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Challenge your Mindset

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How are you feeling?

The real reason that we feel inadequate.


When we feel we are inadequate, is that really the truth? Where and when do we learn and realise that we are incapable of doing certain things well? Is it to do with outside factors surrounding our upbringing and life choices, or are there flaws we are born with which make us bad at things without potential for improvement?

These are questions often discussed by psychologists the world over, from which they have conceived the inadequacy concept.

Is it all in the mind?

There has been great difficulty in defining what inadequacy actually is and where it stems from. Logically, you could argue between two possibilities: mentality and genetic disposition.

Studies into the behavioural patterns around inadequacy reveal findings in their subjects about feeling inadequate over being inadequate. They show potential correlation with nurture rather than nature, a learned mindset influenced by social factors rather than genetic incapability’s. As we grow up and enter the adult world [Quarter Life Crisis? Feeling lost in your 20s], we have had experiences which convince us we are no good at certain things rather than it being the truth.

Sometimes we come across negative people who put us down, we experience failures for the first time in childhood which put us off what we failed at forever or we cause somebody pain or hurt accidentally which convinces us that one mistake is enough to prove we are no good at what we tried to do to help. These experiences can cause the development of negative thought patterns, such as giving up before trying, becoming self-conscious in fear of embarrassment or mocking and questioning the value of what we believe we are inadequate at.

Through feeling inadequate, we can build and solidify a sensitive defence mechanism, which feeds off low self-esteem. For support with low confidence visit our Video Moods section packed with positive strategies to develop your self worth.

Big egos

The inadequacy concept comes from a failure in our ego. It isn’t that we can’t do something, but that we are unwilling to improve on things that come less naturally to us. The theory of multiple intelligences shows how we have tendencies to be better in some modes of thinking and action than others.

However, we have a propensity to have a level of intelligence for all modes. The inadequacy concept makes us believe we have no level whatsoever. In order to overcome the inadequacy concept, it is therefore important to overcome your ego. When approaching something you aren’t necessarily good at, be it sport, maths, drawing or looking after children, remember that this isn’t competitive nor on a time limit. Take your time with it and don’t think about trying to do it perfectly. Every mistake is your way to learn how to do it better. You might never be a world-beater at your ‘inadequacy’, but there’s no reason you can’t become adept at it.

By feeling inadequate, big barriers can arise around certain life experiences and reduce the possible fun that you can have. When approaching something you’re not used to doing or in the past might not have done well, have fun with it.

Set a goal and find others to support you and encourage you as you go, join our goal setting network for some inspiration and reinforcement of your own self worth. Don’t take yourself so seriously and enjoy the activity no matter how much you doubt yourself. Stop seeing inadequacy and start seeing opportunity.


This article was contributed by Pink Moods.

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