I feel that whatever I do is not good enough

Mar 14, 2022

 

Dear Robina,

 

I came across your videos late last year and I became curious about the practice of Buddhism. To be honest, I’m not entirely sure what prompted me to reach out to you. I guess I just have so many questions but no idea where to get answers from.

 

I’m 22 and I just feel so lost. I’ve left home to go to university and it just feels like I have no identity anymore. I knew who I was at home – I always had a role to perform as a son/brother/friend. My parents were strict and I was always expected to be the best at everything I did – but my grades were never quite good enough, or I was never the best at whatever I pursued. Now I’m struggling at college and i just feel like I’m not a person anymore. I don’t know what I’m good at or even what I’m contributing to the world. 

 

Lately, I can’t stop thinking about all the mistakes I’ve made in my life. It’s not even that they’re necessarily big – I think about times where I’ve been mean to people at school, or cheated on a test, or lied. And i just feel so guilty, I can’t even explain it. And I can’t go back and fix any of these things or apologise for them. So I just feel like I’m a terrible person because even though I try to be a good person, I can’t make up for the mistakes I’ve already made. 

 

I see everyone else my age and they just seem to have there lives completely put together. I just feel like such a failure. There’s just so much guilt and shame inside me and I don’t know what to do with all of it. I just want to be a good person.

 

Thank you so much for getting back to me, I know how busy you must be, so I really appreciate it.

 

I’m sorry this email is so long! I hope it’s somewhat coherent. 

 

Best wishes,

A

 

I’m happy to hear from you, dearest A!

 

I understand what you’re feeling. I think there’s a good way to see it, however. Because you’ve moved away from home, it’s inevitable that your usual way of seeing yourself is shifting. This is good! Have the courage to keep looking, keep checking what it is you really want. Don’t be scared of it. 

 

You’ve got so much potential so be eager to discover it. Don’t keep judging yourself based on everyone else’s expectations — we all do that. 

 

Sure, you’ve made mistakes. That’s okay. That’s human. But learn from them. Don’t get stuck in guilt: “I’m a bad person!” No, you’re not! Your good qualities, your big heart, your intelligence — they define you!

 

No, everyone your age absolutely does not have “their lives completely put together!” No way, A! We all struggle. 

 

But struggle is good. Make the most of it, have courage, keep seeing your good qualities.

 

Much love,

Robina

 

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