You are good enough. We all need to hear this from time to time, but if you’re reading this, then now is probably the time when you need to hear it.
And the best person to tell you is not some guru, not your mom or dad, not your boss, lover, partner, brother, best friend, not Elon Musk, not a million Instagram followers, not a shaman who’s been meditating in a cave on a faraway mountain for the past 30 years, not the self-help guru that you’ve been watching on YouTube or whose books are on your shelf, nor that one special person who’s approval you crave. No, it’s you.
That’s why we call it self-esteem. Self-worth. Self-confidence. Self-respect.
That’s both a letdown and a miracle.
It’s a letdown because you might not feel like you telling yourself you’re enough does any good. You probably tried that already.
But it’s a miracle because it’s true and empowering. You just gotta get to that space where you actually see its truth. But we’ll get back to that later.
Let’s get some facts straight first:
We all sometimes feel like we’re not good enough. For some, this thought only rarely comes up, and we’re able to quickly put it back in its place. For others, it’s a constant mental background melody that tortures and weakens them.
Life humbles all of us. That’s not a bad thing. But whatever you go through—be it success, defeat, failure, heartbreak—you have to show up for life. Bring the best version of yourself to the table. Share positivity with your loved ones.
Let’s touch on one topic first before we dig into how to deal with your lack of self-esteem:
Your Limiting Beliefs
You’re full of limiting beliefs—and we all are. There’s nothing wrong with limiting beliefs, because the truth is: We all are limited in our potential. But what’s wrong is if you just let those limiting beliefs get in the way of living up to your own potential, of becoming who you could be. Don’t take your limiting beliefs at face value: Question them.
Ask yourself: Why do I believe that? Where does that belief come from? Pick the first answer that comes to mind, jot it down so it won’t get lost—but then also dig deeper and try to surface the things that are buried in deeper realms of your psyche.
Now let’s look at some of the things you can do to when you feel you’re not good enough.
Love is stronger than those negative thoughts in the back of your mind. Ever seen a caring parent lift up a little child that was in pain or some kind of suffering—and their loving embrace just absorbed and dissolved all of their kids suffering and transformed it into joy?
That’s love. When you love yourself, you won’t fight your feelings of inadequacy. You’ll simply look at them with compassion, embrace them tenderly for what what they are, lift them up and cuddle the shit out of them. Because you find yourself within those doubts. It’s part of your true self, and that’s fine.
You need love the most when you feel like you deserve it the least. And it starts with yourself.
Let Go of Perfectionism
We all make mistakes. If you beat yourself up every time you screwed up, and then cast a harsh judgment on yourself and replay every mistake you’ve made into your entire life… well, let’s say you’ve obviously got yourself a recipe for disaster there.
And yet, so many of us do exactly that. We zoom in on all our deficiencies. And then we wonder why we have a low self-esteem.
Making mistakes is ok. It’s how we learn. Even repeating the same mistake over and over and over again is sometimes ok—it simply means there’s still something left to learn. Trust yourself that you’ll figure it out one day. And then look at this error with a truly open and curious mind. Ask yourself:
- Why have I made this mistake?
- Is there a part of me that doesn’t think of this as a mistake at all, but that thinks this was the right action? Maybe it’s been trying to protect me from something, or to prevent a change that might have ramifications it’s scared of.
- What would happen if I hadn’t committed this mistake?
- What can I learn from this?
- How can I behave differently next time I’m in a similar situation?
- Who can I ask for help or advice?
We’re all just human beings—we’re full of flaws, shortcomings, inadequacies, and weaknesses. By all means, work on bettering yourself, but also make peace with your own imperfections. Stop aiming for perfect, and focus on progress instead.
Stop Comparing Yourself to Others (and F#ck Social Media)
We all know about the risks and side effects of spending too much time on Instagram and co: We start comparing our true self with the curated, filtered, staged, and edited display of other people’s lives.
And nobody looks great in that light. You already know that comparing yourself with someone else won’t do you any good. You know that it’s just a subtle form of torture.
And it’s not like we’ve needed any help comparing ourselves to others in the first place. People have been indulging in that bad habit for a long, long time before the internet even existed. Many of the social media apps just have finetuned their algorithms to perfection, and there’s a feeding frenzy in our brains.
Remember that the people you compare yourself to also are comparing themselves to others. And there’s always someone with whom you can compare yourself against in some area of your life that will make you look bad in comparison.
Shane Parrish wrote on Farnam Street:
“The big question about how people behave,” says Warren Buffett, “is whether they’ve got an inner scorecard or an outer scorecard. It helps if you can be satisfied with an inner scorecard.” To make his point, Buffett often asks a simple question: Would you rather be the world’s greatest lover, but have everyone think you’re the world’s worst lover? Or would you rather be the world’s worst lover but have everyone think you’re the world’s greatest lover?
