How to Stop Feeling Like You’re Not Enough

How to Stop Feeling Like You’re Not Enough

How often do you end each day feeling that you haven’t done enough?

I usually feel like I could have done more, I could have been more.

My list is long. My ambitions are ballsy. And my vision always seems to be greater than the resources I possess.

It’s no wonder that creative giants beat themselves up about not being and doing enough. 

So, here’s an uncomfortable question I need to ask you:

How’s that working for you?

My guess is, not too well. I’ve found that I’m far more productive, effective and creatively on fire when I’m fueled with encouragement and praise rather than constant critique.

What follows are five of the world’s most powerful antidotes I’ve discovered for stopping the cycle of judgment, shame and poor performance.

These strategies or ways of being will help you start becoming your own ally so you can let your greatness shine.

1. Create a “What I’m proud of ” ritual and anchor it.

Watch this short video to learn how I’ve experienced massive changes from using this strategy.

2. Shift from “Did I do enough?” to “Did I give my best?”

Our post-industrial cranking culture has us trained to think in quotas. Throughout our schooling we’re taught to do assignments, fulfill credits and complete curriculums.

There’s just one major problem:

Humans are not machines.

So stop basing your worth on quantity (we all know that doesn’t add up to much in the end anyway) and start gauging your success on whether you gave your best, loved fully, and gave bravely.

That’s what will truly matter when all is said and done.

3. The truth is that you are always enough.

The problem is that you’ve let your mind rule your life too much.

When we’re in our heads too much, we’re always measuring, we’re always counting.

Don’t get me wrong, our minds help us a lot. It’s great at comparing and contrasting, and without our mind we cannot learn from our mistakes and get better.

But we must also keep the heart in its proper place, which is to guide us to what matters.

The truth is that in this moment, right now, you are always enough. You are exactly as much as you need to be.

4. Pretend that you’re talking to yourself as a best friend.

It’s easy to judge yourself harshly. It’s so stupid, yet we all do it.

But, would you talk to a good friend that way?

We are harder on ourselves than we would ever be to a good friend. Why is this?

Doesn’t it make more sense to be your own ally, rather than constantly root against yourself?

The next time the Voice of Judgment comes up, respond as if you’re giving advice to a good friend.

5. Let the world pass you by.

It’s easy to get caught up in the endless more, churning… the hungry ghost of the modern world.

I do it. We all do it.

We’re always encouraged to produce, build, create, squeeze. We’re stressed, overwhelmed and tired. We have too much yang (masculine) energy in our culture, and not enough yin (feminine) energy.

But we forget that the world outside is just fine.

Go ahead, go out into nature and see if it is overwhelmed or stressed. You won’t find a depressed squirrel or an overwhelmed river. You’ll find what is.

Whenever you forget, go back to where you came from, the place you’ve wandered away from, and realize that that place is your home.

And it’s always waiting for you.

My dare to you: Defy the status quo and share what you’re proud of

It’s not easy. I know it’s not.

We’re taught that it’s impolite to talk about what we’re proud of. But I’m here to tell you that you must if you don’t want to burn out fast.

Go ahead and share one thing you’re proud of at this moment in the comments below. I dare you.

photo credit: ~db~

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62 Comments on "How to Stop Feeling Like You’re Not Enough"

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I am proud of that I took 20 minutes of my time today to meditate, or even try to meditate. I paid attention to my feelings for these 20 minutes and did not run over them in this time.


working on my latest embroidery piece and sharing how beautiful it is on facebook

Jenna Amundson
Jonathan – I LOVE this post! We need more of this in the world. I agree with you 100%. One thing I am very proud of is that in the last few weeks I have taken my health and wellness more seriously and totally revamped my eating and fitness habits. I invested in a scheduled at-home workout program, complete with food guide. And I’m doing it! I am pushing through the tough workouts and taking the extra time and energy to prepare and eat the right foods. More importantly, I am investing in myself. Thank you so much for all… Read more »
Brent Galloway
I definitely relate to what you’ve said in this post. I just launched my new blog and my first book! I feel a bit burnt-out after having my first big launch… I should be rewarding myself for this accomplishment, instead of beating myself up over not getting as much work done as I could/should. There’s much to get done now that I’ve launched: continued promotional content, new blog posts, client work, life, etc. It can be quite overwhelming, but I just need to take it one day at a time, appreciate what’s been accomplished, and keep my head up for… Read more »

That last point is golden.

Sonya terBorg

Only one? :) I am most proud of my daughter and how happy, free-spirited, engaging, and easy going, my sweet little nine-month poppet is. We are doing something right! I want to share this list with my students and build a culture of pride and self-encouragement in my classroom. Thanks for sharing.


