3 Reasons Why You Never Feel Good Enough
I see you, my guy. You have the job. You have a beautiful family. You might not be rolling in the dough, but you’re doing ok, right. Then why do you still go to bed every night feeling dissatisfied with yourself and wake up feeling the same way? My guess is that you are reading this blog to find the answer to that question.
Before we dive into this, I need to provide you with a little disclaimer. There are a lot of factors that contribute to a person’s sense of self-worth. What I am going to give you in this blog is my experience as a Licensed Professional Counselor who works mostly with men. This is what I have seen in my practice. Here are my top three reasons why men never seem to feel good enough:
1. You learned at a young age that your worth is tied to your accomplishments.
Maybe you played sports in school and were treated like a rockstar. Perhaps you were the academic who heard, “I’m proud of you” every time you brought home a report card. Maybe you were the dude with the sick physique while the rest of us were praying for puberty to happen. Regardless, many guys learn early on that to be valuable, they have to be able to achieve or accomplish something. Unfortunately, this evolves as we grow and mature. Maybe your barometer for feeling good enough is bringing home that paycheck instead of straight A’s on a report card. Either way, it is unlikely that you will ever feel valuable internally if you base your worth on something external.
2. You have someone in your life who doesn’t appreciate you.
Most men feel valuable because they have someone in their lives who tells them they are valuable. If you have someone who tears you down, instead of building you up, it is unlikely that you are going to feel good enough in any arena of your life. I am not asking you to play the victim here or to wallow in self-pity. However, it is important to understand where your sense of self-worth comes from, and if you have someone in your life who is diminishing that, it needs to be dealt with.
3. You have unreasonable expectations for yourself.
When I was a new counselor, I attended a training seminar and listened to a speaker who was doing the kind of work that I was interested in. This guy was brilliant! I was hanging on to every word he said as he spoke. Then, I got mad. That’s right. I was mad. I felt insecure. I remember thinking, “he’s so much better at this than I’ll ever be.” Now…I want you to think about how rational this line of thought is. I was mad that in my first year of counseling, I had not developed the wisdom, talent, and insight of someone who had been in the profession for over 20 years. How unfair! My expectations for myself were not reasonable. There’s a chance yours aren’t either.
OK, great. So, what do I do about it?
1. If you think you might associate your value with your accomplishments, talk to the people in your life who truly love you. Ask them what they would think of you if you lost your job or traded that Instagram physique for a dad bod. I think you will find that you have people in your life who consider you valuable apart from your accomplishments.
2. If you have someone in your life who is diminishing your sense of self-worth, talk to them. Maybe they don’t realize what they are doing. This idea that we should just flippantly cut people out of our lives if they don’t make us feel great is lazy and stupid. Have a conversation. Talk to a counselor. Try to work it out. If you try all this and it still doesn’t work, then and ONLY then should you consider making a change in that area.
3. If you have unreasonable expectations for yourself, challenge them. Ask yourself if you would be as critical to another person and you are with yourself. If the answer is “no,” change it. If you criticize yourself, challenge it, and then find the criticism to be valid, then you have a great opportunity for growth. If you challenge your self-criticism and find it to be irrational, give yourself a break. Don’t punish yourself for inaccurate beliefs. It doesn’t accomplish anything.
At Mind Works Counseling services in Lubbock, TX we specialize in providing counseling for men. This means that our therapists are educated and trained to understand that things like anxiety, depression, stress, and even issues of self-worth look different in men and should be treated as such.
Learn more about the Men's Counseling services we offer.
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