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What to Do When You Don’t Feel Good Enough

“No matter what I do, I’m not good enough.”

That’s a thought that plagues many. For some, it’s an occasional thought focused on a particular situation. For others, the thought is global and is always present. It attaches to any situation or interaction, and it almost always generates feelings of shame.

Why do some of us struggle so much with this? And what can we do about it?

Let’s start with causes and a description of how it manifests, then go on to strategies you can use to deal with it.

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Your Emotional Home

Some years ago I wrote an article called Why Do People Repeat the Same Dysfunctional Patterns?. The gist of that article was this:

When we grow up in a dysfunctional family, and especially an abusive family, we learn how to survive by creating emotional and behavioral patterns that allow us to adapt to the situations in which we find ourselves in order to survive. The problem is that as adults, these patterns are no longer adaptive, yet persist and play out in our intimate relationships. They prevent us from having the kinds of connections we would like, both to others and to ourselves, and leave us feeling trapped in repetitive poor choices and feelings of self-condemnation.

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Will Psychotherapy Help Me?

I subscribe to Mark Manson’s Monday morning newsletter which I greatly enjoy. He has a talent for putting together ideas and adding his own twist to them that’s both interesting and informative.

A couple of months ago he wrote a piece entitled “How to get better.” He talked about the value of psychotherapy, journaling, and meditation to improve self-awareness and effectively deal with psychological and emotional issues. Although I’m interested in all three ideas, I want to speak to the first one today which is the value of psychotherapy.

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Victim Consciousness: 6 Ways to Overcome It

Are you a victim?

Chances are you have been victimized at least once in your life if not many times. None of us can really escape that.

Some have had to endure extreme conditions or circumstances, and have been the victim of horrendous situations.

In my work I’ve talked to many people who’ve been severely abused or neglected, or who’ve been traumatized by great losses both personally and financially.

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Do You Perceive Yourself Accurately?

If you’ve ever sought out counseling, or been around people in the mental health field, you’ve likely heard of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). If not, no worries. It’s not necessary to know about it to grasp the subject of this blog.

In general, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy focuses on people’s thoughts, and how thoughts and thought processes influence their emotions and sense of what’s real.

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Be Your Own Best Parent

Do you have a voice in your head that’s overly critical?

I know I do sometimes, and most of the clients I’ve seen over the years have also worked with this nagging, persistent voice that seems to find fault in almost any situation.

Self-criticism is really not a healthy habit, and has an overall destructive effect on your self-image and self esteem. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t observe yourself and make corrections in your behavior when needed.

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Clean Out Your Own Closet

If you watch your thoughts over a full day, which by the way I recommend highly, see if you can count the number of times your mind drifts automatically toward observing, evaluating, and/or criticizing someone else’s behavior.

If we’re really honest with ourselves, it happens many times everyday. Why? Because it’s the default habit of the ego to deflect away from itself and focus on someone else.

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