Do you suffer from the fear of not being good enough?
In today’s frighteningly fast-paced culture, huge expectations are bestowed upon us from all angles.
The pressure to conform to all of society’s expectations has led to mass feelings of incompetence, inadequacy and the fear of not being good enough at anything.
This fear has crippled our mental health beyond recovery and has contributed heavily to the rise of depression and anxiety among children and adults alike.
That’s why this article was written, to teach you how to beat the fear of not being good enough once and for all. To help you learn how to let go of external expectations and start living on your own terms.
Where has the fear of not being good enough come from?
From a very young age we’re taught to respect authority, to do what we’re told and stay in line.
As we grow older and gain more responsibility so does the amount of pressure and expectation which mounts on our shoulders.
The segregation between those who excel and those who don’t, starts young and lasts an entire lifetime.
At school, we are separated into groups based on academic ability alone or how much money we have.
At work, our mistakes are brought to the limelight and discussed at length. Whilst we wait patiently for the inevitable news of redundancy or performance-related warnings.
In our households we’re always compared to the sibling who does everything better than we can.
Shopping online for clothes is a nightmare when retailers don’t stock in your size. Even worse, when they’re in stock but the models advertised are clearly not wearing that particular size of clothing.
Everyday we’re stereotyped and face regular discrimination and marginalization because of how we look.
As you can see, your fear of not being good enough didn’t spark out of thin air.
It’s not an irrational fear worth ignoring.
The fear of feeling incompetent and not being good enough is the result of being told (no matter how silent) that you’ll never amount to anything from the masses of others who surprise, surprise feel exactly the same way.
This process lasts a lifetime and won’t stop until you say so. Not just through your words, but your actions too.
So let’s explore how you can do just that.
1. Slow down and learn the benefits of slow living
When you live life at 150mph, you miss out on simple pleasures which makes being alive a beautiful gift.
Society rewards those who are loud, boisterous, productive and always on the move. But always being busy isn’t something to celebrate.
Giving yourself time to stop and think is the best form of self-care you could administer.
What is Slow Living
Slow living is a lifestyle focused on finding meaning and fulfillment in your daily life. It is the opposite approach to fast living, which unlike slow living, emphasizes consuming and disposing of food, clothes, money and people.
Benefits of Living Slowly
Living slowly allows you to accept mistakes you make daily, rather than chastising yourself. It gives you more time to reflect on your life and start making decisions that actually move your life forward.
How to Start Living Slowly
The key to living slowly and beating the fear of not being good enough is just giving yourself permission to make mistakes.
When you’re late and you’ve missed the bus in the morning, don’t rush after it.
And for all those times you’re in the middle of an argument, stop. Take heed of Robert Downey Jr’s advice.
Listen, smile, agree, then do whatever the fuck you were gonna do anyway." - Robert Downey Jr
2. Stop comparing yourself with others
The source of feeling incompetent comes from constant comparisons between yourself and others.
Whilst it's natural to feel envious towards people in advantageous positions, this can be unhealthy and will negatively impact your performance and how you perceive it.
The best advice I’ve ever received about comparing yourself with others is as follows:
Never compare your beginning to someone else’s middle or end.”
3. Administer your own values and rules to live by
The key to beating the fear of not being good enough lies with the values and rules you live by.
We’ve written at length about personal values and why they’re so important.
When you choose your own values, you stop judging yourself based on the parameters of others.
Learn how to create your own list of personal values here.
As you can see, beating the fear of not being good enough can be done, if you give yourself the permission to.