I am proud of writing a cover letter today and making a call to a temp agency. I am making small but sure steps towards being employed again.


Exactly what I needed today. Thanks PTE. ;)


I’m proud that I’m nurturing and sustaining a new life right now.

Donya Dunlap

Thank you for this. I have been putting myself under a lot of pressure to put out another book. The truth is that I have a lot going on and I am writing when I can. Besides that, I have already written one and that is a huge accomplishment. I need to reign in that constant critic in my mind.


I’m proud that I am figuring out the steps involved in creating a collaborative book of women’s stories about their personal trip to the ‘underworld’ and how they re-surfaced wiser and more willing to shine in the world. Also proud that I responded to your dare, Jonathan!


What a wonderful book idea! I have resonated with the Inanna myth many times throughout my life~for me the myth is a grounding and powerful depiction of the archetypal journey of a woman into the underworld and emerging stronger.

Brenda Fanning

Hi, Jonathan!

Thanks for inviting us to share. Here’s a boost I got yesterday:

Yet I still fight the voice within on a minute-by-minute basis. Thanks so much for the encouragement. Your work is awesome!



I am proud of giving my time freely to help 8 year olds learn computer programming at a local primary school.

I can only do this because I resigned from my job, where I wasn’t valued. I did this with the support of this site, and however the future may turn out – I like this me.

Paige Burkes

I’m proud of raising three amazing kids who know that they’re enough just as they are and have plenty of time to go out in the woods to play and explore. I do my best to follow their lead.

I am sure there are more things (nay, I *know* there are), but you asked for one, so here is my ‘thing to be proud of’: …that I have taught myself all that I needed to create a simple, minimalist-style blogsite and cohesive identity for myself online, and that I continue to initiate learning whatever new code I need to add that next element, and I am having fun doing so! I may not be known anywhere much other than within my tiny circle of friends, but I love and am proud of what I have created and am working… Read more »
Lorna Faith
Wow ~ that’s what I’ve been feeling lately…the overwhelmed feeling as I have so many ideas and I’m working on creating many things (I probably should do one idea at a time… that might help:). I loved #5 ~ need to be like nature and just be me! The one thing I’m proud of is that I finished my first book and now I’m in the middle of Book #2. It’s something I had never done before … honestly didn’t think I could do it ~ but it finally came together(with the help of my editor and encouragement from family… Read more »

I’m proud I finished 1 newsletter post.

I was so stressed today because of that. I have to finish 3 more newsletter post by Sunday for a new project I’m working on. I cried, I’m so tired… It seemed like it’s too much and then I saw your post. I’m proud I got one down today. Now it’s time for me to rest and take care of myself and enjoy the day.

Thank you Jonathan.



Great post! I can totally relate. My favorites are #1 and #2 although I think I might modify #1 to a journal entry that I can reflect on- kind of like a “brag book”. Will definitely be sharing this post with a few friends that I think will benefit as well.



This post met me at the point of my need…wonderful advice!


I’m proud of my latest 3d model and want to share it with the world!

Jennifer Blanchard

Right now I’m proud that I believe in myself and that I show up every day and do the work. Thanks for the reminder Jonathan!

Susan Enfield

I’m proud that I took care of bills and tedious financial stuff. I’m proud I reached out for support. I’m proud I went for a run and a walk outside. I’m proud that after getting grouchy with my kids, I listened, softened and apologized. Looking forward to trying this out; thanks for inspiring it!


I´m proud of that I now almost every day go by bike to work (what means more then 20 kilometers every day)


Im proud that for several months I have started the day at my job spending 30 minutes reading an inspiring blogpost – like this , thought of what of todays tasks would bring the biggest value, where to ask for help for this task or others (I still have to work on that…) and finding 3 fun or joyful thing to do during the workhours. Thats was on top of my to-do-list every day and Im proud of it :-)


I’m proud that I’ve kept going on wednesday’s WOD, despite I felt tired, without energy. After fourth round I started smilinig like madmen and I copleted this and fifth round!


Jonathan, I LOVED #4. In thinking about it, I realized I hold my best friends to possible standards, and myself to impossible standards. That incongruity absolutely sets me up for success with my friends, but failure for myself. Going to take a challenge and try #4 for a month and see what happens. A life coach I have seen said to me one time “Break something about yourself every day. Do something you would not normally do and see how the systems change.” Well, I am going to break this and see what happens!

Ming Ooi

Our start-up is about to pass the 3 year mark, and I am proud that our doors are still open. It has been a difficult journey, and there are days when one feels that giving up is so easy compared to moving forward. BUT, I’ve realized that every day our doors are open is another day of opportunity and puts us one step closer to our goal.

