16 Reasons Why You’re Feeling Not Good Enough And What To Do

Steffo Shambo

Updated on Aug 11, 2023
not good enough

If you’re anything like me or the other 7 billion human beings on this planet, you have likely dealt with feelings that you are just not good enough.

Fear not. No matter how convincing your negative thoughts about yourself might be, I can assure you that they are not true. And you are doing much better than you think.

In today’s article, we’ll tackle these very human feelings of inadequacy, so that you can stop comparing yourself to the person next to you. I’ll help you realize that you are actually not falling short of anything at all. No matter where you are in your own personal life journey!

Why am I feeling like I am not good enough?

Whether it be related to your performance at work, sport, parenting, or even taking care of your dog, we ALL experience negative emotions connected to our self-worth. If someone were to not experience feelings of not being good enough at some point (or many points) in their life, they would be quite the anomaly.

Part of the human condition is to be constantly turning over and questioning the validity of our positive traits… Others can see the good inside of us. And we can definitely see the good inside of others. So why can’t we see the good inside of ourselves?

Well, capitalism thrives on you feeling like you suck. So that they can sell you more products, tools, courses, etc., to make you suck a little bit less.

The role of social media in feeling not good enough

To add more layers and opportunities for comparison and self-doubt, we now have social media. YAY!

In the past, people only had their immediate friends, family, and co-workers to compare themselves to. But thanks to SM, we now have the whole world available at a tap and a swipe.

middle aged man lying on the sofa checking out facebook on his phone

The hit documentary ‘The Social Dilemma’ looks at the negative experiences brought about by social media. And Zuckerberg himself has famously banned his kids from having Facebook accounts.

What does it mean I am not enough?

To be not good enough in the 21st Century means to have negative thoughts and be lagging behind everybody else.

You may feel that you are lacking in all the things that should put you on the right track. Or you might not be able to think about how your best friend is so much more attractive or successful than you.

Despite past achievements, feeling like you are not good enough can bring tough times. Although feelings of being not good enough are just thoughts, they can become all-consuming.

16 reasons why you’re not feeling good enough

am i good enough in a placard

Here are my top 16 reasons for feeling not good enough:

1. Comparison

Walk your OWN path. Comparison is the thief of all joy and when it comes to accelerating and advancing in your own path, it is about as much use as a chocolate teapot!

2. Cheap dopamine thrills

You are frittering away your precious energy on cheap dopamine hits. This is stopping you from investing in long-term goals. Things like social media posts hijack our brain’s dopamine system.

Posting a photo of yourself and getting 50 likes in the space of an hour is hugely stimulating to the brain’s dopamine system. But it is actually taking away your motivation to do things that require focus, or a long-term investment.

Things like writing books, poetry, making art, reading, etc. This is making you lazy and no doubt contributing to negative thought. You can replace these negative thoughts with positive thoughts if you spend time on longer-term projects.

3. Diagnosable mental health issues

This one is important to include! Some people have been diagnosed with mental health issues like depression or anxiety. These disorders can contribute to feelings of self-doubt and poor self-esteem. If you know this is you, then you should talk to your doctor.

4. Low confidence

Having low confidence can be another reason why you are feeling not good enough. Someone who is not confident does not believe in their own abilities. Their entire self-identity is shrouded with negative thoughts and feelings.

Someone with low confidence is unlikely to have healthy relationships or a proper support system since these things require a foundation of assertion and the ability to voice what you are feeling.

5. Poor sexual confidence

For men, this one is absolutely huge…

… Poor sexual confidence is related to low confidence. But the two are not mutually exclusive. A man can be very confident in his professional life, but crippled by anxiety when it comes to his performance in the bedroom. I see this all the time. And so do a lot of women!

If an otherwise successful man has past experiences of performance anxiety, it makes sense that sex can still be a big deal for him. He might not be able to stop thinking about his next sexual encounter.

6. Low libido

Following on from number 5 is having a low libido. In our highly sexualized society, people who are less interested in sex can feel not good enough.