That’s a wonderful way to look at this. Adapt an inner scorecard. You might not be as successful as that classmate of yours. You might not be as good looking as that friend of yours. You might not be as smart as your brother, or as funny as that comedian on YouTube. You might not have as many friends as Bob, or your friends might not be as impressive. It’s all good. You’re still worthy of love. You’re still good enough. You’ve got your own journey, and the only way to take it is to one step at a time. If you constantly look up other people’s journeys, you’ll never get anywhere.
Use Encouraging Self-Talk to Stay Positive
Now you might not have much control about the voice popping up in your head that tells you you’re not good enough. But you do have control about the words you consciously choose to tell yourself.
Tell yourself that it’s fine to not be perfect.
Remind yourself that even the most successful people on earth feel self-doubt, and in fact many of them are even more driven by their feelings of inadequacy than you and I. It’s part of the human experience.
Remind yourself of all your accomplishments, no matter how big or small they might seem to you. If you find that difficult, find just one accomplishment and give yourself recognition for it.
If you need some inspiration when it comes to using your inner dialogue for some self-care, I’ve got you. Here’s a collection of quotes. Steal them, rewrite them, make them your own. Find the ones that resonate with you and go with them. Tell them to yourself when you talk to yourself in your own head. But even get in front of a mirror and tell yourself these words out loud while you look into your eyes.
Quotes on Being Enough
- Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes. – Carl Gustav Jung
- Your problem is you’re too busy holding onto your unworthiness. – Ram Dass
- I was told I wasn’t good enough, but I just chose not to listen. – Khalid
- I exist as I am, that is enough. – Walt Whitman
- Most lives are not distinguished by great achievements. They are measured by an infinite number of small ones. Each time you do a kindness for someone or bring a smile to his face, it gives your life meaning. Never doubt your value, little friend. The world would be a dismal place without you in it. – Lisa Kleypas
- Don’t doubt your value. Don’t run from who you are. – Aslan
- As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live. – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
- Never bend your head. Hold it high. Look the world straight in the eye. – Helen Keller
- Of all the judgments we pass in life, none is more important than the judgment we pass on ourselves. – Nathaniel Branden
- “In many situations, we don’t need to make a perfect choice but just a good-enough choice.”― Gretchen Rubin
- But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. – 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
- You can’t please everyone. When you’re too focused on living up to other people’s standards, you aren’t spending enough time raising your own. Some people may whisper, complain and judge. But for the most part, it’s all in your head. People care less about your actions than you think. Why? They have their own problems! – Kris Carr
- There is no need to be more – you are enough. Everybody is enough. – Osho
- At the end of the day darling, you are enough. You always have been. It may have taken you awhile to see that and to finally reach this place, but you have always been enough. – Lacey Ramburger
- No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. – Eleanor Roosevelt
- Don’t look outside of yourself for approval. You need to find it from inside and know that you are enough. – Rachel Platten
- We are all a little broken. But last time I checked, broken crayons still color the same. – Trent Shelton
- You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody. – Maya Angelou
- But here’s the deal, sweet stranger. You deserve to be the protagonist of your own wonderful, bizarre, terrifying little life. If you decide you are enough, you are enough. You don’t need to wait for some grand external validation of your worth before you offer your kindest heart to yourself. – Kathy Brown
- Too many people overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they are. – Malcolm S. Forbes
- Having a low opinion of yourself is not modesty. It’s self-destruction. Holding your uniqueness in high regard is not egotism. It’s a necessary precondition to happiness and success. – Bobbe Sommer
- The truth is: Belonging starts with self-acceptance. Your level of belonging, in fact, can never be greater than your level of self-acceptance, because believing that you’re enough is what gives you the courage to be authentic, vulnerable and imperfect. – Brene Brown
- You have been criticizing yourself for years, and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens. – Louise L. Hay
- To work on yourself is the best thing you can do. Accept that you are not perfect, but you are enough. – Finja Brandenburg
- Until you stop breathing, there’s more right with you than wrong with you. – Jon Kabat-Zinn
- I am thankful for all of those who said NO to me. Its because of them I’m doing it myself. – Albert Einstein
- For me, the opposite of scarcity is not abundance. It’s enough. I’m enough. My kids are enough. – Brene Brown
- Be confident enough in your actions not to need to explain yourself. Trust yourself and act. – Bernard Roth
- So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. – Genesis 1:27
- I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live up to what light I have. – Abraham Lincoln
- You are enough. A thousand times enough. – Atticus
- When admiring other people’s gardens, don’t forget to tend to your own flowers. – Sandbar Khan
- When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everyone will respect you. – Lao Tzu
- There is no need to be more – you are enough. Everybody is enough. – Osho
Got another you are good enough quote? Let me know in the comments, I love to hear them!
Finally, realize that you really are good enough. There’s no point in hating on yourself—you’ll only end up stuffing your face with chocolate to give yourself a quick jolt of pleasure, end up bingewatching that dumb show on Netflix to numb your feelings, and what’s the good in that?
Remember your unique beauty. And if you don’t know what it looks like, then you’ve got a beautiful road of discovery ahead of you.