Why Am I Not Good Enough? Well, Maybe You Are

Rachel Sharpe

“Why am I not good enough?” you cry to yourself after a moment of defeat. Maybe you’ve had your heart broken, failed a test, or were rejected from something you really wanted. It’s so easy to second guess that you are good enough when all the signs seem to be telling you the opposite. But despite currently feeling like it’s you against the world, it’s important to remember that you are an essential part of this world. You play a role no one else can play. Every life event, good and bad, is shifting the whole world. And while it’d be amazing to experience sunshine and rainbows every day, it’s the rain and storms that shape us into becoming who we’re destined to be. So, let’s transition the conversation from why am I not good enough to 17 reasons why you are good enough.

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Why Am I Not Good Enough?

There are a few causes that make us think to ourselves, “why am I not good enough?” Let’s talk about that first.

1. Our Thoughts

Woman crouched down lost in negative thoughts

The most significant cause of wondering, ‘why am I not good enough?’ stems from our thinking. Our minds can be so cruel. How dare they make us feel so bad about ourselves to question our entire self worth. There are two key thinking styles: optimistic and pessimistic. Both types of people might occasionally ask the question, ‘why am I not good enough?’ However, the reality is this line of thinking is more associated with pessimism. Pessimism can lead to depression, which is considered a thought disorder. The problem is that many people don’t take a negative thought and dispute it with something more realistic. Instead, they take the negative thought and magnify it, analyze it, and look at the worst-case scenario. It can get to the point where it feels like their life is falling apart. Looking at the worst-case scenario is called catastrophizing. To stop questioning yourself, you must dispute your thoughts as they arise. Think of several alternative pieces of evidence that show you that you are good enough. 

2. Rejection

Rejection comes in many forms. You can be rejected from a school you applied to, a date, or joining a team. And yup, rejection sucks. However, there are so many variables that cause rejection to take place. So, instead of thinking, ‘why am I not good enough,’ consider all the reasons why the rejection had to happen. Maybe the school you applied to had a cap on how many students they could accept, or there was one class that you didn’t take, which was critical to the acceptance. Maybe the date who rejected you was trying to prevent you from long-term pain because he or she saw that you two were incompatible but thought you were a cool person regardless. Maybe the team you applied for was looking for a skill you hadn’t yet developed. If you had asked them for feedback, they might give you some pointers so you can join the team next year.  

3. Hurtful Words

Another reason that causes us to ask, ‘why am I not good enough’ comes from the hurtful words we hear from others. Sometimes, parents say the wrong thing. They’re human, after all. And sometimes teachers tell you that you’re just not good at math instead of helping you get better. The people we see, work with, or learn from can sometimes say the wrong thing. And that wrong thing, especially if we’re pessimistic, get cycled into our heads to the point where it’s on repeat all day long. However, it doesn’t mean it’s true. And just because someone says something doesn’t mean you need to believe it and internalize it. Why don’t you ever believe someone’s high praises of you? A-ha. Gotcha there.

17 Reasons Why You Are Good Enough

1. You Decide How Good You Are

thinking why am i not good enough

If you find yourself always wondering, ‘why am I not good enough?’ it’s important to remember that it’s you who decides how good you can be. You’re in full control of what you’re good at, how good you want to be, and what aspects of yourself you wish to improve about yourself. If someone dislikes something about you that you love about yourself, you don’t need to change. You simply need to find someone who also likes those aspects of yourself. If you flunked a test and now feel ashamed or disappointed, you can change your studying habits (a fixable problem) so that you perform better next time. You need to stop filling your mind with doubt. Otherwise, the feeling of “I’m not good enough” becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. But today, and right now, you can decide to become good enough if you can even prove that you lack something in the first place.

2. You’re Rare

How could you ever think, “why am I not good enough?’ when you being here and alive right now makes you one of the rarest events to ever happen in the world. At one point, humans didn’t even exist in this world. And yet somehow despite all the miscarriages, wide-spread illnesses, wars, and asteroids that could’ve killed your ancestors, the universe conspired to ensure that everything you are, survived. You’re a miracle. There are billions of people who didn’t make it through, but you did. You’ve got a unique set of some of the strongest genes, a bunch of quirky traits, and the craziest opportunity to be alive. If there weren’t a purpose or a need for you to survive all of the world catastrophes, you wouldn’t have. So, when you start second-guessing yourself, focus on how you can make the most of each moment while you’re here. You don’t need to know how to reinvent yourself, you’re already special.

3. Your Self Worth Is Higher Than You Realize

Stop asking yourself “Why am I not good enough” and realize your self worth is high. Your ex doesn’t determine your self worth. Your toxic boss doesn’t determine your self worth. No outside person decides whether you’re valuable or not. Your self worth is determined to be valuable just for being alive in today’s world. Whether you like to admit it or not, you’ve lived so many years of your life playing a role in people’s lives. While you like to criticize yourself a lot, you’ve actually done a lot of good things for other people. You’ve played an essential role in yesterday’s and today’s world. And you’ll continue to have an impact in the future. So stop thinking toxic thoughts like “why am I not good enough” and realize you’re worth everything.

