Help Me: When You’re Feeling I’m Not Good Enough
By: Stephanie Kirby
Updated September 01, 2021
Do you ever feel like you don't measure up to the expectations of others? It may be that your self-esteem took a hit, leaving your confidence rattled. Or it may be that you've always struggled with negative thoughts. Either way, it's a feeling experienced by many. But it's not healthy for relationships — and it's not something you have to live with.
It's easy to fall for untrue thoughts like "Why am I not good enough for him?" Especially with the bombardment of perfect selfies we suffer through daily on social media. There are many factors that contribute to feeling like you’re not good enough — truth isn't one of them. When you learn how to identify the problem, you can overcome feelings of low self-worth and rebuild your self-esteem.
You Are Enough
It's important to establish that you are enough. You're not defined by your value to any other person on the face of this Earth. So, if you find yourself thinking "I'm not good enough for them," you're incorrect. Sometimes two people are just not a good fit for each other. That doesn't mean one person is better than the other. Everyone is born with an inherent worth and is deserving of love and respect.
When you begin to feel you're not good enough, whether it be as a parent, spouse, friend, or child, your self-confidence plummets. It's hard to feel like a confident and capable person if you believe you don't meet someone else's standards.
Why Do I Feel This Way?
There are many reasons you may feel as though you aren't good enough. These can include but are not limited to:
Low Self-Esteem. If you already suffer from low self-esteem and a poor self-image, it's easy to feel you don't meet someone else's standards. If you feel you don't fit the definition of the "perfect" partner, parent, or friend, you may begin to feel hopeless. You may feel you don't matter to anyone.
The Way You're Treated. You may feel you're not good enough because someone else is trying to make you to feel that way. This could be from an abusive relationship, either physical or emotional, or from your development as a child. If a child is constantly told they're a failure, they'll start to believe it. This can leave them susceptible to manipulative relationships later in life. Then, unfortunately, the cycle continues.
Anxiety and Depression. You may feel you're not good enough due to an underlying mental health condition, such as anxiety or depression. Often people who suffer from anxiety question their interactions with others. They will analyze their past conversations, certain they must have said something wrong. They may beat themselves up over nothing. This could lead to depression, and feelings of loneliness and hopelessness.
Mental Health Disorders. Not feeling good enough may result from a self-defeating personality disorder. People with this type of disorder have a pattern of behaving like a victim and often do not allow themselves to view the positive, even in activities they enjoy. They may appear to be self-sabotaging. For example, if they are in a committed relationship, they may make disparaging remarks about themselves in search of reassurance. It's important to address this behavior in counseling.
Will It Get Better?
As with many things in life, feeling like you’re not good enough does not need to be a permanent issue. While it's challenging to rebuild broken self-esteem, it's not impossible. But it's important to find someone you trust to help you with this process. You need to be in a safe place to take risks, such as approaching your partner differently. Your partner, or whoever you are in relationship to, needs to be cognizant of your feelings and want to help you rebuild your self-esteem. With knowledge, consistency, and support, it will get better. Some ideas for how to approach another person about your feelings are below.
Tell Them Honestly How You Feel
Explain that you feel as if you aren't good enough for them and why you feel this way. If you cannot pinpoint why you feel this way, say so. Honesty is best. Be sure to speak with your partner, or whomever you feel this way toward, in a nonjudgmental and nonaccusatory way. If this is a relationship you'd like to preserve, you want to ensure that you work together rather than pointing fingers.
What could you hear that would make you feel differently? Do you feel as though the other person approaches you in a certain way that is harmful or doesn't say certain things to you that would be helpful? If that changed, would it make you feel differently? If your parent tells you how terrible you are at something, is that beneficial? Or does it make you feel you are not good enough? Explain that they could get their point across using different wording that does not attack your self-esteem.
Write It Down
If you already have low self-esteem and believe you're not good enough, you may not feel comfortable approaching the person causing these feelings. There are ways around this. Writing them a letter will allow you time to sit and think about your feelings and get them all on paper for the other person to read, rather than stumbling over your words while struggling with your self-confidence.
How BetterHelp Can Support You
Consider attending counseling with this other person, or by yourself. The professional, licensed therapists at BetterHelp can provide counseling services to help guide you through this process. Your therapist will help you with every step described in this article, from identifying your triggers to coaching you through a conversation with that other person. BetterHelp's network of licensed counselors can be accessed from the comfort and privacy of your own home (or wherever you have an internet connection).
With a therapist present as a neutral person, you can have peace of mind that someone else is helping to facilitate the conversation. Therapy is a safe place to express your thoughts. The therapist will also ensure that the discussion stays on track and remains appropriate so that the relationship is not damaged further.
Online Therapy for Couples
Online therapy is a promising way for couples to receive counseling, which can help when one or both members are experiencing low self-esteem. A recent qualitative study of 15 couples receiving online counseling found that clients had overwhelmingly positive impressions of the experience, commenting on how immersed they felt in the therapeutic process. Some couples reported that feeling a bit more “distant” from the therapist gave them a greater sense of control and comfort. Couples expressed that the online process enhanced the therapeutic alliance, which is the single greatest predictor of therapy success.
The Benefits of Online Therapy
As discussed above, online therapy is an exciting option for couples wanting to improve their relationships, especially as it can be difficult to find time in two busy schedules for in-person therapy. This is where BetterHelp comes in. You can access BetterHelp’s platform from the comfort and privacy of your own home. In addition, online therapy offers lower pricing than in-person therapy because online therapists don’t have to pay for costs like renting an office. BetterHelp’s licensed therapists have helped individuals and couples with relationship issues. Read below for some reviews of BetterHelp therapists from people experiencing similar issues.
"I was really struggling with the relationships in my life and with my self-esteem in general. Brittany really helped me to open up and take a long, hard look at myself. After only a week, I am starting to look at my life so much differently."
"He has been extremely professional and has been there to help me begin to overcome my anxiety and self-esteem issues. He is very good at listening and really understanding your concerns."
If you are feeling that you’re not good enough, it's important to work through the feelings and move forward. If your feelings of low self-esteem are not appropriately addressed, they can continue to hurt you and stop you from enjoying your life. A fulfilling life with genuine self-confidence is possible — all you need are the right tools. Take the first step today.
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