Overcoming the Fear of Being “Not Good Enough”

We’ve all felt it at some point.

A common mindset that many of us share is that we’re “not good enough” – for a job, an internship, a sport, a class, or in general – whatever life throws at us. In fact, inadequacy is something you feel on a daily basis and even harmless comments or corrections from others can send you into an internal spiral of self-doubt and questioning. It is, unfortunately, something you deal with all the time in your teenage and young adult years, and it can range from a lingering feeling to something that constantly influences your daily life.

While it seems easier to silence these feelings of insecurity and subject yourself to lower standards, you must also realize the importance of empowering yourself at the cost of “perfection”. It’s definitely not easy, but here are some helpful ways to deal with these feelings.


1. Realize that you are incredible for being able to do what you do.

Whether it’s taking hard classes, playing a sport, working, or participating in clubs, we are constantly balancing responsibilities and multitasking. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed by all of the things you need to do. It’s also easy to be disappointed in yourself when you fail at something new, or when you fail to live up to all of your goals. But stop and take a moment to look at what you are already accomplishing. You are incredible for doing what you do and somehow manage to do it all without breaking.


2. Stop comparing yourself to others.

Feelings of inadequacy often stem from the constant comparison of ourselves to others around us. We do it all the time without even realizing it because we are constantly holding ourselves to new standards. But the next time you compare yourself to someone else and put yourself down, remember that everyone has their own strengths, weaknesses, and limits. Remind yourself that you need to do things at your own pace, not at the pace of others.


3. Take a step back from stressful situations and reflect.

Whatever challenging situation you find yourself in, just try your best and trust that it will be enough. Things won’t always work out the way you want them to, but the most important part is that you at least tried and got something out of it. Because the reality of the situation is that you are the primary factor in determining what you take away from every experience. If it’s not a good experience, at least you learned a lesson or two and can make it better the next time. If you know you could put in a little more effort, do it. If you already did, don’t stress about what’s behind you. Move forward, because success, in any situation, is not immediate. There's no use going through each day judging your every step and criticizing yourself. As long as you are learning from your experiences – good or bad, you are already successful.


It's not something you overcome within a day, it’s something you have to work at every day. It will get hard, but you are strong, hardworking, and fully capable of anything you put your heart and mind to.