it. Beliefs are extremely powerful and we seldom challenge them but we really should, or at least establish where they come from. For instance, do you remember how you used to believe in Santa when you were little? Nothing could have convinced you that he didn’t exist… Yet, as you grew up, you were confronted with the truth. It’s the same for all beliefs. The fact that we believe something to be true doesn’t actually make it so.
You also need to stop comparing yourself to other people and think that they or their lives are better than yours. As the common saying goes, ‘you don’t know what goes on behind closed doors’, it’s very easy to have the wrong idea about someone or what they do. And it’s worth pointing out that these people most probably also compare themselves to others. Not only does the comparison trap not achieve anything but you need to remember that it relies on your particular perception of the truth or of what you want to see. Instead, open your mind and ask yourself who is actually looking up to YOU… Because trust me, someone is, whether you want to believe it or not.
So the next time you feel that you aren’t good enough, remember that it’s a choice that you make. How about you started focusing on what you are good at instead?