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8 Ways to Cope with Feelings of Inadequacy

It is common to feel inadequate often. Even our superheroes often feel the same. We saw how Peter Parker threw away his Spidey costume in a vat in Spiderman 2 (2004), or how Thor lost all & became a beer-guzzling fatso in Avengers Endgame (2019). But they bounced back by exploring Ways to Cope with Feelings of Inadequacy.

As you can’t change who you are at the core, you must focus on what you can control. Coping with feelings of inadequacy needs a gradual change in mindset. You must invite positive thinking & find ways to feel more positive & supportive about yourself.

Ways to Cope with Feelings of Inadequacy

Ways to Cope with Feelings

1. Acknowledge Your Feelings

Curing the part that makes us feel inadequate is a gradual process. It begins with being aware of them & identifying the connected feelings & emotions. These inner emotions & feelings may be difficult & confusing; try not to avoid them or imagine they don’t exist. Instead, admit them without judgment & allow yourself to accept them fully.

This can be a truly obnoxious or painful process. However, it’s vital to recognize what sides of you need more warmth & compassion for inadequacy to disappear gradually.

2. Become Aware That You Are Good Enough

Imagine going inside your own mind, asking what you must do next, only to find pessimism & self-doubt like:

  • I need to be better.
  • I’m irrelevant to the people I love.
  • I’ve failed before & I will fail again.
  • I can’t face it when something goes south.
  • I must play it safe.

Certainly, it won’t help you to enhance your true value & become the best of yourself.

Self-talk can significantly impact our attitudes, behaviors, & how we connect to other people. In a study, it has been found that negative self-talk indicated loneliness, particularly if it involves a socially awkward mentality.

That’s why it’s so vital to be your biggest fan. Even though your mind often tells you otherwise, you should believe you are good enough. This is one of the vital Ways to Cope with Feelings of Inadequacy.

3. Don’t Compare Yourself To Others & Set Your Own Standards

Often, the feelings of inadequacy stem from negative comparison thinking. We all consider comparisons as a self-evaluation tool. But often, when comparing ourselves to others, we feel like we are not good enough & can never rise to the standards set by others or our inner critic.

There’s always someone more successful, smart, happy, & always seems to be on top. We focus on what we think to be lacking within us. This can make us feel stuck, unable to move ahead.

But the truth is, we have unique journeys – with our own challenges & struggles. Other people’s experiences & achievements cannot always be used as a measuring scale for our lives. After all, we are the only ones who manage our own lives.

A lion will surely fail if you compare it with a monkey by its ability to climb a tree. If you compare a tiger with an eagle by its ability to fly, a tiger will always be a loser. We all have skills, opportunities, weaknesses, experiences & challenges. It is foolish to compare ourselves with the achievements & status of others.

4. Know That Most People Have Imposter Syndrome

Feelings of inadequacy are often connected with feeling like an imposter. This is particularly true when your peers solve problems you could never solve. This is generally known as imposter syndrome, & it’s your inner critic telling you that you don’t know what you’re doing or where you are going.

You are not alone if you often feel this. Imposter syndrome is a real issue, & it’s damaging not just to your own self-esteem but to everyone around you. Managing imposter syndrome is like managing feelings of inadequacy because they are almost identical.

5. Know Your Strengths & Skills

Identifying your strengths & exploring ways on how you can use them in life develops your self-esteem & self-confidence.

And the process of recognizing your best self isn’t restricted to listing your easily recognizable strengths. Some of your skills may be overlooked because they may seem common to you or feel “nothing special since everyone has them.” In fact, no matter how trivial, everything counts.

Think about your skills & strengths. Are you a good worker? A good problem solver? A good friend? A good writer? Any strength of yours is something to celebrate & use as a ladder. So, count all your positive sides, regardless of their size or significance.

6. Be Optimistic About The Future

Try to modify your thoughts into something more positive. Whenever you have feelings of inadequacy, try to add the word “yet” to your thinking:

  • I’m not skilled enough yet.
  • There’s no way I can achieve that yet.
  • I’m not capable enough yet.

This type of thinking may sound silly & insignificant, but there’s some real power behind this approach. Thinking positively about yourself can trigger a chain of thoughts inviting positivity. If you are still wondering How to Overcome Feeling Inadequate, adopt a positive & optimistic mindset.

7. Always Keep Growing

We have all been in situations when challenges are bigger than our skills & experience to manage them & succeed. And that is okay! Rome wasn’t built in a day, so no person becomes an expert immediately.

Although deficiency feels disappointing, don’t let hindrances stop you or label your self-worth – keep moving by developing a growth mindset. Keep learning new things, developing new skills, and expanding your knowledge. And don’t be afraid to make mistakes – mistakes are how we learn and grow.

8. Be Comfortable With Being Imperfect

We often find it so difficult to understand the idea of being imperfect. We often consider imperfection as we need to be more efficient and present. Perfectionism can lead to unhappiness & self-dissatisfaction. When you aim for perfection, you freeze out of fear of making errors. You may miss opportunities to try new things, learn & grow.

Moreover, being an excessively self-critical perfectionist who always bullies yourself for every mistake is like being in a violent relationship – with yourself. You can leave them. Cut yourself some slack & accept your imperfections.

Remember that no one can do everything. In general, life is not about being perfect – it’s about being genuine. When you accept your imperfection, you make yourself real & happy with your real self.


It’s completely normal to feel inadequate every now & then. If we try some Ways to Cope with Feelings of Inadequacy, we can decrease the amount of time we spend feeling like that & we can create more room to grow & develop ourselves. Try to identify the root cause of that feeling & question its validity with all the evidence that shows otherwise.


Q: What causes these feelings of inadequacy?

A: There are lots of factors, such as perfectionism, comparison, negative self-talk, and low self-confidence can trigger that feeling.

Q: Are Ways to Cope with Feelings of Inadequacy & Ways to Cope with low self-esteem the same?

A: Feelings of Inadequacy & low self-esteem are somehow connected. They can be more or less the same.

Q:  Is there any book that can help me to overcome this feeling?

A: You Are Good Enough: Overcoming Feelings of Inadequacy by Robert J. Furey, The Impostor Phenomenon by Dr. Pauline Rose Clance, Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges by Amy Cuddy, & Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy by Dr. David D. Burns are some of such books.

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