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What to Do When You Feel like You're Not Good Enough (A Lesson from the Fresh Prince)

Recently, a friend of mine shared this scene from the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (yes!), where Aunt Vivian explains why she seems like she fits in so well in academia.

The key to her success and seeming ease: She believes she deserves to be there.

We’ve tackled this before: how the fear of not being good enough and being an impostor can sometimes stop us from pursuing our goals. Believing you deserve to be successful is just the first step.

However, getting over the feeling of not being good enough is easier said than done. Over on Pop*forms Kate Matsudaira outlines a four-step process to feeling like you deserve to be successful. Here’s one step that stood out to us:

"Step 4: Share your feelings with someone you trust

When fears remain in our head, unspoken, they tend to take a life of their own. I am reminded of those cartoons where the shadows look a whole lot like monsters, but as soon as the light turns on the shadow just disappears and is replaced by the cuddly teddy bear in the corner of the room. Well our fears are like those shadows.

Once we share them with someone else, sometimes they seem downright silly. If you have a coach or friend you trust talk to them about your feelings; since if you go to Step 1, I bet your feelings are unjustified. If you aren’t comfortable sharing them, write them down. Just get them out of your head. Shine a light on your shadows."

Because many of us are trying to address big issues, I find that these feeling can be especially acute; aside from dealing with the challenges of building a career, you also wonder if your work even matters. Here, talking with others and actively seeing the results of your work can remind you that you are making a difference.


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by Allison Jones

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