Not Good Enough:
Subduing my Inner Critic
This week I want to share a personal story, the story of not good enough. The story that followed me everywhere and stopped me from being my best self for a long time. I think that so many people look no further than the surface of what other people do, and then somehow feel like they can never match that. So, this is my story of discovering how to overcome my worst critic, myself.
I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of imposter syndrome, but it’s described as an inner experience of believing that you are not as competent as others think you are. I personally feel that many people can identify with this, some more than others. In fact, I think so many people probably feel this way it should just be called “being human”. Many of us have these moments in our lives, on a daily basis, whether it’s at work, at home, wherever, where we worry that everyone else is going to work out that we have no idea what we are doing. I liked to think that I’d made “fake it till you make it” a personal mantra where I was pretending I knew what I was doing all the time.
Internally I was striving for perfection in everything. I engaged in study and educational opportunities, trying to get better and better qualifications, to prove that I was actually able to do what I do. It was like the qualifications were the validation that I could do it. I worked hard to be seen as perfect at work, because that was the only way I could prove I was good enough.
Now, some of us do this only in our workplace, others do it in the home or with their parenting, some of us even try to do it in every facet of our life, and it’s EXHAUSTING. Not only that, but it’s also incredibly sad, because generally people who have this internal feeling of incompetence are actually far more adept than they think they are. The problem is actually in the way that their inner monologue runs. In fact, in many cases, this background rumbling of inadequacy has been with you all your life, I call it the “not good enough story”. It’s a story that your brain tells you any time you are trying to do something that you feel will reflect on who you are as a person.
The worst part of this story is when we unwittingly end up in relationships, whether they be romantic, platonic or family, where the inner story is actually reinforced by the way others treat you. Remember that boyfriend who told you nobody thought you were funny when you were in the middle of the fight? Or the friend that asked you if you really wanted chips with your meal at the restaurant? Or the mother who always responded to your grades that you worked so hard for with “But Ginny got an A, what did you do wrong?” diminishing all your efforts.
If you’re reading this and it’s hitting a few nerves, then I want you to know that you can work around a “not good enough story”, once you learn how you got it. It’s important to know that this story can develop for a number of reasons; family patterns, childhood traumas, and even neurodivergences such as ADHD and Autism can develop this story, especially as they try to match themselves into a world not designed for them. We have this ongoing mental battle attempting to do everything perfectly, so that no one can find fault, thus proving that we are, in fact, good enough. The person you present to the world is not the person you feel inside. It’s debilitating to be in this space. So how did I get through this?
For me, it took a lot of introspection into my life, reviewing it from an outside perspective, attempting to remove the emotional content of the messages that I had heard over time, as well as they way I interpreted those messages. While this wasn’t an easy process, let me tell you, it released me from chains I wasn’t even aware I had. I was able to stop worrying that I wasn’t good enough all the time and started doing things I’d put off for years. This included finishing a course of study I’d enrolled in four years prior that has led me to now being able to work with amazing people just like you who are also tackling their own “not good enough story”.
I want to share with you a few things that really help identify whether you too are struggling with your own “not good enough story”. You tend to take criticisms incredibly personally, you can apply any criticism to yourself personally, rather than being related to the actions that you have taken or not taken. You totally suck at taking on compliments. You reject or push them back, or if you’ve trained yourself to say thank you for the compliment, you don’t believe it anyway, immediately internally citing all the reasons it’s inaccurate. When someone wants to talk to you, like your boss, a partner, a friend; you immediately assume the worst and worry that you’re going to get sacked or dumped. You assume the worst for everything. If someone doesn’t say hello to you, you immediately associate this with something that you’ve done, never even considering that there might be other explanations. It’s a horrible world to live in, it’s so draining on your emotional state. It’s terrible for your mental wellness. You worry about things constantly. You never really settle into jobs because you feel that someone will cotton on that you are completely incompetent. You are constantly on edge, expecting your whole world to come crashing down on you.
Working through my own “not good enough story” has been quite an adventure. I had to learn where these ideas came from, work out how they impacted me on a daily basis and how to neutralise them. I learnt that for me, challenging those thoughts didn’t work. I just ended up arguing with my own head, which was ridiculously pointless, as my brain is very convincing in its delivery of the story, it’s been practicing for years! The difference for me now is that I know the feelings and thoughts aren’t accurate, and I work from there.
Does this sound at all familiar to you? You freak out every time your boss says “hey, can I see you in my office?”. You worry that you really don’t know what you’re doing in your job all the time. You worry that your children will grow up to hate you because you’re a terrible parent. You feel constantly conflicted from trying to be a worker and a parent and put yourself down constantly about it. You fear that you can’t keep your house looking like a magazine and that everyone that visits thinks you’re an absolute slob. You think you’re not a good enough parent, spouse, sibling, child, friend or employee. You feel like you have a “not good enough story” that is keeping you stuck.
Let me tell you, you don’t have to stay stuck. I have the tools for you to navigate your “not good enough story” and to help you rewrite it into your own story of ENOUGH. You too can learn how to shut down your biggest critic, yourself! Doing my own work has allowed me to learn how to do this, and now I have the skills to help anyone navigate their own story. I can help you stay motivated during the tough parts by reminding you how far you’ve come, and I’ll be your biggest cheerleader for each and every win you get, no matter how small you think it is. Imagine no longer worrying that people will think you’re not good enough, because you know, deep within yourself, that you are absolutely enough! Want to re-story your life to ENOUGH? Click on the BOOK A CALL button below to book a free consultation call. We can talk through how I can help you rewrite your own story and support you in building a new way of living that feels right for you! BOOK A CALL now!