When the Title of Your Story is “I Am Not Good Enough”

Every client I have worked with battles with one of the stickiest and destructive beliefs of all: “I am not good enough”.

I still have this nasty one come up for me. Just the other week I was playing volleyball and having an off night. I couldn’t hit the ball over the net to save my life. I started to pull back. I started hoping I wouldn’t have to touch the ball because I would mess up. I felt my energy drop and I couldn’t wait to go home.

I had a terrible night and had no fun.

On the drive home I mulled over what happened. I realized my longest-battled belief had taken hold: “I am not good enough”.

You can have a trail of dots along the story of your life that connect to worth, but one moment comes along, one person looks at you a certain way, one thoughtless comment, and the automatic playback of “I suck” starts.

And yep, it sucks.

I used to live my life guided by the thought that I wasn’t good enough. This comes in many variations: “I don’t have what it takes”, “What’s the point?”, “I don’t know enough to do that”, “Who do I think I am?” “They do it so much better, what makes me think I can do it?” “Ah, give up, it doesn’t matter”, “I’ll just let them down”, “She thinks she is so much better than me”, “I’m not original enough”, “Just get it together would you?”, “It won’t make any difference”.

All different words pointing to the same place: I feel defective in some way and must prove I am worthy.

What I had to rediscover is the way to overcome the feeling of not being good enough is by living from the energetic place that I am good enough. This is authentic power.

When I was on that volleyball court and started to make mistakes instead of relying on my real power, I lost my connection and starting playing small.

If I could rewrite that moment I would:

  1. shake it off (literally, just shake my body a bit and move the energy), smile and give myself a break, acknowledge and accept that I felt off in my physical being;
  2. be a problem solver and ask myself why I was feeling off and what could I do to make it better, reach out to my teammates and ask for support instead of withdrawing and assuming I was being judged (I was judging myself!);
  3. get present with my body and shift from thinking of all the mis-hits I had and focus on making a great play and trusting that I know what I am doing;
  4. get some perspective! It’s a few hours of volleyball. Why am I playing? To have fun. Can I have fun putting all this pressure on myself? Where is this pressure coming from? Does this idea hold any weight? Can I drop it? Yes, I can.

I wish I could have spiked the next set like a MOFO and laughed it off. Wish I could have shifted from not good enough to good enough. From powerless to powerful. Dropping what isn’t working to rely and trust myself to know what does work.

Keep going. Try again. Next time. For sure.

My suggestion is when you find yourself withdrawing, disconnecting or playing small, get curious about what is happening. Get in tune with how you show up in your world and why. Be aware. 

Acknowledge that you have the power of choice and the life you aspire to live reflects the innate capacity you already have to create it.

Rewrite your story as a powerful one, the one titled “I Was Born Good Enough”.