by Rachel McDermott | Featured Contributor
It was painful to watch.
One of the chefs on Chopped, Chef Insecure (not his real name), was totally down on himself.
He heard his Dad in his ear, “You’ll never make it. You’re not good enough.”
He second and triple-guessed himself. His nerves and fears of failure were clearly messing with his head. For him, winning chopped would prove he was good enough to be a chef. I cringed when he said he hoped winning would make his staff respect him more.
His never-good-enough attitude was a turn off
I didn’t want to root for him because it seemed like he was going to lose. His emotional problems were bumming me out and I just felt bad for the guy. I wanted to ask him, “What makes you think that? Who told you that?” I wanted to tell him to snap out of it, to change his perspective.
Never enough is never satisfied
Never good enough. Never enough money. Never enough time. Never enough doodads. Never, never, never… It just goes on and on. What it leads to is continual disappointment, dissatisfaction, and a depressed outlook on life. If you’re trapped in the land of Never Enough you are not at rest. You are not calm, collected. It will be hard for you to embody truly confident feelings. And where insecurity increases, rejection increases.
This puts you at a disadvantage in 3 ways
1. You second-guess yourself and your work suffers
Your talent and ability can be there but if you allow emotional problems to get in the way you can find yourself making critical errors or mistakes in judgment due to your insecurity. (To his credit, Chef Insecure was able to recognize his second-guessing had taken him off-course. He went back to his original instinct (to make a soup) and made it past the appetizer round.)
2. You struggle to make decisions or take action
Deliberating for days… constant tweaking, fussing and fiddling. If you approach life with a negative bias it affects everything. Things that could be completed in a much faster fashion can end up taking months and years because in your mind, “We’re not there yet.” The longer things drag out; waiting for you to make a decision or take action, the more your confidence over what to do erodes.
3. Others lose confidence in you
If you don’t believe in yourself, why should anyone else? I know that sounds harsh but seriously, your customers, your clients, don’t know you. They don’t know you so why should they care. If you aren’t confident in what you do or what you’re offering to sell, why should anyone work with you or buy from you?
So what can you do if you struggle with Never Good Enough?
Step 1: As always, you have to acknowledge your problem.
As soon as you know you have a problem, you can start working on making things better.
Step 2: Get a support system.
Reach out to others. Be brave enough to be vulnerable and talk about what’s going on.
It was painful to watch how Chef was talking about himself. It’s awkward too because you never know how people will react to that. I was glad when one of the judges spoke frankly to him after he passed the appetizer round. “Don’t second-guess yourself. Treat yourself better.” That affirmation meant a lot to Chef Insecure and gave him a boost of confidence going into the entree round.
Step 3: Process your emotional pain.
If you’re holding crap in you need to figure out a way to get it out. Unwind, unleash. Find safe people to be a support through your journey. Break codependent patterns and cycles. Get someone to hold you accountable. Grieve. Let it go.
Step 4: Actively work on changing your perspective and outlook on life.
The past is done. Take the nuggets you need to get wisdom, hold on to the good and move forward. Look around you, learn from others. Enlarge your world view and get knowledge.
Step 5: Practice the hell outta your craft.
Talent is great to have but hard work makes all the difference. Put in the sweat, time and tears. Hammer it out. Lots of trial, error and practice will give you the experience you need for a deeper perspective. Your confidence will increase with each success. (Wouldn’t you know it? Chef Insecure actually won Chopped and went home with the $10,000 prize)
You may want perfect country, but you don’t actually live there
Have high standards, but realize you’re not perfect and never will be. Give yourself grace when things don’t go pinterest-picture perfect. Life is hard and messy and emotional. But fatalism isn’t doing you any favors.
Live in Never Enough? Dare to leave town.
Positive Town. Thankful Village. Enough City. Choose to live somewhere that will give you the positive energy you need to achieve your goals.
Because the striving, Never Enough mindset is not about money. Money is a tool. It doesn’t satisfy emotional emptiness. It only amplifies what’s already there. So figure out your shit. Otherwise you could find yourself in the trap, rat-race of consumption. The same problems you’ve always had are still with you, but at a larger scale. You could have wealth, but misery is still your companion.
The emotional struggle to walk in success and confidence is a path we all have to find for ourselves. Chef Insecure won, but his emotional baggage remains unsolved.
Insecurity may increases rejection, but it doesn’t have be that way. When we own our emotional struggles and see the problem for what it is, we give ourselves the chance we need to break free.
Rachel McDermott is co-author of Hook:Why Websites Fail to Make Money and co-founder of HooktoWin.com. Hook hit #1 on Amazon and was a bestseller in 4 categories. It’s been sold in 12 countries around the world. Her Free 5 day mini course shows entrepreneurs how to fix website failure and attract customers automatically.
Rachel and her husband have spent the last decade helping clients sell more products and win more customers. They’ve experienced the day to day grind of building a business and understand the challenges that come with it.
When she’s not writing you can probably find her reading, in the kitchen cooking up something yummy or playing outside with her 2 boys. She also loves to go shopping and thinks buying groceries is relaxing (when she gets to do that alone, of course).