Not sure how this post will go, or if I'll even post it but I felt an urge to write about what's bothering me.
noun: the state or quality of being inadequate; lack of the quantity or quality required, often linked with inability.
The main symptoms of inadequacy, as labelled my therapists would be:
- heightened self-criticism
- low self-worth
- perception of failure
- fear of rejection
- the inability to accept praise
At one time or another, we're all bound to feel inadequate. With feelings of inadequacy, comes feelings of low self-worth, shame, powerlessness and jealousy.
For everyone, inadequacy is triggered by different things, with the most common amongst the lines of financial inadequacy or physical inadequacy. For me, I could probably constrict the sources of my inadequacy to physical inadequacy, intellectual inadequacy and social inadequacy. I'm not a therapist or a self-help blogger but I think writing and organising my thoughts might actually be beneficial for me, and maybe one of you too?
I'm tempted to go into why I feel inadequate in regards to those attributes but these words are immortalised on the internet and I'm not sure if I'm prepared to have my insecurities entrenched on TNAIWMRDX*. Perhaps maybe a summary.
- I can probably say the root of my physical inadequacy would be a mixture of childhood incidents and the media, where photoshop and an emphasis on 'beauty' fills the front pages. It's hard to look in a mirror and to think to yourself that you'll never like what you'll see, that you'll never be good enough - even for yourself. I can't remember not being like that. It can be soul destructive.
- I feel as if I could blame intellectual inadequacy on being jealous of my older sisters growing up. Both my sisters have always been smart and talented and I always thought they were both perfect. We all have grown up going to the same school, where our similarities have led us to do the same subjects with the same teachers. In a small school, where siblings are quite close in year groups, teachers can almost find it difficult to not compare them. Very early on in my academic career I was told by a teacher that I was never as good as my sister. This teacher hadn't ever taught her! I remember that night, where I got home and went through all of my work - crossing it all out and doing it all again in tears. Ever since then slight comparisons, even compliments, have made me feel like that again. My GCSEs probably spurned this on the most, where I managed to get overall grades lower than both my sisters. Generally this wouldn't be a problem, we try and not compare ourselves to each other and my mother certainly does not compare us, but after that it was intrinsically engraved in my mind that.....I'm going too into this and just decided to cut this off, I don't want to dissect my mind right now but just whilst writing this I could probably say that this is my biggest problem. Such a tease.
- My social insecurity is probably the most common out of all of them. Am I balancing my time right? Do I prioritise my friends too much? Do people actually want to be my friend? How real actually am I with my friends? I think these issues are directly branched from my negative view of my physical and mental ability, as mentioned previously.
Researching this topic and now writing about it, I almost feel as if the feelings of inadequacy are totally in my head - even though I know they are very real and almost violent. Often the reason why people continue to feel inadequate is because they put the emphasis on negative reinforcement rather than positive reinforcement and I am definitely guilty of this. If someone insults me just once, even if they follow it with a thousand compliments, my heart and my mood will still sink a bit. It can almost be as physical as actually flinching and curling inwards at the comment. Before doing research and organising my thoughts, I thought this was just blatant emotional sensitivity, but now I'm almost certain it's to do with feelings of inadequacy.
I'm not saying that the solution to help those suffering and feeling inadequate is to lather them in compliments, as we probably would start thinking the praise is insincere. I'm not sure. perhaps we should all take an effort to be less critical and to those with negative instincts, maybe to offer more benefit of the doubt to the speaker. I think it's going to be one of my personal goals of this year to reduce my negative vibes and I'm tempted to document my progress on TNAIWMRDX.
If I want to become the best Perd I can be, I think it's almost necessary that I change my opinion of myself. If I'm more accepting of myself, I'll be more accepting of others. And vice versa. I think we should all make a greater effort to accept ourselves. I've spent days writing this post, it hurts to see how much I don't like myself and it hurts knowing that the majority of people will feel this way. Even in the media, pop-culture is so enthralled with inadequacy and insecurities as seen in the gifs I inserted - it kills me knowing that so many people feel this way. Even though this post isn't exactly helpful, it's something I would like to help more and spread awareness of even more.
I think for teenagers in the 21st century, it's hard not to feel inadequate. For me, the main reason why I want to tackle my negative outlook is that suffering from feeling inadequate can lead to a lack ambition and further procrastination. I refuse to let my inadequacy interfere with my future and you shouldn't either.
TNAIWMRDX - the new and improved WatermelonRaindropX