Have you ever found yourself paralyzed before a particular task, before a specific person, with no clear indication of what might be wrong? Have you skipped going to that event, or applying for that job, simply because you don’t think you are worth it? Have you ever broken up with some you loved, simply because of your insecurities, which had nothing to do with the other person? Well, take a seat, because you are far from being the only one to go through this.
The fear of not being good enough can paralyze you. It can make your mind go to places you never intended on going, dark places that exist only in your head. But most people cannot help themselves when it comes to the fear of not being good enough. It is not in any way connected to the age, gender, nor intelligence of the person. It can, and it probably will affect every person at least a couple of times in their lifetimes.
What Is the Fear of Not Being Good Enough?
In some cases, there is a fear of not being good enough phobia called Atelophobia, and it is a serious health concern if not treated. Atelophobia is a phobia recognized by the American Psychology Association. This is not only a fear of not being good enough; this is an anxiety disorder that is characterized by intense fear, described as a neurotic obsession with perfection.
But what do the people suffering from this phobia fear? They are fearful of criticism, failure of any kind, being ostracized by society. Even though it is hard to diagnose and treat this phobia, you can see that someone is atelophobic if they are continuously fear that they will make a mistake when in charge. Even the most mundane activities will induce fear in this person, and they will feel insecure no matter the task at hand, even some basic ones like driving, writing, or even eating at a dinner table. These people see life as a test where they must answer 10/10 of the questions correctly.
The most noticeable symptom for people who fear not being good enough is a distorted sense of reality. Still, in some cases, it is accompanied by depression – when the false perceptions of reality interrupt daily life and anxiety – constant fear of judgment by the employers, parents, and friends occurring every day, on every single occasion.
Some other telltale signs are:
- Panic attacks
In some cases, this phobia can trigger other illnesses like bulimia, anorexia, body dysmorphic disorder, social anxiety, substance abuse, and even workaholic behaviors.
Who Is Vulnerable to the Fear of Not Being Good Enough?
Even though you might be genetically predisposed to this phobia, it is generally the result of one’s life experiences. Maybe the person was under a lot of pressure to perform perfectly, or particular trauma brought about these anxieties and fear of not being good enough.
The most vulnerable people are people who faced emotional abuse in their homes, especially in families of high achievers. So along with biological and psychological causes, the more important are the society, parental, education environments that shape the person’s sense of self.
First of all, let’s go through why you would have this feeling:
Social media: You start your day beautifully, make some breakfast, get a cup of coffee, and then you open up your Instagram feed. You see, the colleague of yours is already on her third vacation this year, while you’ve been struggling to save money for just one. You scroll down, you see your cousin, who was overweight literally up until last year, but now he is super bulky and showing his performances live. You scroll down, and you see your ex with their new beautiful partner, who seems like some insta-model. And, in just a few seconds, your morning is already messed up. That’s what social media does! You see all the perfect aspects of people’s lives without seeing their failures. Then you go back to your life miserable, fearing that your life or yourself isn’t good enough. Read more about social media effects.
Upbringing: This is one of the prime reasons for the fear of not being good enough. You might have grown up in a household of high achiever parents who always pushed you to get better and do better; even if you gave your best every time, there is still some space for “better.” Or maybe, you were in a competitive state with your siblings, which planted seeds of insecurity by playing innocent games of who is better at this or that. To succeed at dissolving this fear is to look into the roots of the cause – our early upbringing.
Rejection: Everyone faces rejection. Even the most successful, the most attractive people will get rejected at one point, and rejection enhances the fear of not being good enough. It’s not easy to get through this, especially if you were invested in the thing you were rejected by. Getting rejected from a job might trigger us to feel like we are not good enough for our field. Getting left from the partner might make us think we aren’t a good partner. It’s not so hard to overcome for some people, but for some, it could be a reason to have a fear of not being good enough in the future.
I have gone through so many challenging situations that made me feel “I’m not good enough! Read My Story
Now that we know all the reasons and triggers for fear of not being good enough, how can we resolve it? Is there a way at all?
Some steps you can take for fear of not being good enough are:
- Therapy (cognitive, psychoanalytic, group, humanistic)
- Keep an emotional journal and reflect on it daily
- Educate yourself on the subject
Even though all these ways can help, the ultimate step you should take is some inner work.
How to do inner work?
Get Real With Yourself.
The first thing you need to do is distinguish whether the fear of not being good enough is only in your head or real. First of all, you need to know that emotions, just like anything else, are habits. There are neurological pathways that fire every time you think about yourself, even thoughts like not being good enough when comparing yourself with someone.
Having this in mind, do you have actual evidence that you aren’t good enough? Have you gotten too many rejections? Have you gotten too many demanding tasks in the past few years, and you fail every single one of them? Well, I doubt that’s the truth. Even if it is, then it means you have something to work on. The first step is getting real with oneself.
But how does it mean to get real with oneself?
The first step to overcome the fear of not being good enough is to identify your emotions. Start looking at your life. Look at the mirror in front of you. Take an in-depth look. Are you not good enough? Are you where you want to be? Do you have the job you want? Do you have the lifestyle you want? Do you have the partner you want? All these questions will give you the necessary information, whether it’s a delusional or real fear of not being good enough, but only if you are deeply honest with yourself. What does that mean?
