I’ve been struggling with this a lot lately. I want more money, but deep down, I don’t believe I deserve it.
I want to achieve my dreams and biggest goals, but deep down, sometimes, I believe that no matter how hard I work, it will never be enough.
I’ll never work hard and be good enough to have that house, that car, that life.
Sometimes, for me, whatever I do, “anybody” can do. I end up thinking there’s nothing special about anything I work on, so why would anybody pay me for it?
The worst part is that, objectively speaking, I work insanely hard and smart.
I know I do.
But there’s a gap between what I know and what I feel.
And I know you understand what I’m saying.
I feel what I do is “too easy.”
I even feel that graduating from college was “too easy.” I spent 7 years studying almost daily to get my degree, and to this day, I still feel I must have cheated the University administration somehow to make them believe I deserved that diploma. Talk about impostor syndrome…
It’s a mental block that’s affecting my self-confidence and my money mindset.
But not only that. This also affects the way I live my day-to-day life. I always think I need to spend more hours working, writing more words, designing more pins, getting more traffic, learning more, and more.
And it took me a while to realize what was really happening because I hadn’t considered myself a person with low self-esteem in a long time. I thought those struggles were behind me already.
However, feeling undeserving or unworthy doesn’t come just from low self-confidence. It’s a little more than that. And I’ll talk more about it in a second.
In this article, I want to list all the things I’m doing to overcome this so you can follow along. I hope you find it useful!
Why Do I Feel Undeserving or Not Good Enough?
I’m not a therapist. I’m just a very observant human who likes to understand and learn. And I learn a lot from all the good and the bad that happens to me.
So, this is where I believe this feeling comes from.
This obviously comes from a lack of self-confidence, as I said before. But it can also be caused by others’ unrealistic expectations (like our parents, our friends, our partners, and even society in general) and ourselves.
If you live your life trying to act according to others’ expectations, you’ll fail sooner or later. That’ll make you feel like a fraud.
One of the consequences of feeling like you’re not good enough is that you won’t give yourself space to thrive when you feel that way.
According to Psychology Today: If you don’t feel deserving, you’ll find a way not to allow yourself to have “it” (whatever “it” is).
I believe we’ve all experienced this to some degree, but it’s our ability to deal with this what ultimately defines if we get what we want or not.
And the hard truth is, sometimes, this feeling stems from the fact that we know we’re not doing our best. But it’s possible that we simply don’t know how to work smart, how to reach our full potential, or how to organize our time better.
You can feel undeserving of many things like money, happiness, success, and even love.
I’m going to focus on feeling undeserving of good things like money and success.
10 Solid Steps To Stop Feeling Undeserving Of Good Things
1. Acknowledge your truth
Acknowledge you feel unworthy.
Whenever you wish for something with all your heart, ask yourself: Am I worthy of this? Of this relationship? This money? This house?
If the answer is yes, you go, girl. Get it!
But if the answer is no. Why not?
Think about it for a while. Are you working hard and smart to get it?
Because the truth is, no matter what people tell you, we don’t always deserve everything we want.
Feeling we always deserve everything we want and thinking we’re all worthy can make people feel entitled.
That’s why a key piece here is to objectively acknowledge if you’re not giving everything you got to get that thing you want.
And when I say “working hard,” I mean: are you doing the best you can with the resources you have? Are you making progress?
Are you objectively deserving of that thing you want?
When I was researching this topic, I found many posts saying we’re all worthy and deserving because we’re all valuable humans. I can’t entirely agree.
If you want something, you need to work for it.
2. Acknowledge your weaknesses
If you conclude that, in fact, no, you’re not giving it your all or that you lack the necessary skills, then now’s the time to identify your weaknesses.
Nobody’s perfect, and we all have weaknesses, right?
So there’s no shame in admitting that you lack something to get where you want to be.
Remember that competence brings confidence.
Maybe you feel undeserving because you haven’t reached the level of competence required to make those dreams come true.
And if that’s the case, then use that fear of not being “deserving” to propel yourself. Work for it. Earn it!
Analyze your current situation and where you want to be, and make a list of all the things you need to learn and the skills you need to develop.
Design a plan to get there and start working for those things you want.
3. Understand that nobody can do what you do
You have a unique combination of experiences, personality, skills, abilities, talents, gifts, and knowledge.
I don’t mean to sound cheesy or cliché, but it’s true.
And yes, there are many things that people can do. Things that aren’t “special” at first sight. Like writing.
The majority of the world population knows how to write, but can everybody write Becoming the way Michelle Obama did?
Can every person who knows how to write and who had a difficult childhood come up with a masterpiece like The Glass Castle, by Jeannette Walls or Angela’s Ashes, by Frank McCourt?
These people merged a common skill, like writing, with their unique experiences and personalities. And that’s exactly what gave them the place they now have in the world.
Nobody can do what you do the way you do it.
And if you work smart, you can take your unique combination and turn it into something people will never forget.
Spread those wings. Be great. I stopped caring about sounding cheesy now.
4. Acknowledge your strengths
For some of us, it’s hard to admit we’re good at something.
But pay attention. Pay attention to everything you do day after day.
Do people come to you for advice? Do people recommend you? Do they pay for your services?
Do you help people:
- feel better?
- Look better?
- Be better in some way, shape, or form?
Acknowledge your talents, your gifts, and your potential.
To make this step easier (and any step in life, really), I always recommend journaling.
5. Understand that making progress is way more important than reaching perfection
One of the main reasons we feel undeserving is that we want it to turn out perfect whatever we do.
