From an early age I thought I wasn’t really good at anything. I was ok at a few things but didn’t excel at anything in particular. I wasn’t very athletic and I hated gym class. Those days in school when we were forced to play team sports were terrifying. I remember the boys getting annoyed with me when we played softball in Junior High. I would try to disappear in the outfield and prayed that the ball didn’t come near me. I wasn’t comfortable with my body or my ability to play softball. I grew up in a family with women who weren’t into sports; it was so not my thing.
I did go to camps as a kid and we were summer people in my family so I was a decent swimmer. At 9 years old, I was on a swim team. While I was pretty fast around non-competitive swimmers, I would usually come in close to last at swim meets. Around the same age, I tried out gymnastics and horseback riding. Again, I was ok at these things, but not exceptional.
As I got older, I continued to feel that I was just ok at things, but there was nothing at which I felt I excelled. When I was finally diagnosed with depression, I was frustrated that I didn’t, at least, have some artistic ability along with my illness. Many of my friends who were suffering in my support group were amazing at drawing, or incredibly artistic. Yet, again I felt like I fell short. I liked crafting, I could decorate a room, but nothing spectacular.
At some point I began to realize that it’s ok if I’m not “great” at one thing and that I tend to downplay the things I am good at. People tell I’m great at decorating, I get mistaken for a BodyCombat instructor in my classes and I always beat my sister when we race in the pool. Oh, and I raised two pretty awesome daughters; mostly on my own while dealing with my own depression and my daughter’s mood disorder.
Do we have to have an amazing skill or talent to be valuable and worthy? We are so much more than what we’re good at or what we do.
If you’re feeling like you’re not good enough, try these strategies:
Start by making the decision to change your inner dialogue. We have the power to tell ourselves we are good enough and determine our self-worth. Regardless of what we do, it’s what we tell ourselves on an ongoing basis that forms our own self-view.
Recognize the positive. Often we dismiss the things that come easy to us and don’t accept praise and recognition for those things. I’ve noticed this in so many women, including myself. My mother could juggle taking care of two kids on her own, working three jobs and catering a party, but since it was easy for her, she didn’t see how amazing she was. We may be more used to accepting criticism and don’t even see our own accomplishments.
Let go of perfection. Oh, perfection, is there really such a thing? This one was hard for me. For years I thought if I couldn’t do something perfectly I wasn’t good enough. That fear paralyzed me and kept me from moving forward. By letting go of the pressure to be perfect, we let go of that anxiety and are free to try different things.
If you hear that voice that tells you “I’m not good enough,” ignore it, you are!