Mama, do you ever have those days where no matter what you do, you just feel like you’re not doing a good job, that you’re not good enough?
Time to change that.
This article is going to help you understand why you have these feelings of unworthiness and help you see the brilliance in you again.
What is good enough?
We all can feel a little insecure about ourselves and our parenting skills from time to time, but if this is a feeling you’re battling with on a daily basis, it can be a sign of a bigger problem.
The feeling of not being good enough stems from a huge part of you that identifies with a certain way of doing or being, so when you don’t match up to what you envision, you will always feel disappointment or worse – guilt.
Truth is, while external validation can serve its purpose to reinforce our confidence sometimes, true confidence comes from within.
Where does external validation come from?
We learn unfortunately to rely on others from a young age to determine whether what we’re doing is of a ‘good standard’.
Here are some of the main dictators of our self-worth:
- Work environment
When you take all these into account, it’s no wonder that we no longer know how to find validation from within.
Let’s have a closer look at these…
When you were young, your parents likely did all they could to give you what you needed, as well as provide you with education and discipline to be able to thrive in the world.
However, there are likely some ways in which you didn’t feel loved for who you were, or you felt rejection in some way, big or small.
When we don’t look at these little niggles, we can carry them in our subconscious mind for years. We have to learn to accept that however we were loved was the best our parents could do in that moment.
One look at the school system and the grading used to classify us, tells us that we are good enough, when we have achieved what everyone needs to achieve.
The problem with this is that it doesn’t take into account that everyone grows at their own pace.
As a good friend of mine would say, everyone blossoms in their own time. Yet as we grow throughout school, more often than not the results are what counts over effort and progress. Things have changed over the years to take into account other factors, but our grades are still a big influence over our deemed success.
It is also true that schools adopt a one-size-fits-all attitude to learning, preferring mainly auditive and visual learning and neurotypical processes to teaching.
It’s a natural human reflex to behave like those we look up to, and who do we look up to most? Our friends, of course!
We subconsciously select like-minded individuals often with some quality that we don’t have, and attempt to imitate said quality until we integrate it into our own lives.
There is nothing wrong with admiring your friends or wanting to improve, but the problem lies when we get caught in the comparison trap, putting other people on a pedestal and ranking our success according to theirs.
We are all gifted in different areas, so when we remember this it can help counteract feelings of failure.
The ranking system doesn’t stop when we finish school, but continues to show up even after graduation right into the workplace.
We are hit with promotions, invited to go up in the rankings and aspire to higher paid positions.
There is also competition in a lot of office-based environments, as workers compete amongst each other for all the above benefits offered when working in a hieratical enterprise.
Reward system of instant gratification
All of the factors I just mentioned have one thing in common: they provide tangible rewards, whereas a job like motherhood is not.
Motherhood is a full time job in itself.
Actually, cancel that it’s a 24/7 job with no sick leave. Yet it’s not easy to see the rewards as it is with other things. There is nobody popping up with candy because you didn’t shout at the kids today, nor is there the immediate rush when attacking the dishes.
To add to this, it is not a role that is financially supported in any way, and a lot of women are frowned upon should they choose to be a stay at home mom.
So being a mother can be a frustrating role wit little recognition – which is why it’s so important to learn to validate ourselves!
Now, how can we do that? I hear you ask…
1) Acknowledge what you do
The first step I believe lies in acknowledging all that you do now.
Please grab a pen and paper and write down all that you’re doing in your life – can ve work and pleasure.
Do you allocate enough time for pleasure?
Noting all that you already do in your life will help you become conscious of the multitasking that you already have and allow you to understand if you need to drop something for your plate too.
Perhaps once you’ve written everything down, you will realise what needs to become a priority too, the non negotiables you need to do from day to day.
2) Dismantle integrated beliefs
During the first few foundation-building years of our life, we learn values and beliefs based on what we absorb from our surroundings.
This is all stored in the subconscious memory, where your mind operates about 90% of the time.
So, when we talk about dismantling a belief, you must know that it’s not an overnight miracle.
Dismantling begins with awareness, and you can bring your awareness to your belief system in several ways:
- Allowing your mind to naturally unfold by increasing ‘nothing moments
- Observing the things you say when in conversation
- Getting a friend to hold you accountable in your awareness journey and repeat back to you statements you may have made
- Watch out for phrases that come out of you with the words ‘never’ and ‘always’
- Go to a psychotherapy session if possible to unravel
- Try hypnotherapy or self-hypnosis
- Use EFT tapping or other embodiment practices to raise awareness
Above all, remember that healing takes time – we are not perfect, nor should we strive for perfection. THAT is the key to true self-worth.
3) Practice acceptance exercises
One of my favourite ways to do this is in reframing situations that you deemed as negative or perhaps a failure, and trying to see something you’ve learned from it.
Not to be confused with overriding your feelings with false positiveness, rather you accept how you’re feeling and ask yourself how you could do better next time, what lessons you took away.
When you reframe things in this way, it gives you the chance to grow by not getting stuck in your own emotions and negative thoughts about yourself.
4) Treat yourself as you would a friend
It sounds corny – but it’s true!
You wouldn’t sit your best friend down and have stern words with her, remind her of every opportunity in which she’s made the same mistake and tell her she’s awful.
You’d listen to her, validate her and support her – so do the same for yourself.
It may seem silly at first, but you have to become your own best friend, because there will be times there is no one immediately there to hear you out or reframe your thoughts. That’s where you come in and do some important shadow/integration work.
5) Understand your triggers
If you’re prone to going into self-hate spirals (most of us are when we operate from an unconscious level), ask yourself in which situations do these occur?
Perhaps it begins after a certain activity you feel self-conscious about, meeting new people, you will know what triggers you.
I’m not saying you have to avoid the activity all together, but getting to the event itself can bring the beliefs that are holding you back to the light.
6) LOVE yourself
Implement self-love rituals throughout your day that will lift you up and give you the confidence to believe in yourself when you need it the most – on those low, bluesy days when it feels like everything is going wrong.
When you dedicate time to yourself, however small, you’re saying to yourself that you’re valuable and worth taking care of, which will build your self compassion and your ability to see the positive qualities in yourself.
You may find that once you start, you will crave more and more alone time as you build the relationship with yourself!
When you truly become your own best friend, is when you will finally start to feel ‘enough’.
Even though the road to self-love may be bumpy in a society that deems us imperfect from the start, there is room for growth and it starts with the steps I’ve just described.
Are you feeling like your buttons are being pushed often mama?