"When I first started I didn't think I deserved [fan acclaim] -- which is why I did things like refuse awards. I felt then that anybody who loved me must be mental and was not to be trusted... I didn't believe in myself [before] and now I do, so I can accept other people believing in me or liking what I do." ~Sinead O'Connor
I was checking Google Analytics the other day for this site, and found that someone had found it by typing in "I feel like I'm not good enough."
It stopped me in my tracks. Suddenly, the numbers didn't matter any more.
I connected for a moment with the person who felt sad and alone, but hopeful enough to reach out for help. I hope that person found something here that helped her find peace, maybe some small phrase or idea that sticks with her and makes a difference in her perception.
I have been there. I have felt just like that--as I'm sure many of you have. In fact, one of the reasons I write this blog is because I have been there, and because I want to help people who are there now. I have learned how to change my perception, how to change my life...and I'm creating the life I want.
Don't get me wrong, there have been bumps along the way, and no one is perfect. But the difference today is that now, when I feel down, depressed or angry, I am able to move past it and go on with the business of being happy. I have programmed myself to notice when I'm headed down the wrong road, and to change my mind--which has me on the fast track to having the life I want.
So, how does it work? How do you move past feelings of inferiority? What do you do when you feel like you're not good enough?
Identify the Source
Why do you feel that way? Something has happened in your life to cause you to take on the belief that you're not good enough. Did a parent, teacher or friend constantly berate you as a child? Or maybe your parents wanted you to succeed so badly that they pushed you in a direction you didn't want to go? Do you have a superstar sibling who was always in the spotlight, leaving you to wonder why no one noticed you? Maybe there was a lover or partner who rejected you or belittled you too often?
Choose Your Perception
Now that you've identified the event or situation that first caused feelings of inferiority in your life, it's time to decide how you want to perceive it. Let's say your parents were especially hard on you as a child. Maybe nothing you ever said or did seemed to be good enough--and all you ever wanted was their approval.
You could choose to feel like a broken, beaten down victim if you wanted. You could carry that feeling of sadness and desperation with you throughout your life, and you could attract more of it into your world.
Or, you could decide that you don't accept their negativity, and you could change your perception. You can decide how to feel, and the more you focus on feeling good and being happy, the more reasons you'll find to feel good and be happy.
Here's the Deal
When you feel inferior and you focus (intentionally or otherwise) on feeling sorry for yourself, and on thinking that you're not good enough, then you create a reality in which those negative feelings and situations thrive. By always worrying about (AKA focusing on) the things you don't want, you draw more of the things you don't want into your life.
So, if you want to feel good about yourself and know that you deserve every good thing that comes your way, you have to first decide to change your mind.
How to Fake It Till Ya Make It
Begin by coming up with a simple mantra. For example, you might use "I am a beautiful person with amazing self confidence" or "I am strong and intelligent and I deserve the best."
Then, make a point of noticing when you have negative thoughts about yourself or other people or situations in your life. (It will seem forced at first, but quickly becomes second nature.)
When you notice those thoughts, mentally "cancel" them and recite your mantra (out loud or in your head.) The simple act of "changing your mind" might feel a little "fake" at first, but stick with it. Soon enough, you'll find that it becomes natural, and then one day, you'll truly realize that you are, in fact, good enough.Not only that, but you'll realize that you're pretty freaking awesome. You'll realize that you like yourself, and before you know it, you'll realize that other people like you too.
Actually Love Yourself
Don't just say it. Do it--actually love yourself. No matter if you feel silly or self-indulgent. The only reason you'd feel that way is if you felt you didn't deserve to have good things and people and situations in your life.
You must recognize that you DO deserve good things, you DO deserve to be happy. And by ACTUALLY loving yourself, you can begin to truly embrace the things and people and situations that you want in your life.
"Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world." ~ Lucille Ball
Be nice to yourself. Treat yourself like someone who is treasured and deserving of everything you want. Treat yourself like someone you love--because if you can't love yourself first, you won't let anyone else love you either. Love begets love, my friends.
Buy yourself little gifts, allow yourself little luxuries and remember that you are just as important as every other person in the world. You matter. YOU are important. Treat yourself like someone who deserves the very best, and as your light begins to shine, watch as others begin to treat you that way too.
How do you remind yourself that you are completely amazing? How about to remind yourself that you deserve to have good things, people and situations in your life?