The fear of not being good enough.

I’m going to quote Brene Brown – “Shame is the most powerful emotion. It’s the fear that we are not good enough”

Reading this was hard. It had the same effect as rubbing salt into a wound. This hurt, really hurt.

I am the forever saying-sorry-person. When, or should I say, if I can get out of the house, I change my clothes at least three times. Because no matter what outfit I put on I still feel ashamed. I don’t start a conversation with anybody because I always feel such a bore. I follow my husband around like a sick puppy. And at conversations I nod like a monkey that gets a penny. I am so ashamed of myself its even hard for me to say it out loud because of what you might think of me.

Voices in your head.

I have had this voice in my head since birth, it tells me every day when I wake up that the world would be better off if I just stayed in bed.

Where does this voice come from?

Why do I keep telling myself I am not good enough to be around? I’ve been trying to unravel this mystery for years. Or at least that’s what I thought I was doing. But all I did was keep getting more and more frustrated of not doing anything right. Even to the point the frustrating got so bad it turned into being verbally and physically aggressive.

So at the age of 28 I got the ‘pleasure’ of being hospitalized for anti social behavior and not fitting into society. Mind you I never harmed anyone. I just was a very angry and depressed person.

It took me another 22 years to understand were it was all coming from. I had finally solved the question where this ‘I’m not good enough’ came from.

And the answer is really easy in fact. It has nothing to do with me personally. It all has to do with they way my mind was shaped. If you only hear and experience that all you do isn’t good, you will never feel good enough. You will never built some confidence. You will never stand up for yourself.

Every day I got some indications I wasn’t good enough.

No, I didn’t do this or that right – change your clothes, this doesn’t suit you – don’t do this, that’s not good – smile, don’t look sad – behave, or people will think we didn’t learn you any manners – those school-marks aren’t good enough, see you get between 95 and 100 next time – if you keep doing this, you only will be good enough to work as a garbage man (mind you, I have the greatest respect for people how take care of our rubbish) … If I helped out with something, it would be done over. If I made a drawing, it never ended up on the wall, instead it got into the bin. Need I go on? I guess you get the picture.

So if you have been told you are not good for a major part of your life and especially as a kid, how can you think otherwise? As a kid you are sensitive to everything. Your mind is being shaped. These things influence you so much. If you hear that people who need lots of care would be better of being killed and don’t even think that it would be okay for them to have children. How can you expect a vulnerable girl that needs a lot of medical attention, because she had the bad luck of caching some weird virus when she was a baby, to ever feel happy and have kids herself? Why on earth would I deserve to be happy if I should have been dead.

Now, I don’t tell you all this for you to make you feel sad or have compassion with me. I tell you this because I’m happy I solved the life long riddle. By solving this I can work on leaving this behind me and work towards a better future.

We all need sunshine.

Hans Christian Anderson said: “Just living isn’t good enough. One must have sunshine, freedom and a flower”

Freedom of who we are. Sunshine even if we are in a dark place sometimes. A flower that lets us see how beautiful you can become if you are able to grow.

I’ve never liked living. I’ve found it to be a great big waist of time. Yes, I’ve attempted to stop living and even that is something I gave up. I just sat around waiting to die.

Be brave.

All this changed when I was brave enough to start creating. To heal by creating. It totally changed my life. But still every day I wake up and cross my fingers I am going to be good enough and won’t the creativity dry out. So far all is good.

One day I got this image in my head of a girl sitting in a corner of the room. Her back facing the room, so she would have to connect with others. On the walls she wrote: “not good enough” over and over again. So I made this sketch. Let it gather dust on my iPad. Till now.

61-sketch.jpg

I knew I had to make this image one day. I needed to be brave in order to heal this part to me too. Yet again, as with all I do, it was fear and shame that kept me from making it. Fear to fail. Shamed of what people might think. Fear of being judged. Ashamed of having these feelings. Shame of all the fingers that will be pointed at me because I made such stupid stuff. Shame and fear because how can I call this silliness art. The fear of rejection.

