Whenever people claim that I am nice, hard working, considerate, sweet, smart, or another positive trait, my first thought is that I am not good enough at that.
I am not perfect enough to be a perfectionist. I am not pretty enough to be a beauty. I am not talented enough to an actress. I am not, I am not [fill in the blank] enough to anything.
Just thinking about the phrase “I’m never good enough” raises a few questions.
First of all, for who? Who are these people that you are not good enough, smart enough, whatever enough for? This can be different for each person. Perhaps it is your family, teachers, peers, or boss that you do not feel puts you under this pressure and is disappointed with your results. However, thinking deeply about how those people are really responding to you is important. For example, I just had a callback for a show today. Yet, I hate myself right now because I do not feel confident that I got a role. “Ugh, I am not a good enough actor. What was I thinking?” That keeps running through my head. What an idiot I was to audition! Yet, I am putting that judgement on myself; no one else has said yet that I was not good enough for them.
That is the second point to consider. Are you the one who is putting this pressure on yourself? Does your lack of doubt come from within rather than without? Sure, we probably have people who belittle us. Honestly, though, the most negativity usually comes from ourselves. I am constantly degrading my abilities even when others compliment them. Take the callback for instance; the directors liked me enough to want to see me again. Still, I think that they are just taking pity on me and hate me.
The final question is probably the hardest to answer: what is enough? When would I be good enough? Many of us set unattainable goals. I want to be weightless and thin, be the smartest person in the world, and be loved by everyone. None of those things will ever happen. However, maybe I am not patient enough. This might be a true statement. Then, it is important to really decide how to change and how I will know that change has happened. When will I be patient enough? At what point will I have met my goal?
Thinking over these questions and writing them out was helpful. This process has not eliminated my frustration at my lack of “enoughness.” Nonetheless, I feel relieved and a bit more confident to tackle these doubts. Hopefully, you will find these questions thought-provoking and helpful too.