Ron Tester

I am proud of the fact that I haven’t given up—that through all of the challenges I have had in my life that I am pressing forward, leaning into the future.

Thanks for this blog post. I am implementing today.



I am proud that I changed the way I live my life, that every year I continue to grow stronger and live life better. I’m proud that I’m having ideas about how to create a real change and that I am aware of many of the limitations imposed on me by living in western society.


I am proud that i believe in myself and only strive to be happy.

Leonard @ The Wallet Doctor

Great Post! Feeling like you are not enough never leads to good things. Its good to be proud of what you have done and to be kind to yourself along the way. Thanks for the awesome tips!


I’m proud of myself that I’ve kept my kitchen clean for the past 2 days! Now to spread that sense of calm to my mind, business, other rooms of the house, etc…


I’m proud my wife and I ran 3 miles together to train for a half-marathon, since we are raising funds to cure Crohn’s and colitis.

And I’m proud of supporting my wife who has Crohn’s and who recently wrote a similar post for women about “ditching the rock.” Great blog post!


[…] Jonathan Mead wrote: Our post-industrial cranking culture has us trained to think in quotas. Throughout our schooling we’re taught to do assignments, fulfill credits and complete curricula. There’s just one major problem: Humans are not machines. […]


I’m proud that I took the first step toward starting my new website by finally buying a domain name! Whoo-hoo!


I am proud that I took the time and energy to look into finding a better and more fulfilling way to live the one life I have. I am now able to let whatever happened stay in the past, let whatever happens in the future just be and live for today.

Robert Petrie

I totally agree with your reference to nature Jonathan, we could all do with observing nature more, there is no rushing or pushing, yet everything gets done. Live like nature and life becomes very peaceful and meaningful. A great post.

Now what am I proud of?

I am proud of having written two books with a third planned and ready to write.


I am proud of the habits I’ve cultivated:
1) To get up at 5:30 am regularly
2) Take time to exercise and Meditate regularly
3) Take time to rest weekly
4) Quality and Quantity time with (and for) family


Great post Jonathan, and perfect timing. I was just beginning to feel guilty for not having accomplished as much as I had intended today and this is a great reminder to reflect on what I have achieved. I’m proud to say that I went to the gym this morning, and started writing an article I’ve been avoiding. I’ll definitely focus on the positives when I talk to my girlfriend tonight over dinner!


Definitely connected with this post, especially #4 and 5. I’m proud of the businesses I’ve started because they’re based on what I’m passionate about :)


A post everyone should read. Practicing gratitude and reflecting on what we are proud of is such an important practice. Some friends and I started a group through the iphone app, Voxer and each night we send to the group our “pearls” of the day. What we are finding is when these moments are witnessed and shared, energy is put towards them and our goals start to pick up a certain traction. It is so exciting and the practice has helped me distill what I find important and has illuminated possibilities I didn’t realize were there before.

Carol Malone

I’m proud that I wrote and published a book and plan many more. Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined myself accomplishing such a thing. Your article has effected me as none other. Thank you. I have fought all my life to be “enough.” Now I know I am enough. The Lord didn’t create nothing less.


reading this just made me feel lighter. Your words did more than rang true, they gently shifted something inside of me. thank you.


I’m proud of helping a total stranger and his friend while trying to get down a hill on campus in a wheelchair.


I am Proud that even if my full time job is from 7am to 7pm, i still manage to run a side business of something i am really passionate about and for the first time i have managed to pay for my studio rentals without borrowing or getting part of my salary money to do so. i am happy that each day that comes brings me closer to my dream of working for myself

About 3 years ago I quit drinking. I had a problem so I had to. I have never really been proud of that because of the shame, etc that preceded my stopping. I should have been proud sooner than reading this post. My character and value systems did not have dramatic changes but my productivity and my willingness to pursue things that I want to do have both increased dramatically. I can now envision a day where I will be much freer than I have ever been. Intellectually, spiritually, financially. I will be a better human being. Being a good… Read more »

Loved this post and your video. I am proud of my family and how my children have grown up to be beautiful inside and out. Great words to live by and remember each day.

I’m proud of myself for relentlessly fighting for the right to be the person who I am and to live the life that I desire, despite all of the adversity that surrounds me. I am proud of my strength and I am also proud of my vulnerability. I am proud of developing the skill of being open and honest in my relationships. I am proud of the character that I have build. I am proud of myself for continuing on, pushing on, pursuing a life of authenticity through all of these years and, god knows, for how much longer. I… Read more »

[…] How to Stop Feeling Like You’re Not Enough […]


I meditated, did some yoga, and worked out, and I am proud of it!

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