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CuriousLoner's avatar

Why am I so unhappy with how I am?

Asked by CuriousLoner (1809points) August 21st, 2012

Overall I want to be better with not being specific in anything. I never feel good enough or at the right level of something and when I do try, or do good….I simply never feel very satisfied. I’ve been told I do well…What not… But it is not enough. Its never enough.

I often feel the need to change immensely. Transform myself more mental than physically I guess. Both are important though.

Is this a bad thing?

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16 Answers

Coloma's avatar

Yes and no.
Striving for self improvement has it’s rewards, but, self acceptance is tantamount to inner peace and contentment. Ask yourself how much of these so called ” improvements” are really about you and your own desires and how much are you playing the comparison game?
The quickest path to misery is to compare yourself negatively to others.

As “they” say…there will always be someone smarter, richer or more beautiful.
Positive self esteem is about self loving, not self loathing.
I’d suggest you stop “shoulding” on yourself and start embracing all your good points, strengths, successes.

YARNLADY's avatar

I always suggest that people stop focusing on themselves and take up a volunteer project. Helping others helps us gain a better perspective.

_Whitetigress's avatar

Beating yourself up over what you feel is unsatisfactory is unhealthy. I would know, I used to do it all the time. It’s important to be progressive and continue to do creative work. However, once you start tapping into your left brain that’s when you become extremely judgmental and criticize yourself more often. Try and leave criticism for the critiques and focus on your goals in life.

rooeytoo's avatar

It’s a delicate line to tread. To be self satisfied and complacent, to me, is to stagnate. I have to always be striving for improvement in everything I do. But I also have to realize my limitations, to make a realistic assessment of exactly what I am capable of achieving and then aim for that. I am never going to play in the NBA, no matter how much I practice or strive, I am never going to win a marathon, but I set reasonable goals for myself and work towards them. Balance is what we must learn, I am 67 and I still don’t have the handle on it a lot of times! Maybe some counseling would help you set realistic goals?

Thammuz's avatar

That depends. You should really try and analyze what causes this feeling of inadequacy, for starters. That aside, in small doses, feeling inadequate can push you to better yourself immensely, like a bad grade; in higher doses, like your spouse asking for divorce, it can get you to give up on yourself entirely, so try and keep in contact with reality. Too much self-loathing is never a good thing.

kess's avatar

How much is All? can you still add to it?

What is the Best? Can you make it better?

The All is the same before as it is after…just more of It.

The Best is as just as good before as it is after…just better.

Apply that to yourself and see the difference.

Pandora's avatar

I always find people are unsatisfied with themselves when they lack a purpose, or a job. Find something you really want to do and go for it.

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Shippy's avatar

I think we all transform all the time, whether actively or by change, or by life processes.However when I was younger, I had this desire to please my father and my mother which was odd, as they were not exactly the greatest parents.

I sort of struggled through life, then eventually yes I made it big. I had the great job, the car, the life, all the things I had wanted to please “them” with.

It was a lousy feeling though putting two alzhiemers patients into my fancy car, and dad saying, “where are we going my bum hurts?” and my mom saying ” who are you, you seem like a nice young lady?

It was then I realised, truly that success is mine. It only matter to me, it kind of made me realise that success to me, if it were for me, did not constiture a fancy car. From that day on I sought things that pleased me in the success arena and since then that yearning is more of a nice slow dream and its easier to live with on all levels.

Sunny2's avatar

Good or bad is NOT the issue. What is, is. Thinking of others more than you do about yourself might help. And, as others have suggested, finding a purpose is a great cure. If nothing is enough, you’re asking for too much. Get real. Relax and accept being the good person you are; no less, no more.

gailcalled's avatar

Often, finding a sympathetic therapist to help you sort through things is helpful.

In my case, it was life-changing.

I found a smart, trustworthy, neutral best friend (at least for the 50 minutes that I bought each week).

serenade's avatar

Check out Mooji or Gangaji online, or Gangaji’s book Hidden Treasure. Both “gurus” touch on the feeling of not feeling good enough. Part of the answer is to recognize that you are holding on to this narrative instead of cultivating the realization that it’s all inside you already.

