How to Deal With Feeling Inadequate

Sacrificing who we are for the sake of what others think just isn’t worth it. —Brené Brown

Lately, I’ve been feeling inadequate.

Maybe it’s because I let what others have said to me (and by ‘others,’ I mean people in the workplace) get to me, even if it’s just for a little bit.

Who hasn’t worked in a toxic environment, am I right?

For instance, I get told at work after receiving an assignment to edit, “Don’t screw it up.” Um, I haven’t even started on it, but thanks for your vote of confidence.

You would think after awhile you’d be feeling down and sad about these kinds of things being said to me even more so.

How to Deal With Feeling Inadequate - She Sweats Diamonds - black and white summer outfit idea

Not me. I got angry. Then I reassured myself mentally.

Why? I prefer to use negative words that have been said to me and turn them into fuel to keep my fire going.

“No! I’m NOT going to screw up because I’m NOT a screw up! I don’t identify with your negative opinions of me and trust me, you’re going to wish I was still working for you when leave to go work for myself and end up becoming your competition because I’m awesome like that. Just. You. Watch.” is what I really wanted to say back.

But alas, I have Jesus in me so I’m okay with saying this in my head.

Whoa, totally got fired up for a second there, haha!

Truthfully, I identified with feeling inadequate for years.

“Am I really that dumb?” “I keep messing up.” and I’ve even told my best friends, “I really do feel like my IQ is dropping; am I competent?”

Yep, that was me before…until I started training myself on how to combat negative thoughts of others and that of my own. I also learned more about who I am and who I want to become which has helped me fight back on feeling inadequate.

If you’ve ever been talked down to from someone else (it doesn’t matter if they’re even your family), keep reading because I’m going to share with you how I fought for who I am today.

Here’s what I did to work against feeling inadequate:


Most of the time when people talk down to you, it’s about them. Not you. I know it sounds really cliché, but it’s the truth. When people talk down to you, it’s to make themselves feel better. It’s definitely an action that reflects their insecurities of themselves or an action that helps them feel better about something they’re currently going through.

Action step: Take some time to learn about emotional intelligence (EQ). The key is knowing how to control your emotions and learning how to understand others. It all boils down to understanding that EQ is an “it’s not always about you” skill.


For years, I’ve had the hardest time feeling that I’m a decent person. However, the more I spent time with God and His word, the more I started to understand who the Lord says I am. I am courageous. I can do anything with God by my side. And I am strong and fierce.

Action step: Whether you believe in God or not, take time to write down a vision statement of who you are. Read it every morning and every night. You can even record yourself reading it so you can play it while you get ready in the morning or when you wind down at night. Then watch as you start to step into who you’re meant to be!


When someone says negative things to me, I refuse to accept it. I don’t agree by nodding either. I don’t agree verbally either. What I’ve done in the past is stare at the person so they know I don’t accept what they’ve said about me. Then, if necessary, I’ll interrupt and tell them, “I’m not sorry for what I’m about to say, but I refuse to believe what you’ve just said.”

Action step: What you say out loud is what your body also hears. What your body hears is what it believes if heard enough times. So, make sure you speak words of life and guard yourself from negativity. Pay close attention to the words you and others are saying to yourself and protect your world from negativity as much as you can!

At times, I’ve kept quiet to myself, believing the words others have said about me.

Now, I refuse to accept negative words that are spoken of/to me.

I even gave the “talk to the hand” gesture to a close family member recently and explained how I didn’t want to be rude for interrupting, but that I didn’t believe what they were saying and refuse to listen any further.

And you know what? Like Tony the Tiger, it felt greattt! I felt empowered and started believing in myself even more so.

As I get older, I realize just how important it is to protect myself from the voices that say I’m inadequate. I mean, I do it to myself often so I don’t need more of it and I definitely don’t need to prove that I am adequate to anyone because…

I am enough! Share on X

I leave you with one of my favorite quotes of all time:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. It’s not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” -Marianne Williamson

I really hope this article helps you to know and understand that you are enough. No matter what anyone else says, remember, you are NOT broken. You are fearfully and wonderfully made!

What do you do when you’re feeling inadequate? Let me know in the comments below as this topic is really close to my heart at the moment.


Huong By Huong
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