The harm in not feeling good enough

Published on January 30, 2020

When people feel like they are not good enough, they harm themselves inadvertently.  This harm can look like not taking care of their hygiene, not eating healthy, not exercising, or by pushing others away.  In more severe cases, it can be substance abuse, suicidal ideation, self-harm, binging, addictions, or allowing others to take advantage of you.

Being good enough

Perfection does not exist, but being good enough does.

Being good enough means that you did what you could with what you had.  For example, taking an exam with the knowledge that you have accumulated from going to class, taking notes and studying.  You might not know everything, but you did what you could with the experience that you had and with the energy that you had at the time.  Being good enough doesn’t make you arrogant, it makes you motivated.  When you can acknowledge what you did right, and not only what you did wrong, you will want to continue.  When we only look at where we were rejected, our mistakes or failures, we want to quit.  We want to quit because we feel like we can’t do it or we can’t handle it.  Just because you weren’t perfect, doesn’t mean that you failed.

People might not feel like they are good enough because, as a child, they were neglected, teased, bullied or abused.  Adults might have found themselves in toxic relationships only to realise that their self-worth has dropped with devaluing and shaming.

Working through painful experiences

These painful experiences can be processed and worked through.  Spend a little time reflecting and perhaps noting down your thoughts and feelings to the following questions:

1. What are the negative things that you believe about yourself, and where have you heard them before?

2. If it isn’t something that anyone has said to you, is it coming from social comparison?

3. How do these negative beliefs about yourself hurt you or prevent you from finding meaning in yourself, in others and in life?

4. If you feel like you aren’t enough, how will you connect with yourself and with others?

Overcoming past experiences

Overcoming past negative experiences can take effort.  It can be challenging to allow yourself the space to feel what you need to feel and to express what you need to communicate.  Perhaps you were made to feel that you don’t count and that you don’t matter.  This kind of emotional pain can lead to an emptiness that leads to harming behaviours. The thought that you don’t matter or that you are not good enough means that you might not even take your own thoughts and needs seriously.  If you don’t take your needs seriously, how can you put them forward to others?  How can you seek help if you don’t feel that you deserve it?

You might not be where you want to be in your life, but you are capable.  You can set manageable goals and reach them.  You can handle it, you count, and you matter.  We can’t be everything to everyone, and we can’t be successful in everything.  We can, however, be successful when we set goals, overcome rejection, understand that we will get there when we get there.

Forget about timelines and be patient with yourself. 


If you would like to set up an appointment please reach out to me on +852 2521 4668 or email You can book a private or Skype session.

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

Category(s):Abuse / Abuse Survivor Issues, Anxiety, Depression, Ending a relationship issues, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) / Trauma / Complex PTSD, Social Anxiety / Phobia

Written by:

Dr Monica Borschel

My goal is to help you out of the pain that you are feeling from abuse, loss, and unhealthy relationships and into loving yourself and your life again. I understand how scary it is in the darkness and I want to help you transition back into the light. Do you feel invisible? I can help you to feel seen and heard again.

I have helped hundreds of individuals go from suffering to thriving. I have studied the effects of abuse, loss, and unhealthy relationships on self-worth, trust, depression, and anxiety for almost fifteen years. My education and clinical experience have enabled my clients to understand their own worth, make positive changes in their relationships and careers, and have more confidence.

I specialize in attachment, trauma, and loss. I am experienced in helping adults, teens, children, and families adjust to anxiety, trauma, abuse, divorce, separation, and loss. This may include deciding what is in the children’s best interest during disputes and strengthening the relationship and communication between the parents and the children. As an attachment specialist, I help individuals understand and deal with relationship patterns that prevent them from developing or maintaining healthy relationships.

I have had the privilege of working with people from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and experiences. I am from Salt Lake City, Utah. I graduated with my master’s in psychology from Columbia University in New York City. I pursued her doctorate in Social Work and Social Administration at the University of Hong Kong. I live in California and work on my PsyD at California Southern University.

Registered Clinical Psychologist with The Hong Kong Society of Counseling and Psychology (HKSCP). Member of the American Psychological Association (APA), The British Psychological Society (BPS), and the Hong Kong Family Law Association (HKFLA).

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