Lately, I have been struggling with major feelings of inadequacy. While I always try to remain positive in this space, I feel as though I wouldn’t be keeping it real if I didn’t put this struggle out there. Have you ever felt like no matter what you do, its not enough, or that everyone in life is headed into the right direction, but you are veering far from center? Maybe you are experiencing an emotional lack, or grappling with what move to make next in your life.
The onslaught of the feelings of inadequacy washed over me last year and I have yet to fully shake its effects on me. As a thirty something single woman struggling to make it as a writer and actor in a business saturated with…well…writers and actors, for months now I have felt behind on everything. As if my life is not progressing at the speed in which it should. My best friend owns a home, has a life partner, two kids and a dog. My long time male friend is married with a child and just moved into a home. I feel like everyone is moving forward and I am just barely treading water.
I moved back home to help my dad when he fell ill after my mom died, and I feel like he is progressing more than me in life! He has a girlfriend and I promise you also has a more active social life than I do! What the hell am I doing wrong, I constantly ask of myself. At times, I think that all of my effort is pointless, as though I am screaming into a void, and no one will ever notice.
As a full-fledged adult (I write down a grocery list now, so I am one), there are certain aspects and milestones you presume you’re going to experience and/or accomplish, and when you don’t, it can effect your emotional and mental health greatly. Feelings of inadequacy can take over your psyche and have you believing you are not enough. That your actions are meaningless and that all of your endeavors are useless.
Every rejected pitch, or audition I didn’t land, bothers me. When I see creators moving forward as I wade in what I deem stagnation, I am overcome with a wave of emotions and again, feel stuck. Here’s how I have been actively dealing with this all encompassing emotion:
- Allow myself to feel whatever it is I am feeling at the time. Often we are told to immediately let go of a negative emotion and release it into the universe. Giving yourself permission to feel the emotion and not suppress it.
- Change your thought patterns. After I have allowed myself to feel these emotions, I then have to make myself choose to celebrate the positives instead of wallowing in the negatives, which in reality are not as grand as I am making them out to be.
- Meditate. I know I write about this often but it truly does make a huge difference. I listen to meditative music and or binaural beats every night before bed, and it has made a huge change on my emotional and mental state.
- Talk about how you feel. There is a difference between venting and dumping. Venting to release the emotions you are feeling and dumping them onto someone else are two very different things. Choose wisely.
- Appreciate how far you have come, write down a list for where you’d like to go, what you want to achieve, and how you can get there. Talk to people in your field, connect with others, do it yourself instead of waiting on someone to do it with you. Take the initiative, and when you are feeling self doubt remind yourself that its okay, but it is not who you are. You are dope as hell and on this earth for a reason. Don’t give up.
None of us are inadequate. We all matter and have gifts to offer to the world. Someone really needs to read your book, watch your film, view your art, cook your recipes for their family, and learn from what you have to say. No matter how bad things may seem, you are loved, and deserving of love. Comparing your journey to someone else’s is an exercise infertility. Know that what is meant for you cannot be taken by someone else. Be inspired by others, not jealous. You may not have reached certain milestones or achievements yet, but that does not mean they are not attainable. The only way to receive them is to not give up on yourself.
How do you deal with feelings of inadequacy? Sound off in the comment section below.
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🐦 Twitter: @awkwardgirlla