If you’ve ever felt as though you weren’t good enough, you know that it’s not the best feeling. We all struggle with feelings of inadequacy from time to time, but when they’re ongoing or hard to move past, it’s something to address. The good news is that there are answers, and it is possible to work through feelings of inadequacy.
How Feelings Of Inadequacy Can Impact Your Life
First, how do feelings of inadequacy impact one’s life? The answer may vary from person to person, but there are a number of ways that it can show up. Here are some areas in which feelings of inadequacy have the potential to affect your life negatively:
- Interpersonal relationships. Feeling as though you aren’t good enough can make it hard to speak up or communicate your needs alongside other concerns in interpersonal connections, whether those are romantic or otherwise.
- Self-esteem or self-worth. Feelings of inadequacy often compound or contribute to low self-esteem, which can impact all areas of life, ranging from your personal mental health to your work, connections with others, and overall sense of satisfaction in life.
- Goals and tasks. You may find yourself avoiding tasks or goals out of the fear of failure. For example, you may want to apply for a job but refrain from doing so due to feelings of inadequacy.
Breaking Through Feelings Of Inadequacy
Here are some ways to start breaking through feelings of inadequacy:
- Notice where the thoughts and feelings come from. While it won’t solve everything, it can be helpful to acknowledge where feelings of inadequacy stem from in your life in some cases. Maybe, it’s a past relationship, societal norms, expectations within your family, or something else. It could also be true that you aren’t able to find a root cause. All of this is useful information. Say that familial expectations as a child played a role in the way you feel. If that’s the case, inner child work may be a game-changer. Alternatively, say that you can’t find a root cause. In this scenario, it might be most beneficial to move on to other steps such as challenging negative thoughts without fixating on the “why.”
- Use self-talk and challenge cognitive distortions or negative thinking. Say that a negative thought such as, “I am useless” or “no one will ever love me” pops into your head. Acknowledge that the thought is there, and challenge it by responding with something like, “there’s no evidence to support that no one will ever love me. I haven’t lived the rest of my life yet, and I can’t predict what’s going to happen.”
- Shift your focus to the positive. It can be advantageous to make a list of the things that you like or appreciate about yourself. Examples of traits to identify may include but are not limited to kindness, gratitude, generosity, compassion, open-mindedness, being a good friend, or something else. A gratitude list can also be beneficial.
If you are struggling to work through feelings of inadequacy or if nothing seems to be improving, seeing a therapist or counselor can help. Feelings of inadequacy aren’t something that you have to work through on your own. These feelings are painful, but in time, it can become easier and more natural to feel positive about yourself.
There are a number of ways to go about finding mental health support in the form of a counselor or therapist. You can ask your doctor for a referral to a therapist or counselor near you, search the web, contact your insurance company to see who they cover, utilize an employee assistance program or other resources that are available to you through a workplace or educational institution or use a website like Mind Diagnostics that’ll help you find a provider who is licensed to practice in your area. All that you have to do is type in your zip code, and you’ll see a range of providers near you with various specialties. Regardless of how you reach out for help, doing so is something to be proud of. You deserve to get the support that you need, so don’t hesitate to take the first step today.