So many women struggle with their self-worth or self-esteem. We are all exposed to messages at some point that we haven’t done ‘good enough’ on a task; or we have felt not good enough as a person.
People find ways to adapt, avoid, or work around not feeling enough. Through feeling desired by another person. Through achieving. Through being esteemed by others. Getting married. Keeping busy. Getting through your daily to-do list. Drinking. (I’m sure there’s many more ways to cope with these feelings).
Here are the things:
- People confuse feeling not good enough with not being good enough.
- It is a symptom of depression to feel worthless.
- Most people can accept that humans being have worth or deserve some measure of esteem simply through being alive and a person. As in, we rarely judge others as being worthless or not good enough. You value your partner because they are your partner, not because they achieve. You value your family for who they are, not because they measure up to being ‘good enough’.
Judging yourself as good enough/not good enough is pretty black and white- there’s only one of two boxes you can fit into. And what determines which box you go into? If you don’t get all the chores done in a day, miss out on a job at interview, or get divorced- do these temporary events actually measure your worth over your entire lifetime? They might make you feel not good enough in the moment, but consider the bigger picture too.
Women are socially conditioned to take care of others. We are also exposed to many small daily messages of not being good enough: getting talked over in a meeting; getting questioned by your partner when they walk in the door about what you’ve done all day; dealing with screaming children; being dismissed as being emotional or hormonal; and more. These messages all add up to ‘I’m not good enough’. Combine this with ‘I need to nurture and value others’, and you get: ‘I’ll value everyone else as higher than me’.
If you can relate to this: I’m sorry that you’ve felt, or feel this way.
If you can relate to this: I want you to know that you’re not alone.
If you can relate to this: You are important. You MATTER. If not to yourself, then to someone in your world. It might be to a friend, to a family member, partner, child, colleague, or even to someone you don’t realise you are affecting positively.
Remember: You don’t need to feel good enough to be good enough.
There are reasons you feel this way. And, you can always work on your relationship with yourself. There can be a day when you’ve grown into feeling worthwhile and enough. You can start with the small actions of valuing yourself (even when you don’t feel this way), like:
- Not giving into a child after you’ve already said no.
- Continuing talking even though someone is trying to talk over you.
- Letting your partner know that you’ve kept the children alive all day, and they are welcome to do it tomorrow.
- Soothe yourself with some gentle time out when you feel small- like you’d soothe a distressed child.
- Taking time to rest, breathe, or do something you enjoy.
- And any other small act that you can think of.
If you start by acting like you matter, you build a foundation on which to grow. Of course, you may need some help along the way; but you ARE worth investing in.