It’s also possible that your standards outstrip your ability to meet them. Take a look at what Ira Glass has to say about novices and creative work.

wundayatta's avatar

You sound depressed. Depression and poor-self image can be good things in that they make us dissatisfied with ourselves. That can often motivate us to try harder than everyone else around us, and that usually leads to doing something better than most people do.

Unfortunately, too much depression can lead you to believe there is no hope for you and you can kill yourself. Obviously, that’s not an optimal outcome. So the key is to moderate your self-dissatisfaction so that there is not too much of it, but enough to make you work very hard.

DaphneT's avatar

I’ve always felt like that. I’ve simply reached an age where I can say that I don’t need to grow up anymore. Raspberries to the world.

More personally, I’ve always thought that I was driven by passion and you may be too. Being passionate means you strongly believe in that something you believe in. Like being better than you are, and being harder on yourself than anyone else is on you. Giving into the negative side means you’ve spiraled out of control with your self-assessment skills. Turn them off for a day and see how you feel. Critically look at your self-assessment and your skill set and ask, if this was a stranger, what would I say?

Pazza's avatar

I have a 15 year old daughter whom I try to advise daily based on my own experiences, one of the things she does often is ask about how she looks. On the one hand its nice to look smart and even try to make an effort to look pleasing to other people, but on the other hand, I try to get her to understand that sometimes you have to shrug off other peoples opinions on how you should look. I think its a balancing act, on one side of the coin you have to conform to some degree to other peoples ideals to be be able to be accepted into a community, but on the other side, you still need to maintain a sense of self and individuality and not let other people control your life and life choices.

I said to her the other day.
If you where the only person on the planet and there were no mirrors, would you be dissatisfied with the way you looked?

I think people are the product of their parents their peers and their personalities.
I think our sense of self worth is heavily influenced by the first two.
I also think its heavily influenced by weston societal structure, I can’t see aboriginal tribesmen having low self worth, or being as disappointed with their performance as people who live such complex lives as ourselves. It seems to me, that the more ‘stuff’ we have, the more choice we have, the more disappointed with ourselves and our lives we become.

I don’t personally have any really good answers or remedies, but for me, recognising the ego, and acknowledging that it wasn’t me but a projection of how I perceived other people wanted me to act and to behave to fit in that my sense of self worth appeared to rise.
The funny thing is, I don’t actually think my sense of self worth rose, I just became less preoccupied with the whole notion of self worth and came to the conclusion that it was just a function of the ego.

The one thing I do tend to have a problem with is feeling down if I say I’m going to perform a task, or make a promise and then, either don’t perform well enough, or don’t come good on a promise, I think for the most part, this is to do with empathy. And I still struggle with the ego on a daily basis, especially in places like this. It is so easy to succumb to, and let loose the ego on fluther (and so much fun).......

But, I guess we should never have fun at the expense of others feelings. So I humbly apologise to any and all I have ever offended or may offend in the future.

Also, I don’t think wanting to be better is a bad thing, as long as you are striving to achieve, I don’t like the term ‘goal’, or ‘to have goals in life’ where a goal is an objective to be obtained in a fixed time period and is a measure of the limits of an individuals capability, personally I think these can lead to disappointment or others being disappointed in you, I think we should ‘strive to achieve’, to simply do ones best, after all, how could anybody expect any more?

Don’t know if any of that ramble helped, but that’s what poured out when I opened the tap.

Earthgirl's avatar

@Pazza ” I think we should ‘strive to achieve’, to simply do ones best, after all, how could anybody expect any more?”

Totally agreed! You made me think of a Wayne Dyer (he of Pulling Your Own Strings fame)
quote about arriving not just striving

CuriousLoner Reading your comments makes me think this video is tailor made for you. Believe me when I say it really taught me something valuable that I keep trying to remember every day. Arriving, not just striving. appreciate the moment you are in, have your goals, but don’t let them consume you or make you feel inadequate. What you are now is enough, if you let it be. Smell the roses along the way, keep striving to acheive your potential. You’re always in a state of becoming.

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