All this will hopefully leave me someday. So with my eyes closed I pushed the button to publish this. Because it’s my right to share this. I may, and can exist. I have an obligation to let you into my world, however scary this is for me, I need to share it.

61-not-good-enough

I have a right to your opinion. You have a right to your opinion. I have a right to know your opinion. All this without being ashamed of it. Images are a result of who we have been shaped. Images we make are us. We are the images. Images can help me, but also others overcome feelings. Open up and talk about our struggles. We might even be a help to each other. It doesn’t mean that if you don’t like the image you automatically don’t like me. Or visa versa. Yes, images are us, they tell a part of your history. But we all can be more than our history, we all have a future before us. And it’s what we do with that time to come that will define and how we become.

We are all good enough.

One thing is certain. We are all just perfect in who we are. We are all good enough. Sure we make mistakes, but that doesn’t mean we are not worthy.

So slowly, one step at the time, I am taking this big fat marker and I am crossing out all the NOT’s from my history book. It’s going to take time, but at least I have started not to erase them but cross them. You can’t change history. However you can change the way you read the history. So not erasing but crossing-out.

We all have feelings we would like to abandon and that’s not an easy thing to do. So first step, could be telling someone. And this is the perfect spot to do so. Let’s hear your voice.

Here is your chance.

Nobody really knows you out here. Get something out. Let’s have a little conversation about it.

What can happen? Perhaps you would feel better, so there is nothing to lose.

Be brave! Do it!

With a smile,

Sabrina M 🙂

6 thoughts on “The fear of not being good enough.

  1. This is so perfect, all of these words are perfect. I too, have so many feelings I would love to abandon and forget. Thank you for writing this and for publishing it.

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    • Dwana, thanks for taking the time to put a reaction on this. It is highly appreciated. The thing is we can’t forget what has happened and I honestly believe it’s not necessary to forget them. What however is of importance is how we give them a place. Where do we put these. How can we heal and go on.
      I also believe talking about them helps. Even if it’s a complete stranger, or perhaps that stranger is just what you need. To speak freely, without being judged or without consequences.
      I want you to know I am here for you if you need. I happily be a soundboard. A wailing wall. An ear. No matter what. Just drop me a note or whatever you want.
      Just know you are not alone and you don’t need to carry stuff alone.
      With a smile and an extra hug
      Sabrina 🙂

      Like

  2. i feel like this often and dealing with depression i can very much relate to this. i also feel like this with my art i haven’t had very many successes with my art but like you i heal through my art it’s very much a part of me in which its hard to explain,I have tried to get my blog going again with little luck I think I pretty much write to cyber space lol… thank you for sharing your beautiful image and your story.

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    • Heather stop saying this. Your art is amazing. It just takes time to “be seen” Likewise with the blog. And do remember not everyone who read the blog or admire you gorgeous flowers leaves a comment. It’s hard to tell sometimes if people do or don’t stop by.
      But don’t create or write a blog for them. Do it for yourself.
      With a smile and a hug
      Sabrina 🙂

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  3. When dealing with these feelings in therapy I was told to try to re-parent myself. Because without it I would simply continue hearing the voices of the parents who told me the same things you hear, essentially “not good enough.”
    It’s a hard road, but I wonder if you were to see a child version of yourself what would you want her to hear? What would you say to her?

    Like

    • As a child version of me and even now I would just once like to hear her say she is proud of me, or that I’ve done something good. But I guess that’s only possible in utopia. If I see her I have a meltdown for a whole day, sometimes even longer. I try to avoid her as much as possible, A thing that is becoming more and more impossible as she is getting dementia. And that makes it even worst, she’s angry to everything and everyone know but on the other hand needs more and more help. And being an only child it’s expected of me to do so. You probably also have heard enough of the sentence “it’s still your mum” and “family is important”
      I have a different opinion on that.
      With a smile and a hug
      Sabrina 🙂

      Like

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