One of the many good suggestions I got from you as a reply to my last newsletter was the topic of not feeling worthy enough. So I thought I’ll take the topic of worthiness and show that at the core, which is what matters, you are 100% worthy of everything you can dream of.
The feeling of not being good enough or even inadequate can act as a very self-limiting belief, which would be like a self-fulfilling prophecy: It (you) will always get in your own way. On the other side, knowing that you are enough for what you want in your life is as important for your success as it could get.
Why Do You Feel Unworthy?
Before you read any further, if you feel not good enough sometimes, maybe you take a moment to think about that question and answer it…
…write it in the comments if you like (I would be truly interested).
I think the perceived unworthiness comes from a) differences you notice by comparing yourself, for instance not having the same skill level as your competitor in a job-application or by some other rejection or loss you have to face. Or it comes from b) the fear you have of not being able to live up to what you want by projecting yourself forward and anticipating a bad outcome.
The problem here is that when you feel unworthy, you make an identity out of your situation. You start to think the unpleasant situation equals yourself, therefore it will always be like this, you are just not good enough.
But this is all wrong.
You Are Already Perfect on the Inside.
At the core, we are all equal. Nobody is more worthy than somebody else. This is the truth.
Only when you realize that you are already perfect at you core, you are really able to shine with 100% authenticity. The real you. Not some kind of mask you are wearing, the role you are playing, or your try at being how you are supposed to be. That’s not necessary. And most of the time, people who care, would like to see the real you anyway.
That’s no invitation to stop working on yourself or to show your worst side unrestrained. That’s not what I mean. With trusting that at your core you are perfect, you just know that there is nothing wrong with you, you are good enough. Of course, on the outside you can improve your skills, but you don’t have to identify yourself over them.
Stop Comparing and Start Going Your Way.
After all, comparing and copying is an awful waste of your time. While you are trying to be as somebody else (a so-called celebrity?), fit in with a certain group or fulfill the attributes of a role you play, you miss out on being the real you. You not only waste your time at the moment, you will also need some time to forget all the wrong mind-programming of how you should be.
Trusting your inner self is the best thing you can do. You don’t need evidence or justification to trust yourself. You just do it. Only then you get the opportunity to let your inner beauty shine through. That way you are in harmony on the inside and with what you reflect to the outside.
Forget About Worthiness.
One very deliberating way is to totally forget about the question of „Am I good enough?“
Most of the time that question doesn’t matter at all, and you are the only one asking it.
By stop thinking about it, you can focus your energies on what is really present in fornt of you and over time you will feel worthy naturally, by just being you and being present.
Re-Interpreting What Happens
The situation is always neutral.
You always have the choice how you will re-interprete it in your mind. The meaning is up to you! Was it a valuable learning experience on your way to your goal, or did it mean that it’s all over now?
Sometimes this can be a challenge, especially when the society around you differentiates people on superficial levels.
Here is the antidote to that:
Just don’t go with it; in your head. Nobody can drag you down without your permission. And nobody has the right to do that.
If there is someone who tries to make you feel unworthy as a human being, just disapprove of that behavior. You know that at the core you are as worthy as you could be, as anybody could be.
If there is something that you still don’t know, just learn it. If there is something you don’t have, it doesn’t matter. Your core value is not diminished by that.
To come from the standpoint of equality has a much higher moral value and shows a strong and admirable character. You can be proud of that.
Of course there are differences on external things. When you lose a game your opponent was better than you, in playing the game. But your real value as a human being and your worthiness stays untouched and is the same for both players.
And I tell you what I personally think: Anybody who shows in his actions that he doesn’t believe in equality shows a poorness of character.
Let me know your thoughts about that in the comments!
The state of being enough. I think we all face this as human beings striving for connection and success, but for some of us it was a first family environment where we started internalizing „their issues“ as a flaw in me – not lovable, not enough. Recently I had an unexpected event which flipped my world upside down and I fell back into this hole but only to realize and learn what this place actually was…a place I created and I believed and always sat in…my own interpretation of others choices and world views – as I am not enough. As I have healed – forgave- compassion and understanding to the persons involved, I still struggled…struggled to be released from the external circumstance because I still owned them or they owned me. my flaws, my fault, my not enough. So as engage in self compassion & detach from others behaviors and embrace the me that was good just as I was and am, a child of God like all of you -loved and enough..I learn to walk in a state of being enough…I stumble and fall frequently while attempting to embrace this new mindset, core belief and state, however I get back up because I AM Enough the inner light, my core, is enough…no more owning whats not mine or blaming As I learn through my pain and connect spiritual to the God that surpasses understanding…I am slowly but surely learning about „my“ state of being enough.
