“You are strong when you know your weaknesses. You are beautiful when you appreciate your flaws. You are wise when you learn from your mistakes.” ~Unknown
The most annoying thing for me is to hear someone tell me, “Just stop it!” whenever I am frustrated or discouraged and looking for answers and solutions.
When you’re anxious, and someone tells you, “Stop worrying, it will all be fine…” these words only add fuel to the fire and often make you angry. At least this is true for me.
It reminds me of a funny video I watched about a “unique” therapeutic approach, when a therapist just tells a patient, after listening to their problems with deep emotional issues, “STOP IT!”
“But I can’t just stop it,” the patient responds. “This issue has been within me since childhood, and my mom used to do the same.”
But the therapist just calmly responds, “We don’t go there. Just stop it.”
If only it were that easy to stop it: the limiting beliefs, the destructive behavior, the unwanted outcomes, the toxic relationships, etc. All people would be skinny, rich, and happy, and we’d live in the ideal word, but unfortunately, that’s not the case.
You can’t just stop a feeling, especially one that tells you “you are not good enough.”
No matter how hard I work on my personal growth and myself, the feelings of inadequacy and comparisons to others creep in occasionally, especially when things don’t go according to my plans. It is so easy for me to blame myself when I’m feeling frustrated.
No matter how hard I try to push away the feeling that I’m not good enough, it doesn’t go away. In fact, it just strengthens. The more I resist that feelings, the more it persists.
The ironic part is that my intellectual mind knows it’s not true that I’m not good enough. On a good day, I feel powerful and anchored, and I know my value. But on a bad day—when I fail at something or take things personally—I can’t seem to stop the wave of negative emotions that take me over.
I’ve learned that I can’t just snap out of a negative feeling. I can’t just stop it. And I can’t bottle it.
So what can you do when your inner voice tells you “you are not good enough”?
Well, first of all, you need to acknowledge what you’re feeling. When you accept your feelings instead of trying to change them, they have less power over you, and can even serve you by encouraging your growth.
For example, I recently attended a local speaking club where a French lady presented a speech. She spoke in English, but, as I speak French, I wanted to complement her speech in the French language.
To my big annoyance, my mind just went blank after “Excellent travail!” (Great job!) I couldn’t think of another word. I quickly switched to English, but I felt like a failure.
My logical mind was saying, “It’s okay, you don’t use French often, that’s why you forgot,” but my emotional mind woke up all my gremlins, who were screaming at me “You are not good enough!”
I felt really frustrated, but that incident encouraged me to go back to my French books to refresh my memory. I enjoyed rereading Le Petit Prince, and in the end, I felt good about myself.
It might be a simple example, but that’s how our psychology works.
When you look your insecurity in the eyes, it often reveals an opportunity for fulfillment or improvement. Don’t deny it; listen to it. Don’t engage in the emotions it produces—the feelings of inadequacy, inferiority, and shame; just listen to what it has to say.
It doesn’t matter how many times I tell you, “You are beautiful and amazing just the way you are” (and by the way, this is absolutely true); when you look at yourself in the mirror and you don’t like what you see, you will find it hard to believe this. You inner voice might tell you, “You are not good enough as you are right now.”
Acknowledge that voice and consider that maybe your insecurity has some constructive value; for example, maybe your inner voice is trying to encourage you to start eating healthier or working out.
You also need to accept the fear that you’re not good enough as part of yourself. I don’t care where you are in life—how successful, loved, and fulfilled you might feel—we all focus on our flaws and imperfections from time to time. It’s called being human. We can’t always be at our best and most confident. And this is okay.
It’s okay to occasionally feel like you are not good enough, as long as you recognize that thoughts and feelings aren’t facts and don’t dwell in that state.
These wobbly moments are unpleasant but inevitable; you can’t avoid them.
Give yourself a permission to be imperfect, to question and doubt yourself occasionally. Without questions and doubts we wouldn’t be able to grow and develop.
I believe through wrestling with our weaknesses we are able to get to the other side of our strengths. But we can’t just ignore our shortcomings. They’re an undeniable part of us. We have to be aware and own the good, the bad, and the ugly within us, so we are better equipped to deal with our limitations.
So, the question is not how to eliminate the negative voice, but how to learn to deal with it in an intelligent, mature, and conscious way. Listen to it, learn from it, but don’t let it define who you are, don’t let it write your story.
Don’t be afraid of it and don’t try to stop it; allow it to help you learn more about who you are and who you can be.