We think that only what’s “perfect” is deserving.
But what’s perfect? And most importantly: is “perfect” even possible?
Consciously or not, we compare ourselves to others and judge ourselves by the things we know about others.
And the thing is, we know more about ourselves than we know about anybody else.
That means we know our past mistakes, our weaknesses, and our failures. But when it comes to others, we probably can see only what they want us to see. And that’s probably their good side.
To get rid of these nasty feelings of unworthiness, understand that making progress and improving yourself constantly is way more important than trying to make things perfect and comparing our progress with what we think others are or do.
6. Work on yourself
Personal development is a topic that may sound cheesy to some at first.
But once you get past that stage, you’ll start to discover how valuable and necessary it is for everybody.
If you feel undeserving and acknowledge you have to work on yourself, the best thing you can do is do soul-searching or self-discovery activities to pinpoint exactly where you need to improve the most.
If that’s your case, journaling for self-discovery is one of the best things you can do for yourself right now.
Journaling is a great way to start your personal development journey because it allows you to recognize patterns, ask yourself deep questions, and improve yourself as a whole.
When you feel undeserving, there are specific personal development areas on which you should focus, like:
7. Practice self-love journaling daily
Self-love journaling is a powerful tool that’ll help you get over your feelings of unworthiness.
Last year I started doing more journaling focused on what makes me special and the things I love about myself, so I could get rid of my feelings of unworthiness, and I got to say that it’s changing me.
To be honest, I still have to think a lot before writing because the moment I sit down to write this list, my mind goes blank.
It’s like I’m resisting the idea of acknowledging I have things to offer to the world.
And that’s exactly why I need to keep practicing it, and you totally should.
8. Build a rock-solid mindset
In addition to working on your personal development, you also need to work on your mindset.
Mindset and personal development can intertwine, but they’re also vast topics on their own.
When we feel undeserving, we may get caught up in negative and pessimistic thoughts.
Some people who feel undeserving aren’t aware of it. Instead, they blame everything around them and keep making excuses about why they haven’t accomplished the things they want to accomplish.
That’s why it’s so important to build a solid and positive mindset.
9. Learn how to set realistic goals
Setting unrealistic goals for yourself can destroy your self-confidence.
One of the main reasons why you may feel undeserving is because you try to accomplish unrealistic goals.
Every time you aren’t capable of achieving that unrealistic goal, you feel disappointed.
And it’s ok to feel disappointed. It’s natural, and it happens to the best of us.
However, if you set unrealistic goals continuously, you’ll start to believe you are a failure.
Instead of thinking that you’ve failed this time, you’ll start to think and believe that you fail all the time because, well, you’re failing all the time. You don’t know how to set SMART goals.
Smart goals are:
- Realistic or Reasonable
It’s worth mentioning that all these criteria depend on your skills, knowledge, abilities, experience, and even your concentration level.
For example, when I started blogging, I read in many blogs that people write several blog posts in a single day so they can schedule a lot of content in advance.
I did my best to do that, but with time, I understood I just couldn’t.
In my case, I need several days to write a single article because I like to research the topic, find gaps I can fill, write an outline, structure my content according to my audience, check my grammar more than once, and take breaks when I feel drained.
At first, I pushed myself a lot, and honestly, not being capable of writing four high-quality blog posts in a single day made me feel that blogging wasn’t for me. It made me feel like a failure.
But one day, I just acknowledged we’re all different and accepted that fact. And then kept doing my thing because I liked it.
Take a look at the last time you set a goal for yourself. Was it realistic? If not, how did you feel when you didn’t accomplish it?
10. Work smart and ALWAYS do your best
Take calculated action.
As I said before, you don’t deserve things unless you work for them.
Working smart goes hand in hand with setting smart goals.
Once you’ve set those, you can start working smart towards those things you want.
That way, you’ll know deep down that you’re earning it!
To work smart means to:
- work with your end goal in mind;
- time yourself so you’re mindful of how long it takes you to do things (I like using Toggl for that);
- know when you need a break (and take it);
- plan your day;
- recognize your weaknesses and admit when you need help (and then ask for help);
- and doing everything you need to do to do a good job without burning out.
Learning to work smart has everything to do with feeling worthy.
When you work smart, you get the job done to the best of your abilities while also giving yourself time to grow, learn, and reflect.
Become the most epic version of yourself. Do your best every single time. Do your best every time you:
- Work out;
- Learn new things;
- Build relationships;
- Say what you mean;
- Work on your projects;
- Practice journaling;
Doing your best will fill you with self-confidence. It will make you trust yourself. And there’s no replacement for that feeling.
The Bottom Line
We’ve all been there. We’ve all doubted ourselves and any given point in time. And it’s ok! It’s normal.
But when it becomes a habit and a way of thinking, things get ugly for us.
Set the intention to overcome this feeling and follow my advice. I’m not saying it because it’s my advice but because I know this is the way to go. Trust me.
Take your time. This change won’t happen overnight. But I promise that if you set the intention to change, you’ll feel as worthy as you are.
Nobody’s perfect. Never forget that. It’s not just something people like to say. It’s actually true. Nobody’s perfect, no matter the illusions people can build around themselves.
Don’t let your flaws or your mistakes alone define you. You’re more than that.
I know it’s hard, but don’t listen to that voice that says, “what’s the point of doing all of this?” or “I’m not pursuing that, I won’t even try it, I’m not smart/good enough.” That’s for losers.
And, to wrap things up, remember: No one will value you more than you value yourself.