We drink whenever the need arises – for thirst, for business, for leisure. Be it water, tea, coffee – your preference – from a cup, can, glass, bottle, we may not notice how much drink is in the cup. Is it half empty or half full?
Life has a way of filling us up like cups – with words, thoughts, feelings. Some of these make us feel good, sometimes otherwise. It could be the words we hear -praises, comments, feedback, criticisms – from peers, family, co-workers, schoolmates. It could also be the influences from media – advertisements, social media, news. Or even the expectations upon us – academic grades, commanding $X salary, social standing. Because of many other reasons you can imagine, you may have caught the meaning of that tells you, you are not there yet.
Look at your cup again. Does it fill full? Was there a time that no matter what goes into the cup, no matter how much of that effort is repeated, the result is no matter? And in return for all that effort, is a troubling feedback that leads to questioning ourselves about whether we are good enough.
We all need to feel good. Inadequacy affects our satisfaction towards life, by voiding the satisfaction we seek. Potentially, inadequacy wears down our ability to appreciate ourselves and our world. In the long run, it can limit one’s connection to personal satisfaction, giving rise to signs such as:
- a low opinion of one’s ability and worth
- thoughts about failure and seeing self as a failure
- feelings of being a helpless and vulnerable victim, avoiding responsibility when matters do not go right
- experiencing anxiety when expected to achieve certain outcomes at home or outside
- over controlling things, people or situations
- over enthusiastically entering into relationships, eating, drinking, buying things
- displaying anger, cynicism, arrogance, skepticism, suspicion, judgement towards people, feedbacks, praises
- isolation from tasks and people to avoid failure or being seen