Do you ever worry that you’re not good enough, not smart enough, or you don’t have what it takes? Do you ever fear that this is keeping you from achieving the things you want most in your life?
According to a report by the Priory Group in the UK called I’m Not Good Enough, millions of people suffer from low self-esteem, which in turn adversely influences their mental health, relationships, work, and overall quality of life.
How many of these statements apply to you?
- I don’t think I’m good enough to get the things I want
- Sometimes I feel worthless
- My needs don’t seem to matter to other people
- I worry about what other people think of me
- Now and then, it seems like there’s something wrong with me
- I have to do everything myself. It’s like I’m all alone
- I’m powerless (weak, not safe, helpless)
- At times I can’t take care of myself in challenging situations
- I have no choice because…
- I’m unlovable (unworthy)
Today I want to look at the lie that plagues so many of us. It is the lie: “I’m not good enough.” I want to say that we get our worth and value from what God says about us!
How many would say that they struggle or have struggled with the lie: “I’m not good enough”? I have very much struggled with this lie throughout my life. This lie has affected me as a parent. When I make mistakes I start to think: “I’m not a good enough dad. No matter how hard I try, I feel inadequate.” “I’ll never be a good enough husband. My best just isn’t good enough.” “No matter how much effort I put into it, I just don’t feel like I’ll ever be good enough as a father, husband or a wife.”
So many of us believe this lie and it affects us as if it were true because we wrongly base our worth on a couple of things.
First, many of us believe that our worth is based on what others say about us. You know the story. Some of us may have grown up in a home where we got a lot of encouragement and we felt good about ourselves. Others may have grown up hearing: “You’re stupid” and you believed it. Or “You’re no good” and you believed it. Or “You’re pathetic. I wish you were more like your brother or you’re nothing like your sister.” Or another horrible one is “I wish I never had you.” On and on it goes. And, maybe you started thinking, “You know what, maybe I am not that good when someone says something good about you, you feel good about yourself but when someone cuts you down you feel like the biggest loser that’s ever lived. Have you wrongly based your worth on what others say about you?
Another way this lie affects us is we believe our worth is based on our past experiences, what happened to us in our past or the mistakes we made in our past. For instance, you may have grown up in a challenging family and you think, “Well, I’ll never amount to anything. We didn’t have a lot.” Maybe you weren’t great in school and so you believe “I’m average. I made average grades. I’m average, so I’m going to have an average life.” Or maybe you made some mistakes in your past and you think: “I did something stupid and I just can’t forgive myself for what I did. I am of no worth to anybody.”
Isn’t it sad when we can’t forgive ourselves for what we have done? Mark Batterson in his book “Wild Goose Chase” says: “We become so fixated on past mistakes that we forfeit future opportunities. We mistakenly think our mistakes disqualify us from being used by God.”