The Importance of Belonging
I believe that feeling good enough is important because we have a strong desire to belong. Our deepest fear is that if we are not enough, we will be pushed away and rejected.
From the moment we are born we have a need for connection. As babies, we are vulnerable and helpless, and we need other human beings to help us thrive and survive. As we grow, we have a desire to be enough, so that other people like us, connect with us, support us, help us, and love us. Without this sense of belonging, we go into survival mode. Everything becomes a threat, anxiety is heightened, trust is eroded, and loneliness grows.
Compare and Despair
Today, our fear of not being good enough is coupled with an unrealistic expectation of perfection. The media presents us with a distorted view of reality. On social media, people openly display their best lives or the best version of themselves (usually doctored and filtered). Our feeling of not being good enough usually starts when we start comparing ourselves to others. However, we do not compare ‘like for like’, we compare the best days of others to our ‘run of the mill’, everyday lives. The comparison is of their best, staged images, with our everyday reflection. We compare their best, to our worst and this leaves us feeling inadequate.
We literally put our internal wellbeing into the external hands of others based on a distorted reality. It’s never going to work, and we need to stop!
Start increasing your self-worth by connecting to others
Instead of comparing, start noting the similarities you have with others. Start noticing what you have in common and how you are alike. Connect with what connects you to the other person. This will reduce feelings of loneliness, and disconnection.
Watch your Mind!
Keep an eye on how you speak to yourself. If you hear a voice in your head saying, ‘you’re not thin enough, clever enough, pretty enough, strong enough, rich enough, this enough or that enough’ tell it to Stop! You are enough!!
Work on your Self-Esteem
Building up your self-esteem will help you to connect to yourself and others. There are many ways to do this and I have listed a few suggestions to get you started:
- Be kind to yourself and others
- Build up a toolkit of conversation starters
- Call a friend
- Arrange more dates with friends
- Clichéd we know, but join a social club, music or drama group, or a sports team
- Join a group whose interests match your own, find your people!
- Volunteer for a cause that you are interested in
- Speak to family members about how you feel
- Remember that what you see on social media isn’t always the truth. It might look like others are having a better time than you, but it’s just a snapshot of one moment – it’s not reality
- Speak to a counsellor