Being deeply honest is getting your truthful answers without masking them with comforting words. For example, maybe the insecurities come from your job. Perhaps you are at a job that you are not satisfied with, and you don’t give it you’re all. But on the bright side, it does pay you regularly, plus it’s close to your home, so you might say to yourself that you are satisfied with your job. But this is not the truth, and you know it. Now, I am not telling you to quit your job; I advise you to be truthful to yourself. Why aren’t you satisfied with it? Maybe you have another option that you are scared to consider because of all the risks. Perhaps you are afraid to make a change. Perhaps you are too attached to the job place. Maybe you’ll start giving your best if you get a raise.
Whatever it is, stay true to yourself because if you lie to yourself, and you will know when you lie to yourself, you can never actually grow from where you are now. And if you never grow, how will you build the confidence necessary to go through life? You’ll always have a fear of not being good enough.
On the other hand, if you have actual evidence that you aren’t good at something – again, look deeply at why you aren’t good at it. Maybe it just wasn’t built for you. Or perhaps the answer is as simple as you weren’t interested in or you want something different. And how will you know if you don’t try and see whether the fear of not being good enough is real?
If you are a woman this Post will help you to empower yourself.
Beat the Voice of Resistance.
After you took a good look at yourself, the next step is making some adjustments. When you start working on the life areas you aren’t satisfied with, you’re going to come across some challenges. Now what’s important here is – to shut that voice that screams in your head, “I’m not good enough to do this.”
I know it’s a cliché, but it shouldn’t be treated that way. Take it seriously. That voice isn’t you; it’s just the natural programming of your mind that loves comfort. Both your body and mind love staying at the same state, same shape, and hate changing. It’s a natural process that doesn’t have to be taken into account. I could go days on to explain the theories of change, but the vital thing to remember is – the voices in your head that are resisting your change are normal, but it does not mean they are right.
Next time you get that little voice that you should stop with whatever you’re doing, go one more step and see for yourself whether you really shouldn’t go further, or it’s only a part of that natural process that’s supposed to be ignored.
One step after another, a year after, you’ll see how far you’ve come and how easily you achieved the goals you set yourself up for and how better you are as a person for it.
If you are a teen or beginner this will help you to find your business opportunities.
Give and Offer Your Help – Unconditionally!
The best way you can stop that spiral of feeling the fear of not being good enough and finally feel worthy is to give unconditionally. Even if sharing is not something you are eager to do, even if you don’t feel like helping that person, the next opportunity you have to offer your help – use it, but without the need to get something in return.
This works for a couple of reasons. First of all, the simple fact that you will have your attention focused on something else rather than yourself will make you see things more clearly and get out of that toxic spiral of self-loathing. If you are already having these thoughts, let’s be real, you are probably thinking of yourself a little bit too much.
Additionally, the feeling of having a purpose makes you feel good about yourself. After finishing whatever you needed to, you’ll feel a sense of gratification and will immediately feel better about yourself.
Now, what if you make this a habit? It will make you feel worthy. The easiest way to get that sense of worthiness is to be a person worth having in other people’s lives. It’s not the ultimate path, but it plays a massive role in it.
If you fear not being good enough for your partner, try to give more into the relationship. Next time make them dinner, without them needing to wash the dishes. Buy them that book they’ve wanted to read even though their birthday is in 5 months. When you see the smile on their face, wouldn’t that be the perfect gift for you? And bye, bye to the fear of not being good enough in a relationship.
If you fear not being good enough at work, give in some extra work for that project. Some experiments show that people who give unconditionally at their workplace have a lesser chance of being underpaid. After all, if you are a hard worker who unconditionally gives when you ask for a raise, it would be tough to say no to you.
And don’t forget to give love. Give love to the person you least want to show love to. Just think about that. Feel that. Aren’t you feeling like a bigger person already?
The more you give – the more you receive. It might not be in the same shape or form, but the simple gratification that you will receive will make you more fulfilled, which leads to a greater sense of importance and even confidence – which in the end will help your fear of not being good enough.
Understand That Perfection Is a Myth
Let’s be real; there is no such thing as perfection. Even the most perfect thing has its flaws, which in the end makes the thing perfect.
Whenever you work hard on that project and want it to be perfect, remember that even if it isn’t perfect, you know you gave it you’re all. You realize you kept trying, and you know you were never going to give up. Maybe you should write this down somewhere you’re going to see every day because it’s easy to get immersed in work and forget about what matters.
The next time you think you aren’t good enough for that person, that person that is so perfect to you, remember they have their insecurities too. They also think they aren’t good enough for something, but you see them as perfect in the end. You might be perfect for them with all your flaws too. This does not mean you should stop working on yourself; it just means that you should be more accepting. This leads me to the next thing:
Accept Yourself, Together With Your Flaws and the Things You Can’t Change.
Everyone and everything has their own seemingly bad cracks. The cracks are always perceived as weaknesses, but what happens when we accept them? They can become our most significant strengths! Think of all the nasty comments women with tick eyebrows faced. Now, the same thick eyebrows are the symbol of natural beauty in modeling. Why? Because women stopped fearing them and accepted them as part of their natural body. There are so many opportunities to build your business and start your own journey.
One thing is sure, to overcome the fear of not being good enough won’t be a simple nor easy task. There is no short-cut to overcoming this fear.
It will take you time, energy, and conscious, daily effort. But the last thing you should do is give up. Because if you give up, you will never get there. And if you don’t, you will surely do, in your own time, because you ARE good enough.
Thank you so much for visiting Dollars on you!