Do you have a sense that you’re lacking in some essential way?
You never feel good enough, accomplished enough, attractive enough, smart enough, or whatever you believe that lack is related to .
The search for positive feedback and validation in your life feels like a unicorn hunt.
You’re just not seeing it, and perhaps it even feels like magical thinking.
Setbacks, outright failures, or that sense of going nowhere can make you wonder — are you good enough?
The absence of things that you long for, like a romantic relationship, can drag down your spirit.
You may believe that you’ll never be good enough for anything or anyone.
That is a lonely and depressing place to be.
The truth is that you are good enough, even if you don’t see it.
With some mindshifts and thought discipline, you can learn to embrace and honor your inner value and worth.
What Does It Mean to Be Good Enough?
Well-meaning people often encourage others who feel down about themselves with the phrase, “You are enough.” Your next thought is likely, what does that even mean?
In simple terms, these words teach you to stop evaluating yourself solely by external factors.
Not getting the job, not finding romance, or not being athletically talented are all things dependent on ors’others’ superficial judgment.
The idea that you are enough refers to your intrinsic qualities, such as:
- You are a thinking and feeling person.
- You are capable of kindness, love, and competence.
- Your human soul possesses value on its own.
- You posses internal wisdom and intuition.
- You have a unique personality.
One psychologist explained the concept of being enough by pointing out that people see babies as enough. Babies don’t have to perform for others to adore them. People automatically value them for who they are and the potential they possess from birth.
Of course, once you grow up, you require approval or acceptance as part of the process of socialization. But the need for approval can morph into something unhealthy.
Some people fall into the trap of perfectionism, believing their worth is based on doing everything right — which is the opposite of accepting that they’re good enough.
Research about perfectionists in the workplace concluded that perfectionism contributed to stress, burnout, and anxiety.
An analysis of close to 25,000 adults across 95 studies identified two types of perfectionism. Some people set impossibly high standards for themselves and others try to avoid failure.
Either way, they never viewed their work, or by extension themselves, as good enough.
If you feel lacking and unworthy, it’s clear you aren’t alone. But you don’t have to accept these feelings as a life sentence. The power is within yourself to recognize how worthy you are.
21 Reasons To Believe You Are Good Enough
Your desire for success, validation, or achievement of typical life milestones leaves you thinking, “I want to be good enough.”
That goal is within your grasp when you train yourself to honestly believe and know how valuable you are.
Spend some time contemplating the following reasons so that you can embrace that truth.
1. No one is perfect.
The perfectionism research shows that even perfectionists will never view themselves as perfect.
Although self-improvement matters, you cannot set the impossible goal of attaining perfection. Do not measure yourself by this standard. Neither you nor anyone else can meet it.
Train yourself to view imperfection as not only acceptable but normal and healthy.
As psychologist and bestselling author, Brene Brown, says in her book, The Gifts of Imperfection, “Perfectionism is self-destructive simply because there is no such thing as perfect.
Perfection is an unattainable goal. Additionally, perfectionism is more about perception – we want to be perceived as perfect.
Again, this is unattainable – there is no way to control perception, regardless of how much time and energy we spend trying.”
2. You can shift gears.
You don’t have to keep banging your head against a door that won’t open. Not everything you try will work out, and disappointment is part of life for everyone.
Why exist in a perpetual state of defeat if what you are doing isn’t working out as you hoped? Deciding to move on doesn’t mean you are a failure or that you have some character flaw.
Put your energy in a new direction and see what happens.
3. You deserve respect.
Everyone deserves to be treated with common courtesy and respect. You dignity as an individual living on this planet is the only real prerequisite for your worthiness.
Your feelings of inadequacy may leave you vulnerable to accepting bad treatment from others. Some people take advantage of those who with low self-esteem or a negative self-concept.
To overcome the belief that you aren’t worthy of respect, remind yourself frequently that you deserve basic respect and should be treated with kindness and courtesy at the least.
You don’t necessarily have to confront people who disrespect you, but you can withdraw from them.
4. You deserve love.
Human beings need social connection and affection to maintain their well-being. The experience of having a relationship unravel or being single for a long time can sour your perception of yourself as a lovable person.
