On Never Being "Good Enough" Ask Jack(ie) #3

This week's topic is about something I'm sure we've all thought about at some point in our lives. It can weigh on you and negatively affect how you see things in life. But, there's definitely a way to make it better. You may not forget these feelings overnight, but little by little it's possible to deal with them.

How do you deal with feeling less than or not good enough?

Dear Person With Feelings,

The first thing to do is realize that you're not alone in your thoughts. It's obviously not great that everyone else has felt like they're less than enough at some point in their lives, but once you realize that everyone has these thoughts, it's easier to also realize that these thoughts are trivial. They are simply a side effect to our natural urge to feel loved and accepted.

I'll let you know that I've been getting these thoughts lately too, feeling like my friends don't actually want to be friends with me or that some people just don't like me. However, true or not, it does not matter. I promise. And, I bet you that you are good enough. When you're feeling down about not being good enough, think about what you did to feel that way. Were you just being yourself? Because if you were, you're awesome, and you can't change yourself to make everyone like you. It's impossible because everyone is attracted to different personalities, has different interests, etc. Just know that you will find or maybe have already found those people who make you feel loved and accepted. There's no timeline. Also, it's not because other people don't think you're good enough, it's just that some people match better with others so they unintentionally spend more time and effort on different people. People always talk about love and romantic relationships dealing with compatibility, but the same goes for friendships and other interactions.

So basically, you are definitely good enough. Some people might not see it yet or want to take the time to see it, but you are. It's not your fault that they can't see your amazing-ness. And, it's not their fault for just being a different person who looks for different things.

In regards to academics or work, feeling like you're not good enough can be fixed with "hard work and time." (If you received a bad performance report or something like that.) With academics, my belief is that people are capable of success if they have the right amount of resources and effort. The key is to not get frustrated. You have to take time to learn things, but if you're frustrated it's hard to want to. Everyone starts out as a baby who doesn't know anything, then gains all these cool abilities — like reading and speaking — through experience. If you give up at something, you just take away those learning experiences that would possibly have led to your success. Once you reach a point of utter frustration, it's hard to go back and be dedicated to something because frustration blocks your "want" to do something. With a job, sometimes you are doing everything right but it may seem like your bosses don't approve. Or, maybe you got some constructive criticism from someone. Learn from mistakes but don't dwell on them too much. Have confidence in your work and yourself and it will show through.

Lastly, I hope you know that you are good enough. Everything in life is relative anyways, so try not to let feelings based on how others see you get you down. Let it push you forward.

If you need an outside perspective on something, or just want to share something with me, feel free to use this link to submit a question or comment.

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