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INADEQUACY

Most adults and teenagers have a fear of looking foolish and inadequate in the presence of others. Thank goodness young children have not yet learned that inadequacy is not-okay. If they were born with that belief, they would find it much more difficult to learn all the things they need to know.

If it is true that we learn by trial and error, why is being and feeling inadequate such a burden for many?

Many people live in a tighter and tighter comfort zone because they are frightened of stepping into their learning zone and appearing to be inadequate. Instead, when the feeling of inadequacy arises, we could congratulate ourselves because this separating emotion almost always signals a new period of growth and learning.

The major seed thought that creates the feeling “inadequacy” is a belief that is shared by all of us at some level. This seed thought is

“I am not good enough.”

The experience of childhood (except perhaps in some traditional cultures) is usually more of a put-down than a build-up. Children receive more criticism than praise and this praise is often only given when certain conditions (like a tidy bedroom, a good report card, or going to bed when told) are fulfilled.

You may be surprised to discover that when you take the risk to “dive” into your inadequacy and make the feeling okay, you will feel much more adequate. A helpful affirmation is: “I love myself when I am adequate and when I am inadequate.”