Why Do I Feel Like I Don’t Measure Up?
When We Feel Like We Don’t Measure Up
Have you ever felt like you’re not enough… that you don’t measure up?
The answer is often the same.
I’m too different, I’m not enough and I’m not measuring up.
It showed up in Jennifer’s life like this…
No Risk, No Vulnerability
Jennifer was late — again.
She looked around the room for a familiar face and then she quietly slipped into the back of the meeting.
Thing is, Jennifer arrived late on purpose because she didn’t want to see or talk to anyone. Shy and awkward, the very thought of talking to someone raised her anxiety level.
After all, what if they asked her a question she couldn’t answer?
If the meeting was already in progress, then she could slip in without being noticed. This was a simple way she could hide. She had it down to a science…
Her motto was: where there’s no risk, there’s no vulnerability.
Arrive late, slip out early.
Do not intentionally put yourself in front of people.
No mingling, no talking.
One Reason Why We Feel Like We Don’t Measure Up
Why did she do this?
Because Jennifer was struggling with shame… feeling like there was something wrong with her.
Shame says, “I am not enough.”
The American researcher, Brené Brown describes shame this way:
“it’s the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging – something we’ve experienced, done, or failed to do makes us unworthy of connection.”
Feeling Shame Means We Practice Shame
Unfortunately, when we feel shame, we also practice shame.
It looks something like this: we practice…
- Not showing up
- Not showing who we really are
- Hiding what we really feel
- Not sharing what we think
- Not believing that we are enough
- Not telling others what we really want
Researchers have discovered that shame is both a feeling and a practice.
The fear is… “because there IS something wrong with me, you won’t like what you see when I tell you who I am and you will reject me.”
But there’s a big price to pay for hiding and living in shame.
The Result Of Practicing Shame Is Loneliness
And loneliness is a big problem and causes lots of devastating effects on our mind, emotions, body and soul.
And here’s the kicker — staying invisible doesn’t actually keep us safe.
It just keeps us lonely. We are meant to be connected.
The Antidote To Shame
So the antidote to shame is to begin to show up in small ways. To be seen, heard and known.
Find someone safe and risk a little vulnerability today. Practice revealing who you really are.
Vulnerability births connection with those who “get” you.
Begin searching today for a community of people where you can be known so that you can know that you are enough.
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