Feeling Inadequate - Why We Feel Bad About Ourselves

When You Feel Inadequate

Feeling inadequate can affect many aspects of your life in negative ways.
Feeling inadequate can affect many aspects of your life in negative ways. | Source

People Who Don't Feel Good Enough

There are many people who don’t feel like they are good enough. They are never satisfied with who they are. They feel they are inadequate. They find faults in themselves and are very self critical. Their self talk is a constant berage of harsh self judgments and an unhappiness about who they are, what they have done, and a feeling that they are imperfect people.

People who are displeased with themselves try to seek perfectionism and constantly put themselves down. They lack self respect, and devalue themselves. They may insult themselves by thinking they are an idiot, for example, because they didn’t do something right. They also believe if only they were more perfect things would be better for themselves.
Seeking perfectionism has to do with the desire to achieve higher standards and do better. It is wonderful to seek to do better, but perfectionism doesn’t exist. We will always fall short and therefore disappoint ourselves if we strive for perfection.

Looking to do our best is an admirable quest. Ideally it keeps us motivated, it makes us learn and grow. But if we have no flexibility about what we are seeking and our standards are so high they are unattainable, we keep ourselves trapped in a self depracating mode of never being good enough. We actually stunt our growth and continually feel miserable for not doing as well as we had envisioned.

How to Feel Better About Yourself

Let your child know you think the world of them
Let your child know you think the world of them | Source

Negative Self Thinking and Feeling Inadequate

The good news is you have the power to change. By being kind to yourself and speaking to yourself gently and logically you can give up the need for perfection. But before you can truly do this, you need to understand yourself in a way that helps you appreciate who you are. This, however can only happen, if you can learn to forgive yourself for whatever you believe your flaws are.

It is okay to make mistakes. It is okay to be less than perfect. It is okay to look the way you do. It is okay to not know everything. It is necessary to appreciate who you are. It is necessary to accept who you are. It is necessary to give yourself some kindness and softness, and forgiveness. It is necessary to learn to love yourself.

Many of the negative beliefs you have come from your childhood. They may have been instilled you by your own misinterpretations or by parents who burdened you with their own insecurities.

So the way to start to feel better about who you are, is to get rid of your baggage. How do you do this. Well therapy will help if you deal with a qualified mental health professional. You also can do this work yourself, but it takes dedication, self awareness, and a strong determination. Be patient with yourself and you will be able to make progress, whether you do it with a therapist or with yourself.

For some people, they are in a constant mind babble of derogatory and negative self thinking. They believe that no matter how hard they try they will never be good enough. They are constantly disappointed in themselves, and they feel like they have disappointed those around them. Worrying about what others think of themselves causes great distress, and can even lead to depressive feelings.


Why Do You Let Yourself Be Judged By Others

Perfectionism and Not Feeling Good Enough

People who don’t feel good enough live painful lives. They are in a constant battle to do well, yet they fear any mistakes. They find it hard to take pride in what they do, in accepting compliments, and in the idea that what they have done is good enough. They feel overly self conscious, they look for approval from others, but never see it, and feel like they fall short of their own and others expectations. They always feel bad, which leads to tremendous emotional wear and tear on themselves, plenty of self doubt, and all kinds of pressure to keep trying to feel better about themselves.


It is common to feel inner tension, frustration, humiliation, anger, and self doubt. This leads to increased psychological difficulties including tremendous stress. This makes them more vulnerable to depression, and a feeling of self helplessness. They work hard at achieving, but inevitably feel disappointed in themselves. Perfectionists who have depression as part of their family history may tend to suffer from major depression and set themselves up more easily to have a lack of self confidence.


Some people who never feel good enough can develop eating disorders, or put themselves in situations where they isolate themselves and suffer from loneliness.


Some personality traits are inherited. some people are probably born more perfectionist than other people. But the role parents play in influencing their children can shape their children’s self esteem and how they think of themselves.

Some children grow up feeling that they could never really please their parents. This is one of the roots of not feeling good enough.

How to Battle Feelings of Inadequacy

People who feel inadequate usually have a low self confidence. They are filled with self doubt and have many negative thoughts. There are ways to battle this feeling of inadequacy:

  • No matter what anyone tells you, convinces you, or shows you, the power to feel better about who you are rests with you. You have the power to decide if you are good enough. The key to your self worth is the messages you tell yourself every minute of every day. To way to feel good about yourself is to believe!

  • Make the choice to believe. Remind yourself that being imperfect is okay. If you truly want to move forward, you have to let go of the past negative and false beliefs that have no right infiltrating your thoughts and your actions. You are good enough if you believe you are good enough. You don’t have to be perfect. You just have to accept who you are.

