Out of all my paranoias and insecurities, the fear of inadequacy is my personal favourite. After all, it’s the one I’m the friendliest with. Me and inadequacy? We go way back.
Being the youngest of three children (with quite an age difference between me and my other siblings), I’ve struggled with not feeling like I was good enough pretty early on. We had my oldest sister who’d comfortably established herself as the smartest and most clever, and my middle sister, who prided herself on being the nicest and most caring. I was torn over figuring out what my niche would be.
Could be I be the mischievous one? The quirky one? Perhaps I could be the daring one, who was always willing to try new things.
Except, I was too quiet to get into any real mischief, too favouring of everything vanilla to have any quirks, and too nervous to take risks. There I was, plain and boring, with nothing worth mentioning compared to my exciting older siblings, beginning my relationship with inadequacy.
As I got older, my relationship with inadequacy deepened. We weren’t just acquaintances anymore, we’d bonded. I wasn’t sure of too many things at this point except that my friend, inadequacy, was here to stay and had brought along its best friend, self-doubt. The comparison group had expanded beyond my family, into the friends I was meeting at school. They were always more beautiful, smarter, and worldly than I was. They never had any problem getting the boys they wanted and were always up to exciting things.
I was actually ignorant enough to believe that everyone else was perfectly satisfied with their life, and I was the only one feeling so inept. Inadequacy had tricked me into thinking it was only my friend, when in reality, it was friendly with everyone in this world.
The realization that I wasn’t alone in feeling like I was the most vulnerable person to have ever existed completely changed me. Until you’ve convinced yourself of your high self-worth, no encouraging words or quotes can change how you view yourself. That perspective will remain warped until one day, you realize how much you’ve actually got to offer. Figuring out what I actually like about myself helped me understand that other people can value me just as much as I value them.
Loving myself a little more helped me like inadequacy a whole lot less. I distanced myself from those feelings and focused more on life and all of the experiences it had to offer. While inadequacy still likes to visit from time to time, I remind myself that there’s no place for it to stay in a life so filled with opportunity and freedom.
I know it’s hard to remember that you’re not lesser than anyone else. It’s especially hard when that self-doubt is triggered by the people you love and the comments they make. After all, when those opinions are coming from people who know you well then they must be true, right?
Wrong. Inadequacy is attempting to make itself known and it must be stopped. A bad day doesn’t mean you’ve got a bad life. Find what you love about yourself and what others love about you and remind yourself of everything you have yet to experience.
Fill your life with so much positivity that inadequacy and self-doubt have no other option than to stay out.