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3 Questions You Need to Ask Yourself if You Feel Inadequate

As a confidence coach, I meet women everyday who tell me how their self-limiting beliefs or feelings of inadequacy hold them back from success and I am on a mission to change that.

At times, we all feel less confident especially when we experience a loss– it could be a loss of a relationship, a job, or a new chapter of our lives where we lose our sense of self. However, I have learned simple tools to help us overcome these debilitating feelings of inadequacy and to move through them quickly.

For most of my life, I felt inadequate except no one knew but me. When I was a new mother, I worried that the other moms would think I was not as perfect as they were and I wore myself out trying to host perfect play dates, read more books to my children, or quickly tidy up my messes when a friend came to visit. Later, when I first started teaching martial arts, I felt the other instructors would think I wasn’t as skilled as they were even though my business was successful and I owned multiple studios. Then as a confidence coach and TED x speaker, I worried I didn’t have the right certifications or string of letters after my name regardless that my business won multiple awards, and was consistently endorsed by therapists and doctors each year.

Why are we so much harder on ourselves than anyone else can ever be?

In the work I do to help women feel confident and complete, I have created 3 questions as a self-assessment to test your worthiness at any given time.

3 Questions to ask yourself:

  • Am I valuing my experiences and successes? Most of us as we age, forget all that we have accomplished.We may start to feel down about our achievements especially if many of them were in the past.

A solution to solve it:

Take time to revisit all of your accomplishments over your life– you probably have done more than you realize! One way to do this is to sit with pen and paper and go through each decade of your life and write down your big “wins”. In your twenties what did you do? Did you graduate from college, get your first apartment, or start your career?  You are going to repeat this step for each decade you are alive until you have at least ten accomplishments in each decade. Next, take time to validate all of your achievements. You want to acknowledge the time and work you put into accomplishing each accolade on your list. Your experiences are a part of you and when you take time to validate and own each one it increases your sense of achievement, self-worth, and feeling of adequacy.

  • Am I spending too much time on social media which is making me feel isolated, lonely, or depressed? Many of us are experiencing increased feelings of inadequacy since the pandemic began. Also, our intake of social media has increased significantly. Spending more time on social media has increased our feelings of unworthiness (according to the Journal of General Internal Medicine). After a year of watching our friends online, it’s easy to think everyone else’s lives are perfect– we become stuck in the comparison trap. Remember, people only post their “wins” on social media– they rarely share the years of hard work, failures, or tribulations that they went through.  The more time we spend looking outward and comparing ourselves to others the more inadequate we feel about ourselves.

A solution to solve it: Take breaks from social media or only allow yourself to check it for a limited time each day. Set an alarm after 15 minutes to remind you. It’s easy to get lured in and waste too much time looking at everyone else’s wins and begin to feel you are not enough. Even better, spend time walking with a friend, or meet someone at a coffee shop, or talk with a friend on the phone. People are less likely to “brag” when they are in person with you.

  • Do I have a network of people who support me? Women in particular feel more confident when we are around like-minded people. Take an inventory of the people you are spending most of your time with– are they prone to negativity, complaining, or gossip? If yes, you will start to take on those negative emotions when you are around them and notice your mood goes down. Contrarily, when we surround ourselves with a supportive network of friends, family, or co-workers who uplift us our moods lift and we feel energized and happy.

A solution to solve it: Surround yourself with people who support your new ideas, compliment you, and encourage your growth. Be discerning who you spend your time with as you will absorb their energy and it will affect your well-being. Challenge yourself to meet new people, try new clubs, or take a class and explore being around those who enjoy similar hobbies, interests, and activities as you. When you are around like-minded people it reinforces your beliefs and increases your confidence and sense of self-worth. If you are in a place where you cannot find a supportive person who is there for you, it is important to become the support you need. Be kind to yourself and tell yourself what you need to hear if no one else can give it to you. You can start by repeating a simple mantra everyday such as, “I am worthy” and eventually you will begin to feel that way.

Remember, you are completely perfect the way you are, but most likely you are set in negative habits that reinforce your feelings of inadequacy, fear, or self-doubt. Habits can change and you can begin right now! The best part is, no one even needs to know you are working on yourself. After a few days, it will feel a little easier, and after a few weeks you will feel better, and after several months of being your own best advocate– you will notice it feels unnatural and uncomfortable to put yourself down in the slightest way.

Meet Dara Connolly

Dara Connolly is the author of the new book Flip Your Fear, and founder of PTC™– an award-winning confidence program for women. Dara helps women speak to be seen, heard, respected, and remembered. She went from being a debilitating shy introvert to a TEDx speaker, who’s PTC program has helped over 10,000 women and is endorsed by doctors and therapists.

A nationally recognized expert in the field of confidence, Dara has been featured on FOX, CW, The Connect Show, Dr. Laura, and other media outlets. You can find her at www.DaraConnolly.com

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