This week I’ll help you understand why you feel you’re not good enough and how to turn down the volume of shameful thoughts.
Why Do I Never Feel That' I’m Good Enough?
Welcome back to this blog dedicate to Shame, If you missed the first blog in the series, we talk about shame and the impact it has on self-care. Now that you understand the importance of putting yourself first and you’ve had some time to process any maybe even taken new steps towards your self-care practice, I want to cover a common challenge trauma survivors face - the feeling of never being good enough.
”I am never good enough.”
Sound familiar? Are these words that clutter your brain and diminish your power with self-doubt or uncertainty? This negative self-talk and the feeling associated makes you question whether you have what it takes to reach your life goals and desires. As trauma survivors, we’ve all been there.
We’ve all experienced intense feelings of inadequacy and diminished self worth. It can feel like a big wall stopping us from where we want to go.
We need to get to the bottom of this in order to help you move out of this negative space. We need to ask the WHY questions...Why are you not good enough? Or better worded, why do you think you’re not good enough?
Here’s a strategy I use with my clients when they are in this dark place. Think of what it is you believe you’re not good enough to do. Become aware of the specific words you are using to tell yourself you are not good enough. Identify what words that you use to hold yourself back from joy and fulfillment. I’d like you to give those words - those thoughts - a name. I call them “shame gremlins.” Now, picture this gremlin as a ridiculous and fictitious character in a movie you are watching. Hear this ridiculous and fictitious shame gremlin speak the words that hold you back. Words like “you’re not confident enough,” “remember what happened last time you tried this” and “I’m not that kind of person.” When you can see and hear how ridiculous and obvious this imaginary shame gremlin looks and sounds, as if you are watching a movie, it can really help to diffuse the moment. The next time one of your shame gremlins pop up, you can just see them for what they are - ridiculous and fictitious...an imagined annoyance. As a matter of fact, you can tell those ridiculous and fictitious gremlins that they are not being helpful. They aren’t useful, so you don’t need them showing up anymore.
Our shame gremlins remind us of childhood traumas, past failures and those limiting beliefs that we were once taught by those around us. But imagine what could happen for you when you quiet down your gremlins, turn down their volume and power ourselves up? That is the journey you need to embark on now.
When Do You Feel Not Good Enough?
This feeling and statement comes from your unconscious ego, which manifests from not feeling worthy. This feeling can come up when something good is happening, is about to happen, or may happen...or conversely, when something bad is happening, is about to happen, or may happen. Notice that it is tied to feelings of good and bad. This is about what you believe you deserve. You do not believe that you are worthy of being, having or doing something good, because you do not believe you are good enough.
How To Start Feeling Good Enough
Again, I’d like you to try a WHY exercise to help you in the moment. Ask yourself, is this really true? For example, let’s say your shame gremlin is telling you that you are the worst mom in the world. Ask yourself, am I really the worst mom in the world? If possible, if you are in a room by yourself, ask yourself this question out loud. By doing this it will help you see that it is not true. Invalidating these shame gremlins is really important in your process to stop them in their tracks. Maybe they are saying that you could never have a loving relationship. Is that true? Never? With all of the people on this planet, is it IMPOSSIBLE? No, in fact, you can take steps that will make it very probable. What would those steps look like? What could you get started on today? Do you see how asking yourself this question takes you down a different, and more hopeful path? Try using this simple and quick strategy to eradicate those false beliefs that you’re not good enough. This will also help you to let go of unhelpful, false thoughts that do not serve you.
The Power Our Thoughts Hold
Our thoughts hold our power. That power is evident when we choose to give power to positive or negative beliefs. The more we hold onto our thoughts, the truer they feel to us, because we become so accustomed to thinking these thoughts that they actually begin to feel real. It is just as easy to give our attention and focus to positive thoughts, and the same principle applies. The more you hold onto positive thoughts, the truer they’ll feel. That’s why I encourage you to use the strategies above to move from a negative thought to a more positive and hopeful thought. Keep doing that and soon these more positive thoughts will feel real to you. I also suggest that you practice witnessing your thoughts and choosing whether to believe them.
Everyone, at some point, has not felt good enough. Remember you are not your thoughts. You can change your thoughts and your beliefs. Next time, we take a deeper dive into what shame is, what it can do to us and how we can heal from it.
Shame can hold you back from a life you love. In my Stop Suffering Now group program, we focus on helping you to move through grief to a place of hope where you can feel excited for the future and learn to trust people (and yourself) once again. Get on my calendar to schedule your free 30-minute Healing Discovery Session call.