Sometimes people find you inadequate no matter how hard you try but there are times that you find yourself feeling not good enough. This can easily lead to atelophobia – the fear of not doing things the right way or simply not being good enough to do things right. These negative thoughts make you feel unworthy of good things or that you can’t measure up to the standards of certain people around you.
Notwithstanding the games your thoughts are playing on you, it’s time to take charge and tell yourself that you are enough. Unsatisfactory or unworthy can’t define who you are if you believe you are good enough and aim to unleash the best part of yourself. A clear understanding of what it really means to feel not good enough will guide you in this journey of acceptance.
What It Means To Be Feeling Not Good Enough
If you have been beating yourself up because you think your efforts are unsatisfactory and inadequate, you are on the route to feeling not good enough, or already there. It’s one thing that someone else thinks you are not good enough but a different ball game when you condemn yourself because you think you are not measuring up to standard. This feeling graduates to atelophobia which is simply defined as the fear of imperfection. Atelophobia makes you look down on everything you do, believing that you would never get it right.
This fear of not doing something the way it should be done keeps you worried at all times. Simple daily activities could become a burden because you are afraid you won’t get them done the right way. Atelophobes (people who suffer from atelophobia) find simple tasks like cooking, sending messages, or taking phone calls as tedious and this is as a result of that tiny voice in the head telling them they are not good enough.
Atelophobes may experience panic attacks which cause indecision and inability to relax. They can also encounter body pains, headache, palpitation, muscle tension, dizziness and these symptoms are all traceable to constant efforts to be perfect.
What Causes Atelophobia?
True, some people have it in their genes to always feel insecure or cling to perfection, but other factors can trigger atelophobia. Besides, while it’s okay to set high standards for yourself, there’s a limit that must not be passed. If you are facing pressures to be perfect, or you have had some traumatic experience that you can’t shake off from your mind, you can develop that feeling of not being good enough.
From the point of view of a licensed clinical psychologist, Menije Boduryan-Turner, environmental factors also contribute to atelophobia. According to her, growing up in an environment that leaves no room for mistakes, with critical and rigid rules guiding your every move, adjusting to the fact that imperfection is normal becomes a problem. When you have convinced yourself that you are not enough, procrastination and avoidance of places and tasks set in. You will also seek constant reassurance and keep going back to your work to look for mistakes.
How Can I Be Enough For Someone?
It can be in your relationship, family, or workplace, but at some point in life, people find themselves struggling to measure up to someone’s standards. That obsessive fear of not doing the right thing makes them bother about not being enough, especially in a romantic relationship. It might be clear that the feeling of not being enough is all in your head but the thought just won’t go away, thus, the quest for acceptance.
Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to be %100 enough for someone but you can try by finding the root of the problems or the reasons for your insecurities around them. If you can identify that factor that is responsible for making you feel you are not good enough, you might be closer to becoming that person you always wanted to be. But, you need to know that solving one problem might unravel more and the circle might just continue to get bigger.
Overall, it’s best to know that you are enough and if your partner doesn’t see it, you might be in a relationship with the wrong person.
How Do You Stop Thinking You’re Not Good Enough?
Atelophobia can be mentally, emotionally, and physically draining, considering the symptoms that may include insomnia, headache, worrying about everything, low self-esteem, and more. Without being told, this condition is something that needs to be eliminated from your life but how do you do it?
First off, you need to accept the fact that you have a problem with your self-esteem. Without accepting that you have atelophobia, shaking the feeling off might be challenging. According to Dr. Jennice Vilhauer, “Here are people who consider themselves to be perfectionists, who would not consider [it] to be a problem at all. In fact, they would see it as an asset.” This is absolutely true but when being a perfectionist causes some of the severe symptoms of atelophobia, or emotional distress, something needs to be done.
Psychotherapy, medications, and lifestyle changes are often recommended in the treatment of atelophobia and they have been proven to be effective. While cognitive-behavioral therapy works by rewiring the patient’s brain to focus on certain situations, exposure therapy tackles their reactions to certain conditions and objects, followed by strategies to gradually expose them to similar situations to help alleviate their fears. However, conditions like panic attacks, insomnia, and the likes might require medications. Thus, anti-anxiety drugs are often prescribed for people with a severe case of atelophobia.
Aside from seeking professional help, one way you can help yourself is that constant reminder that you are enough, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Though it is recommended that you set high standards for yourself, know the limits to avoid beating yourself up for not doing everything perfectly. Physical exercise like running, yoga, dancing, or even writing can also help.
Below are some tips to help you:
- Shut your inner critic out sometimes, don’t listen to everything your mind tells you.
- When your mind is lost in negative thoughts or you are feeling not good enough, find the positive exception and allow it to take over.
- Compile a list of your good memories and soak them in.
- Stop comparing yourself to other people, everyone is on a different path in life.
- Remember, most of the things your friends share on social media are modified, don’t depress yourself over pictures and illusions of success you see online.
- Don’t take your achievements for granted, no matter how small.
- Are you feeling not good enough or down? Talk to a close pal.
- Don’t take everything someone says or does to heart, they might not be referring to you.
- Changing some things in your environment can help.
What To Say To Someone Who Thinks They Are Not Enough
We all have been through difficult times in life and they don’t stop unless you are dead. Nevertheless, you can still take certain actions to change the way your experiences impact your life. In view of the foregoing, when someone is feeling not good enough, it is important to let them know they are not alone. The following are things you can tell the person to help them find their way back.
- Find out the particular issue that makes you feel not good enough and tackle it.
- Seek professional help or talk to an expert.
- Don’t forget that you not alone, the other person(s) needs to work on themselves too.
- Build your confidence, it helps you appreciate yourself more.
- Prioritize the things you find joy in, your life doesn’t have to revolve around another person.
- Stop trying to be perfect at all times.
- Remember to breathe.
- Talk about your problems and feelings.
- Be firm in your decisions.
- Desist from shame and unnecessary guilt.
- You are enough.
- Above all, love yourself and appreciate the things you can do.