It can also damage a relationship when libidos are mismatched.

For example, if you happen to be paired with someone who has a very high libido, you may feel not good enough when you constantly turn down their attempts at initiating sex.

7. Not feeling attractive

But our society is not only highly sexualized. It is also overly focused (WAY overly-focused) on appearance. Beauty and the maintenance of youth juxtaposed with the inevitable process of growing older are top priorities. The beauty industry is one of the most profitable on Earth.

Some of us are born more beautiful than our average Joe. This comes down to pure luck. Others have the money to spend on plastic surgery and other ways of enhancing themselves.

But for the rest of us, it can be easy to look in the mirror and struggle to love your own physical form. Society has fed us with so many false beliefs about the importance of beauty.

By creating an internal struggle, we are more likely to spend our money on products that will make us look a certain way, which we have been led to believe is more attractive.

But this is a fallacy. Attraction is not about being beautiful. It is possible to fall in love with someone whom you do not find particularly beautiful.

8. Dating apps

Connected to not feeling attractive is the use of dating apps.

Contrary to what you might think, the rise of Tinder has done nothing to contribute to healthy relationships or success in the dating arena.

Quite the opposite is true. Dating apps have lowered our self-esteem. Single folk, they are a large contributor to negative beliefs and feelings of poor self-worth. This is not even to mention that dating apps have stolen our ability to focus on one person, since there is a world of other options, perpetually at our fingertips…

But dating apps have an even darker side… One that directly targets your self-esteem, attempting to lower it and make your feel not good enough ON PURPOSE, so that you purchase memberships in an attempt to get ‘seen’ by more people, keeping their pockets lined in the process.

Especially for men, it is almost impossible to use dating apps without low self-worth and self love creeping in. These apps lead you to believe that you are much less attractive than you actually are, and serve to compound feelings of loneliness rather than solve them.  

9. Breakups

Having your heart broken is one of the most intensely painful experiences a human being can experience.

burning paper with the word love written on it

Yet it happens to most of us at some point in our lives, if not a few times…

“For even as love crowns you, so shall he crucify you” – Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

Nothing has quite such power to make us doubt ourselves as the love of our life walking away from us. When you lose someone you love, feeling like you are not good enough is almost the default reaction. Even if they say it isn’t about you, it feels so deeply personal. How could it not be?

After all, if you were good enough for this person, then they would have had no reason to leave you..? I’m not saying this is accurate, btw. But it is how most of us think after a break in our most prized relationship.

And it can be a long struggle to feel good about yourself again. Breakups hit us in the most sensitive spot. No matter how much our parents or friends remind us of our positive traits, it is hard to hear and accept.

10. Being in a toxic relationship

Toxic relationships are a big topic these days.

And rightly so. The tides are turning when it comes to our awareness of things like narcissistic behavior, passive-aggressive communication, and stonewalling.

Toxic or unhealthy relationships are common and they are often difficult to spot. And this makes them even more dangerous.

If you are on the receiving end of any of the above, you are bound to feel not good enough. Little comments disguised as sarcasm or jokes can grind a person down.

Sadly, many people stay in toxic relationships for so many years. They don’t get the unconditional love and care that they truly deserve. Only when they manage to break free can they begin to find peace and mend their negative beliefs about themselves.

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10. Perfectionist nature

By definition, a perfectionist nature can create a sense of being not good enough.

There are arguments on both sides of nature and nurture regarding the source of perfectionism. But the outcome is the same.

Perfectionists often struggle to believe they have achieved success in any endeavor. Whether it be their job, family life, or picking up new skills, a perfectionist may not be able to stop thinking negative, critical thoughts.

11. Childhood trauma

woman lying on her side in a bedroom while hugging a teddy bear

Childhood trauma can make it hard to feel self-love and contribute massively to feeling like you are not good enough. A proper adult-child relationship allows a child to grow up feeling safe, secure, and loved.

Whether the trauma is linked to violence, alcoholism, or sexual trauma, someone with childhood trauma must seek professional help.

