I am not good enough.
I am not worthy.
If you suffer from an anxiety disorder you have likely had these thoughts. I know I have.
But what if your child or a friend told you that they weren’t good enough? Would you agree with them? Or would you tell them they are worthy and rattle-off a list of reasons why? It is so much easier to give others grace and understanding which we cannot seem to give to ourselves.
I mention this destructive self-talk because it is all too common for those of us with anxiety disorders. We are anxious about things that others may never even think about. We may worry that a situation will trigger anxiety again. Our lack of worth may also be enforced by comparison to others.
I would and still envy friends and family who could do things so easily that gave me high anxiety or panic. My inability to do those things I perceived as meaning I was not as good as they are.
Fortunately to help combat this way of thinking consider this analogy that I learned in therapy:
Imagine some who played basketball in high school. They played for years, practiced hard and conditioned their body so they could play their best. Yet despite their effort they weren’t as good as the great MJ – Michael Jordan.
MJ attributed his success to, among other factors, hard work. But didn’t the high school player practice for hundreds of hours and work hard too? Why weren’t they as good as he was?
The reality is that they simply did not possess the extremely rare combination of talent, athleticism, drive, determination, competitiveness and much more. The fact that they did not possess these skills does not mean they were less of a person than MJ.
Intrusive thoughts can also make us make us feel that we are alone in the crowd. We convince ourselves that we are damaged, not good enough, not worthy of others love. Ironically it is so easy to give others grace yet it is so hard to do it for ourselves.
Past mistakes, messages received of not being worthy from childhood and much much more can further erode our feeling of self-worth. I hope that you or someone you love reads this so you can remember – you are good enough, as is.