You want to be good enough for love but wonder if something is missing in you. But attracting the right person who loves and respects you begins with loving and respecting yourself.
You must see yourself as a worthy catch so that others can see it clearly too. Love and honor yourself the way you want a partner to love you. Reflect to the world what you want for yourself.
5. Failure is not final.
Failure stings. There’s no denying the pain and embarrassment it can cause. Every life is full of major and minor failures.
Each one may represent a low point in your life, but you don’t have to remain in that low place.
Learn any lessons you can from failure and then move forward by embracing your humanness. We all fail. But you can begin again and use the lessons learned to improve next time.
It’s not failure that defines you but rather your ability to pick yourself up and keeping going.
6. You have good qualities.
We’re all imperfect, but each person has a unique set of physical, spiritual, and emotional talents. Spend some time thinking about your own good qualities.
Even if you feel you’re scoring a zero in life, you have many good traits you may take for granted, like honesty, patience, or generosity.
Maybe you have beautiful hair or you’re good at fixing things. Don’t discount your strengths by focusing on your weaknesses. Instead, play to your strengths and remember them when you feel discouraged or unworthy.
7. You can choose self-compassion.
You need to stop treating yourself like you just presented Chef Gordon Ramsay with a plate of burnt slop on an episode of “Hell’s Kitchen.”
Be honest when you assess your faults and mistakes, but don’t be cruel or overly critical. The voice of your harsh inner critic comes from your disappointment with yourself.
Part of personal growth is recognizing your weak areas but not exaggerating them. It doesn’t make you a better person to imprison yourself in a mental penalty box.
Life is punishing enough without unwarranted self-flagellation..
8. All of your moods and emotions are acceptable.
You may have fallen into the trap of feeling that anything short of constant happiness means your life sucks.
Any bad moods, bad days, or bad feedback make you think that you are fundamentally failing at life.
Instead of striving for constant happiness, you should try to maintain a baseline of contentment.
When good things happen, be sure to stop and appreciate your happy feelings because they are precious.
Accept that your moods and emotions are like clouds, constantly changing and floating in and out. All of them are normal and acceptable.
9. Your worth is not dependent on your relationship status.
As young adults become no-so-young adults, they can struggle with feeling inadequate if they remain single. They wonder why am I not good enough to be in a relationship?
If this is true for you, then you simply may not have met the right person yet. You may have been unwilling to settle for a mediocre or bad relationship.
Keep in mind that social and demographic forces have pushed the age of first marriage higher for decades. Also, remaining single is a perfectly acceptable choice.
Being in a romantic relationship does not define your value. In fact, being single gives you the time and opportunity to fully develop your sense of self, your values, and your life goals.
10. Fame does not equal success.
With so many social media stars populating the internet, you may feel invisible or lacking.
You imagine that if you build your fame and celebrity in some way, then everything will go well in your life, and you’ll finally feel good about yourself.
You don’t have to be famous to get love and respect. In fact, fame comes with its own set of challenges that impact self-esteem. People who are famous still have life problems that no amount of fame or success can alleviate.
Pursue fame because you have a gift or passion you want to share with the world — not because you need validation from the masses to feel worthy.
11. You can recover from rejection.
Fear of rejection is a huge impediment to feeling good enough. This fear keeps you from asking people out on dates, applying for a good job, or even voicing your ideas during a conversation.
Your inability to take these actions makes you feel even worse about yourself. You avoid risk so you are never rejected, but your life feels like one big missed opportunity.
Acting in spite of the fear of rejection is hard at first, but it gets easier with practice. You’ll never enjoy rejection, but you can bounce back from it. And happily, there will be plenty of times when you aren’t rejected — but only if you take the risk.
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12. The past does not predict your future.
Don’t allow past mistakes, missed opportunities, or defeats to define your future. You are capable of taking a step in a new direction without looking back. So don’t.
Your past can leave you paralyzed by self-doubt and fear, but you can push through these feelings and reboot yourself.
There are thousands of stories of everyday people who reshaped their lives after failure, tragedy, or setbacks. Humans are remarkably resilient, creative, and tenacious. That includes you.
