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Feeling Inadequate/Needing to Escape

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  • #136153
    J
    Participant

    I have this problem where I feel like I am inadequate, that nothing I do is never enough because I won’t ever be as good as the next person. I have this idea of perfectionism–that if I’m not perfect at something then I might as well not even try and sabotage any effort I make trying to be better. This type of thinking has ended up affecting my eating habits. I’ve been trying to control my binge eating and lose weight but every time I quit and think “why bother? I still won’t be perfect”. I actually substituted food for drugs once a long time ago, became addicted and quit, only to go back to food as a way to escape my reality. Which makes me think I have another problem of CONSTANTLY wanting to escape my reality.

    I want to understand why I can’t just be content with what I have and stop escaping reality through food or drugs or anything else. And maybe if someone out there can relate and came out of this, how? It’s like every day is a struggle

    #136165
    anita
    Participant

    Dear J:

    It is very, very difficult to live when you believe that you are inadequate, not as worthy as the next person. Living with this belief means suffering, every day. This is why “every day is a struggle.”

    No wonder you want to escape this suffering.

    What to do? Examine this belief, find out its origin- how did it come about, under what circumstances, then challenge it, and heal from the injury that happened to you, leading to the forming of this core-belief.

    The all-or-nothing thinking, having to be perfect or nothing is worth doing, this is strongly tied to feeling inadequate. You distortedly think that only perfection will make you adequate. That is never the case. You not being perfect was never the problem.

    Your thoughts/ feelings?

    anita

    #136167
    J
    Participant

    Thank you anita, that was very insightful. I actually never made the connection that every day is a struggle BECAUSE I have this thought that I’m not good enough. I just assumed I found life in general to be really boring and mundane and felt like I was dragging myself through it.

    I’ve tried examining this belief before. I think it stemmed from childhood. I remember coming home one day in 2nd grade and I got just a 97 on a test and my father was upset that I didn’t get 100. I remember when I was around 14 or 15 i tried losing weight and succeeded, only to have a family member tell me that no matter how much weight I lost I would never be as pretty as my classmate. I think somewhere along the way I internalized these beliefs and I even though I know better now it’s so difficult for me to shake. I don’t know why I can’t shake that feeling that I really am not good enough.

    #136203
    anita
    Participant

    Dear J:

    I wrote to you in my last post to you that the origin of this core-belief that you are inadequate was never about you being imperfect. When you got 97% on your test and your father got upset-

    you thought he was upset because you didn’t get 100%. No surprise you thought that was his reason: he told you so. Of course, a child believes what a parent says.

    But the reason he got upset with you had nothing to do with you getting 3% less than a 100%. And this is key: the reason he got upset with you is totally irrelevant to your test score. Something else was on his mind, a frustration, old or new to him, on that day.

    When “a family member tell me that no matter how much weight I lost I would never be as pretty as my classmate”- you thought that it was a loving family member talking to you, that he/ she was on your side, so you took what they said to heart. No surprise there either, we tend to think family is loving: we need it to be so.

    But that family member was the opposite of loving to you, against you at that moment, not for you. But you didn’t know it then, so you believed him/ her.

    Keep posting.

    anita

    #136221
    J
    Participant

    Thank you for your reply anita,

    A part of me knows that it was never about me, but another part of me is still holding onto that belief that I really am not good enough.

    I recently picked up meditation a couple of months ago, and it has helped me be present and by being present I am able to let go of the past and the past hurt and false beliefs. But there’s this weird “comfort” of staying where I am mentally (even though it is severely messed up) and I think perhaps that’s also why I end up failing every time I try to pick myself up. I think it’s become so familiar to me–this feeling of inadequacy and need to escape–that now I can’t imagine NOT thinking this way, I don’t even know what that would be like. But I want to and I need to get out of this mental negativity. I read somewhere that bad habits are like a warm bed, that they are easy to slip back into but hard to get out of, and I feel like this need to escape and feeling of inadequacy are a lot like a bad habit.

    I don’t know how to pull myself out.

    And thank you again for your replies. They have really been incredibly insightful and helpful.

    J

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 6 months ago by J.
    #136233
    anita
    Participant

    Dear J:

    Habits, mental and behavioral, are about performing routine tasks (those we regularly repeat) without paying attention, and so to free us to pay attention to something else. To change a habit, it takes paying attention and paying attention takes effort.

    We tie our shoes at this age inattentively- it is a behavioral habit. When young and learning to tie our shoes, we paid attention. Ever since, we do it effortlessly. Imagine that you currently tie your shoes so badly that you keep tripping and falling, the falls hurt and you bleed.

    At this point, as you are reading this, you are not hurting and bleeding, correct? And you can imagine it will feel very differently if you were hurting and bleeding right now.

    Because you know the difference; how much better it is not to be hurting and bleeding, you are motivated to change your habit of tying your shoes.

    But regarding your mental habit of “this feeling of inadequacy and need to escape”. You wrote: “I can’t imagine NOT thinking this way”- you don’t know how it would feel like, believing you are adequate, so you don’t know the difference, therefore, you are not motivated to change this habit.

    anita

    #136249
    J
    Participant

    Dear anita,

    I see what you’re saying. It’s difficult for me to muster up the motivation to change my way of thinking because I’ve never experienced anything otherwise.

    I know as a kid I felt adequate. It was really up until 13/14 years old that it started to hit me that I wasn’t, or rather, that I felt I wasn’t. But that childhood feeling is like a distant memory and I don’t know how to get back there. I’m 27 years old now so I’ve been stuck in this mindset for well over 10 years.

    The question is, how do I become motivated again? After all these years, how do I get back into that mindset I had when I was a child? When I felt good enough, adequate, and life was fun and vibrant?

    I know that’s not exactly a question for you to answer because it has to be coming from me, but I am really at a loss. And all your input so far has been most helpful.

    J

    #136309
    anita
    Participant

    Dear J:

    Competent psychotherapy is the best place to work on changing core beliefs (“I am inadequate”). Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), I think, is best suited for this.

    Life might not be “fun and vibrant” again, like it was when you were a young child. The reason is that a child’s mind and life is full of magic and innocence, that is no longer available for an adult: you can’t get back the brain that you had as a child.

    All you can do is make your life better than it is now, correcting core beliefs, grieving past hurts (that hurt in the present, as our past exists now in our brain as … very present neuropathways.

    I may answer another thread or two and be back to the computer in ten, twelve hours or so.

    Take care, post again, and you are welcome.

    anita

     

     

     

     

    #144967
    Merriegold
    Participant

    It is hard to believe yourself when you can’t be true to yourself. Perhaps, you always made a comparison of yourself towards others and always after a perfect situation to have a prefect “YOU”.

    It is impossible! Nobody’s perfect in this world, what you are doing is you made again mistake that you wanted to be perfect “YOU”. With that, you will live your life miserable!

    Stop doing that, do what something that makes you comfortable and never compare yourself with others. Be who you are! I know you will gain real friends and fed up your emptiness. Good Luck!

    #155012
    Ryan Smith
    Participant

    Dear J,

    From time to time, its normal feeling this way. All you need is take a quick break and relax.  You want to get motivated again, find a new objective for your life, but first, you need to connect with your inner soul.

    I strongly recommend you to take a few days only for meditation and relaxation. Thats what I do when i am feeling this way, try to go one weekeng to a relaxing spa. I am living now in Barcelona and once in a while I visit the Spaciomm. Honestly, for me is the best way to see things with better attitude and optimisim.

    Good Luck!

     

     

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