What to do if you think you don't deserve better

Practical advice for those who are disappointed in themselves. cea5fb4.png” alt=”What to do if you consider yourself unworthy of the best” />

Ekaterina Sigitova Psychologist and author of the free online course “Happiness to be yourself” published by Alpina Publisher.

What is the problem

In the modern world, success is practically elevated to a cult, and it concerns almost all spheres of life. You need to be conventionally beautiful, and rich, and with a good job, and with a mountain of letters.

It seems that such people surround us everywhere: here are beautiful photos from social networks, here are articles from fashion publications, and here is the Forbes “30 under 30” rating.

It is very difficult to avoid comparisons, and anxiety gradually enters the head . We begin to doubt ourselves: we have so many shortcomings and so few achievements! Especially compared to successful and rich handsome men and beauties.

The more we think about it, the more often we evaluate our lives through the prism of someone else's success. It's like changing lenses in glasses. It becomes unimportant that a Hollywood actor has achieved the perfect press with the help of expensive trainers and, possibly, drugs – only the press itself is interested. And if we don't have the same cubes, why are we good at all?

When we are convinced of our own shortcomings (which in fact are not), we are disappointed.

We can even be possessed by the idea that we do not deserve happiness – this talented and simply gorgeous Monica Bellucci has the right to count on love and attention, but not ordinary mortals. And then the thought “I am not worthy” finally gets stuck in our head.

We refuse to accept our imperfections and decide that we deserve nothing until we have become the best. We begin to believe that we need to work hard on ourselves in order to someday, perhaps, come closer to the ideal. And only then will it be possible to count on love and understanding.

If you do not accept yourself, but only constantly evaluate and criticize, this will lead to anxiety, anger and, in the end, to burnout, that is, prolonged emotional exhaustion. At first, the feeling of guilt will regularly go off scale and drive forward for an unattainable ideal, and then the running wheel of self-improvement will stop, because human strength is not infinite. After a forced pause, shame comes – and the circle is repeated, and the nerves are loosened.

What to do

To break out of the vicious cycle, it is worth fighting not with an external cause – the success of others, which seems very desirable, but with an internal one. With a vile critic who sits deep inside us and whispers harmful thoughts.

Every morning he compares our achievements with the success of Donald Trump, the son of a millionaire. For lunch, the critic shares stories about the deepest love of any two stars. And the bedtime story is an analysis of Instagram edited photos of top models.

You can't beat this critic by playing his game.

Most of us weren't born into a millionaire family, and we don't have the time or helpers to retouch pictures every day. So it's better not to fight in a fruitless battle for success, but go on the counterattack. Defeat criticism, show that it's time to abandon double standards: you deserve exactly the same things as Monica Bellucci.

To do this, act like this:

  1. Write down what you can't, but others can. What qualities you are not able to accept in yourself, but perfectly allow others. Try to make a detailed list. For example, you might be embarrassed that you didn't graduate, but did Bill Gates fail when he dropped out of Harvard?
  2. Consider each double standard you write down. Answer the questions: why so? Why is it possible for others, but not for you? Where did such confidence come from? Why is Steve Jobs considered great if he was once kicked out of his own company? (The last question is optional.)
  3. Rewrite each double standard so that it becomes either general (I can't – nobody can, I can – everyone can), or the reverse of what it was (I can – others it is forbidden). For example, a single standard: “No one should be denied another's request – neither me nor anyone else.” Another, more specific one: “If top models can get plastic surgery and then be considered the most beautiful in the world, then I should not demand angelic beauty from myself until at least a few operations.”
  4. Analyze your Feel. If you feel that the critic is shutting up even for a while, continue the offensive. Break double standards one by one.