By Herbie Yon
When we desperately want to be part of a group but think we’re not good enough, it can make us ill at ease, oversensitive, unhappy, and stressed out.
Unfortunately, unless we deal with these feelings, they will only get worse.
As with all our emotions, it’s good to remember that other people have similar thoughts and feelings to ours.
Recognizing that we are not alone in how we are feeling can often make it easier to deal with the issues that are making us unhappy.
Not Good Enough? Says Who?
So, if you’re unhappy because your friends make you feel that you’re not good enough to belong to their group, then I might be able to show you a way forward.
Sometimes our feelings are based not on facts but on what we think others may be thinking or saying about us. And if we are wrong about that, then we torture ourselves for nothing because whether it’s real or not, just thinking about it can make us miserable.
But suppose you’re right and, for one reason or another, the people you spend time with do think you’re not good enough, does their opinion matter?
The people who succeed are those who refuse to allow other people’s opinions or rejections to put them off from achieving what they want.
Take J.K. Rowling for example. Twelve major publishing houses rejected her Harry Potter manuscript before it was eventually picked up by Bloomsbury, a small publisher. After twelve rejections, she could easily have felt she wasn’t good enough to be a writer. She could have given up, but she didn’t. Why? Because she knew what she wanted and went for it. Now she’s famous.
So, if you want to feel good enough, you can make it happen. You really can.
Here are some ideas.
Being Your Authentic Self is Good Enough
First, learn to value yourself.
Accept that each one of us is unique, and that means you, too.
Even if you have an identical twin, you know that the two of you are not exact replicas of each other. You both share the same DNA, but you have a distinct personality. And those close to you can tell the difference.
- I am special
- I have gifts and talents that come with my unique makeup: gifts that my friends or colleagues may not have, but would like to have
Why is being unique so important?
Just think about it. People invest in limited edition books, coins, stamps, art, etc. because they hope rarity will increase its value.
You are a limited edition of one. You are a unique complex human being with more potential than you might believe.
Be Comfortable in Your Skin – It’s the Only One That Fits
Secondly, be yourself!
The trouble is that when friends and colleagues seem to be enjoying life and we are not, the temptation is to think it would be better to be like them.
When other people chalk up one success after another, and we seem to struggle to succeed at anything, we become disheartened and wish we could be like them.
But, trying to be like someone else is futile and will end in tears.
Of course, it makes a lot of sense to learn from other people’s successes and even copy their best ideas. However, we can quickly become disillusioned if we set out to be them.
Why? Because they are unique, too.
If our feelings of not being good enough are provoked by envy of what others are achieving, then we could always try something unexpected, and counter-intuitive:
We could be glad that others are doing well. And tell them so – from the heart.
Try it, and you may find that appreciating someone else’s unique gifts may encourage you to discover your own.
Personal Development: Endure or Enjoy? Your Choice
Now consider personal growth.
You could go on feeling that you’re never good enough, or you could choose to enhance your life chances through personal development.
An essential part of who we are is our unique mix of gifts and talents.
Regrettably, our negative feelings (of never being good enough) can cause us to undervalue, or even despise our gifts, skills, and talents.
In my experience, no matter how good we are at what we do, there is still room for improvement. And it need not be a chore: it can be rewarding and fulfilling.
Personal development comes in many forms and might include reading, taking courses, or coaching.
You might want to seek guidance from people you trust and who genuinely care about you. Just make sure that, whatever you choose, it is something that you want to do. Choose activities and outcomes that will make you feel happy and fulfilled.
If, after doing all of this, those around you still make you feel that you are not good enough, then consider whether the company you keep is affecting your state of mind.
Friends Come, Some Stay, Some Go – What Should Yours Do?
If your feelings of never being good enough are associated with an individual or group, then maybe it’s time for you to think about spending less time with them, and more time in the company of other people.
I remember how I felt when I first heard Katie Melua singing ‘The Closest Thing to Crazy’. I was enchanted and fascinated. The song describes the confusion and craziness of being in a one-sided relationship.
It’s a love song, but the theme (especially in the chorus) points to a general principle: the way we feel and how we experience life is often linked to or greatly influenced by the people around us.
If it’s family members who are making you feel the way you do, then separating from them might not be practical, or advisable in the short-term (only you can say).
But so-called friends? That’s a different matter.
Have you ever considered that friends and colleagues who won’t accept you as you are don’t deserve to have you as a friend?
It’s worth thinking about, isn’t it?
From Not Good Enough to Good Enough, And Better
So, you see, changing from never feeling good enough to feeling that you are good enough could be easier than you might have thought possible.
Remember these simple steps:
- Appreciate your uniqueness
- Stop trying to be like other people simply to fit in
- Develop those areas of your life that give you joy and fulfilment
- Find new friends if those around you continue to hurt your feelings
By following the tips I’ve shared with you, you’ll come to believe that you are good enough. If you do, then others might believe it, too.
To quote Ralph Waldo Emerson:
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
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