The fear of “not being good enough” is one of the deepest, most fundamental fears of every human being on the planet. My man Josh likes to say, “If you listen to your thoughts in your mind, they all boil down to saying the same thing: I suck.”
Marie wrote in and asked me,
“I’m a relative newbie in my industry, and I am constantly fighting thoughts about not being good enough, not being experienced enough, or not being old enough. Are there any tips for beating down the voice of resistance?”
First of all Marie, great name!
Secondly, here’s a little secret: everybody thinks they’re not good enough.
So the first thing I want you to recognize is the whole “I’m not good enough thing” is not personal to YOU. We all have it. It’s like our mind’s default factory setting.
Let’s explore where that feeling comes from and some ways I’ve found to overcome this fear.
What Does Not Being “Good Enough” Mean?
Does that question have you scratching your head? Me, too. Here’s why: It doesn’t have an answer.
What does it even mean to feel “good enough”? How can you tell that someone else is good enough? What’s so lacking about you that makes you not good enough?
Spoiler: The reason these questions sound so roundabout is because they’re a waste of time.
You’re you. Whatever you think others have that you don’t is irrelevant. YOU have exactly the magic you need to do your special work in the world.
If you try to define “good enough,” you’ll quickly realize that you’re measuring yourself against a totally arbitrary standard.
There’s no real definition of “good enough” because your specific journey, experience, perspective, and approach is what will make you special. Which is fantastic news, because it means you can’t actually be *not* good enough.
Why We Fear Not Being Good Enough
Your fear doesn’t need to be “crushed” or annihilated. It needs to be listened to and appreciated for the gift it offers. Think about an infant who wails in her crib or a dog who incessantly barks. They’re trying their best to communicate something, but they don’t have the language to articulate it.
The same is true with fear. Fear communicates using the only tool she has: the ability to make you feel. When you sense her presence, she’s doing her best to get you to pay attention. This subtle yet important distinction will help you meet your fear with open arms and a smile.
The fear of not being good enough doesn’t mean you’re actually not good enough; and there’s definitely nothing wrong with you. You’re probably afraid because:
- You’ve internalized feelings of self-doubt and self-criticism because of experiences you had as a child.
- You dream big, and other people say your dreams are “unrealistic.”
- You’re afraid to leave your comfort zone, and not being good enough is a cunning excuse to avoid taking action.
Those are all valid reasons to feel fear — but they’re no excuse to stay stuck.
Lies You Tell Yourself That Make You Feel Not Good Enough
Your mind loves to put you down. It’s great at getting you to wonder, “Am I enough?” It knows all your secrets and just the right buttons to push to make you afraid to try anything.
The messages below might seem valid and reasonable inside our heads, but they all boil down to one bogus message: I suck.
- I don’t have enough experience.
- I’m too young.
- I’m too old.
- My idea has already been done before.
- I’m fooling everyone.
- I’m just winging it.
- I’ll never get it perfect, so I shouldn’t do it at all.
- I’m a fraud, and everyone will figure it out soon.
- I’m going to fail.
- I’ve got too much to lose.
None of these messages are true. They’re just reasons we give ourselves for feeling afraid and avoiding action.
Fear is your soul’s GPS, pointing you in the exact direction your soul wants to go. Learn more in this MarieTV: The Power of Following Your Fear
When you find yourself frozen in place by a fear of not being good enough, you can get moving again with a few mindset shifts.
How to Overcome Feeling Like You’re Not Good Enough
We all have moments of low self-esteem, feeling not good enough, and like we’re frauds. To move forward, we have to push through those feelings.
In this MarieTV, I share one deceptively simple trick that’ll help you banish the “I’m not good enough” fear whenever you feel it. Check out the rest of the blog post after the video for even more ways to overcome your fear of not being good enough.