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10 Things Never To Tell Yourself - Stop Believing You're Not Good Enough

Updated on January 4, 2012
Keep an eye out for the "lizard".
Keep an eye out for the "lizard".

One of the most important aspects to being successful is mindset. In fact, some people argue that this is the single most important element, and that if you have a mindset that is welcoming and accepting of success, you're guaranteed to achieve it.

As we go through live, some of us experience a nagging voice in the back of our heads that gives us some pretty bad advice or makes some really negative statements and observations. Seth Godin calls it "the lizard", a reference to the supposed more primitive part of the human brain. Others have given it different names, but throughout our history, we've dealt with this self-defeating element and struggled to ignore it.

Here's some thoughts I've assembled for you to watch out for as you go about trying to accomplish your goals. When you run into these, acknowledge them for what they are, attempts at undermining your achievement, and deal with them accordingly:

1. "I'm Not Good Enough"

Don't accept that you're not good enough to accomplish something. There is very little that a person can not do when they have their mind set on it. It might take a lot of practice, or a lot of research or a lot of time, but you be certain that if you decide to make it happen, you can. The question is, will you? If you are willing to do what it takes, you are good enough to make it happen. If not, then it's not a question of good or bad, it's just a question of what you value. If you don't value an accomplishment more than the effort it takes to achieve it, that's totally acceptable, but don't judge that on the basis of your personal character. Judge it on the merits of the achievement.

2. "I'll Do It Later"

The "I'll do it later" attitude is really insidious. It makes quick and easy tasks seem much more difficult than they are, and can delay or destroy a project by slowly chipping away at your motivation.

When you have something you need or want done, do it then. If it's possible to do now, always do it now. The amount of time you are cost by willful procrastination far outweighs the convenience of putting something off. You can become bogged down very quickly with unfinished projects, and your ability to focus can become diluted with these tasks piled up "in the back of your mind".

Doing a task when you're aware that it needs to be done, not only saves you time and mental energy, but it allows you to build momentum and as you complete those tasks, the opportunity to complete more and more will present itself. When you stall and procrastinate you are not just offsetting one task, you're creating a situation that hampers you on multiple tasks and with every passing hour, the possibility increases of you second-guessing just how necessary that project is in the first place. Don't fall into the "I'll do it later" trap.

3. "There's No Point"

It's funny because there certainly has to be tasks out there that truly have no purpose whatsoever, but stop and think for a moment, and see if you can come up with one. When you actually try to think of a totally pointless action, it can be pretty difficult to establish. Even things that seem to have little purpose, when analyzed, still have some point. If there is a truly purposeless action, I'm not sure what it would look it.

Philosophy aside, if you're thinking "there's no point" to doing something, take a moment and evaluate the legitimacy of that statement. Is there truly no point? Or is it just a case of you deciding that you're going to fail at something or that something you're contemplating doing really won't count for anything, afterall?

Maybe there really is no point, but why not be sure first? Take the time to think it through. If you identify any purposes there, then you can come to a more informed decision whether or not you should pursue that particular thing.

4. "No One Will Know"

If you're thinking about doing something that you wouldn't want other people to know you're doing, it's probably not the right thing. Even if nobody else ever finds out about it, there's one person who definitely will know; you!

A very good guideline for your actions is, would I do this if everybody knew about it. If you wouldn't, stay clear, because there's nothing like the "fear of getting found out" to paralyze you for potentially years to come. Avoid the types of actions you'd be ashamed to admit you've done, and you not only won't have to look over your shoulder, you'll find it much easier to face yourself, as well.

5. "Only One Time Won't Hurt"

This line of thought can lead you into some very bad situations. Many people have used this form of rationalization to begin down a path that took them years to recover from. Some still haven't found there way back from it.

Doing anything that you believe is wrong enough that you'd only want to do it one time, can put yourself in a situation where it can be difficult to stop what you've started. Once you have done something once, the likelihood of you repeating it, even if it's something that the experience has taught you isn't good for you, goes way up. Avoid the possibility of struggling with yourself in the future and setting a precedent for something you wouldn't want to have become a regular part of your lifestyle. If it's harmful enough for you to only consider doing it one time, you've already decided it can hurt.

