How to feel enough?

Hi everyone.

Would love to ask about something I struggle with and if anyone else feels this way and how you are dealing with it.

In 2015 I was diagnosed with anxiety and basically was housebound because people scared me.

In 2016 I was lucky to get an opportunity (though a government program) to bicycle from my home in Denmark to France (with lots of training, many days and mental health help) we set of on a 17 day trip and we ended the trip by biking up Alpe d’huez and I did it in just over 2 hours, this program is designed for young people to get a BIG high to kick start whatever fight that specific young person was fighting. For me it worked an I started my education as a landscaper 14 days after returning from France.

Summer 2020 I finished my education.

The problem I am facing is I never feel like I did enough. I biked up a mountain in 2 hours and 2 min. but at the top I felt a overwhelming feeling of not doing good enough, why didn’t I achieve my imaginary goal of 2 hours? I became an educated landscaper which is a over 4 year long education here, which I many times almost quit but I still started crying when I got my papers after the big exam because I didn’t achieve the grade I had in my mind I felt like I should. When I make dinner for my family I am left with a feeling of it not tasting good enough.

Everything from making dinner to my job, education and friendships I am almost always left with a feeling that I could have done better, why didn’t I do better. Even when I know I did my best.
Because I feel not enough, I also feel very uncomfortable doing anything new, and I often get stuck in only going to work and being at home in fear of disappointing myself or others.

Any tips or tricks to feeling happy with achievements or pretty much anything else I do?


First of all, I am very impressed with everything you have accomplished. I know I couldn’t have done what you’ve done. I know a lot of people that wouldn’t be able to do those things as well. I know it sounds cliche, but what if you wrote all your achievements down in a journal or a blog? You can start as early as you can remember. I also saw someone draw a map/timeline and drew out all their milestones on paper. If you like art, maybe this is something to consider. I think seeing all your achievements written or drawn out will show you all the amazing things you’ve done and appreciate it. It’s really hard to appreciate the process, but I encourage you to do that. Also, when you list out your achievements you can always write out how you felt, what inspired you, and what the process was like. In the end, I feel like it’s not about the result, but it’s really the process that makes it sooooo special.


Hey @Caroline,

Thank you so much for sharing and being here. :hrtlegolove:

Honestly, your thoughts really hit close to home, as I recognize a lot of myself in what you describe. I struggle with anxiety as well and never really seem to feel enough, no matter how big or small are my accomplishments. To take the example of education, I graduated twice/in two different areas, and even if it was objectively demanding, I wasn’t able to really embrace the result. I was just wondering: okay, what’s next? Same with daily tasks and work: it never feels like it’s enough and saying “I’m proud of myself” just sounds like empty words to me. I’m still working on this, trying to improve, learning to slow down and have a different perspective on what I’m doing, but it’s not always easy. You did a major step by sharing all of this and for being aware of how it works for you.

You also said something important about having expectations and not necessarily reaching them, which I believe might be part of the issue. Something that helps me personally is to look after the process of doing something through 3 steps: before/during/after. What can you do to set yourself for success and celebrate your accomplishments during each of those steps? Just a few suggestions:

  • Before: taking the time to set realistic goals for yourself. If you don’t know where to start, I’d suggest to eventually take some ideas from the “S.M.A.R.T.” management concept, which is an acronym for setting goals as: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound. Of course, this can be overwhelming and doesn’t really suit for daily life things. But it shows how much it’s important to ask yourself: when is it enough? What would be your “success” criteria when you do X, Y thing? Taking the time to identify your own expectations, not just as a vague idea but as something very specific and objective, can be a first step to tackle this feeling of not being good enough.

  • During: I bet you know the saying about how much the process is often more important than the result. You learn, you progress, you improve one way or another when you do something, even if it’s from a mistake. Also, when we’re anxious, we tend to be naturally focused on the result, sometimes to the point of being really disconnected from what we’re doing. So it’s just a personal perspective, but cultivating some mindfulness and grounding practices in your daily life could be interesting. The idea is to train your mind to be more and more focused on the present moment, on what you’re doing now. You’re cooking something for your family? Try to embrace the textures, the smells, the sights and tastes while you’re doing it. Overwhelmed by chores or a project? Set an alarm on your phone to take a break and ground yourself. Then describe out loud 3 things that you see around you, with as much details as you can. It might sound a little stupid or useless at first, but the more you do that, the more you’ll be connected to the process of doing something, and the more you’ll feel safe while doing so.

  • After: Definitely an important moment when you can celebrate yourself for what you did. It doesn’t matter if your mind tells you “yea, but it’s just the dishes…”. Try to push against those thoughts and take a time to acknowledge and congratulate yourself anyway. Positive reinforcement is really important when you’re anxious and feeling like what you do is never enough. Some ideas for doing it: journaling about what you did and how you feel about it; updating a list of things you did so you keep track of your daily accomplishments that can be forgotten sometimes; rewarding yourself (doing something you like, getting something for yourself, etc.).

Through the repetition of setting realistic goals and validating yourself, you’ll learn progressively to feel differently when you do something. It will feel artificial at first, but it’s like training your mind to learn something new - it takes time and it’s important to persevere. Because you, as an individual, are enough. Regardless of what you do or not. Your worth is not tied to your accomplishments, friend. Which is why it’s also good to be supported by people around you while you’re learning this. Whether it’s by the people you love or eventually a professional to help you work on those steps and at your own pace.

Finally, I’d like to suggest you to have a look at the following exercise here on the support wall - it might be a good start to tackle this feeling of not being enough, and something you can use when you’re struggling with this thought: What I have to offer is meaningless; who I am is worthless

PS - French pal here, currently living in Belgium - I hope your trip to Alpe d’Huez was a good one. Congrats for what you did. ;).


@Micro @Grace
Thank you so much for making me feel welcome here at HS and sharing what works for you,
the tips is something I will definitely consider and work out what will work for me in my daily life. I recently started journaling so that’s a start.
I can cherish the experiences but not the results and someday I will hopefully be able feel happy with both.

Thanks again.

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Hi there! I deal with similar feelings myself on a daily basis. Ill make cookies, for example and taste them. Know they taste great and then my family tries them and say “they’re okay” or even “they’re good” and immediately feel like a failure. I have recently taken up coloring as a hobby. I love art, but creating my own is literally impossible for me because I feel like such a failure if what I create isn’t beautiful. So I use references and color. And even that is a struggle because of I go out of the lines or color something wrong I also feel that sense of immediate failure.

I have impulse control issues, because I can’t filter what I say or do all the time I receive a ton of “negative feedback” (to put it nicely) from peers and people on the internet which is unfortunately my primary source of social interaction. It’s been happening my whole life and I’ve internalized it. It makes me second guess everything I say and do. I’ve deleted countless messages without sending them because I’m afraid of being rejected or hated. I don’t reach out to friends and family for similar reasons. I always feel like I’m interrupting or bothering people.


@Caroline we spoke about your support wall topic the other day on our Twitch stream. I hope you find the conversation encouraging! You’re loved. Hold Fast



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