Therapy for Feelings of Inadequacy
Do you frequently feel inadequate, insecure, or that you are somehow not good enough?
- Have you always felt this way, or can you identify a change from the way you used to feel?
- Do your feelings of inadequacy cause issues in your relationships or work?
- Do you sometimes feel like you have to put up a façade or pretend that you are more confident than you really are?
- Do you find yourself comparing yourself to others, and feeling that they are doing better than you in one way or another?
- Do you feel that you are not pretty enough / ugly, not smart enough / stupid, believing that nobody will want you or love you?
- Do you find yourself feeling like a fraud or an imposter in your job, or with your friends, thinking you don’t deserve what you have?
It can be very painful and alienating to feel inadequate. It can lead to feelings of shame, depression, anxiety, and get in the way of our goals.
Sometimes, it might mean not even trying for certain goals, because you don’t think they are possible for you. Feelings of inadequacy and hit every area of life, and can include feeling not smart enough, not successful enough, not attractive enough, not funny enough, boring, clumsy, not creative enough, not wealthy enough, like a failure, not fit enough, etc.
In some cases, a deep sense of inadequacy can manifest itself as imposter syndrome. This describes a feeling that they are somehow fooling others into thinking they are better or more competent then they are, with the constant anxiety that they will be eventually found out and discovered to be incompetent, unintelligent, lacking in creativity, unattractive, or whatever their particular version of imposter syndrome looks like.
Most people feel inadequate in some area of their life, and / or at some point in their life.
You’re not alone in feeling this way. It’s something that many people struggle with, sometimes for their entire life. In some cases it might be isolate to one specific area of their life, in others it might be pervasive. It can be very severe and debilitating, or it can only cause minor issues.
Many people accept feelings of inadequacy as a fact of life, like their nose or ears. They don’t think it is something they can change, because this is how they identify themselves. They simply can’t imagine they can be any other way. They have likely heard friends and family tell them they shouldn’t feel this way, but this just leads them to feeling isolated, and misunderstood.
Other people think it’s something that they have to tackle on their own. They can’t imagine that there is anybody who can help them with their sense of identity.
Therapy can help you feel more confident and become the best version of you.
Psychotherapy can help facilitate an exploration of you, so that you can better understand why you are who you are. We often accept things in life that are simply not true, or grossly distorted. We begin to internalize a sense of ourselves from a very early age, even before our earliest memories. This sense of self is developed based on both genetic factors as well as the environment we live in. One of the greatest determinants being our early caretakers, often our parents. Siblings and extended family, as well as endless environmental variables also make an impact.
Sometimes even loving parents might not see us or treat us in the way we needed in order to develop optimally. Perhaps they seemed distracted by work or other children in the house, or maybe they had their own agenda for having children. This can result in children developing specific patterns of behavior to adapt to their environment, which can lead to maladaptive behaviors in adults, including, but not limited to, feeling that you are not good enough.
In our sessions, we will not only explore your past, but also what is going on your life now in the day to day. Instead of taking things for granted, we will examine interpersonal relationships, and your actions, in order to better understand you. Through repeated explorations of yourself, done in a non-judgmental and safe environment, you will begin to see the distortions in your thinking and eventually be able to correct them, leading to thinking and feeling better about yourself. Eventually, this can lead you to becoming a truer, more confident version of yourself.
You may still have reservations about starting therapy.
I’m afraid that therapy is too expensive and takes too long.
Therapy is an investment in yourself. People will readily spend money on vacations, and luxury items, or doctor visits, but therapy seems less concrete and tangible.
What is a better investment than yourself? You only have one life. Don’t you want to live it the best way you can?
Therapy takes as long as you need it. It’s not a quick process to change aspects of oneself that you have lived with the better part of your life, but that doesn’t mean you won’t see changes as you go. It’s not like fixing a broken arm. It’s more like exercising your body or eating well to make yourself healthier and stronger. Therapy is about taking care of yourself.
What if I’m too damaged or other issues come up in therapy?
Nobody is too damaged for therapy. It might take more work to deal with issues that are deeper rooted or more serious, but that does not make it any less worthwhile.
Other issues often come up in sessions. That’s great! That’s what therapy is for. Uncovering issues that we’ve buried because they were too painful or difficult to deal with. Now that you are in therapy, you have a professional to help you with these issues when you are ready to work on them.
What if therapy makes things worse?
Not getting help is guaranteed to make things worse. While in therapy, things may get worse on the way to getting better, you can at least feel assured that you are taking action to deal with these issues, rather than letting them fester. Why do things get worse before they get better? In therapy you will be casting off many off the methods you developed for living your life based on the distorted lens you developed in your early childhood. It may mean, feeling temporarily lost, without identity, while you are developing a better, more accurate version of you. While this can be scary initially, it means you get to make choices about yourself that you never were able to make before.