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Fear of Inadequacy Reframe

Let's look at the fear of inadequacy for a minute or two.

It could be argued that all people on the planet experience the fear of inadequacy; the fear that we are not good enough, that we don't deserve love, that we deserve rejection, that we deserve the bad things that happen in life is a lurking, pervasive fear. And, of course, we see this fear fuel our bad behaviours, decisions, habits, victim mindsets, and self-talk. We do certain things because of who we are afraid we are or aren't, usually unconsciously. 


And where does this fear come from? Maybe there's a genetic or epigenetic component? It certainly comes from childhood experiences. Our parents and caregivers may have said or done things that made us feel inadequate as we were developing, which could have been quite damaging to our psyche, our personality, and may have affected who we became. But the thing is that you are not a victim of people who made you feel inadequate, in fact, maybe that fear of inadequacy is good fuel for you.


Let me explain.


There are two types of people who will make us feel inadequate:


1. Someone who doesn't like what you're doing or how you are being and will make you feel small, unworthy, and like you are inherently unlikeable/bad. This person is rejecting something about you.

2. Someone who will challenge what you're doing and try to show you how you just aren't there yet. This person sees your goodness, your worthiness, and is poking at something in you to get you to grow.


We could see this second person as using the fear of inadequacy for good. This person is actively showing you how at this moment in time, you have behaviour that is not up to the level of what you are capable of. This person sees your inherent worth AND what is getting in the way of that: the fears, the lies, the mindsets that are keeping you from being "good enough." This person sees how YOU are keeping YOU from being good enough. 


And Person #2, this provocateur, is not necessarily someone who is going to make you feel good. Again, this is the fear of inadequacy that we're talking about. This person can be very triggering to us. We can feel small as a result of what this person is showing us if we are not aware of the intention behind this person's words or conduct. We can be so triggered that we do not see this person for what they are: a guide, a role model, or a Provocateur of Potential. 


With person #1, if we step back, it's usually pretty clear that they are not trying to inspire us to be better. They're basically just telling us, "ew, no."


Feeling inadequate doesn't feel good either way, but sometimes, thanks to this Person #2, we actually feel loved. We feel empowered by this person. We see ourselves and who we can be while knowing that who we are right now is ok and worthy of love.


We all know these #1s in our lives. Just about anyone can dish out a little bit of #1 behavior, but oftentimes there are major players. And it is up to us to step in, step up, show up for ourselves and not let what they say flatten us. And if you did let it shrink you, if you gave away your power or did certain things out of this fear of inadequacy, forgive yourself. It's hard. But now, take responsibility, empower yourself, and find a Person #2 or be a Person #2 for yourself. 


It's our duty to learn to not blame the people who taught us that we are small and inadequate (usually those #1s), because we can only blame ourselves for staying small. Powerlessness is the biggest lie. And you really are enough.


Do you know you have #2s in your life?? Or did you just realize someone that you thought was a #1 is actually a #2?? I'd love to hear. And I hope you explore your fear of inadequacy this week. Fears and emotions reveal much to us if we don't numb or run from them. 


Remember it's safe to feel.

Image by Vincent Ledvina
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