Have you ever heard that voice emerge through your head:
“I am not good enough.”
Yeah, most of us have encountered that at some point in our competitive lives.
I have a friend — let’s call her Sabrina — who is extremely intelligent and creative. The problem is that she does not see herself that way. She only criticizes herself; she doubts her abilities.
Despite my constant trials to make her believe in herself and see what I and everyone around her could see, she still does not believe it. Yes. Sometimes, I crave to shake her and carve out that demon inside her head that tells her that she’s not good enough.
Time went by and I couldn’t grasp why an intelligent person like Sabrina sees herself in this negative light. So, I decided to invest some time to figure out reasons behind her doubts. I asked her whether she likes her program in university and she said yes. Then, I decided to get deeper:
“So, Sab, do your parents like your program?” I glimpsed at her.
“Yeah, I guess,” she murmured.
“Do you show them your good marks?”
“Nope. Why would I?” she frowned.
“To let them know that you’re smart! Duh!” I rolled my eyes.
Sabrina shrugged her shoulders and chuckled: “Nah, they wouldn’t care.”
A few days later, I find out through a different context that Sabrina’s parents usually compare her to other girls, who are also their family friends. Sabrina’s parents acknowledge their friend’s children’s abilities, but not their own daughter’s. Now, you and I have a clearer vision of where the problem might be. Sabrina’s parents don’t recognize her abilities; and so does Sabrina.
I think that now our anger is charged up against Sabrina’s parents who devalue her abilities.
But, did you know that Sabrina is even guiltier than her parents?
Yes, because she devalues her doubts.
Sabrina programmed herself to live with those doubts, suppressed them, and didn’t do anything to reject them. She just accepts her doubts as part of her personality instead of investing some time to think of why she doubts her abilities. She devalues her doubts and does not provide them the attention they deserve.
Do you often devalue your doubts, too?
Okay, have you tried to embrace them?
Yes, embrace those doubts, because the only way you could challenge your negative view of yourself is to bring those doubts to awareness.
Question your doubts; ask yourself:
I think that I’m not good enough.
Okay, why do I think that?
At this point most of us would brainstorm for every incident that would deem us as “not good enough”. What we should do, instead, is:
- Pin down a main reason for our doubts. In Sabrina’s case, the reason is her parents.
- Conquer our doubts once we find a valid explanation to them. Gather all pieces of evidence that prove our doubts wrong.
- Use guidance from a dear person who appreciates us and knows us well. Our dear person could remind us of our great abilities whenever in doubt.
Don’t let your doubts drain your energy, ruin your mood, or hinder you from pursuing your goals. Embrace those doubts, because it will get you one step closer towards self-exploration and growth. Then, after you embrace your doubts, get rid of them.
This is the voice that should invade your head:
“Go to hell, doubts! I AM good enough.”
If your doubts affect your life, they deserve your time and attention.
Learn to value your doubts, your thoughts, your inner voice;
And embrace them.