Combatting “I’m Not Good Enough”
One of the biggest hindrances to success is succumbing to the nagging feeling, “I’m not good enough.” Many of you know the feeling and thoughts that I’m talking about. You want to sing, write, draw, paint, decorate, or preach but find that you keep comparing yourself to others.
You read someone else’s blog post, and her writing is so good, you think, “I can’t write like that. My writing isn’t good enough.”
You want to sing, but you hear someone else and think, “Wow. Her voice is beautiful. I can’t sing like that.”
You may even have a calling on your life to teach or preach the gospel, but you keep comparing yourself to someone else and think, “I don’t know the bible that well. I can’t preach that well. I’m not good enough.”
If we’re not careful, those thoughts and feelings will prevent us from pursuing our dreams.
That feeling stopped me from pursuing many of my dreams.
I didn’t pursue promotions on my jobs because I didn’t feel I was good enough to go to the next level. So, I lived a very unfulfilled life in a career that I didn’t enjoy. My job was safe and provided a salary that paid my bills, and I was always careful to do just enough to earn my paycheck. However, I stayed within my comfort zone, never venturing too far, never showing what I was capable of doing. I knew I had the potential to do more, to be greater, but I was afraid to step out.
I didn’t publish my writings for 16 years because I felt they weren’t good enough. I always said writing was simply a hobby, an outlet. I knew in my heart God wanted to bless other people with my writings, but I stuck to my argument that they weren’t good enough. I kept comparing them to other people’s writing. I was afraid to bring my writings out of hiding.
And hiding was precisely what I was doing because although I shared my writings with a few people over the years, I would never publish them publicly. After all, I simply felt they weren’t good enough.
Is this story resonating with anyone? What do you want to do but feel you aren’t good enough? What dream isn’t being pursued? When will you climb into the driver’s seat of your life? Don’t you want to know what life would be like if you started working toward your dreams? Aren’t you curious?
If this sounds like you, there are three things I want you to do. These three things will help you overcome the “I’m not good enoughs” by challenging you to press toward your dreams despite your negative thoughts.
I want you to Admit who you are, find your Why, and then just Do it.
I need you to stop what you’re doing now and admit who you are. Please say it aloud. This seems easy, but it’s hard. You have no idea how difficult it was for me to say, “I’m a writer.”
The moment I said it (actually, I wrote it in my notebook), I was bombarded with thoughts like, “You’re not a writer,”
“You’re not a published writer. That’s the only kind that matters”.
“You’re not good enough to be a writer.”
“Your writing doesn’t measure up. Look, you missed a comma.”
We have to overcome these types of thoughts because they stop us from pursuing our dreams. Despite how we feel or our thoughts, we have to speak reaffirming, encouraging words to ourselves.
My writing may not be good enough, but I’m still a writer.
I want you to fill in the blank. “I am a(n) _____________________________________”.
Now say it aloud and keep saying it!
Find Your Why
In 2010, I started writing a 30 day devotional on forgiveness. I let a few people read the first few pages of the devotional over the years, but I wouldn’t publish it because I didn’t think it was good enough, no matter how much the few folks told me they liked it. So the 30-day devotional stayed on my computer’s hard drive – not helping anyone. When I decided to pursue a writing career, the devotional was one of the first things I knew I had to publish. But…
What if they find a spelling mistake?
What if they don’t like it?
What if they laugh and say my devotional is stupid?
What if the devotional doesn’t help anyone?
What if it helps someone?
Huh? What? Yep!
What if ONE person reads it and is helped?
With that one question, I found my Why. I found the reason why I had to make my writings public.
We can come up with an entire list of reasons we shouldn’t pursue our dreams; that’s easy. I encourage you to come up with one reason why you SHOULD.
Take time now and write one reason, five reasons if you’re feeling bold, why you should pursue your dreams. Who can you help? What’s your WHY? What can you offer to ONE person?
Now that you’ve admitted who you are, what you want to do, and discovered your WHY, please DO it.
I almost talked myself out of publishing the devotional, but I kept reminding myself that I may help one person. I remember the day I clicked the “Send” button to publish the devotional to my subscribers. I almost cried. It was scary, but it was also a relief. That tiny step encouraged me to keep going.
What can you do TODAY to start working toward your dream? I want you to think about the steps you need to make your dream a reality. Can you do just one today, this week? Use the space below to set one goal and simply DO it. You’ll be happy you did!
Will completing these three challenges stop the “I’m not good enoughs”?
Nope! You’ll probably still occasionally have those thoughts.
Listen, if we wait until the negative thoughts stop before pursuing our dreams, we’ll never pursue them. So we have to put strategies in place to help us to keep going.
I can’t promise that I’ll have the same level of success as J.K. Rowling, James Patterson, or Catherine Coulter, but I can guarantee you that I’ll be the BEST Aretha Grant possible by helping at least ONE person.
How about you? Are you going to try? Are you going to pursue your dreams? Yes? Good!
Comment below and tell me WHO you are, your WHY, and what you’re going to DO today to pursue your dreams.
I’ll pray for you as you embark on your journey!
This resonates. I put aside my writing for over 20 years. Today I know I am that good and my style unique. I am pursu ing my dream, not that of others. Great post.
That’s great news, Helene. Your writing is valuable and you have a message the world needs to read. I look forward to reading your material.
Natalie @ Milk and Honey Faith
Aretha thank you so much for this post! Rest assured that you have helped one person and that person is me! I needed to see this today. Not only am I a writer of a new blog but I’m also currently stepping out of my comfort zone at work and applying for a position that will require me taking a two-year course. Both are definitely steps of faith but I know that God has me in the palm of His hand. I shall not fear! Blessings to you sister for also stepping out and publishing your work. There is no greater peace that comes than the peace of knowing you are doing what God has called you to do. Be blessed!
Hi Natalie and thank you for your beautiful comment. I’m so glad that you’re letting God use you! Keep holding to our Father’s hand. He will lead you and guide you according to His word. God bless you my beautiful sister!
I was somewhat like you, not sure if my writing was up to par, but I thought up to par compared to who? I enjoy reading and especially studying the Bible. When I was looking over my notes I realized that others needed to hear what God had spoken through me and I took that leap of faith and I’ve been writing more for over 6 years…Thank you for your blog, because I truly can relate…God Bless
Your experience is very similar to mine. I had years of writings the Lord gave me but I just don’t trust that my writing ability was “good enough”. I had to find confidence in God and trust His purposes for my life.
Thanks for commenting, Sis.
Thank You for your positive posts, I’m still trying to figure out myself and my next step in life.
Join the club my friend! As long as we continue to follow the Lord, He will bring clarity and understanding. We’ll figure it out with His help!
Hi Aretha, I’m surprised that I stumbled onto this blog! I have been told in the past through three other menand woman through prayer and words given that I was a writer. I journal and write a lot about teachings from the Lord but I never considered I had a gift to write. I have still never done anything with my writing gift as far as sharing anything~ but recently I feel the Lord Himself prompting me again about the gift I have. I have no idea what to do with it! Of course, I will pray and ask the Lord , but thought I would share this with you, maybe you have a word of wisdom?. Thank you for sharing your blog.:)
I apologize for taking so long to get back with you. I’m excited for you! God is raising up writers. Don’t be afraid to write. Keep a journal and let the Lord speak to you and through you. I’m excited to see where your writing leads you. Keep me posted.
Great job; your writing is very inspirational. I needed to hear this today.