You’re always with yourself, so you might as well enjoy the company.
-Diane von Furstenberg
Oh is this a biggie, am I right? Not feeling like you’re enough, right here and now, is a theme that shows up all the time in therapy. Most of us have felt this way at one time or another in our everyday lives, either personally, professionally, or often both simultaneously. You may even be feeling this way right here and now, making this a very timely topic to be sure!
Before we jump in further, try to find some clarity around if not feeling like you’re enough is truly your issue, or if it is really someone else’s issue. How do you make this distinction? First, by looking internally and asking yourself, “do I really, truly feel like I’m not enough deep down?” Or ask yourself, “Is this actually someone else’s issue that they are projecting onto me (which is making me feel like I’m not enough, but in actuality it’s because they don’t feel like they’re enough)?” So, is it an internal issue that needs to be processed and worked through, or an external issue that needs boundaries to keep you from taking on other people’s struggles and making them your own.
Let’s start with what not feeling like you’re enough often sounds like:
- I’m not loved for who I truly am
- I’m not worthy
- I don’t do enough
- I’m not perfect enough
- I don’t have value
- I’m living a lie
- I don’t matter
- Who I am isn’t important
- I’m not truly seen by others
Pretty harsh, right? This is an area where our inner critics can get very loud. What else would you add to the above list?
Where does not feeling like you’re not enough stem from in life?
- A mental health struggle like anxiety, depression, grief, etc.
- Perfectionism and life never being perfect enough/living up to your super high standards
- Something modeled by your own parents
- Parents who didn’t show up for you in the ways you wanted or needed them to show up
- Being blamed by others, even if it wasn’t actually your fault
- Familial roles like being the people-pleaser where everyone else’s wants and needs came before your own (and you were taught their wants and needs were actually more important than your own)
- Past unresolved trauma
- Looking for your worth and value externally through others, and not finding it internally within yourself
What else would you add to this list?
Self-care for when you’re struggling with self-worth:
- Go to therapy
- Write in a journal
- Do something creative
- Focus on mindfulness and meditation
- Spend time with people who love you for you
- Spend time with your pet who loves you unconditionally
- Come up with a mantra or affirmation to reinforced your self-worth
- Treat your body with loving kindness through exercise, sleep, eating healthy, hydration, etc.
What else helps you when you’re struggling with self-worth and feeling like you’re not enough?
If you are currently struggling with your own self-worth and feeling like you’re not enough, know that you’re not alone. Therapy can be a helpful place to further explore these issues, and to learn skills to better take care of you. I’m sending lots of love and support your way as you work through these issues and create inner peace and calm based in self-love, self-worth, self-value and a knowing that right here and now you matter and you are enough!