Thank you very much :)
I know intellectually that I am enough and I believe it when I hear the words. But often the sub-conscious belief that I am not enough rears it’s head during my daily interactions. My biggest intention for 2015 was to find my worthiness just as I am, without having to prove anything. I feel my answer to this is to live with compassion, turn away from fault finding in others and forgive. Once I master this, I can then return the favor to myself. As a perfectionist, this is no easy task. But I can feel the shift happening and in time I know that finding the worthiness in others and myself will become my second nature.
I feel unworthy because… I make mistakes and I’ve made A LOT of big mistakes in the past, I would like to be thinner (which I am working on through good ole diet and exercise), I see admiration in my boyfriends eye’s for another woman and the amazing skill set she has (i.e anything I can’t do) and it makes me feel like I pale in comparison and that if he could be with any of them over me, he would be. I feel unworthy because… in my mind, I can’t seem to keep up on the simplest of tasks, I struggle to get all the chores done in a timely manner. Laundry, dishes, cooking supper, buying groceries, washing the floor, cleaning the bathroom, etc. I always feel like I’m ten steps behind unless I work myself to death 100% of the time. Life is about having fun while accomplishing your dreams but if I can’t even keep up how can I possibly get ahead?
You really should be giving photo credit to the original photographer which is my daughter!!! Here is the link to HER „you are good enough“ original photo on Flickr (that so many people have just taken and used „as their own“) https://m.flickr.com/photos/melanie_bertelson/4275391755/in/set-72157606666583890/
Hi Alice, it’s a little embarrassing because I did give credit to it, but unfortunately with the latest tech/theme-update of my blog, this info isn’t displaying anymore. I’ll get this fixed as soon as I can!
I know I compare myself with others because my aunt and uncle were compaing me to others my whole life, always showing me I am just a random person who has nothing to be proud about. Even when I published two books they didn’t show me appreciation.
I know why it is like that. I don’t know how to stop doing the same they did to me. I am pretty (people say so, sometimes I also believe that) but I am always jealous thinking that other people are more beautiful…I believe other are more interesting, that I have nothing that I could offer to a guy…because any other girl can offer that too…I am noone special…
Maybe you want to digg a little deeper and ask yourself why you’re comparing. What’s the value of it? What to you hope to find or verify?
What do you believe about that?
All beliefs are relative and can be changed.
Right now it might be a formed „bad“ habit, a learned behaviour. But this can be unlearned and overwritten. You have to force yourself to focus on what’s right about you and notice your successes to build on.
Also this could be interesting: How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others and Overcome Jealousy
@Myrko Thum: I know this all, but still it does not change anything to me…or I just don’t really know how to forget about the external world and focus only on myself.
I know I enjoy sport. I know I am got at sport and languages. (But I will always find BUT…I am good but not enough…I am good but others are better etc.). I should improve the way I see myself…and yes I should do it for myself…Just have no idea how.
Lostabroad, in short: You need to forget about the external world and focus on your internal world. And what is good inside.
What is it that you enjoy doing?
What is it that you are good at?
What is it where you can improve something for yourself (not for others or to be better than others)?
I don’t know why (or I have some ideas but not so sure about them) but I always feel like I am not enough. And it is mainly about the appearance but also sometimes about abilities. I feel like I am noone special, that there are so many BETTER people around me. I compare myself not only with „real“ people, but also with celebrities. I am jealous all the time, hate others saying good things about others. The feeling is killing me, every year getting worse and worse. I don’t know how to stop. I feel like a mental sick person.
I would like to thank you about all your articles…. they are so inspiry and helpfull….
Keep going, i hate reading books but ure articles are attractiv and i would like to read more and more….
Thank you for the amazing article. Now I can really feel like I can just be myself at every situation in life, because after all, being yourself is the way to go :D
How appropriate this post is! Once in a while, I feel a sense of unworthiness for a period of time till it wears off or vanished from other projects/commitments in my life that took my mind away from it, then sometimes it comes back again when typically I’m unable to produce the end results that a boss/clients were expecting, like now.
A little different perspective to the comments above but the unworthy feeling is exactly like a child who’s unable to get full marks or first in position in school and the parents reprimand him/her as stupid as well as that feeling you get when your partner is mad at you cos you are not able to meet his/her ideal standards? I mean, who set these expectations/limitations? who are they to say what’s ‚good/bad/worthy/unworthy‘ to another person?
Realizing that „you are enough“, no matter what happens on the outside and independent of the judgement of others, makes you strong inside. A perfect state to face a challenge (like approaching someone new, or entering into a new business etc.)
