Feeling inadequate in a world of perfection? Overcoming feelings of inadequacy can be hard. Read these tips to help yourself feel “enough.”
Today I wanted to take a break from my usual fitness or family-minded musings to talk about something very real.
I am 100% certain that most women, especially moms, suffer from similar feelings from time-to-time, so I thought I’d talk about it.
Lately I am struggling with a lot of uncomfortable feelings.
Namely, feeling inadequate.
Inadequate as a mother, inadequate as a homeschool teacher, inadequate as a blogger & businessperson, inadequate with my health, finances, and pretty much everything else.
When I get to feeling this way, it backfires even more, and I struggle to get things done like I normally would.
My productivity goes down, I struggle to eat healthy, I am less attentive to my children, and it just spills into every other area of my life.
Now that I think about it, pretty much every time I have spiraled into a depression, it was due to feelings of inadequacy.
I keep thinking thoughts like, “I didn’t read a single book to the kids today,” or, “I don’t think we spent enough time on schoolwork today.”
Then it’s thoughts like, “How come some newer bloggers have more traffic than I do?”
“How come it seems like everyone is making more money than me?”
And this attitude spills into every little corner of my life, like, “I didn’t spend enough time cleaning and doing laundry today. Now the house is a mess.”
Or, “The kids definitely didn’t get enough fruit and vegetables today.”
“I let them watch too much TV today.”
“I’m obviously doing something wrong in my business, or I would be making more money by now.”
“My Instagram pictures aren’t as nice as this other account’s. That’s why it’s not successful.”
“I didn’t meal prep this week, so this whole week is going to be a struggle.”
“I haven’t made any fun holiday projects or treats with the kids this year.”
“How come my Pinterest account isn’t as successful as this other bloggers?”
The list could honestly go on.
If I allow these types of thoughts, they seem to take over. Then all forward motion in my life seems to come to a screeching halt, and I struggle to appreciate all of the goods things.
Maybe you’re like me and have been struggling with these feelings of inadequacy lately.
Honestly, this year is a huge struggle for so many of us. 2020 just has a way of continuing to throw wild cards at us, and staying afloat has been hard for a lot of people.
Sometimes, I feel totally stuck. I feel like I’m in limbo until this year is over.
But deep down, I know that coronavirus won’t just go away magically on January 1st.
And I know that I won’t magically lose 15 pounds and see huge financial gains after Christmas.
I know that my life is still my own. It’s still up to me to pick myself up and move forward.
But how? I think about what typically triggers feelings of inadequacy for me.
I know what things I should avoid, but it doesn’t always feel possible.
Scrolling through Instagram, seeing all of these “perfect” and idyllic pictures of other people’s lives.
Logging into my husband’s Facebook (I don’t have one) and seeing people on awesome vacations with their cute kids and cool cars.
Getting on Pinterest and seeing all sorts of cool holiday crafts and recipes other mom’s are doing with their kids.
There are so many things I see in other people’s lives that I wish I could have in mine.
I truly think that social media is hugely responsible for the increase in mental health issues we have seen in recent decades.
But…how do you stay tuned into the world without it these days?
So many wealthy business people say that if you aren’t on social media, you’re basically irrelevant.
And there are so many people who have become successful because of social media. Without it, they’d be null.
I struggle with social media SO much because I feel like I’m fighting for two conflicting things. I want to have peace and health – mentally and emotionally – on a personal level. But I also want success.
The nature of my work as a blogger is so closely related to social media. So how can I balance that?
(If you’ve been around for awhile, you’ll notice my struggle with having various social media accounts. I go back and forth on them a lot.)
Should I quit social media altogether? Should I sell my soul for the money, like so many others seem to have done?
I have felt the need to push back against society so much over the last few years that I fantasize about switching blogging careers entirely all of the time. I’m really into homesteading and simple-living topics because it’s what feels right to me deep down.
But I don’t feel like I can give up on my hard work. So how do I balance it?
Well, getting rid of Facebook was a start.
Not focusing seriously on Instagram is good. But it also feels like a missed opportunity.
My kids are little though – and they need me more now than ever, with society all but shut down and all.
I feel like I’m ranting a bit now, but you get the idea.
I just wanted to talk about things. Blogs used to be places where writers could almost just journal and people would respond. It used to be that if you wrote something, many people would see it.
Now, we have to fight to be heard. There’s a sea of influencers and bloggers who would sacrifice every ounce of their souls to make a sale or get a sponsorship.
How To Feel Like You’re “Enough” In A Sea of Seemingly Perfect People
Honestly, I don’t have the perfect answer for this, but I do know that there are some things that you can do to feel better and regain some control over your feelings.
Firstly, you DO have things to be grateful for.
You have skillsets that others in your circle don’t. And if you have healthy babies, a roof over your head, and a little weight to lose, you have it good. 🙂 You have what you need. At least at the basic level, right?
As for me, even though I’m not as fit or as successful as I want to be, I have the ability to stay home with my kids. My blog isn’t making me a millionaire, but it is paying for groceries and a utility bill or two every month.
I’m not extremely fit, but I can carry my kids on a hike, and I can run a mile without stopping. Not impressive to some, but it could also be much worse.
My photography sucks, but I’m a strong writer and I enjoy what I do more than most people ever will.
I might not have my beautiful farmhouse on a piece of land just yet, but my home is comfortable and functional.
My kids are beautiful and healthy.
I have a car that runs, and a computer that should work for a long time.
The point is – find the things you can be grateful for, and focus on them. This is where your time and energy should be spent.
Secondly, be choosy about what you allow in your life.
It’s okay to be the person that doesn’t have Facebook. You don’t need it. That is a lie.
I have chosen not to have Facebook, and though I have Instagram, I take it all very lightly.
I have chosen to mostly follow strangers and not be super serious about it.
This is so that I’m not wasting time sizing up my high school friends’ lives – and comparing them to mine.
And, I’ve chosen not to spend a lot of time “building” my Instagram because when I did that before, it sucked me in. I spent a lot of hours on it, and growth was still small.
The people who are successful on Instagram spend a LOT of precious hours on it, and I just can’t do that right now in my life.
Sure, it might slow down my growth as a business and it might mean some missed opportunities. But I can’t sacrifice my sanity and my kids’ childhoods for it.
I also quit trying to run a podcast, YouTube channel, and quit putting much effort into Twitter. It’s just too much.
So – pick what is important, or at least continue to focus on things that are producing tangible results.
I won’t ever quit Pinterest, and I don’t see myself ever throwing in the blogging towel completely. I’m making a long-term investment, and I have to be okay with that.
Lastly, spend more time doing what you love.
It’s been a hard year, and a little self-care is important. It’s been rough, but I have spent this year focusing on what really matters – and I think this year has actually solidified and clarified what matters to me.
I’m blogging less (though I do enjoy it), making more home-cooked meals, giving less time to people who aren’t worth the struggle (you know the people in your life who deserve the most time and love), and trying to be more present for my kids.
I’m looking to the future more, and that’s why I am slowly transitioning my blog to a slightly different vibe. As important as fitness is, I am learning that there are many things that supersede it in life.
My hope is that if you’re struggling with feelings of inadequacy today, you can flip the script. Focus on what matters, eliminate what doesn’t – you hold the power to do that!