Sunday, February 15, 2009

Feelings of Inadequacy Abound

I’ve been battling quite a bit with feelings of inadequacy over the past few days. Work has certainly been plentiful—for which I am grateful. We need the income, and I’m thankful that I’ve been blessed with grace on more than one occasion. But there was an incident this week that shook me more than I expected, and it really made me question just how valuable I am to the group of great people I work with and for.

(Although I suppose a bit of humbling once in a while is good for the soul.)

To top it all off, I got a rejection letter in the mail this week—a show I was really hoping to get into rejected my jewelry. The excuse was, of course, that they already have too many jewelry vendors.

Rejection in its many forms is a tough pill to swallow on the best of days. But when I already feel weak, rejection can be almost unbearable.

I struggle with inferiority on a regular basis—I never accomplish enough, I never get enough done within the span of an hour, a day, a week, a year—and then, I beat myself up about feeling that way.

Did you catch that?

I beat myself up about beating myself up.

I’m quite good at it. Sometimes I don’t even realize I’m doing it.

I think the important thing is to keep trying. Continue improving, admit my mistakes when I make them (which is often!), and move forward. 

Reflecting is one thing, and of course stagnating is bad. I do reflect on a regular basis—usually in the form of a private journal entry (in my paper journal, or in a locked journal I keep online), and then the important thing is to open myself up and try again. Put myself out there, over and over.

Sometimes, surrendering to the process is the most powerful step I can take. Usually, it's also the most difficult.

Look, I know I'm not a bad person. I’m a pretty good person, actually. Everything happens for a reason, and sometimes—sometimes, the things I really want are worth working hard for, and worth that wait.

How cliché, right? 

There’s a reason why clichés exist…


  1. I beat myself up for beating myself up sometimes too. But you do have to realize that you are doing your best and not be so hard on yourself. A tough thing, I know.

    For some reason, though it's not work-related, this post reminded me of a quote I just posted on my personal blog:

    Finally, I got it: a heart that is open to the world must be willing to be broken at any time. This brokenness produces the kind of grief that expands the heart so that it can love more and more.
    -Stephen Cope

    I guess the whole idea of being willing to be hurt... it's awful but it means everything.

    Keep at it, lady. You're talented. But you have to remember that sometimes it's just for yourself and there are moments when that has to be enough.


  2. Absolutely a brilliant comment, Melissa. You said it! I love that quote you posted, as well. I'm adding that one to my quote collection, to be sure.

    I think you really hit the nail on the head in the last sentence. I struggle so much with wanting to please others, and in the end... it all means nothing if I do not please myself.

    Thanks for your comment. It brightened my day!