6. "It's Too Difficult"

When you find yourself really wanting to do something, but it seems just too overwhelming too confront, don't let yourself give up on it so easily. Often when we would love to do something, but it just seems too difficult, we're looking at the bigger picture, and seeing that the goal just seems too unobtainable to us.

Whatever the goal is, break it down into small components. Get out a piece of paper and a pen or pencil, and write down your goal. Now break that goal down into steps. Make sure each step seems reachable for you, from one step to the next. If it doesn't, add more steps where that gap is. Once you've laid out a specific plan to move towards your goal in sure, steady, steps, you'll likely find it doesn't seem too hard for you to accomplish, after all.

Take things a step at a time, and you will see that you're not just trying to do reach your goal, you are reaching it!

7. "Everybody Does It"

The great thing about being an individual is you get to make your own choices in life. "Everybody does it" seeks to negate your own power of choice, and put you at a place where you're just going with the flow. When you start telling yourself this, don't forget who you are. Are you everybody or are you an individual? There's a lot of generalizations you can make about people's habits, both positive and negative, but one thing is for sure: You get to choose what you are going to participate in or not participate it, and you'll probably find, if you really look, that have higher standards for yourself than "everybody" does.

Make your decision based on your standards, not on what is acceptable to a group, a majority or "everybody else". An interesting observation I've come across with this one, is how often it coincides with number 4!

8. "He/She/They Wouldn't Mind"

If you're thinking this, you must not be 100% sure, because if you were, it wouldn't be coming to mind at all! So, before you do something with this as a justification, take the time to check first and make sure that the person or people in question really won't mind whatever it is you're contemplating doing.

9. "I'm Stupid"

Anyone can act stupid when they either don't have the necessary data to accomplish a task, or have false data, that they haven't evaluated, influencing their handling of something. In times where you tell yourself "I'm stupid", take a look and see if there's something you're doing that isn't making sense to you or not working, based on an idea you have about it that just hasn't been validated by your own personal experience. If that isn't the case, try to identify the type of skills you could acquire that would make you more competent at this task.

Being stupid isn't a character trait. It's a highly situational affair. By realizing that it's not an issue of you just being stupid, in general, but an issue of you needing to either re-evaluate your approach or gather the skills necessary to make that approach successful, you'll be ready to turn a frustrating situation into an opportunity for personal growth.

10. "I Always Do This"

This is a great way to keep perpetuating some negative behavior that you are beating yourself up over. This actually works like a kind of negative affirmation to yourself, which puts that behavior in the present and in the future, as well. Catch yourself when this happens, and revise that statement. Instead of telling yourself you "always do" something you'd rather not do, at all, change that to "I have often done this, but now I'm aware enough to make a different choice for the future." This will break the cycle, and get you back in a position of more control.

Thoughts Become Things

In closing, I hope this list has been useful for you, and helps to keep that negative self-talk at bay. I've found that someone's mentality and thoughts have a very big influence over their results and what they receive from life. Changing bad habits can sometimes take a lot of time and effort, but it's important to be a friend to yourself, a good friend. Take care of yourself, avoid directing negativity inward, and rationalizing decisions and behaviors you personally believe are destructive for you.

While we can certainly help one another along the way, this battle is a personal one to wage, and I encourage everyone be to aware of your own particular phrases which surface in your mind, and really take a look at those and decide whether they are helping or harming you. You have the power to make a difference and do something about it.

Feeling De-Motivated?

I recently completed How to Stay Motivated on HubPages. It's sure to give you some useful tips on how to stay motivated with making hubs, and keeping things in perspective. Check it out if you good use a boost to your HubPages confidence!

What Do You Think?

Did you recognize some of these phrases?

Do you have other phrases that you'd like to share?

What techniques or strategies do you use to maintain control over your decisions and keep yourself from being side-tracked by negativity?


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    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Eliminate the words "could, would, should" and replace/reword to say CAN.

    • Bud Gallant profile imageAUTHOR

      Bud Gallant 

      8 years ago from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

      Movie Master,

      I'm glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for commenting.

