So you think you’re not as good as someone else. What’s new? We all feel this way sometime. Don’t settle for the platitudes of friends and family. Friends and family are well meaning. Often what they say is honest. But does it really satisfy your need?
When we are feeling inadequate what is really going on? It is not just a question of the glass half empty or half full. Either we haven’t lived up to our own expectations or we fear we won’t live up to our own expectations. Where did our expectations come from?
My expectations come from my self-image. I would like to excel in everything. I think for some reason I should be able to excel in everything. When I put my mind to it I have excelled at most things. Yet, honestly I’m not the best there ever was, at anything except maybe being myself. Does that realization make me feel adequate? Not really.
What then makes me feel adequate? Sometimes it is simple things like straightening the house and making the bed. Today it’s getting this blog written. I thought about this idea for several days. Now that I am writing it is taking a form different than what I thought it would. This is not the first time a blog has written itself and come out differently.that I didn’t have enough to say. That what I would say would sound trite. Now I see those fears were away for my unconscious to come up with a new answer. The answer for me to have felt adequate seems to go ahead and just do it. That means figuring out what you are afraid of, and finding a way to approach it.
When we feel inadequate we are also feeling overwhelmed. Yet, a monumental task like putting a man on the moon wasn’t done in a day. When President John F. Kennedy tasked the nation with doing that in 10 years, it took a week for a group of engineers and scientists to outline a plan. It took thousands of people working over a decade to make it a reality. The overall tasks seemed impossible. Yet when they broke it down into doable parts it was accomplished.
So, when we feel inadequate how should we approach it? It would seem we need to define the task, break it down into doable parts, and get started.
This may seem appropriate when were overwhelmed by a future task. How about a past event.? I would use a similar formula. Define the task, to find my expectations, review the outcomes, look for lessons learned, and celebrate my successes. We can always claim we tried. We can always identify factors outside and within our control that prevented us from reaching our expectations. Then we can design new strategies to prevent those things from happening again. This process is easier if you have somebody help you work it through. That is one of the tasks of a coach.
What in your life is making you feel inadequate? How have you cope with your feelings of inadequacy in the past. Do you take issue with anything I’ve said here? What wisdom can you add?
As All Ways, Seek Joy,
Coach Dr. Dave,
author of the forthcoming book “recipes for lemonade (thriving through disability): Dr. Dave’s personal recipe “