The Fear Of Not Being Good Enough (or FONBGE for short now, but also referred to as Atelophobia and/or Atychiphobia) is something I suffer from time to time. In fact, I am pretty sure we all do. Personally, I know my FONBGE stems from being told by a series of toxic ‘friends’, from as young as 10 to even as recently as this year, that I was not good enough and would never be in a series of things. Whether is was their opinion of my work or me as a person. And those thoughts eat at you for life if you let them.
But, generally twenty-somethings these days seem to be experiencing feelings of failure earlier and more than previous generations. I mean your expected to do so many amazing things now: Career, home owner and have your personal life together all before you’re 30? How realistic is that?! Sure some people manage it, but it really is a minority. I also see the FONBGE take the form of ‘impostor syndrome’ in the work place, as romantic failures or just plain feeling like everyone seems to be gaining success quicker than you are.
Honestly, I personally find these thoughts come from small things in my life. Whether it’s feeling like my videos are not as compelling or edited well enough, or sometimes I feel like I can’t blog as well as others and my pictures will never have that filter perfection my friends do.
This sense of NBGE makes you feel like you are below your peers and in the back of your head will question if they even see you as a peer and is SO damaging to yourself. It can make you feel like you should stop the things you enjoy doing because: why bother if you feel your peers do not respect you or you don’t feel like you will succeed. I mean, have you even seen my blog and YouTube droughts?
Let me tell you about a friend of mine I am so proud of, a case-study for this post if you will. A terrifically talented girl I have seen grow since 2009 and even confessed to about being jealous of her blogging expertise. Her pictures are perfect. She seems to rock any style and look great in everything and to top it all off she’s also a lovely person. I mean, urgh, few compete with that! She’s amazing. Then I see her is doubting herself and expressing feelings of not being as good as those she views as peers. I swear, within minutes I was talking to her and saying to her “Gurl are you mad? You’re doing so well.” Well I am paraphrasing, but you get the gist. I spent a couple of minutes reminding her how great she is and how far she has come, because we all need that sometimes. But I couldn’t see how could one of my friends who I look up to, a girl who is so talented and I feel is being so successful, feel this way? I honestly believe she is just going to get bigger and more successful. Then it really clicked for me.
Ultimately, the FONBGE stems from one destructive thing. Comparison.
But I am hear to tell you all this:
STOP. Stop comparing and stop these thoughts about you, your work or your passion now.
We ARE good enough. All these are horrible insecurities we have we can use to push us to do better and not crumble beneath them.
If it is other people who are telling you that you are not good enough, get rid of those people now. They are not your friends. You deserve better than that. Do not allow them to continue to treat you like that, but equally do not treat others like that.
If it is you that is holding yourself back then I say celebrate your uniqueness. Love your style. Take inspiration from others sure, but know you are not those other people and do not copy them, that’s what makes your stuff awesome. You and your work will only move forward if you keep doing it.
I also think the rise and everyday use of social media in the last few years means that everyone, including ourselves, can construct how others perceive who we are, what is going on in our lives and what we are doing. Chances are other people are looking at you and/or your work and feel the exact same feelings as you do. This is a terrific reason to stop comparison alone, we never know what goes on behind closed laptop screens.
Before I go, I am not saying “YOU WILL BE THE VERY TOP AND THE MOST SUCCESSFUL PERSON EVER!” That’s unrealistic and not everyone can be the top, but you can be at least pretty damn close. You can use these feelings and allow yourself to be objective and self aware about the state your own content (or whatever you are feeling insecure about) to constantly grow and improve on it. We know that success takes time, determination and hard work . You have the brains to be pretty damn successful at what you do if you keep trying. To state a cliche: For most people, the things worth having do not come easily. Even if it appears it does to others.
We are our own harshest critics and I think it’s about time we take that to a good place, don’t you think?