Feeling inadequate, inferior or worthless is something everyone can experience from time to time.
The cause may be a current situation (e.g. relationship breakdown) or resulting from childhood trauma or mental health challenges such as depression.
A recurring theme for clients coming for psychotherapy and counselling is not feeling good enough about themselves.
These feelings of inadequacy can be picked up in childhood at times where we felt we didn't measure up.
Perhaps we didn't meet a parent's expectation or a teacher's expectation.
We may feel that we disappointed those around us in some way. It doesn't necessarily mean that we were told verbally that we were not good enough- it can be as simple as a disapproving look to allow feelings of not being good enough to set in as a child.
Self-affirmation exercises can help us to change the beliefs we hold about ourselves. So, the good news is that we do not have to hold onto feelings of inadequacy forever.
We can choose to start seeing ourselves differently and build some new, positive beliefs. It takes a little practice to notice our self-talk and swap in some positive ones.
Affirmations like 'Remember when you last went through a hard time, you did get through it' or positive quotes such as 'This will pass' can help us shift out of negative thinking patterns and feelings.
We can choose to focus on our strengths and show ourselves self-compassion.
If, just for 24 hours, you loved yourself just as you are, how would your day be different?
What kind of activities would you take part in?
Who would you spend your time with?
What food would you eat if you really loved yourself?
How would you speak to yourself inside your head?
What are the beliefs about yourself that you are ready to let go of?
It can be helpful to write these down and then burn the list as a release.
What thoughts would you prefer to be thinking about yourself?
When do you feel like a good enough son/daughter, husband/wife/partner, friend, mother/father etc? There are always areas of our lives where we do feel like we are good enough.
How would it be to focus on these instead of where you feel you are lacking?