How to Deal with a Fear of Never Being Good Enough

What’s your greatest fear?

Most girls’ responses to this question range somewhere from spiders to heights to death, but mine is a little different. For as long as I can remember, I have been so utterly afraid of not being good enough – not being good enough for others and not being good enough for myself.

Certain events have confirmed my fear that I am always going to be inadequate or just not quite good enough: not getting positions I apply for, the rejection of boys and feeling second best to my sister.

However, I have recently decided that it doesn’t matter how many times my fear seems to have been confirmed; what is important is that I tell myself I am good enough because then, I know I will be. Over summer, I actively made this decision, and it totally transformed the way I see myself. There were certain things I decided were important to do to overcome my fear. Here are the strategies I used that worked for me and that I think will work for anyone else with a similar fear to mine:

To be good enough for yourself, you have to become the best version of yourself.

I’m sure most college freshmen can agree that they didn’t feel their best at the end of their first year of college. The freshmen 15 is definitely real, and it got to me. While I didn’t notice while at school (since I was having the time of my life), returning home made me aware of how unhappy I was with myself. I looked in the mirror and felt as if I didn’t recognize who was staring back at me. While I only gained 10 pounds at most, it totally perpetuated my insecurities of not being thin enough and not being pretty enough.

So I woke up one day and decided to make a change. I started going to Orangetheory Fitness, and while it was extremely challenging at first, I actually began to enjoy it. I didn’t dread working out; I looked forward to it because of the feeling it left me with all day.

I started to think about the kinds of food I was putting in my body. I ate cleaner and healthier but still indulged when I wanted to. You feel more energized, happier and healthier when you take care of your body. Everyone always says it, but it’s hard to believe it until you actually feel the results for yourself. When I started to like who looked back at me in the mirror, I began to feel like I could do anything, and I could succeed at it.

You are a reflection of the people you surround yourself with.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but most of my “friends” in high school were people that brought me down: girls who were insecure, jealous, negative and often mean. I didn’t recognize the destructive effects they had on my self-worth until I came to college and met real friends.

I now choose to only surround myself with people that are positive and uplifting. Especially because I am someone who values relationships and wants to be surrounded by people at all times, this change made me so much happier and optimistic. Being optimistic lends well to believing you’re good enough. Furthermore, valuing those relationships with your friends and family makes you feel better about yourself. When people close to you love and appreciate you, it makes you love and appreciate yourself.

Put yourself out there.

There was a time that I didn’t try things solely because I thought I’d fail at them. Now I know that putting myself out there (and failing) is part of life. Instead of viewing my “failures” as not being good enough for whatever it was, I now just view them as lessons. Maybe it wasn’t meant to be because there’s something better in store for me.

If you want something bad enough, and you put your mind to it, you can achieve it. It’s funny because once I started having this confident outlook, I started to be “good enough” in many aspects of life.

Although I still have my days where I feel second best or semi-inadequate, my overall view of myself has made a complete 180. For the first time in forever, I know I am good enough, and I know what I deserve. I no longer feel like I need someone else’s approval to be good enough because I’m good enough for myself, which is so much more important.

For anyone else that is struggling with a fear of never being good enough, I urge you to make the changes I did because you are good enough, and everyone deserves to feel that.