12. Pushy parents

One step down from childhood trauma is pushy parents.

Very few of us feel good enough for our parents, or as though we matched up to their expectations. But for some people, their beliefs about having failed their parents are intense.

Unfortunately, many parents don’t realize that their child is not an extension of themselves and that they are, in fact, a person of their own.

Most parents want their children to become the best version of themselves possible. So they push them in this direction or that. But when this does not align with the child’s natural talents or desires, it can lead to the child feeling like they are not good enough in childhood. And this can extend throughout their adult life, too.

13. Sibling rivalry

black children on a yellow background the boy is holding a megaphone

Related to pushy parents is sibling rivalry!

This one needs very little explanation. If you grew up in a context of strong competition between siblings, it can be easy to feel like you were the loser. And that feeling of being a loser can sadly extend into everyday life, following you everywhere that you go.

13. Problems at work

Not all of us were created to thrive in an office environment. There are a great number of square pegs being forced into round holes within the working world. By this, I mean people who aren’t naturally suited to the job they have found themselves in.

No one’s job is easy. But some people struggle more than others. And since we spend so much of our time at work or think about work, we can begin to feel like we are not good enough when things go wrong.

14. Financial worries    

Another massive one for men is financial worries. Did you know that financial issues are the main reason for divorce and also a large reason for male suicide?

soman holding a bottle of spilling pills on the bed

Society has led us to think that men must be the breadwinners. They must achieve great success in the working world and focus on feeding and providing for their families. And indeed, this does align with typical notions of masculine vs. feminine energy.

There is a strong connection between wanting to earn more money and feeling like you are not good enough. Having a low income can not only be a blow to self-esteem, but it can make daily life very difficult, presenting very real challenges.

15. Over-dependence on external validation

This is where social media has, epically, monumentally f*cked us all up.

It’s so EASY now to get external validation when it is really not all that warranted. Post a quick pic on Facebook and get 25 likes in 25 minutes.

But this does not copy over into our real-life, physical reality. Here we need to work much harder to deserve validation. But we have been trained to depend on it for our sense of self.

And this is where we slip up. Feeling good, truly good, about ourselves comes from within, rather than from the external world. But this is not something that comes naturally to most people. And it can take a lifetime of thinking you are not good enough to finally realize it.

Someone with a weak sense of self-identity is more likely to go about validating themselves in the wrong way. Validation must come from inside, not outside.

16. Not taking care of your body

white haired man doing push ups on a grassy ground

Our physical vessel is precious. The body you were born into is the only one that you’ve got.

But many people don’t treat it as such.

Things like getting regular exercise and having a daily meditation or yoga practice are integral for both mental and physical health. In addition, not smoking and drinking alcohol also help to keep us healthy, and looking and feeling good.

What to do when you think you’re not good enough?

Here are 6 tips on what to do and deal with the feeling of not being good enough:

1. Quit ALL of your addictive behaviors

man sleeping on a table while holding a glass of liquor

This isn’t just limited to things like drugs, smoking, and alcohol.

Just as important are things like death scrolling on social media and binging on Netflix series. Why are these behaviors as damaging as drugs and alcohol? Because they hijack your brain’s dopamine system.

Cheap thrills like posting on Facebook or interacting on social media are an effortless way to get a hit of dopamine. But it lasts merely for a moment. And the more cheap thrills you buy, the less motivated you will be to do any task that requires a longer-term investment.

But if you quit your addictive behaviors, the things you didn’t have the motivation to do will become interesting again. You will be satisfied with the simple things. Life itself will become more joyful, and your world will be saturated with color.

Your motivation and life force energy will come back. You will achieve great things (combine this with the practice of sexual transmutation, and you will be unstoppable!).

2. Begin a gratitude practice

Most people living in the Western world are very lucky. We don’t even have to entertain the notion of being worried about what or if we will eat that day, where we will sleep, or if we will be hurt or killed by someone else.

This is NOT the experience of everyone living on earth. Millions of people in countries like North Korea, South Sudan, Ukraine, and many, many more countries face uncertainty regarding their very survival every day of their lives.

