Do You Think You’re Not Good Enough?

Most people I coach all seem to have one thing in common – they think they’re not good enough.  But where does this stem from?  It seems that we can be our own harshest judge and critic.  What I get clients to do is to start by writing down a list of all of the things for which they criticise themselves.  I tell them to include small things as well as the more important things.  Typical things may include: ‘I’m shy’, ‘I’m too fat’, ‘I’m not very good at math’, ‘I’m lazy’, ‘I’m not very clever’, etc….

I then get the client to look over their list, and ask them ‘Do you find yourself thinking things like ‘That’s just how I am’, ‘I’ve always been like that’, ‘I can’t help it’.  If they do, then there’s a clue that they are actually hanging onto ‘labels’ which may be preventing them from changing and developing their potential.

Many of these labels can usually be traced to something they learned in the past, and each time they use one of these statements, it’s as if they’re really saying, ‘…. and I intend to stay the same.  But how did they first get these labels?  There are two possibilities.  Firstly, someone else gave them to them, probably when they were children, either their parents, teachers, siblings, peers etc…  Examples of this may be ‘You take after your Auntie Catherine – she was no good at maths either’ or ‘She’s going to be shy, just like me’.  The poor client then ends up carrying around this label for the rest of their lives.

Secondly, another reason why a client may have become attached to a particular label is because it enables them to avoid risky, unpleasant or tedious activities.  Ironically, clients may use their labels to avoid facing the risks inherent in something they really want!

I get the client to think carefully about the labels they have identified, and to ask themselves if they’re just convenient ways of not having to face the time and trouble it would take to change.  I tell them to decide either to continue being this way, or to begin the work necessary for change.  I also tell them to notice any labels which they were given but which were never true, or are now out of date.  I then get them to re-write each item, prefacing each with one of the following: ‘I choose to ……’  ‘Until today I was …..’  ‘I used to label myself as…’

If you’re suffering from ‘I think I’m not good enough’ syndrome, try the above exercise, and notice how much better you will feel.

Jane brings over twelve years of Psychology experience to her Life Coaching practice, after having completed a Bsc (Hons) degree in Psychology, and post-graduate qualifications in Psychotherapy and Counseling, plus teaching and coaching certificates.  As a Psychotherapist, Jane gained experience working with self-help groups where her main duties involved the identification of personal development objectives, enabling clients to make positive changes in their lives.  It was a natural progression which led Jane to Life Coaching, as her experience & training in Psychology provides her with the appropriate skills & insight into motivation, attitudes & behavior. Jane achieves fulfilment in making a difference to people’s lives, & helping them achieve their goals.  She is neither judgmental nor critical in her approach, & abides by absolute confidentiality in all her dealings.

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