It might not have the best reputation, but trying to meet new attractive women (referred to as pickup) uses this mentality quite often. Most males don’t recognize that their biggest fears are actually with small, sweet / kind, women. See how easy it is to approach the hottest woman surrounded by all of her friends…
Anyway, it applies to this because you only have the confidence to do so when you recognize that you are enough. When you put away the self-consciousness that holds you back, you are able to do things in a way that leads to more success in general. Same applies for a business that you want to start, etc.
I have either been told outright or through actions that I am not good enough, unworthy, unlovable and somehow lacking or wrong; this has been the course of my life to date. If I asked or ask questions or state my needs I supposedly have no right and am somehow being unthankful/grateful, demanding or critical. I seem to have no rights to my feelings or thoughts, I have been told so many times that because I love to read, study and converse about social issues and such, that I am bad, too serious, boring and that I am wrong and bad for having a questioning and/or academic mind. As a child, if I asked a question concerning my families chosen religous views I was told to be quiet and accept and not to question ‚GOD“. Even though I know deep down that this is not true, it is hard for me to let go and move on and forwards from these long term instilled beliefs about my-self and I am starting to feel like I do not know who I am any-more. I will stop here and I am sorry for raving on, Lorna.
I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life and it’s made it harder to believe that I can become a success in life.
But I know as long as put my heart into whatever I am doing and believe in myself I can accomplish anything. Thank you for the inspiration
I totally agree with your view point and have felt the same Myrko.Thanks for putting forth your views publicly.I also feel that this idea is not limited to the human species alone but to every being on this planet.The world should have been devoid of adjectives.Or even if adjectives were there,there should not have been degrees to it. :)
@Myrko Thum: THANK YOU AGAIN, I’LL TRY TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO DO THAT.
When first asked the question, „why do you feel unworthy“ the answer would be because for some reason, I have a deep sense that on some level, people feel uncomfortable with me. It probably stemmed from instances in my childhood where I was open, happy and free, and for seemingly no reason at all, people (adults and some peers) would get outraged at something I did or said. The memory now resides in my body; so whenever a situation arises that requires to be open, happy, and free around people, my body senses this like it’s some extreme life threatening situation and I literally have to unleash some emotion quick or else I’ll boil over.
I completely agree on your point about these problems being too associated with identity. That’s exactly what I did when I was younger because I didn’t know better. Thank you for your posts, Mark, I find them extremely helpful when I’m feeling lost in the dark. :)
My problem is that I feel that there is no hope in life for me , I felt this way since elementary school . Every time i tried something I failed in it or at the first mistake I was giving up . People say that
I should try to do somehing I really like but I don’t like anything. The only thing I love is having careless fun..
@Esther, I think the core is to separate your self-identity from the achievements you have.
Thank you for these posts . It shed light on my situation.
I really was identifying myself with my skills and abilities if the context of a special task –
goal that I wanted to perform . But even in this frame , as you showed , we are not equal to our skills and abilities.
About equality – it may be right or wrong – it’s hard to check.
But on the skill level you can see that somebody can easily perform something that other cannot ,
even if he is going to learn this „skill“ for many years if not at all..
Also , a person usually looses his motivation to learn when he/she sees that he isn’t as good at it as may be others. May be it’s all result of not being familiar with his/her „real“ identity..
Anyway , it’s still some unclear (for me) area of applying your veiw/ideas to „achieving goal“ situation.
@Om Constient – AKA Richard, I had a similar environment when I grew up. Indeed, interacting with people can be somewhat challenging. But I learned if you have the patience to adjust somewhat, you can still bring your message across and might even get heard that way. It’s emotional intelligence and people-skills that help here.
Of course, sometimes it might be necessary to just follow your own path and to stay with the topic with the post: just know that you are ok by being different.
I feel it only fair that I respond when you request a response. My challenge was that I was heavily criticized as a child for being positive – told that I „offended“ people by exhibiting my can do attitude. Therefore I withdrew until I aged into my 40’s. It was evident that some people were offended even then – but I learned that some people seem to be easily offended by those who are assertive and self-confident. There seems to be a „fine line“ between assertiveness and aggression as well as between self-confidence and arrogance – that line being readily adjusted to adhere to the perceptions of the observers – perhaps for their own comfort – to suit their own limitations. Not certain about that – but I am certain that I must live to suit my comforts, not those of the observers. I am reminded of my visit to Russia – I was told that if I didn’t drink the vodka I would offend the host – I had to make a choice to offend the host or to offend myself.