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I’m feeling less than good enough

I’ve spent a great period of time not feeling good enough. I’ve spent a lot of my adult life feeling as though I’m not smart enough. Oddly enough though, my lack of feeling doesn’t stop me from trying, but once I get into a situation and I feel insecure, I go into internal meltdown. For one, my mind goes blank and I can’t remember anything. Secondly, I say stupid stuff that makes no sense. Or I’ll say something that is totally inappropriate and makes me feel like it wouldn’t be the worst thing if the ground opened up and swallowed me. And too many times than I care to admit, I’d lose my train of thought half way through sentences, it’s a real sort of self-criticism and it’s never been helpful. Ever! I don’t know about you, but I’ve found my feelings of inadequacy to be absolutely crippling. I find it just as crippling as feelings of guilt and shame that I’ve had in the past. In fact, I don’t know, maybe there’s a link between my overwhelming feelings of guilt, shame and inadequacy… I don’t know, maybe it’s something that I’ll have to investigate in the future.

Anyway, I’m really interested in being an academic, so I need to be able to speak, teach and argue, but this is so darn hard when you feel so darn lacking. For sure, it’s not helped by the fact that I have memory problems, but even if my short and long-term memory were better, would I feel as though I were good enough? Actually that brings me to a point – do I feel that I need to have a certain number of things or attributes in order to make me “good enough”? Or is there a possibility that I could be more than great just as I am. I don’t know??? How can I find out?

Feeling not good enough hasn’t just affected me in my professional life. I feel socially retarded because I am always comparing myself to others, thinking how they are better spoken, better dressed, better equipped, better this, better that, just all-round better. I always say that being insecure was cute when I was younger, but now people just look at me like I need to get over myself and act like a grown-up. I do want to be confident. I know that my past has a lot to do with my lack of confidence now. When you’ve been told for a great deal of your childhood that everything you did was not good enough and you were physically and emotionally abused to show you just how rubbish you are, that can affect a kid. And for sure it’s affecting me as an adult. But I’m keen to work on it. I’m keen to get better. I’m keen to heal. I’m just keen to feel like the person I know I’m meant to be. To do the things that God has ordained me to do. I know I’ve got to live out my purpose and I don’t want to waste the rest of my life feeling the negativity and anxiety that leads to a closed and boring life that comes with feeling cutoff because of fear.

Some things I’m trying to do to combat it? Well I’m talking to my husband about it. God knows, he must get so fed up with seeing me trip over myself and doubt myself in every situation I’m put in. But talking helps. Talking is healing because I’m getting feedback and ideas when I explain my situation and thought process. I have someone building me up when my instinct is to put myself down. Everyone needs this. Even you. Look, if you have a situation and you just need someone to sound off to, or to gain a different perspective from, please do say something in the comment section below. It’s so important to talk. If you don’t feel brave enough, give it some time and come back. And when you do feel that you can, please share what you’re going through with me. I guarantee you that even though I may not know you personally and I may not fully understand your particular and unique situation wholly – or even mine at this point in my life, I guarantee that I will listen and I will care and I bet that even if one other person is looking at this site and seeing what you write, I’m sure that they’ll care too. Just please, whatever you do, don’t leave it unspoken. You need to share in order to work towards being ok.

I’m probably not in a position to say this given that I’m also struggling, but I’d say to start with what you do know. My hubby tells me this all the time. The one thing that I am an absolute expert on is me. I know what I’ve been through, I know what I’ve felt and I know where I want to go. I may not understand everything behind how my brain works and how life works and I may not have all the answers as to how to be more confident, but in my closed and intimate life, I know myself. So my hubby’s tip to me is that, if I cannot think of anything else, I should relate things back to me. Now I still even struggle with that, because this feeling of inadequacy can make me want to invalidate even my own feelings and what I feel deep down to be true. But I try it when I can. Sometimes it can lead me to seem quite negative, because a lot of my life has been quite negative, so when I talk to people about myself and my experiences, it can seem as if I’m a negative nelly. I’m working on this… I’m working on putting the positive in when I’m speaking from the place of my own experience. I’m focusing more and more on the great things in my life. I’m learning more about who I am. I’m focusing more on the things that I was made to do – the things that when I do them, I feel more confident about.

And you know as usual I’m praying about this and even if you’re not spiritual, don’t think that this can’t help you. Even if you can’t find it in yourself to pray (and that’s ok), just knowing that someone out there is praying for you can help so much. I’m praying for myself and I’m praying for you to recognize that God made us perfect and God made us with a particular purpose in mind. We were born and are here in this moment in time, in the place we are, and the situation we are for something amazing. We’re unique for a reason and I’m praying that for those times when we can’t find that confidence in who God made us, we remember to go straight to finding confidence in who God is – He doesn’t make mistakes – even with making us who we are. He’s never left us alone and He won’t start now. I’m praying that we’ll have the courage to keep going and keep God’s purpose in mind.

I’m praying and moving. Keep praying and moving.

Shay x