Transformation is not only possible but also redemptive.
13. You have reasons to be proud of yourself.
You’ve seen those memes where people proclaim their pride in accomplishing little things like making their bed or not yelling at rude people.
You can take pride in taking care of your basic needs and go from there. You don’t need to attain a grandiose accomplishment to feel pride.
Start to recognize all of your small accomplishments and build up your sense of personal pride.
14. Mistakes are part of life.
You don’t have to judge your entire self-worth based on your mistakes. You should compartmentalize your mistakes and judge them by the specific actions that caused them.
You did not make the mistake because you’re a worthless person. Perhaps you were distracted or were not acting on the right information.
Part of accepting that you are enough means that you start as a human with inherent value. What happens beyond that point represents separate issues.
15. True beauty is more than skin deep.
The external world bombards you with unrealistic standards for beauty and attractiveness.
Air-brushed, carefully staged photographs of people on magazine covers offer the classic example. Being surrounded by such images makes you think less of yourself. “I’m too fat.” “My skin is bad.”
In reality, the flaws have been edited from the images, and you’re comparing yourself to something that’s impossible. Look around you, and you’ll see that most people aren’t model perfect.
You’re attractiveness has little to do with your outward appearance. Make the best of your appearance, but remind yourself every time you criticize your looks that true beauty comes from within.
16. You aren’t alone with your challenges.
External forces frequently reinforce the feeling that you aren’t enough. When you feel beat down by the disapproval or indifference of others, ask yourself why you value their opinions so much.
They may have admirable qualities, but they experience setbacks and failures too. Their lives are filled with doubts and challenges.
Learn to see others who judge you (and those who don’t) as equal humans rather than superior beings whose lives are perfect.
It’s likely that whatever they judge harsely in you, they also see in themselves.
17. You can change your self-talk.
When you lose your connection to your self-worth, your life can grind to a halt. Continual inaction separates you from the chance of success.
The belief that you’re not worthy takes hold, and you mentally berate yourself for being a failure. Your self-talk is frequently self-defeating and negative.
Fortunately, you can change your feelings about yourself by changing your self-talk.
When you catch yourself in a negative thought loop, stop immediately and redirect your thoughts to something positive and believable about yourself, like, “I have the power to be successful, and I intend to take the first step.”
18. Become your own best friend.
For the most part, the world does not care about your feelings, but you can — in the same way you care about the feelings of a true friend.
Recognizing your shortcomings can lead to self-growth, but growth must be balanced with positivity and nurtured with encouragement.
Become your own best friend and develop a nurturing attitude toward yourself to feel your mental state transform.
When you make mistakes or fail to live up to your own standards, treat yourself with the same compassion and love you’d offer to your best friend
19. Other people aren’t the best judge of you.
Some people thrive on putting others down. Criticizing makes them feel important and superior, even if what they are saying has little basis in reality.
These people often put little thought into their opinions of you. They don’t know everything about you.
Don’t elevate their opinions to the level of divine revelation.
20. Your insecurity is an opportunity to improve.
Insecurity means that you’re unsure of yourself. Maybe you don’t quite know what to do or how to act.
Leverage the power of your questions and concerns to explore ways to improve your position.
If you feel insecure about dating, try socializing in low-stakes group settings, like drinks with co-workers or volunteering at a food bank.
Try to face your fears through small steps that can build confidence.
21. You’ve already weathered many storms.
You are enough because you’re still here. You may not be satisfied with the direction of your life, but you’ve overcome more challenges than you give yourself credit for.
Think about the hard times in your past. Allow yourself to recognize some victories no matter how small.
You Are Good Enough to Pursue Your Goals
Getting bogged down in a feelings of inadequacy robs you of the motivation to follow your dreams. You still have dreams but have convinced yourself that they can never happen.
However, some dreams can become reality when you nourish your self-esteem.
Life requires compromises, perhaps too many, but you don’t have to shut yourself away in a tower of fear and self-loathing.
Set some goals and celebrate every bit of progress that you make toward them. You can always invest in the future.