What’s Holding You Back? Fear Number Four

The Fear of Not Being Good Enough


Have you set yourself goals – to get fit, lose weight, get that new job, relax more, smile more, have fun again – and found that you let them slip within weeks?  Why is this?

I wonder if the reason is connected not simply to our genuine desire to make a change but also to our self-esteem?

Ask yourself, “Do I deserve to be trim, taut and terrific?  Do I deserve that new job?  Do I deserve to be relaxed, to be able to smile, to have fun?”  If you are hesitating, examine your self-esteem.  Be honest with yourself.

Fear that is connected to your self-esteem can affect everything you do in life.

You may settle for a job that you hate and doesn’t pay enough because you think that you aren’t clever enough or strong enough to handle more responsibility.  You may remain in a relationship that makes you unhappy because you think that you don’t deserve to be treated in such a way that makes you feel good about yourself.  You may not allow yourself to let go and enjoy a new relationship because you are afraid to expect too much for yourself.

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You may avoid making the positive changes to improve your life.  If you don’t believe you deserve better life circumstances, you aren’t going to be able to create them.

Think about this: You were born with rights.  You have the right to be the best you can be. You were born with the ability to make the best of whatever circumstances you may encounter.    You deserve to behave in such a way that will enable you to achieve all you can to command respect.  You deserve to be as good as anyone that you admire.  You can be who you want to be.

Do you believe you deserve what you hope for?  You have a choice.  Choose to believe in yourself.  Then nothing will hold you back from being good enough to achieve your goals.

For those who may still be hesitating, I’d like to draw you to the presuppositions of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) which have been an inspiration and guide to me at times when I have needed to put my own life and recent events into perspective:

1. People respond to their experience, not to reality itself

We do not know what reality is. Our senses, beliefs, and past experience give us a map of the world from which to operate. A map can never be exactly accurate; otherwise it would be the same as the ground it covers. We do not know the territory, so for us, the map is the territory.

2. Having a choice is better than not having a choice

Always try to have a map for yourself that gives you the widest and richest number of choices. Act always to increase choice. The more choices you have, the freer you are and the more influence you have.

3. People make the best choice they can at the time

A person always makes the best choice they can, given their map of the world. The choice may be self-defeating, bizarre or evil, but for them, it seems the best way forward. Give them a better choice in their map of the world and they will take it.

4. People work perfectly

No one is wrong or broken. They are carrying out their strategies perfectly, but the strategies may be poorly designed and ineffective. Find out how you and others do what they do so their strategy can be changed to something more useful and desirable.

5. All actions have a purpose

Our actions are not random; we are always trying to achieve something, although we may not be aware of what that is.

6. Every behaviour has a positive intention

All our actions have at least one purpose – to achieve something that we value and benefits us. NLP separates the intention or purpose behind an action from the action itself. A person is not their behaviour. When a person has a better choice of behaviour that also achieves their positive intention, they will take it.

7. The unconscious mind balances the conscious; it is not malicious

The unconscious is everything that is not in consciousness at the present moment. It contains all the resources we need to live in balance.

8. The meaning of the communication is not simply what you intend, but also the response you get

This response may be different to the one you wanted. There are no failures in communication, only responses and feedback. If you are not getting the result you want, change what you are doing. Take responsibility for the communication.

9. We already have all the resources we need, or we can create them

There are no unresourceful people, only unresourceful states of mind.

10. Mind and body form a system. They are different expressions of the one person

Mind and body interact and mutually influence each other. It is not possible to make a change in one without the other being affected. When we think differently, our bodies change. When we act differently we change our thoughts and feelings.

11. We process all information through our senses

Developing your senses so they become more acute gives you better information and helps you think more clearly.

12. Modeling successful performance leads to excellence.

If one person can do something it is possible to model it and teach it to others. In this way everyone can learn to get better results in their own way, you do not become a clone of the model – you learn from them.

13. If you want to understand – Act

The learning is in the doing.

Let’s rid ourselves of Fear Number 4 – the fear of not being good enough.  We can be all we want to be!  I’d love to hear your stories too.


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  • You are so right Jane ; a lot of people have a problem with saying out loud “I am enough” or “I am worth it”.
    In the Western world we are brought up with self-criticism, believing that it will help us to perform better or to be a better person. The opposite is right and this has been proven in multiple social/psychological researches.

    We need to practice more self-compassion.
    Compassion in the sense of accepting you are not perfect – just like no human being in the world is perfect. Be kind to yourself ; just like you would be kind to others.
    AND self-compassion also means that you want to help yourself = take action to improve yourself and/or the situation.

    I like also very much the work of Alan Chambers MBE. He has done several polar expeditions and used them to develop his motivational speaking about leadership, winning behaviors etc.
    His statement is : “All people are born equal (with equal potential). Only the limitations of the mind determine how far one gets.”
    Yes, I can!

    Thanks for the insights on NLP. Very interesting. I am not so familiar with it…will start reading about it.

    • Hi Ingrid – thanks so much for your valuable comments about this post. I like what you say: “Only the limitations of the mind determine how far one gets” – I am a firm believer that once we believe we can we can work successfully towards our goals with confidence. Of course we need to continually adjust our sails depending on which way the wind blows but that’s what being adaptable to change is all about. You might be interested in this blog post about change and adaptability: Charles Darwin and Career Change: https://janejacksoncoach.com/charles-darwin-career-change/


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