Because, you are enough.
Whether it’s in a relationship, at work, or as it relates to goals we’d like to achieve, a feeling that many experience at one point or another is not feeling good enough — like you’re falling short in some way or don’t deserve to have the things you want (or have).
According to Michelle Chalfant, a licensed therapist, holistic life coach, author, speaker, and creator of The Adult Chair podcast, not feeling good enough stems from a lack of self-worth, which can be caused by many things, including growing up with parents or other adult figures who didn’t validate you for who you are or compared you to others.
“Our beliefs are shaped in our formative years by our family systems, culture, and society,” says Amina AlTai, a leadership and mindset coach. “They perpetuate how we see, understand, and feel about ourselves and the world around us. We often adopt these beliefs as our own, whether they are supportive or not.” In other words, whether you realize it or not, this learned way of thinking can direct your life and lead you down a path that’s not in alignment with what you truly want.
The good news, AlTai says, is that human brains are elastic meaning one can change their beliefs with a bit of effort and, in turn, raise their self-worth and overcome the feeling of not being good enough. The best part? Chalfant says the benefits of building your sense of self will trickle into all areas of life including personal relationships and career, and ultimately change your life for the better.
Ahead, AlTai and Chalfant share four tips for overcoming the imposter-syndrome-like feeling once and for all.
Get To Know Your Inner Critic
We all have an inner critic that is judgmental and critical. The key to dealing with it, however, is not blocking it out or turning away from it but rather getting to know it. To do so, Chalfant recommends having a dialogue with that part of you. “Close your eyes and imagine what this part looks like,” she says. “Get an image and then ask it what it wants you to know. Thank it for its messages and let it know that it doesn’t have to be so loud and that you’ve got it. Once you get to know [your inner critic], it quiets down and gives you the freedom to feel better about yourself.”
Find Your Limiting Beliefs & Flip The Script
Feeling like you’re not good enough is a limiting belief, not a fact. And thankfully, beliefs can be reframed if you have the willingness to do the inner work. To do this, AlTai recommends asking yourself what you believe about work, success, relationships, or whatever area you’re experiencing the not-good-enough feelings. Do you believe you can have what you want? If not, why is that?
From there, AlTai says you can debunk the beliefs by finding tangible examples to the contrary. For example, let’s say the belief is “people like me don’t get jobs like that.” Then, you would list out some examples of people like you that have the things you want. AlTai explains that this reframing practice helps your mind start to see and believe that it is possible for you.
Decrease Social Media Exposure
Social media is where people share the filtered, highlight reel of their lives, leading to comparison and triggering “I’m not good enough” feelings for some people. If you find yourself scrolling and notice negative thoughts or feelings bubble up, Chalfant says that’s a signal that it’s time to log off.
In those moments, Chalfant also suggests pausing and saying to yourself that you’re OK to neutralize the negative impact of comparison. “Placing your hand on your heart while saying this slowly helps to bring yourself back to balance and rewires your brain away from the automatic negative thinking,” she says. “It’s a small, powerful phrase that has a big impact on self-worth and feeling good about yourself.”
Start A Celebration Practice
Human brains have a negativity bias, which AlTai explains means one’s brain weighs negative experiences more heavily over positive ones. “We have a tendency to hyper-focus on negative experiences, and it can lead us to feeling, well, negative,” she says. “For every negative experience we have, we need three to five positive ones just to feel even.”
For this reason, AlTai encourages having a daily celebration practice where you write down three to five things you want to celebrate about yourself or something you did and spend a few minutes each morning taking in those achievements. Making this a regular practice, she says, can shift the way you feel and view the world. Chalfant adds that even the seemingly unimportant day-to-day victories such as making the bed in the morning or getting your kids off to school are worth celebrating, too.