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 

      8 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi Bud, excellent list very thought provoking and inspirational, thank you

    • Bud Gallant profile imageAUTHOR

      Bud Gallant 

      8 years ago from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

      Temirah, thanks for adding those great inspirational quotes. Beautiful thoughts there and so true. I'd be honored if you'd link. I had the pleasure of reading that hub earlier, and it's an absolutely wonderful guideline.

      Lily, Thanks for the comment! Tony Robbins has some great material. I need to invest more time in checking him out.

      Kitty, I agree with you completely. That's something I've experienced many times, and having that awareness goes a long way to getting different results.

      Veronica, Thanks! That's a really good point you make about positivity. Reprogramming one's way of thinking is, I believe, essential, because the way we've been conditioned to think is often not at all in our best interest. I'm glad you enjoyed this hub and that it resonated with you!

    • VeronicaFarkas profile image

      Veronica Roberts 

      8 years ago from Ohio, USA

      All so very true. Being passionate about something and being consumed by it are two entirely different things. I feel as though people are consumed by negativity, but passionate (the harder of the two) about positivity. Reprogramming your way of thinking will set a precedent not only for all other aspects of your life, but for others, too.

      I love that when writing about negativity, you still remain positive and witty. =]

      I also like that you say that being stupid is not a character trait, but a "highly situational affair". I like the perspective you bring, and the light you shed!

    • kittythedreamer profile image

      Kitty Fields 

      8 years ago from Summerland

      Voted up and awesome, Bud. I definitely believed in the phrase "self-fulfilled prophecy" because thoughts definitely produce actions and energies if strong enough. If we keep telling ourselves that we suck or that we're stupid or not good enough, eventually we will suck and be stupid because who believes in us if we don't believe in ourselves?

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Good stuff, you've taken a page from Tony Robbins, lily

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      This is awesome! I hope you don't mind if I link it to my '10 Rules for Life' hub as I feel it would make a good add-on to it.

      When we tell ourselves that we're stupid, or we can't or we're not good enough, whose voice is it? A parent/teacher/'friend'? These aren't things we would say to other people so why do we say them to ourselves?

      Other useful and inspirational phrases I like (in response to your request above) are:

      'If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got'


      'Whether you think you can, or whether you think you can't, you're right.'

      Sorry not to be able to correctly attribute them (the latter is Henry Ford I think).

    • Alladream74 profile image

      Victor Mavedzenge 

      8 years ago from Oakland, California

      A very awakening hub.I have learnt a lot form this.Thank you

    • Bud Gallant profile imageAUTHOR

      Bud Gallant 

      8 years ago from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada


      Thanks so much for sharing that. I'm really glad are able to connect with these. I've never heard the "words become worlds" phrase before. I like it. :)

    • janetlea profile image


      8 years ago from Northern Cal,

      Biggest challenges for me mentioned here: the do it later, no point and too difficult sections spoke most to me in a big way. Now I'm thinking, "Well, I'll just do it anyway." Thanks Bud. P.S. I love the 'thoughts become things concept. I heard someone else say, Words become worlds."

    • Bud Gallant profile imageAUTHOR

      Bud Gallant 

      8 years ago from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

      Jennuhlee. I know you really got what I was going for with this, and that's awesome. It's great to know that we share that outlook. Thank you for your comment. It's great!

      Thanks nicred, I'm glad this resonated with you too!

    • nicred profile image


      8 years ago from Cape Town South Africa

      Love it - I enjoyed this very much. It is all so true. :)

    • Jennuhlee profile image


      8 years ago from Pennsylvania

      I have to agree with AlicaC this is so inspirational. I just love how you express the importance of being an individual and staying true to your morals and values. These are such important messages that are never strained enough. I loved your "No one will know" section, I couldn't have said it better. You will always be left with yourself in the end, Beautiful as always!

    • Bud Gallant profile imageAUTHOR

      Bud Gallant 

      8 years ago from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

      Thanks AliciaC!

      Glad you enjoyed reading.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      8 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is a very inspirational list and great advice! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and ideas.


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