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I’m Not Good Enough: What Led Me Here?

By: Bridgette W. Gottwald, LPC, NCC

The narrative of “I’m not good enough” has become far too common across America. It can “plague” people of all kinds of different cultures, incomes, education levels, and income levels. This one, though, is the “mother thought of despair.” It can drag you down and overwhelm you with anxiety and depression. This blog will provide seven reasons why these thoughts are happening and make suggestions of how you can feel better fast!


Thinking that you “aren’t good enough” is extremely self-critical and typically comes from automatic negative thoughts (ANTs). Once you become aware of your automatic negative thoughts, you can challenge them so that you are able to think more realistically.

Feel better fast tip: There is a difference between thoughts and facts. Just because you had a thought does not mean it is true. Challenge the ANT. Then, you can try to find evidence that the ANT is not true, or in fact that the opposite of that is true.

Comparing Yourself To Others 

Social media makes it extremely difficult to not compare yourself to other people. Trying to live up to the images you see online and in the media can be exhausting.

Feel better fast tip: Make a conscious effort to not judge yourself based on the success of others. Try to be the best version of yourself and constantly improve in ways that you can control.

Focusing on the Negative 

If you won a tennis game with a score of 6-3, would you focus on the three things you did wrong or the fact that you played well and won? What’s the use in beating yourself up in the three games you lost, or the things you did wrong when you did so many things right? Doing this trains your brain to look for more negativity and keep you in a place of low self-esteem.

Feel better fast tip: What are some accomplishments you have made in your life? What are 5 positive attributes that you have? Perhaps writing these down will help whenever you are feeling down about yourself. Focusing on your strengths and accomplishments will help to develop a healthier sense of self-esteem.


Expecting yourself to be perfect and not make mistakes can be extremely harmful to your overall emotional well-being. Mistakes are okay, you will continue to make them for the rest of your life. The important thing is that you avoid making the same mistakes over and over again, and you learn from where you went wrong.

Feel better fast tip: Forgiveness is key. Just as you would forgive others for their shortcomings, apply this to yourself, too. Try to treat yourself the same way you would treat a loved one when they made a mistake.

Childhood Trauma 

Traumas that have happened in your childhood (emotional or physical abuse, neglect, etc.) can have a negative impact on your sense of self-worth.

Feel better fast tip: Seek professional help in order to address these unresolved childhood traumas.

Critical Parents 

Was it challenging or felt impossible to please your parents when you were a child? Maybe you were criticized about your weight, looks, and efforts?

Feel better fast tip: Typically, constant parental criticism is more about the parent than it is about the child and it can be labeled as a form of projection.

Negative Social Circle 

The kinds of people that you surround yourself with will affect your well-being. If you are around people that are constantly negative and pointing out the flaws of other people, it’s likely that you will adopt the same attitude.

Feel better fast tip: Surround yourself with people that love and support you. You will feel better about yourself and the way you treat others if you have positive people in your life that are encouraging and supportive.

If you’re struggling with self-esteem and positive self-reinforcement, and you’d like someone to talk to, reach out to Symmetry Counseling today to connect with a Chicago therapist. Contact us today!


7 ways to stop thinking “I’m not good enough.” Amen Clinics. (2022). Retrieved from:

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