By Eric Charles, MA., PhD-c
“The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely.” ~C.G. Jung
1. Acknowledge your feelings
Before we can overcome feelings of inadequacy, we need to acknowledge that we feel this way. Do you feel like you are not enough? Do you feel like you can’t do anything right? If you feel this way, it’s ok. Just accept it. We can easily stay stuck in our denial. But, if we choose to ignore how we truly feel, we can never dismantle and reconstruct these feelings. Take a moment to explore the area in your life you feel is lacking.
2. Identify the source
Feeling inadequate often stems from negative messages we receive from other people. During childhood, we are especially vulnerable to adopting negative core beliefs. A negative core belief might be, “I am not worthy of love,” or “I will never be good enough.” Without receiving unconditional positive regard, we are likely to view our self-worth as conditional. If we value ourselves conditionally, we will never find peace in who we are. We must always consider the cause. Who convinced you that you are not enough, being who you are?
3. Embrace your imperfection
Perfection is an illusion. No one is perfect. It is easy to get caught up in the idea that perfection is attainable. Television, magazines and the internet are just a few mediums that promote and exalt perfection. Many of us want to be better versions of ourselves. We must be careful that our desire to be better does not translate into wanting to be perfect.
4. Accept you are not your failures
In the words of Morihei Ueshiba, “Failure is the key to success; each mistake teaches us something.” It is important to view failure as an opportunity for growth. We cannot win at everything. And, if we take our losses personally, we inevitably will feel inadequate. Remember, we make mistakes to learn.
5. See beauty in vulnerability
You are enough, just the way you are. By accepting who we are, we can identify the areas in our lives that actually could use some work. And, just because there is room for improvement does not mean there is something wrong with us. Our beauty is in our potential. We all have the potential for growth. That is what makes us human.
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