Some uncomfortable feelings arise in us not to punish us, but as the natural side-effect of being self-aware, empathetic, and contentious.
By acknowledging this, we can let go of the expectation that we are supposed to think positively of ourselves at all times, no matter what.
The truth is that it is unhealthy to ignore our failures, shortcomings and weaknesses. It takes a strong heart, brave mind, and true soul to not only admit that you have them, but be willing to work on them, too.
These are the uncomfortable feelings that signal you’re a really good person deep down — even if you don’t always realize it.
You have imposter syndrome.
The reason why you might feel like you aren’t good enough sometimes is that you are actually aware of your weaknesses and shortcomings.
This means that you are self-aware.
The truth is that everyone has those very same weaknesses and shortcomings, but not everyone thinks, worries or even acknowledges them.
The fact that you do not only means you’re willing to see yourself as a dimensional human being — which all of us are — but it also means you’re not deluded into thinking that you’re absolutely perfect.
You are afraid of being rejected or disliked.
This means you are empathetic.
It also means that you value human connection and authenticity.
Sometimes, when you feel most afraid of possibly being shamed, rejected or excluded from a group, it’s because you really care about other people’s feelings, and you’re tapping into the way you may have made them feel about something.
You overthink your past mistakes.
This means that you can acknowledge your wrongdoings.
Instead of brushing them over, seeing them from a one-dimensional perspective, and justifying whatever you’ve done because it seemed right at the time, you’re willing to review your past through the lens of how you might have made other people feel, and what you may have done wrong.
This means you are stronger than you think you are.
You have a hard time forgiving yourself.
While self-forgiveness is crucial to emotional health, resistance to “letting go” of our mistakes means that we want to ensure we don’t make them again — and that’s a real sign of growth.
Though you don’t need to keep ruminating, dwelling and getting down on yourself to hold yourself to a higher standard, you can instead extract wisdom and guidance from your mistakes — learn from them — and move on in a better way.
When we forgive ourselves too easily, it’s sometimes because we haven’t really learned the lesson, or don’t take our actions seriously.
You’re worried about accidentally hurting someone.
The fact that you would even worry so much about potentially hurting someone (unintentionally) means that you’re more kind and empathetic than you think you are.
This fear does not always mean you think you’re a bad person — it can also mean that you realize you’re human, you make mistakes like anyone else, and you really don’t want anybody to be caught in the crossfires of your own fear or short-sightedness.
That is a profound level of kindness and self-awareness.
You’re always working on yourself.
Though this also means that you recognize where you have room to improve, the willingness to keep working on oneself means that you’re not immune to feedback, you do want to get better, and you’re willing to admit your mistakes.
It takes a really big person willing to put aside their ego to do that.
You’re concerned about other people’s opinions.
While you don’t necessarily want the prospect of other people’s opinions to control your entire life (seriously, you’d never do anything or get anything done) caring about them a little means you want to be accepted by the group, which means you value connection and relationships.
It would be far unhealthier to just completely and genuinely care about nobody else’s thoughts or ideas or responses to you. It would be extremely selfish to keep pressing on without any consideration of how you’re impacting other people.
While you don’t need to worry about how random haters feel, you do need to worry about how the people you truly love feel.
You cry easily.
This means that you’re willing to be emotionally expressive.
Everyone has the natural impulse to cry and release their feelings.
Many people suppress that out of fearing seeming weak, or admitting their emotions to themselves.
The ability to cry easily is more often a sign of strength than it is a weakness.
You don’t want to be a “bad person.”
The sheer fact that you would even worry about something like this means that you’re not a bad person.
How do we know this?
Because truly bad people do not worry about being bad people — they carry on, doing whatever they please, with little consideration of how their actions affect anyone else.
The fact that you care enough about how you make other people feel is, in itself, a sign you’re doing better than you think.
Go easy on yourself, and give yourself a little more credit.