4. You Are Good Enough: When You’re Outside Your Head

finding joy in being good enough

You are good enough. Don’t let those voices in your head tell you otherwise. I know they’re loud. They’re probably screaming at you right now so you can’t even focus. But you are not your thoughts. Your thoughts have a mind of their own. So, it might be a good idea to personify them. Think of the meanest person in history. Got it? Now every time your thoughts tell you something mean or spiral you out of control say ‘Stop that Devil’ replacing devil with the name of the person. By reminding yourself that your thoughts have a mind of their own and that you’re your own person, you realize that you are good enough, regardless of what your thoughts or anyone around you say. Live in the external world instead of the one lodged up in your brain. It’s a quick and easy way to feel better about yourself.

5. You Are Good Enough: Until You Stop Growing

The only time you stop being good enough is when you stop growing. Sorry to break this for all the older adults, but you’re not done growing yet either. Nice try. The fantastic thing about being a human is that you can learn– and that means learning from your mistakes too. You can spend a lifetime fine tweaking yourself to allow the real you to shine through. Sometimes, we’re afraid of letting our authentic selves out. I don’t blame you. If you’re thinking, “why am I not good enough?” you’re probably really scared that people will judge you if you showed them who you really are. Rejection is scary. But part of being human is growth. You need to slowly peel away your layers, though some may be damaged, to take part in life’s journey. The world needs the real you to keep growing, so you become the person you’re meant to be. 

6. You Have So Many Positive Traits

When you’re wondering “Why am I not good enough” consider talking to a qualified mental health professional. You may need some informed professional advice because it’s painfully obvious that you are good enough. Your self esteem should be high considering how many positive traits you’ve got going for you. You’re so focused on all the tiny, little things that suck about you (that let’s be honest, you know you’re working on anyways). These unhealthy relationships you’ve had in the past are getting you to ignore all your good qualities. You’re not an adult child. You’re a respectable adult who has a lot going for yourself. Stop seeking validation from others because your self worth doesn’t from from without, it comes from within.

7. Look How Far You’ve Come

Have you ever stopped to think about how far you’ve come in life? You literally went from a tiny baby who depended on others to be fed, taken care of, changed, and dressed to a self-sufficient person. You don’t need to rely on anyone. You’ve got everything you need to take care of yourself, mentally and physically. The internet is filled with information in case you need some help filling in specific gaps. You’ve spent years of your life learning new skills, meeting different people, and pushing unexplored boundaries. And the crazy thing is that’s not even close to over yet. You’re going to keep doing some amazing things. You’ve been good enough to get to this point, and you’ll be even better to reach your next few milestones. 

8. Your Positive Thoughts Are True

With some professional help, you can turn negative thoughts into happy thoughts. Your inner voice matters. Instead of thinking, “Why am I not good enough?” consider thinking of all the ways you’re more than good enough. Then, make a big deal out of it. We rarely hype ourselves up. Yes, you can earn more money. Of course, you’re a cool person. Yup, all of your friends and family love you. No doubt, you’ll one day you’ll look back on past relationships and understand why the one you’re in is so much better. Affirmative, one day the hurt won’t bother you any more. The more you replace ruminating thoughts with positive self talk, the faster you’ll stop asking yourself questions like “Why am I not good enough?”

9. You Might Be On A Different Path

reflecting on your self worth

Sometimes, when we begin to ask ourselves, “why am I not good enough?” we fail to see the full picture. Your story is still unfolding. The future is still unknown. Yup, that can be scary if you think about it, so don’t. Focus on the present. But with every rejection, failure, setback, and wrong turn, we move towards our destiny. We can look at it as a glass half full or half empty opportunity. You’d be surprised at how many people rejected and hurt me when I was younger. It was a boatload number of people. But the story didn’t end there. I eventually fell in love and got married; and we’re happy. And when you look back in hindsight, you begin to see that things did work out for the best. Yup, even some of the most horrible moments that you thought you’d never recover from. You eventually will recover from it. If obstacles present themselves, jump over them or take a new path. You never know where you’ll end up.

10. You Just Need To Spend Time Giving Yourself Unconditional Love

Unconditional love means you stop comparing yourself to others. It means you stop thinking about all the things that will go wrong. You’ll feel good about yourself when you shower yourself with love, and stop beating yourself up so much. Moving forward, consider doing things for yourself out of love. Do acts of kindness for yourself and strangers. Bring light and good energy into your life by seeking immediate help when things fall apart. Build a support system, find a good friend, and look into all of your feelings. Remember that negative thoughts, are just thoughts, not much more. You don’t need to believe everything you think– especially the bad stuff. The best version of yourself will come from self love.

