When You Don’t Feel Good Enough

Photo credit: Anthony Tran

There’s that snide little voice in our heads that’s constantly saying, you’re not worthy of this, you’re not worthy of that, oh give it up, you’re just not worthy. And more and more, we withdraw into ourselves, we dim our lights, and we live with this idea that we’re utterly worthless.

But that is not our natural state. That is not who we are. So where do we get all that from?


The human social structure organises us into a hierarchy. The superior and the inferior. The ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’. It’s how the social structures of the world works, it’s how the education system works, it’s how marketing works. And we’ve all unconsciously agreed to participate in this hierarchy because this is what we’ve created in our slumber.

So when we get stuck in this idea that we have to ‘be worthy’, we get stuck in the idea that we need to fit into a measurement of what it is to be worthy.

But even the concept of ‘deserving things’ is weird, because what is it actually telling us? What are we trying to say? ‘I deserve … what?’

When you say the word ‘deserve’ it’s like it is ’owed to me’. But nothing is owed to us. Nothing is owed to us because nothing has been taken from us. But we’re the ones with the poverty mentality because we’re the ones going, ‘I’m not worthy of tasting that delicious pineapple, I’m not worthy of …’

So what are you really doing? You’re denying yourself.

By creating this concept of self-worth, we’ve been put in a society where we have to criticise ourselves before we can participate in it. And then we all walk around with these bruised egos that need to defend themselves and judge themselves and compare themselves to others.

We’re just keeping ourselves in the dark the whole time.

And because we somehow inherently know that we’re missing something, we seek external validation.

A lot of people become addicted to this game of validation. People play these pretend games in their heads … they drive these fancy cars and in their heads they’re just the coolest … and they’re speeding along, not paying much attention to the traffic fine they’re about to get because they’re so tripping in their own heads.

And they become so obsessed with validation and self-worth that they’re always chasing it like a heroin addict chasing their next fix. They get emotionally stuck in that game wherever they get that validation – for instance if they get it at work they’ll become workaholics, or if they get it on Instagram they become hooked on all the likes.

And then you meet these people with all this money and success and you see how they’re drinking themselves to death and you realise that all these things society and marketing tell us we need to achieve joy and happiness, or connection with other people, have just turned out to be lies.

When people say things like, ‘If you do this, or be this, or get this, you will be a better person,’ what they’re actually saying is, ‘If you fit into my version of reality I’ll accept you.’ And that’s where we lose everything. Because we are not here to fit into each other’s realities.

It’s a whole system of misery. The whole concept of self-worth closes the doors to your own personal growth. It puts you in a position where you need to look at something (or someone) outside of yourself to give you validation that you as a human being are okay.

And that’s when you shut yourself off. From growth. From your own capacity. From your own belief system. And when you do that, you are willing to play small.

We’re all stuck in this game of self-worth when the only thing we really need to do is to love ourselves again.

That’s it. That’s what we’re inherently missing.

When you have self-love, the whole idea of ‘self-worth’ evaporates like the insubstantial little cloud it really is.

So the real truth of it all is self-love. Not self-worth. Self-love. Being able to go to the 10 year-old version of yourself who did something naughty and say, ‘I’m sorry no one else enjoyed your prank but I really did.’ Being your own best friend. Being a friend to your own inner truth. Being a friend even to your own darkness.

Because without loving yourself, what are you giving the world?

Read next: When You Don’t Know

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Natasha van Zyl AKA Jellybean
Natasha van Zyl AKA Jellybean is a behavioural change therapist who happens to be classified as autistic, AdHd, dyslexic and bipolar. But determined to share the love that overflows from her heart for other people, she has worked with families with special needs children, and learned about the grace of love, acceptance and the bonds that grow between people when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable. She offers guidance and healing for matters of the heart, relationships, and emotional turmoil.