Since I can remember I thought I was not good enough. No matter what I was doing, I always considered myself in the medium, not good enough to be the best. It has been only in the last few years I have realised that, like anyone else, I have my strengths, and that my worst weakness is that I have thought I was not good enough.
If you are doubting yourself, if you feel that in some parts of your life you are not good enough, then this post is for you. Sit down, relax and let me shed some light on few things I have learned and that helped me change the perspective on who I am, and how this is highly beneficial in everyday’s life.
Not good enough VS too easy
For a long time I have dismissed my successes because things in which I excelled came naturally to me. I had to be mediocre, I had to be not enough as otherwise life would have been too simple. It is as you are colour correcting a photograph that looks already great: it feels like you are cheating. Truth is that you are not. Truth is that when things comes as simple, you are probably naturally great at what you are doing.
The first thing to do in understanding your value is to stop thinking you are not good enough in what you are doing. We are often our worst critics, or at least I know I am, and seeing reality as it is, seeing that I can be more than someone in the medium.
Why is thinking that you are not enough bad?
One of the most bittersweet feeling is waking up one day and realising you are more than you gave yourself credit for. From one side it is amazing to discover you are more than what you thought you were, but from the other you look back and you see all the times you have not believed in yourself. You thought you would have been not good enough, so you did not do something.
Thinking we are not good enough for something means undermining ourselves, shaking our self-confidence to the core. There is no shame in trying and failing, and there is no shame in saying we do not know how to do something; but saying we are not enough to ourselves is like cutting our legs before a sprint.
You can say that there are people who are better than you at something, but you should never think so low of yourself to use the words “not good enough”.
Two cold showers
Few months ago, as I thought I was not good enough on one specific task, I decided to hire a professional. I wanted to get a plan to move our photography business forward. I wanted someone who was enough, as I though I was clearly not good enough to do things on my own. I picked someone whom I believe to have all the knowledge and ability I was lacking and I hired him.
I invested a decent sum of money, and when I opened what he worked hard on producing, I realised that it was no better than what I had previously done. Excluding some details, he failed to deliver that “something more” I was looking for. That was the first “cold shower” that made me think that maybe I was “good enough”.
The second cold shower was when someone else validated what the first professional did, comparing it with what I had done. I was told that what I had been delivered was good, but he also added that what I had done in the past was better, if slightly rough around the edges.
So, I have invested money in what I thought would have been a big push forward for our business, just to discover that I would not have needed to waste a penny. This was all because I thought I was not good enough.
Believe in yourself and never think you are not good enough
Truth is that you should believe in yourself. Plain and simple. Telling yourself you are not good enough means that you are undermining yourself, which is hardly considered as doing yourself a favour.
Try, fail, try again and do it better. Learn how you can become better, but never, ever doubt about yourself in such a way that you have to offend your intelligence by saying you are not good enough!