11. You Have Skills No One Else Has

Each person in this world has an important role to play. We all contribute to the world in different ways. You’ve got a whole set of skills that someone else needs. Maybe you’re a talented artist who designs things people display to brighten their homes. Or perhaps you’re a great listener, so you help people by offering your support. You might be great at problem-solving, always offering the best solution to complex issues. Even if there were a thing or two that you aren’t the best at, there are countless other things you do better than anyone else. Don’t be afraid to do the thing that makes you shine, even if it seems a bit unconventional. 

12. You’re on the Right Track

Stop second guessing yourself all the time. You don’t need to wander backwards in life because something didn’t work out as planned. Forge forward on the new path. Set boundaries that block you from going backwards. And stay away from toxic people. You need to feel good about yourself again. But it’s important to know, that things are going according to plan. Yup, even those messy breakups, that job you lost, or the endless pain you’re suffering right now. Chaos can be good for you, just not in the way you expect. You don’t deserve bad things. You deserve the good things that are coming, this messiness right now will just help you understand why certain things didn’t work out. Feeling good in the future is only possible if you know how much bad things suck from past experiences. Your next relationship, your future reality, and your future job will all get you closer to things you want out of life. But you’ve got to learn to say no to the wrong things.

13. Some People Depend On You

The whole world is interconnected. We all rely on each other for something. People rely on farmers for food. Others rely on family for love. In times of need, we turn to friends for support. And if you’ve lived long enough to experience self-doubt, you’ve already had moments where you’ve helped, supported, and loved other people. You may have even helped a friend deal with loneliness. You are good enough to love, help, and listen. Throughout your life, you’ll experience moments where people will need you more than ever. Be there in those moments. Sometimes, you’ll be asked for a supportive hand, in tough times, give it everything you’ve got. You’re a critical part of the world. If you weren’t around, billions of events would change as a result. That’s how many little moments you have an impact on. 

14. Don’t Confuse Other’s Red Flags As Your Own

When we’re not feeling good about ourselves, we often take other people’s errors as our own. For example, your coworker is going through a tough time and takes her bad day out on you. She says, “You don’t deserve to be here. It looks like you’re not good at your job. I don’t even know how you landed a role at this company. It’s like all you do all day is talk and gossip, you don’t get any work done.” Often times, when a confrontation like this is happening, someone else is being told they’re not good enough when they’re trying their best. The pain from feeling like you’re not good enough is so much for them that they take it out on you. Don’t internalize their pain. It’s their problem to deal with, not yours.

15. You’re Trying Your Best

why am i not good enough

On days where you can’t erase ‘why am I not good enough?’ from your memory, always remember that you’re trying your best. We spend our whole lives learning. And some lessons are learned a bit late, but they’re learned nonetheless. It’s important to note that it’s impossible to have the full picture. We only see fragments of situations. Usually, we only see moments that happen directly to us. We fail to see what led someone down a particular path. We don’t know what caused someone to make a specific decision. We’re missing so much information at all times. It’s not possible to always know someone’s intentions. You are good enough. And you’re doing the best you can with the information you’ve got. Don’t forget it. 

16. You Didn’t Give Up

Life’s going to throw you some curveballs. You’re going to get sucker-punched. Other times, you’ll get knocked down to your knees. But it’s important to remember that with every knock out, you jump back up and try again. You might fail, mess up, and get rejected. But ultimately, you know that if you’re not good enough today, you’ll definitely be good enough tomorrow. Every day, you take on the day head-on and give it your best. You know that even though you constantly question if you’re good enough, that giving up isn’t in your nature. There’s always a solution to a problem. And even if you’re not quite sure of what your next move is yet, you know that you’re smart enough to figure it out. 

17. Don’t Let People Treat You Like You’re Not Good

“Why am I not good enough?” is a thought that surfaces around people who belittle us or make us feel inferior. It’s important to remind yourself that you’ll feel like you’re good enough around people who lift you up, believe in you, and genuinely want you to succeed. You might not hear it often, but you are good enough, no matter what another person thinks. You deserve so much love and success in your life. Sometimes, you’re just hanging around the wrong people. And because you feel insecure or have low self esteem, you hang onto those people, even when you should really cut them loose. So don’t spend time with people who act like you’re not good enough, they’re not the right people for you.

Conclusion

It’s time to permanently delete that intrusive ‘why am I not good enough?’ thought from your head. It’s time to say ‘yes, I am good enough.’ If you need to put some effort into getting better, great. Not being good enough is just a temporary state. You have full control over changing it. You want to get an A on that next test, you’re going to study harder and in new ways. You’re afraid of asking out your crush for fear of rejection, just remember that every rejection and failed relationship helps you better understand what makes an amazing relationship. Now, say this out loud, “I am good enough.” Yes, you are good enough. May you remember that for life and start loving yourself today.

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