I want to tell you a secret…I have a fierce ‘I am not good enough story’ running today. It has been in my face on and off most of the day.
What triggered it? My dear friend and co-blogger, Rob Archer, has written four really good posts in the last few weeks. In case you missed them, there are two on values here and here and two on talent management here and here. They are really good. I feel intimidated. My mind is telling me how embarrassing it must be for Rob to have to put up with my inarticulate ramblings on this blog. I have a strong impulse to delay posting until I come up with something absolutely brilliant.
So what do I do?
I breathe…and pause for a moment. I lean into myself with kindness. I acknowledge that this ‘I am not good enough’ story has been around for many years. If I dig around, I can even find my first memory of it (I was 4 and got in trouble at school for needing to go to the bathroom during class – let’s just say that the incident ended with me wearing some borrowed knickers from the school knicker cupboard). This story is an old friend that visits me often. And I know that it is trying to help, trying to keep me safe. To protect me from further ‘knicker cupboard’ embarrassment. I also acknowledge to myself that I am not the only person in the world that has that story running now and again.
And I think ‘What do my values tell me to do here?‘ This endeavour – Working with ACT – really matters to me. Being authentic and real really matter to me.
So here I am writing away…whilst my mind whispers, ‘This is rubbish, who wants to read this’. Thanks mind.
6 thoughts on “When Your Mind is Saying: ‘You Just Aren’t Good Enough’”
I’m a psychologist in Sweden. This hooks me too. Your authenticity is inspiring. Thanks for writing!
just a brilliant post. And, of course, I have exactly the same story. So on we go, doing what we can, doing what matters.
So NOT rubbush! I read it, was glad i read it, and want to read more 🙂
Robyn (another traveler in the ‘it’ll not be good enough to stand up to everyone else’s brilliance’ camp)
“Knicker cupboard” embarrassment sums it up nicely, Rachel. That dilemma sometimes arises replying to comments. The acknowledgment that one misplaced thought, perhaps a response that leaves someone thinking too much can alter someones viewpoint (maybe forever), might come from dealings in daily life – where elevator pitches, and the whole “someone knows in the first 5 seconds whether or not they want to get to know you better,” might play a tremendous role in trying to be perfect. It’s setting the mind to believe “I” am not good enough.. even though in my opinion, that is never the case! It’s too easy to be harsh, judgmental of oneself, but difficult to be that way towards others.
I am so grateful that you guys took the time to write such lovely comments. Nice to know that I am not the only one!
There are two general things I do when I find myself in this kind of situation.
First, I remember that these “not good enough” ideas are just thoughts. There’s no requirement to take them seriously.
Second, I remember Carol Dweck’s “growth mindset” and frame the situation as a learning challenge, a chance to get better. Like one of the students Dweck encountered in her studies, I mentally rub my hands together with relish and go “I thought this might get interesting!” “Not good enough” then becomes lively motivation, rather than discouragement.