  • Who you are is good enough. Even with your flaws, there are still positive aspects about you that make you special, that you do well, that you have knowledge about. Your abilities, your intelligence, your skills, your talents are unique to you, and as soon as you believe you are valuable, you will be.

  • Turn off the pressure you put on yourself to be perfect. Instead give yourself credit for the things you can do and the things you do well or easily. Value your talents, your skills, your intelligence, your abilities, your knowledge. Instill within yourself that no one can do everything well, but everyone can do something well. Put yourself in a situation that allows you to do what you can do well.

  • If you feel like you are filled with anxiety, you are letting your fears rule you. When your fears rule you, it becomes harder for you to have the confidence to take on risks and perform at your best.

  • You are good enough, just because. You don’t need any reason, you don’t need anyone else’s approval. You don’t need to have done anything special. You just need to let yourself feel like you are good enough and really truly believe this.

  • The more you do, the more you empower yourself, the easier it is for you to believe that you are good enough. Value yourself. Believe you are a worthy person.

  • Trust yourself. Take responsibility. Help your confidence grow by taking on challenges and doing them well. Allow yourself to feel good about what you have done. Appreciate yourself.

  • Learn to be assertive so you stand up for yourself. When you feel sorry for yourself, you allow yourself to feel inadequate. Know yourself and understand yourself. Be kind to yourself. Think positive. Take action. Treat yourself at least as good as you treat others.


  • Often we feel inadequate because we have unmet needs. We have a secret wish to be dependent, and this dependency need can leave us feeling empty. When you are full and satisfied, you don’t need more. Feeling psychologically deprived in some way makes us feel poor inside, needy, hungry for what we long for. When you feel strong inside you feel good enough. When you feel poor inside, you feel like you are not good enough.

Self Confidence and Feeling Bad About Yourself

People who feel inadequate, feel like something is wrong with them. They work hard to please others, hoping someone will fill the emptiness within themselves. They feel a sense of worthlessness.

Within them is a deep seated frustration and anger because they feel unsatisfied. There are many causes of feeling inadequate including feelings of neglect, abuse, or abandonment.

At the core of feeling inadequate is an inability to comfort yourself. Love was given conditionally. In order to receive comfort, you may have needed to conform to the emotional needs of your caregivers and you sacrificed your own needs. You may feel as though you did not meet the expectations of your parents. You ever learned to love yourself for who they are.

Mistaken thinking, unhealed wounds, and false core beliefs keep the person feeling inadequate, lacking self confidence, and a loss of freedom at the cost of their own well being.

Feeling inadequate is something someone lives with their entire lifetime. Therapy and mental health counseling can be very effective in reversing this mistaken thinking. As you learn to value yourself nd let go of the false beliefs that keep your self esteem low, you can learn to gain a sense of confidence and empower yourself.

Feeling Inadequate

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Feel Better - Do Better

You are so much more than you give yourself credit for.
You are so much more than you give yourself credit for. | Source

Ways to Feel Better About You

Through therapy, you can develop a more realistic image of yourself. By learning to gain a sense of competence through activities, experiences, and relationships, and turning the negative feelings that reside inside your mind into positive thoughts, a better self image and feelings of adequacy can grow. Gaining a realistic insight and cleansing yourself of the thoughts that interfere with your well being is part of good mental health counseling.

Here are some coping strategies that may also help you:

  • Become aware about the thoughts that keep you trapped and feeling inadequate. What you telling yourself. What are the messages that keep replaying inside your head? Learn to know your true self and believe in your own purpose.

  • Surround yourself with people who are truly supportive of you.

  • Acknowledge the smallest of things you did today, yesterday, and what you can do tomorrow. Build upon your strengths.

  • Allow yourslef to be human. Forgive your mistakes. Forgive your womanness. Think good thoughts. Believe in yourself. Build up your own resilience so that you have the ability to make it through the tough times without taking it out on yourself.


By being open to learning about yourself, whether it is through talk therapy or through self help, and by finding the source of the feelings of inadequacies, and working hard at this, a new you will emerge.

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Comments 6 comments

NMLady profile image

NMLady 3 years ago from New Mexico & Arizona

An excellent article. We all need to learn this!


Mhatter99 profile image

Mhatter99 3 years ago from San Francisco

I am the product of a great past. Thank you for this.


lsamson profile image

lsamson 3 years ago

Great Article


toknowinfo profile image

toknowinfo 3 years ago Author

Hi NM, Thank you for your kind comments.


easylearningweb profile image

easylearningweb 3 years ago

Well said! You offer helpful tips to follow. Voted up and useful!


toknowinfo profile image

toknowinfo 3 years ago Author

Hi Easy, I am glad you were able to get something out of this article. Thanks for your kind comments and up votes.

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