Remind yourself daily that there are people right here, right now, living on this Earth, who suffer terrible hardships.

3. Communicate your feelings  

Feelings of being not good enough are common to us all.

Whether you’re rich and famous or an average Joe, we all want to do better and to be better. Wen all feel like we are not good enough from time to time.

This is why simply voicing your feelings of not being good enough to a friend can really help. We say the harshest words to ourselves that another person would never say to us.

Speaking to a trusted friend can bring a great deal of peace, understanding, and empathy.

4.  Seek professional help

If your feelings of not being good enough are really consuming, and you are thinking of nothing else, it may be time to seek professional help.

Methods such as CBT and traditional counseling can do a lot to change your thinking patterns. You can conceive of yourself and your achievements in a completely new light.

5. Accept that logic cannot defeat emotion

You cannot think your way out of feeling that you are not good enough. Thinking and feeling are different. One is pure cognition, and the other is more bodily, and a LOT more powerful.

In order to overcome a strong feeling of being not good enough, you need to replace it with an even stronger emotion.

By freeing yourself of limiting beliefs, you can emancipate yourself in one moment from emotions that have kept you stuck for decades.

My program The Tantric Man Experience, has a large focus on freeing yourself from limiting beliefs. Here is what one of my former clients, Jake had to say about his own experience:

“I previously believed that I would never find a woman… For the past 10 years, I didn’t go on any dates. What happened through the program was a transformation in my personal view of my life, sexuality,  relationships, and intimacy. I ended up going on 3 dates in person, with 3 different women”.

Jake completely turned his life around by releasing the limiting beliefs he held about himself. The ripple effect of his work on love and relationships meant that the impact was not only upon his dating life but ALL aspects of his existence. His entire being was upgraded. Such is the power of this technique!

6. Affirmations

If you’re struggling to believe that you are adequate, you can try using mantras.

A mantra drills an idea or a belief through your grey matter, embedding it deep into your subconscious so that it can stay.

Repeat the simple mantra “I am enough”.

Say it just after you get out of bed, as you are walking around and getting ready for your day. Repeat it again whilst you are looking into the mirror, trying to believe and feel it with every cell of your being.

It might feel strange at first, but keep this habit up and bit by bit, you will feel it penetrate, and your feelings of inadequacy will dissolve.

Conclusion

So, hopefully, today I have managed to convince you that you are anything but alone when it comes to feeling that you are not good enough.

Movie stars, singers, and millionaires alike. We ALL deal with feelings of inadequacy from time to time, and for many reasons.

If you are feeling not good enough, first try quitting ALL of your addictions. Then, move on to a gratitude practice. Communicate and share your feelings with a trusted friend. If this is not possible or doesn’t feel safe to you, then you can seek a therapist.

If all of the above doesn’t work, then you might have some limiting beliefs that are keeping you stuck. Releasing these will not only stop you from feeling not good enough, but it will release any and all of your other inhibitions and blockages.

If you feel not good enough and want to start healing, you can take my free training here. My program goes into great depth on releasing limiting beliefs, along with almost everything else I have referred to in this article. It’s only an hour of your life, and it could be the catalyst for you to finally start feeling good about yourself. Once you see your own value, you can attract an incredible partner who is on the same level, or solidify and upgrade your current relationship to something really amazing!

FAQ

What is it called when you don’t feel good enough?

Inadequacy sums up the feeling of being not good enough.

Can you be not good enough for someone?

The harsh reality of life is that yes, you can be not good enough for them. But that is specific to this unique person and is more about them than about you.

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Steffo Shambo

Steffo Shambo

Men's Tantric Relationship Coach

Steffo Shambo is the founder of The Tantric Man Experience. The #1 masculine mentorship program in the world, where he’s helping men master confidence, sexuality, & purpose to reignite the passion in their relationship or attract a meaningful relationship. He’s on a mission to spread a conscious sexual revolution for men worldwide so that they can show up as integrated partners, fathers, and leaders.

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