It really is too easy to not feel “good enough.”
There is not enough praise or gratitude in the world anymore. Instead, there are a million expectations surrounding us, and they have a huge impact on how we feel about ourselves.
In terms of our career, we are expected to have a worthy one—one that has value in society, and one that pays well.
In life, we’re expected to always be kind, to show endless compassion, to walk around with confidence, to spread positivity with others, and to not let the small things get us down.
In love, we are expected to look a certain way, and to be married and settled down by a certain age.
But the thing is, we are all unique—and we just don’t work, live, and love in the same way. That’s exactly what makes us all so special, and it’s the reason we are all able to offer different qualities.
No matter how we live our lives, the expectations will always find a way back in. Maybe we see something on the news or TV, maybe we read an article online, maybe we see a photo of our favourite celebrity on Instagram, or maybe we just find ourselves spending time with people who make us feel like the odd one out.
It’s almost impossible to avoid these, but there’s the opportunity for us to limit what we see and choose alternative ways to boost our confidence when we’re feeling a little low.
So, if we ever have a moment or a day when we really just don’t feel good enough, we should remind ourselves of these five important things.
1. The people we compare ourselves to also compare themselves to others.
This is something we all forget. We find ourselves scrolling through Facebook and Instagram on a low day, to find that others are posting about all the wonderful times they’re having, the weight they’ve lost, the holiday they’re on, or the wedding they’re planning. But the thing is, there are also things they are not happy with, and they compare themselves to others too. It’s a never-ending cycle, and we are never alone in feeling this way.
2. Being different from everyone else is actually a great thing.
The world really would be a boring place if we were all the same. Just because we might not meet the expectations of society doesn’t mean that we are not good enough. Just remember these important words by Albert Einstein, “The person who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The person who walks alone is likely to find himself in places no one has ever seen before.”
3. We are often carrying other people’s baggage.
Unfortunately, it’s likely that we have been doing this regularly throughout our lives. Depending on our relationships and the kind of person we are, we may find that their sadness has been instilled in us, and their negative outlook on life has influenced the way we view the world. Perhaps our mom has never really praised us or told us that we’re good enough, or our boss is always putting us down and taking out his family frustrations on us. It’s totally natural for these things to affect us, but next time we feel like we’re not good enough, we need to remind ourselves that we are not to blame for how we feel.
4. We don’t have to earn big bucks to be successful.
If we feel like we aren’t earning enough because the world says so, then we should think again. If you’re a social worker, just look at the good you are doing and the lives you are helping. If you’re working full time and you’re a mom, that’s successful enough in itself, and you should cut yourself some slack. If you’re working in a supermarket, but your dream is to be a writer, don’t give up just because you feel you should be doing something better. Success is personal, and if we love what we do and can see personal progress, then the money should be secondary.
5. We don’t have to be settled down by 30—this is the 21st century!
It’s funny. We’re expected to have a good career these days, yet some people still expect us to be settled down and married with kids by the age of 30. We can’t have it all—well, not unless we’re superwoman or superman. If we are in our late 20s and haven’t found “the one” yet, haven’t found our dream career, or haven’t bought a house yet—we should give ourselves a break, because it probably means we’re working on making something of our lives, and that’s something to be proud of.