If you were raised in a trauma filled home, you may have grown up not knowing how you fit into the world. Some days you may feel that you do not belong on planet earth and that you were a mistake.
This series is dedicated to the fact that you do belong and are certainly good enough and deserving of all the love and attention deserved by every human being.
What Does it Mean to Feel Good Enough?
Feeling good enough sounds like such a foreign concept to those who are survivors of childhood trauma that they struggle to understand it.
Being good enough means that—
You are enough just as you are with all your flaws and broken pieces.
You are enough although you are not perfect and not where you want to be on your healing journey.
You are enough and you can continue to change and grow because you are not trying to prove yourself to anyone.
You do not need to become more worthy or more valid.
You do not need to be more acceptable or loved.
You have not nor do not need to earn a metal that states “good enough” because you already were good enough only you could not see it before.
Feeling good enough or worthy is vital to living a happy and well-adjusted life. If you do not you will have problems in several areas including:
- Forming and maintaining relationships
- Finding love
- Not falling into a codependent relationship
Why Don’t You Feel Good Enough?
There are many reasons you do not feel good enough and we shall explore at least four of them.
The number one and most common reason is that you experienced childhood trauma. Childhood trauma caused you to develop a negative core belief that not only are other people not trustworthy, but neither are you. Your self-worth was shattered, and you felt responsible for the abuse you endured. The internalization of your abuse set you up to believe the idea that you were bad and worthless.
As an adult, the old feelings of not being good enough nag at you and will continue to do so until you recognize, worth through, and accept what happened to you. Through the help of a mental health professional will you finally the worthwhile person you already are.
Secondly, there is trauma experienced as an adult on top of the abuse of your past that can leave you feeling not good enough. This is especially true if the trauma involves betrayal by someone you love. Recuperating from a trauma as an adult after already surviving childhood trauma can leave you scarred, alone, and feeling worthless.
Third, you may have had parents who could not or would not offer you safety and stability when you were a child. Some children are not lucky enough to have at least one parent who is able to offer them an environment of safety where they can trust their parent to be there when they needed them. Perhaps your parent was an alcoholic, had depression, or was a narcissist that demanded all attention be placed upon themselves.
If your parent was sick you may have felt responsible for their happiness and thought plus still think that you should have been a better kid or been a better child for them. In any of these scenarios you and your parent became codependent, and this evolved into the belief that you are not good enough.
Fourth, perhaps your inner and outer voices are critical and judgmental. Listen to the thoughts that ramble around in your head and the words you say about yourself. Do you say nice things about yourself? Or are you judgmental and critical about all your actions?
Talking to yourself in the negative echoes the voices of your parents or other caregivers who used critical and judgmental words to control and manipulate you when you were a child. The things the adults in your life said to you caused you to feel worthless and not good enough.
Five Ways to Help Yourself When You Don’t Feel Good Enough
Feeling like you are not good enough is very painful. You cannot understand why anyone else would want to befriend you and you harbor self-hate. You might also be living with a mental health diagnosis such as depression or complex post-traumatic stress disorder.
Like with any mental health crises, there are no magic answers to healing from not feeling good enough. However, there are things you can do to push yourself further down the road to healing and to feeling good enough.
Below are five hints to help you when you are not feeling good enough.
- Remember, you mind is a liar. One should never believe everything their mind thinks because a lot of the time it is lying. Thoughts are just thoughts and it is not healthy to give them too much power. This is especially true of the negative ones. Do not allow your negative thinking to take precedence and cause you to not feel good enough.
- The folks you are comparing yourself to do the same thing to others. All humans tend to compare themselves to others. The beauty of it is that no one has it all together or have perfect lives, not even those who project that to you. Try looking at other people through the lens of compassion and understanding instead of judgment and jealousy and you will see them as they are—ordinary human beings trying to exist just like you. When you see you are just like everybody else you will realize you are indeed good enough.
- Allow love even when you feel you do not deserve it. You may find it difficult to accept love and understanding from others but allowing others to love you shifts your perspective about yourself. When someone expresses their love for you in actions or words that alone should signal that you are good enough.
- Progress Not Perfection. It is vital to focus on how far you have come and not how far you have left to go on your healing journey. One of the biggest causes of not feeling good enough is the thought that you should get it right the first time and move quickly toward your healing goal. You work hard to strive for perfection and success and when you fail you feel worthless and as if you are not good enough. Instead of putting yourself down for having a hard time, give yourself a pat on the back for your brave attempt, brush yourself off, and praise yourself for how far you have come already. Even if you have only had one visit with your therapist you can count yourself as brave and good enough because that takes planning and guts.
Some Personal Words on Feeling Good Enough
Although I rarely introject my personal presence into these blog posts I felt it was necessary to say a few words about my own healing journey and how I learned to feel good enough.
I used to think I was a worthless piece of flesh and a complete waste of time. I was traumatized as a child and was trained to believe that I was only on this planet to service the needs of my abusers.
As an adult, I entered therapy to heal from the childhood trauma with a low self-esteem and a sense of self-worth that was in the garbage. My therapist had her hands full with me, but slowly through her guidance and a lot of hard work on my part, I began to understand that I have always been good enough, but that knowledge had been stolen from me by the trauma of my past.
I now can say unequivocally that I am worthwhile and am good enough.
I am writing this series in hope of helping you understand that you too are good enough and worthwhile people. You are not a waste of skin and time. You are not doomed to just live your life and die. You too can chase your dreams and feel the power of being and knowing you are good enough.
“At the end of the day, remind yourself that you did the best you could today, and that is good enough.” ~ Lori Deschene
“The most important day is the day you decide you’re good enough for you. It’s the day you set yourself free.” ~ Brittany Josephina