How to Be Free From Thoughts of “I’m Not Good Enough”​

The belief that “I’m not good enough” is one of the most common limiting beliefs I come across. The reason this is that one of our most primal instincts is to fit in, to belong and to be accepted. Because being rejected meant loss of safety, nurturing, love and resources from those we depend on. This behavior still carried forward to us today to when we’re infants and children dependent on our guardian. We need our guardians in order to survive! The problem is that as we grow older and less dependent, we don’t always become self-aware of this shift. We still “think” deep down that we need some form of acceptance for our survival. It’s why rejection may feel sometimes like an existential crisis!. But depending on the context and another person’s expectations, we can’t always fit the bill. As a result, we may feel negative emotions in response rejection such as hurt, abandoned, unwanted, isolated, and/or unloved.

owl-jade-goodhueThe other problem is the meaning we assign to it. It all links back to our reaction to our earliest experiences of another’s rejection or disappointment with us. It doesn’t matter whether the other person intended or didn’t intend. What we made it mean then, is what we are still making it mean now. Furthermore, we carry those voices of our earliest rejections, no matter how distant the in past they are, and therefore they STILL have power over us. We then build fences around ourselves to keep out the things that cause those negative emotions.

We buy into the story and think to ourselves:

  • If only I could be more like…
  • If only I could do things as well as…
  • If only I were better…
  • I’m not worth it…
  • Nobody cares…
  • My opinion and ideas don’t matter…
  • I don’t matter…
  • I should just give up now…

We made a choice so long ago, with a limited amount of resources of what rejection meant and how we would react moving forward. These thoughts became automatic, and it’s ALL linked to our past programming.

The good news is you can redefine what past and future rejection mean. If you accept another person’s perception as the only truth, then you will diminish yourself, and when you are constantly diminishing yourself, isn’t it a wonder that being confident, having self-esteem and being assertive becomes a challenge?

So how do you start choosing yourself when you may have spent so many years accepting other’s rejection? What if instead of thinking of it as a rejection of “you,” you trained yourself to think that it was really a matter of preference? For example, have you ever said no to someone? Or didn’t like someone’s idea? Was it really a rejection of THAT PERSON, or it just didn’t fit into your box of preferences?

Here’s another thing to think about: How much of your rejection is actually you rejecting yourself before you even gave yourself a shot? In other words, before you even put yourself out there, how much have you already told yourself that you’re NOT good enough?

When you do this, and you ARE rejected, you reinforce those old feelings with thoughts like:

  • I knew better…
  • Why do I even bother?
  • This always happen to me…

When you reinforce thoughts like this, you are unknowingly PROGRAMMING yourself to move away from and avoid ANYTHING that causes you that kind of pain. But when you avoid putting yourself out there so that you won’t get hurt, how are you ever going to be able to go after what you want? When you do this, you’re programming yourself to settle…

When you AREN’T rejected though, now you’re so grateful that someone else sees the worth in you, that you run the risk of subordinating your wants, desires and your self to that other person. You run the risk of doing whatever it takes to please them, even at the cost of your own wellbeing…

Do you see the chain reaction of events? Are you beginning to see the full picture of the stories we made up for ourselves that have no validity except in our head? Do you see how we can get caught up in our own perception and interpretation of reality, based on someone else’s reality? Isn’t it about time that we start telling ourselves a different story?

The easiest way to do this is to break down the events and ask yourself:

  • What am I making this situation mean?
  • What about this situation with me, isn’t fitting into their preferences?
  • What does this situation say about their preferences?
  • Why is it important to fit myself into their preferences instead of finding something more suited for mine?
  • How can I position my strengths as an asset to their preference?
  • Where and with who would I be a better fit with?
  • What opportunities and lessons can I take from this event?

Do this RUTHLESSLY and RELENTLESSLY. The more you do, the more you build up your confidence, and the more you build up your confidence, the more conviction you will have in yourself. The more conviction you have in yourself, the more freedom you’ll have from these negative emotions. The more freedom from these negative emotions you have, the more peace of mind you will possess and the more your brilliance will shine through! Remember: Your brilliance shows up in your own unique way.



Jade Goodhue

Jade Goodhue

Jade is an ExecuNet Career Strategist and Career Coach. Working 1:1 with high-level senior executives, Jade provides strategic guidance and coaching to help ExecuNet members land their next great opportunity. This includes uncovering their unique personal value proposition and defining competitive differentiators to advance their careers. Additionally, she provides detailed feedback for improving a personal marketing collateral—well beyond their résumé.

In addition to ExecuNet, Jade is the Founder and Owner, The Mastery Factor: Mindset and Behavior Specialist for leaders. She designs, develops and delivers one-on-one and group high-impact leadership development programs, as well as provides accountability, coaching, and cognitive and behavior assessments.

Jade served as a captain in the United States Marine Corps, she was a company commander, a black belt martial arts instructor and served two combat tours to Iraq. After transitioning from the Marine Corps, she gained a myriad of financial sector experience.

Jade holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering and Minor in Japanese from the United States Naval Academy. She now attends the Harvard Extension School as a Candidate for a Master of Liberal Arts in Psychology. Her certifications include Lean Six Sigma Green Belt, Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) Master Practitioner, and in progress as a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst. She’s a volunteer at The Animal Foundation – a non-profit organization operating Nevada’s largest animal shelter and animal adoption center.

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