How to Live and Cope with Deep Atelphobia

Atelophobia is the fear of not being good enough or imperfection. It is classified as an anxiety disorder that can affect relationships and makes the afflicted person feel like everything they do is wrong.

We are not half the person we wish we were.

Don’t worry. You can admit it.

You secretly wish your were more than just a waste of space in debt. I thought that my life was crap, because I always I felt I wasn’t enough. Just like this, “I am not enough” is the sentence I used to repeat to myself, until it was encoded in my DNA. I honestly believed in the uniqueness of my feeling, but then talking to a friend, who happened to be a psychiatrist, I discovered that this is the crisis all people go over, mostly around the 30’s. OK, so I lived up to my first crisis, what a glory.

Do I honestly believe my parents were “enough” (obviously, not in a financial sense)?

No.

Do I believe all my husbands and boyfriends were “enough”?

No.

However, I was compelled to be “enough”, and not only enough, but also totally perfect. Nothing less than that would count. It’s interesting however, that in today’s world, with the stress pressing on us from every possible angle, we all feel like we are “not enough” yet masochistically we keep raising our standards. Just look around, at the glamorous airbrushed models. At the celebrities, who are living their dreams (miserable and unloved). At the fashion stores, at the shit we buy. We need to constantly buy new smartphones, cars, designer clothes, that our ego feeds upon.

Why?

Because we, as we are, is not enough anymore.

It may sound like a stupid concept, but this alone was “enough” to push me to the edge of suicide. I had to work on myself everyday. But my life was packed full with work and responsibilities, so I got more behind every day. I wasn’t feeling like I live up to my standards back at 20’s, but baaam… it’s early 30’s and I am still at the same place emotionally, yet my skin lost it’s glow and my heart lost it’s passion.

For at least a decade now, I’ve been an avid devouter of personal development programs. I literally had it for breakfast, since I often listen to audio programs while eating. The problem is, I noticed that with age, dreams die. They die hard, and quietly, in fact they die a slow and painful death, sometimes staying in coma for many years before eventually passing away, but the sad truth is — they always do, eventually. You don’t feel or notice the process, until one day you wake up and realize that you are not half the person you want to be. I can watch a comedy or listen to music to cheer myself up, but the effect is always very temporary. Giving myself some temporary new input to cheer myself up is nice, but usually my previous emotional state will simply reassert itself within an hour or two later. Once you lose the “dream” (or the stimulus), it’s very hard to maintain a positive state and it begins a downward spiral that I found nearly impossible to stop.

I lost my passion for life in stupid battles, fighting for a good place for my ego, totally ignoring who I am (I mean who I really am, not my social status or social position).

Ok, it’s fucked up. What now?

How to get yourself to feel enough, when you are dead sure you aren’t..?

The most important part, is to break the cycle of negative thoughts. It may sound overly simplistic, and indeed it is, but the more you repeat to yourself “I am not good enough”, the firmer is your belief and I hope I need not quote Buddha who said, that we become what we think about. You have been punched over and over by society standards, and yeah, of course if you don’t drive a new Lexus and don’t have 2 playmates on the backseat of your car, you are not enough. But I have more bad news for you…

In society driven by consumerism and dominated by fake standards, you will never be enough. You can’t keep up, even if you wanted to.

If you are going through the same state that I went through, you;d know that it’s nearly impossible to convince yourself that you were wrong, and you do, in fact, have a beautiful life, body, and friends. But we are often big hypocrites sometimes, aren’t we? We (especially girls) complain about <insert any bitchy name> being constantly envy of us, and then we forget we actually bought that last $1000 handbag in hope <bitchy name> will die from envy. Eureka moment, huh?

So we come to terms with the fact that either life sucks, or we do. Or both. And that is not a very encouraging state to be in.

A negative emotional state can really ruin your day. But it can also ruin your life.

Prolonged stress, depression, or anger are clearly not conducive to high levels of performance. And the worst part is that these emotional states tend to be self-perpetuating. Working while overly stressed can lead to even more stress. Depression and worry can cause you to avoid taking the kinds of actions that will help you escape the pit of negativity. And anger can lead you to take unproductive actions you may later regret. I’ve spent a tremendous amount of time studying emotional states (far more than you’d care to know), and I’ve tried many different strategies for consciously managing my emotions for most of my adult life. Our feelings largely control how well we utilize our physical and mental resources. Our feelings can literally make or break us. I’m sure you can think of a few people who’ve been ruined by their inability to successfully manage their emotions. Or even yourself… there are such moments, right?

If you’ve followed Tony Robbins’ work, you’ll note that he places a great deal of emphasis on emotional state management. While I tend to favor different techniques than the ones he espouses in his books and seminars, I’ve found that what he teaches works if you practice it enough. The state management strategies he teaches come from neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), and there are other sources for that same material aside from Tony Robbins if you don’t like his particular style.

This might sound cheesy, but the best strategy I’ve found for staying motivated and positive is to maintain the daily habit of listening to motivational audio/video programs. Today, they are all free on YouTube.

While these programs are usually packed with great information and ideas, I find that the information itself isn’t what usually provides me with the greatest benefit. It’s the emotional/motivational fact that provides me with the biggest long-term payoff. I’ve listened to some of them dozens of times, so I’m not getting many new ideas out of them. But even though the information doesn’t change, the positive attitude behind the information reinvigorates me every time. I’ll often listen to these audio programs while exercising or while doing other physical tasks like preparing meals or eating, so they don’t even take up any extra time. Most of the time I don’t even concentrate on them — I just listen passively while I focus on something else.

For me the effect is undeniable. Just like physical exercise should be a daily habit, if you want to see results, I feel daily emotional conditioning is at least as important. Whenever I’ve fallen out of this habit for weeks or months at a time, I’ve invariably gotten sucked back down into negative emotional states.

Then I remember my solution, plug back in, and my attitude and productivity shoot back up again.

I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but there are an awful lot of whiny people on this planet, and their negative emotions will tend to rub off on you and infect you with the whininess disease if you don’t inoculate yourself against it. Daily inoculations of motivational programs or speeches are the best antidote I’ve found for this ailment. It helps me stay focused on my goals and avoid going to “pity parties”. Reading uplifting material or quotes is also effective, but I personally prefer audio, so I can do other things at the same time.

The main problem with the “not enough” attitude, is that it stays. For good. I have many friends who are broke and other friends who are very wealthy. When people are broke, their favorite excuse is “I don’t have enough money.” When people are wealthy, their favorite excuse is “I don’t have enough time.” Either way, people always look for lack, and… seek and you shall find. Right?

Next time you feel this paralyzing feeling of not being enough, just switch on some motivation on yourtube, as cheesy as it sounds.

Try it, it should work. Good luck!