The feeling that “I am not good enough”

05 January 2020 by
self-love self-love
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Being an English teacher, during language exam preparations I have often met  my students` different comments on themselves, statements like “I cannot do it” or “how stupid I am”.


One of the first things I try to achieve is to make them cancel these thoughts, otherwise they will block the execution of the task. As I am sure that they will succeed in reaching the desired goal with perseverance and hard work, I often make them realise that they are skilled and smart enough for that. But there are some situations when this is not enough, because our believes about ourselves usually have deeper roots.


For example my father used to tell me not to ride a bicycle, because nothing good would come out of it, concretely he said that I was incapable of doing it and a car would hit me. Of course I have always known in my mind that little children are also speeding on bikes, and I learnt to use it on the pavement too when I was small, but I didn`t dare to sit on one until I became about 30. It is clear what adverse effects can similar irresponsible statements have. Obviously he just wanted me not to be injured, but in this way I have missed all the bicycle tours in my life, not to mention its practical usage.


When we believe the negative comments by others regarding our personality or skills, and later we have to face a challenge in life, like an exam, we will have more difficulties, as our own self-esteem will need to be developed as well, not only that certain knowledge. And in our adult life it may cause a problem in our relationship or at work too. “The feeling that I am not good enough is one of the bases of unhappiness.” Louise Hay


But how can we get rid of that feeling? Building self-esteem is a complex and long process.


  • Namely, we need to try to believe we are good. It can help if we repeat it a lot, in this way we can change the fixed negative sentences.
  • Those who have felt it for a long time that they cannot change the depressing thoughts, they can see a specialist as well, who helps to reveal the underlying reasons.
  • Self-knowledge is also important, accepting ourselves in a way we are, since everybody has strengths and weaknesses, we are all different.
  • On the whole it is definitely worth increasing self-love, because “if you love yourself, you have superpower.”


And as soon as we decide to develop a certain knowledge or ability, among the many advice on how to increase self-confidence this is one of my favourites:


“If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced." Vincent Van Gogh



(The Hungarian translation is available on



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