How do I get over the overwhelming feelings of inadequacy and failure?

All my teenage /adult life so far I've felt like I didn't deserve anything or I was not good enough. My father is a big factor in my feelings also. He has always made me and my sister feel like his love is conditional. Whether its through grades or just little mishaps of growing up and just making mistakes. Hes always also been harder on me as the oldest. Im now 25 and still struggling with finishing university. Hopefully I expect to finish by 2022. I just desperately want to feel accomplished and feel like people are proud of me. I've started an art business where I do commissions for people but I feel like my work isn't good enough even though people love it. I cry a lot when I feel overwhelmed but I do try to journal my thoughts and that does help at times. I'm just trying my best. I'm seeking this just to find some clarity and to stop feeling like I'm crazy for how I feel. I would like my feelings to feel validated at least.
Asked by F.A
Answered
12/06/2021

Hello and thanks for reaching out to Betterhelp for support. Based on what you have shared, it seems like growing up did not offer the validation and support you would have hoped for to recognize your worth and value in life. You grew up as the oldest child feeling like nothing you did was enough or acknowledged which makes it harder to be that person who has to provide validation for yourself as an adult. It sounds like even though your dad has not offered the verbal acknowledgment that you are on the right track, you are doing well for yourself! Finishing up your university studies in the next year or so, starting your own business, working on your mental health, etc. We are all responsible as adults for being our own internal cheerleaders and working to shift our internal dialogue from judgemental and critical to supportive and encouraging. 

 

Think about the way that you communicate with yourself internally. Are you just as critical as you perceived your father to be? If so, challenge yourself from today forth to catch these unhelpful thoughts as they present and then visualize a Stop sign to remind yourself to pause on them. Then challenge yourself to identify a more appropriate/ productive replacement thought for what you are thinking about. By trying to make a cognitive shift, you are focusing on taking your power back and being the positive voice of reason to encourage motivation. Sometimes we take negativity to heart and have to be mindful and intentional with adding productivity. Just because you did not grow up speaking kind to yourself or hearing those encouraging words does not mean you can't create it for adulthood. If you choose to have a partner and family of your own, then you can possibly receive positive feedback from them as well. It all starts within you though because your relationship with yourself will always be the most valued one in your life. You are the only one who goes to sleep in your mind each night and you want to feel confident in your resilience as a person. You got this and you are worth it! 

(LMHC, CRC)