The Fear of Not Being Good Enough

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Have you ever faced the fear of not being good enough? Feelings of inadequacy and rejection can immobilize us and creep up in our lives without us even knowing it. The fear of not being good enough might be the very reason you are still sitting on the sidelines in life.

No one wants to feel like they do not measure up. No one welcomes rejection and failure into their life. I was reading in a forum about a week ago when this very subject came up. A person was wanting to start a blog in a subject that they were passionate about. However, when they viewed the competition, they began to seriously doubt if they could pull it off. The fear of not being good enough began to creep in.

A few months ago, I was introduced to radical mentoring through a blog post by Michael Hyatt. The purpose of this mentoring group is for a group of guys to commit to meeting once a month for a year in order to become better fathers, husbands, businessmen, and spiritual leaders. One man becomes the mentor who facilitates the entire process.

I ordered the materials and have been watching the videos with the intent of starting a group. The deeper I dove into the materials a sense of inadequacy began to flood into my heart and spirit. Some of my thoughts were:

  • I don’t have everything figured out in my own life so how can I lead others
  • Maybe a more mature person is better suited for this, I am probably too young
  • What if I do this and it becomes a complete failure?

The fear of not being good enough was slowly taking over.

Just yesterday, my wife opened up to me about blogging. She has been secretly thinking about starting a blog. She has a particular passion that she is really good at. Yet, her exact words to me: “I’m hesitant because I think other people could do it much better.”

The fear of not being good enough can be paralyzing.

I want to share with you some principles that I have learned that have helped me to face the fear and do it anyways. If you find yourself sitting on the sidelines, my hope and prayer is that you will find strength in these principles.

The Principle of Leading from the Front

This is a principle that has helped me in so many ways. Instead of focusing on what you lack, lead from what you do know. You only need to be a little bit ahead to add value in someone else’s life. For example, if you are a blogger that only makes an average of $500 a month on your blog, there are plenty of people out there that want to learn from you. They would give anything to know what you know. You do not have to wait until you are “super successful” in order to begin assisting others. You just have to be a bit further ahead on the journey.

The Principle of You-niqueness

Yes, I just made up a word. Please forgive me. 🙂 I’m trying to prove a point. I am not talking about unique content, unique domain name, or a unique blog theme. You can take confidence in just being you. You have been given unique talents, abilities, experience and knowledge. Other people can learn from you. Give the topic of “budgeting” to 10 people and you will get 10 different articles. People want to hear from you and not a textbook.

The Principle of Attractive Character

Can I help you out with something? You will never be an expert. I don’t say that to be unkind. This fact should be a relief to you. We are all growing. We are all learning. None of us have arrived. I believe the best bloggers are “learners” at heart and not “writers.” They share with others what they are learning on a regular basis.

You do not have to write as an expert to gain a following. When people connect with you as a person, it is much more powerful. JD Roth at Get Rich Slowly started writing about personal finance when he was in over his head. The blog Man vs Debt was started by Adam Baker who was under a ton of debt when he started his blog.

People connect with Pat Flynn at Smart Passive Income because he posts his online earnings and expenses each month for everyone to see. Put yourself out there and let people connect with you the person.

The Principle of Continual Generosity

This is a principle that I am trying to teach my kids this month. Life is not about how much you collect, but how much you give. Every day before they go off to school I tell them: “Make it a great day for someone.” I want them to know that the universe does not revolve around them.

There is a great saying in Proverbs that says “Some people are always greedy for more, but the godly love to give.

It should be less about you and your wants and more about what you are giving. That takes the pressure off of rejection. Giving to others can be a powerful motivation for starting a blog.

It was the main reason I started my first blog. I want to share everything I knew about the “job search.” That way, others could stumble upon it and be helped during the recession.

Are you sitting on the sidelines in life? Has the fear of not being good enough paralyzed you? Work these life principles into you life and step forward anyways. People are waiting to hear from you.

22 thoughts on “The Fear of Not Being Good Enough”

  1. Great Article! There is much truth in this! Keep up the good work guys. The part about just needing to be a little further along the journey than someone else is spot on. I posted a few articles on Christian blogging tips basically for my friends I have made along the way in this journey. Those tips have helped a lot more than my friends and have ended up becoming an important part of my blog. I got a lot of food for thought out of this. Thanks a bunch!

  2. Exactly what I needed today.
    – “No one welcomes rejection and failure into their life” has kept me from advertising my blog, & as a eesult, my only “comments” have been from spammers 🙁
    – “when they viewed the competition, they began to seriously doubt if they could pull it off. The fear of not being good enough began to creep in.” This is EXACTLY what happened to me & consequently, I have not written a blog post in 3 weeks! I found other websites that had the information I wanted to share, & I thought “What’s the point of me restating what is already out there?”

    – “The fear of not being good enough was slowly taking over.” – More like took completely over!

    – “The fear of not being good enough can be paralyzing.” YES!!!

    VERY HELPFUL:

    – ” You have been given unique talents, abilities, experience and knowledge.”
    – ” When people connect with you as a person, it is much more powerful.”
    – “Life is not about how much you collect, but how much you give. ”
    – “Make it a great day for someone.”
    – “It should be less about you and your wants and more about what you are giving. ”

    And so . . . today I will fearlessly post on my blog!

    Thank you much for this article.

    1. Great! Way to go! Fear can be our biggest enemy. The key is uncovering your passion, aligning them with your skills and taking daily action on it.

  3. How true this is. The feeling of being inadiquate enters all areas of life. I find in working with people that it is some times difficult for them to step out into something new. I am still feeling awkward about blogging, God is blessingin fantastic ways I never imagined. I encourage people to step out into the unknown. What did Moses know before God used him? Not much!

  4. Wow, some powerful insights, thank you John. Writing about your passion is giving everybody a window to who you are. What makes you tick and how to express your inner thoughts. I love that word you-niqueness

  5. Excellent post. I know I am a few months late, but I needed at this point. I stepped out by launching my blog Jan. 1, 2012. I sat on the sidelines too long waiting for the perfect moment until I decided to go for it. I have had some ups and downs. I have wanted to quit several times because my old nemesis fear of failure, inadequacy and rejection showed up. I fight against the feeling of not being good enough constantly, but I have decided to march forward in spite of the feelings. This article was a great encouragement.

  6. Lee in Southern Oregon

    Thank You! for the timely encouragement. My “sitting on the sidelines” comes from the doubt I have of being able to build my blog and then maintain it. I had a business with webstore and went through 3 tech’s to help me maintain it because I didn’t know how. Finally had to shut down. Still am not much of a computer wise person. I got your blogging program on how to build a blog but am struggling still. No money to buy help. Subject material once built is not a problem. The foundation block of a built blog however is a problem. I keep reading and trying. Your encouragement has me at the computer ready to sit down and go at it until I am successful. Thank you again.

    1. Jonathan Milligan

      I know first hand how frustrating technology challenges can be. However, we never fail, we always learn. My philosophy “Sometimes you win, and sometimes you learn.” 🙂

  7. I know that this is aimed at blogging, but it has spoken out to me so much. I’ve been struggling with some aspects of my life recently. I’ve been so frightened of disappointing people I know, frightened to look like I’ve not got it all together, trying to make other people proud of me. Deep down I don’t feel like I’m good enough just being myself. I have so much to give as I am, and I’ve become intimidated by focusing so much on how much better I ‘should be’. Thank you for helping me today xxxx

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