No matter what you’re after in life (money, love, fame etc.) there’s a common reason behind it all:
We just want to feel good.
We want to feel happy, to feel confident or to feel (finally!) worthy of something bigger. So while our individual goals are all a little bit different the common driving force behind them all is typically the same.
Instead, as soon as we achieve something we realize that we want something else–and so end up on a treadmill of chasing the promise of feeling good but never quite getting there.
While goals are wonderful to have, it’s so important to realize that they have nothing to do with how we feel on the inside! Our inner game is an entirely different creature and one that only we have the ability to change for the better.
The one thing that I really want you to know today is that feeling good about yourself is not natural for most of us! Yes, it should be our default factory setting–but unfortunately, a lot of factors get in the way and prevent that from happening.
Curious about what those factors might be? There are actually a lot of reasons why you don’t feel good about yourself but today I’m going to share six of the biggest ones with you, so you can understand your own inner world just a little more.
6 Reasons You Don’t Feel Good About Yourself
Reason You Don’t Feel Good About Yourself #1:
Almost every single person in the world believes something about the world that is ultimately damaging to themselves.
I know right now you might be asking: “Why would I believe in something that was damaging or limiting to me?” Yet we all do exactly that! Most of these limiting beliefs are things we were taught as children, when we did not yet have our conscious mind to act as a “gatekeeper”. Before the age of seven, everything we learn goes straight into our subconscious mind, where it will live forever.
A lot of this stuff has in fact been around for so long that we just regard it as part of our identity: “I’m shy / not athletic / not artistic / bad at math / not pretty enough” ETC. But are those things really true? You might be quick to label yourself with these things but have those ideas really applied to you over your entire lifetime? Or–if you think about it–can you challenge yourself to see some moments when they were very much not the case?
Life is a self-fulfilling prophecy! And most of us are telling ourselves “no” based on these outdated, old and empirically untrue ideas. So yes! One of the biggest reasons why you’re not happy with yourself is because you’ve believed these limiting ideas too much and for too long.
Reason You Don’t Feel Good About Yourself #2:
Inner Mean Girl/Guy
Let me introduce you to one of your biggest barriers to happiness and self-worth: your Inner Critic. We all have an Inner Mean Girl/Guy who takes over the show in our mind far too often. But most people don’t understand where this voice is really coming from–so they begin to identify it as themselves.
But as loud as it can be, that voice isn’t really you–nor is it actually telling you the truth! It’s really just your ego mind doing it’s best to “protect” you: by keeping you feeling afraid or unworthy enough that you just won’t bother trying anything new.
It’s definitely not a voice of reason or an accurate representation of what you’re really capable of! But, for those of us who have not done inner work, we believe what this voice tells us–and that makes it very hard indeed for us to be feel good about ourselves.
Reason You Don’t Feel Good About Yourself #3:
Turn on your TV or open a magazine for a minute and take a real look at all the ads you see. It’s an unfortunate but true: modern advertising works on the premise of making us feel bad. We’re supposed to feel just a little bit too old/fat/uncool/stupid so we’ll be motivated enough to buy whatever it is that’s being advertised.
That might seem obvious: of course businesses want to make money and they won’t shy away from emotional manipulation in order to do that! But years and years of this subconscious messaging isn’t without consequence.
TV is particularly devastating at this task because our brain goes into a hypnotic state while we’re watching. We tell ourselves that we can “tune out” commercials but our subconscious brain is paying attention–and it’s getting the message: we’re almost good enough to not feel shame. But if we just bought this/did this/looked like this, then we’d finally be worthy of love.
What a terrible way to treat our fellow humans! And most of us are not even aware of what’s happening. But make no mistake–since we’re all subjected to this negative mind programming, we all need to do some real inner work in order to counteract it.
Reason You Don’t Feel Good About Yourself #4:
Living Life For Others
People-pleasing might not seem all that destructive at first glance. What’s wrong with wanting to make other people happy? But for too many of us, this behavior comes with a destructive secret cost. When we learn to value other people’s happiness above our own, we end up becoming a slave to them–and we lose ourselves in the process.
There’s nothing wrong with being nice and thinking of others! But for many of us–especially women!–we’ve been socialized to always put others first. As the saying goes, you must always put on your own oxygen mask first. If you deplete your energy and happiness trying to help someone else, then that is your own fault. No one else is inside of you to see when the emotional/energetic tanks are getting low. And while it might seem like everyone else is taking you for granted, it’s really you that let the situation get this way.
That might be a tough pill to swallow at first but when you really understand this concept, it becomes liberation. You can still do things for others but when you prioritize yourself first, you won’t end up sacrificing yourself in the process.
Reason You Don’t Feel Good About Yourself #5:
The Perfectionism Myth
You might not label yourself as a perfectionist–yet many of us are secret perfectionists and don’t even know it! But creating an unattainable standard in our mind can be damaging to our current state of happiness.
If you believe that you can’t do something until you have every last detail figured out, you’re a perfectionist.
If you believe that achieving one thing will make all your other problems go away, you’re a perfectionist.
If you’re constantly comparing yourself to other people, then YES you might be a perfectionist–and all that perfectionism is probably doing a good job of keeping you very unhappy.
Perfectionism is insidious because often we think we’re just “being honest” or that it’s a true way to motivate ourselves. But in fact, we’re just setting ourselves up to feel terrible! Of course it’s going to be hard to feel happy if we’ve also told ourselves that we’re not allowed to be happy yet or if we’re constantly falling short of some imagined ideal. When we tie up our ideas of happiness with an ideal that can never be attained, we throw away our own ability to feel good along with it.
Reason You Don’t Feel Good About Yourself #6:
Lack Of Emotional Intelligence
Do you know how your brain works? Confession: for a long time I didn’t! I even went to school and got a psychology degree, which taught me a lot about physiology and all that good stuff. But it wasn’t until I started taking classes for coaching and working on my own mindset that I really understood how to use this thing the right way.
Fact: feeling bad about yourself can become a very bad habit. After a certain amount of time, thinking the same sh*tty old thoughts about yourself at some point they become your default–they’re not even something you think about anymore. They just become the sh*t colored glasses that you view your life through.
Learning how to understand and operate your brain the right way is life-changing–and in fact, I wish this was a skill we were all taught in school! But if you don’t feel good about yourself right now, just please know this: you can learn to feel good about yourself when you learn to use your brain the right way.
Please don’t take this post as just doom and gloom. I want you to know that not all hope is lost! While there are some very real obstacles in our way, we still always have the power to retrain our brain and reprogram ourselves for happiness. The first step of the fight is simply knowing what you’re up against!
PS READ THIS NEXT: Why Good Intentions Aren’t Enough! 3 Subconscious Blocks To Manifestation