I Feel Incompetent at Everything” | Reasons + What to Do

Last Update on June 2, 2023 : Published on May 31, 2023

In my life, I’ve encountered several situations where I’ve either been told or thought to myself that I am not competent enough to accomplish my goals and dreams. Not just me, I know a lot of people who have had their moments of doubt and overwhelming emotions that caused them to think they are incompetent or rather useless.

Now, if you’re one of those people who constantly think, “I feel so incompetent at everything” – the lemme tell you, you’re not alone. Whether it be for a job, a relationship, or even for your skills in general, there’ve been times when self-doubt had reared its ugly head.

This mindset, with time, can make us feel unhappy and generally unsatisfied with life. And let’s be frank, it’s not easy to shake off these feelings.

So, if you’ve been having these constant thoughts that keep a long-going tirade of “I feel so incompetent”I feel useless and incompetent” and so on, then several reasons could be responsible for it.

Let’s see what causes these thoughts and how you can stop feeling incompetent and get back to your life with confidence, tenfold.

Reasons You Think, “I Feel So Incompetent”

i feel so incompetent-min

1. Your Low Self-Esteem

One of the main reasons you may feel incompetent could be because you have low self-esteem. Even before you try out something new, you tell yourself that you’ll be bad at it and automatically lower your self-esteem and increase self-doubt. This lack of belief in yourself might be one of the main reasons you feel incompetent at everything you do.

2. Your Penchant For Comparison

Comparison is a bad habit that can also lead you to think that you’re incompetent. When there’s self-judgment objectively, it’s all good, but the moment you begin comparing yourself with others’ achievements, you’ll begin to see a dip in your self-worth. This makes you feel like a failure or concede defeat.

3. Your Rumination on Mistakes

Mistakes are a part of life and our growth but the moment you linger on mistakes, it’ll stop you from feeling confident. Instead of learning from your mistakes, you become fixated on them and this begins a cycle of rumination that will make the thinking, “I am incompetent” a regular in your mind.

4. Your Negative Thoughts

Thoughts will always play a role in how you look at yourself, so if you have a steady stream of negative thoughts going on in your head, then you’re likely to see yourself as incompetent. Whenever your thoughts become critical and self-deprecating can amplify the feelings of incompetence and uselessness you keep feeling.

5. Your Lack of Motivation

Yes, even your lack of motivation can make you think you’re incompetent. When your goals and activities stop interesting you, you feel stagnant and this creates a lack of motivation. When you’re unmotivated, there’s no energy to do things, making you feel “I feel so incompetent”.

6. Your High Expectations

When you have high expectations of yourself, it could set you up for disappointment. Too high expectations and standards are impossible to meet, and when you can’t meet the standards you set for yourself, you begin to feel that you can’t do anything and are useless and incompetent.

How to Stop Feeling Incompetent?

Stop Feeling Incompetent-min

Now that you’re aware of the reasons you feel so incompetent and not enough, here are some ways you can stop feeling this way and stop thinking, “I feel so incompetent”;

1. Take Care of Yourself

The first thing you need to do to get rid of this feeling that you’re incompetent is to take care of yourself and we’re talking about our mental health here. Working on your mental health can help you feel more confident and have self-esteem. You need to take responsibility for your mental health by making it a priority. You can try getting good sleep, practicing mindfulness, and try engaging in activities that make you feel good and happy.

2. Focus on Your Achievements

Whenever something bad happens, our mind immediately sticks to it, but when something good happens, we tend to overlook it. To overcome the thinking, “I feel incompetent” you need to focus on your achievements. When you are not fixated on your failures but on your achievements, you appreciate yourself and celebrate your successes, no matter how small they are.

3. Embrace Failure

You need to understand that failure, just like mistakes, is a part of life, and embracing failure is what makes you grow. Instead of dwelling on your failures, you need to change your perspective and embrace them as opportunities to become better. Reflect on your failures and figure out the areas you can improve on. This will help you change your mindset and bring you a step closer to confidence and say bye-bye to self-doubt.

4. Accept Your Feelings

Another way to overcome feeling incompetent is to accept your feelings as they are. It’s also a great way to improve your self-esteem. Whenever you feel inadequate or incompetent, accept these feelings instead of ignoring or bottling them up. Self-doubt and feelings of inadequacy can be normal so learn to accept them to see how you can understand them (and, by extension) yourself better.

5. Ignore Negativity

Another way of overcoming the feeling of inadequacy is to ignore the negativity around you. You should understand that not everyone’s words hold importance in your life or how you view yourself as. Ignoring negative comments and people can be good for your self-esteem. If someone of a different opinion says something to you, understand that their opinion is theirs and can’t influence you.

6. Seek Professional Support

When all seems to fail and you still feel incompetent and unable to move on from this thinking, it’s recommended that you reach out to a professional for support. A therapist can help you understand where your feeling of inadequacy and incompetence comes from and how you should go about addressing the source of your negative thoughts.

If you’re unsure where to start, you can click the link below to connect with a mental health professional.


Great for a large network of licensed therapists

  • $60 to $90/week, billed every 4 weeks

  • Therapy via messaging, phone, or live video chat

  • Flexible cancellation at any time

20% off your first month


Great for CBT Based therapists

  • $40/week, billed every 4 weeks

  • Therapy via messaging, phone, or live video chat

  • Specialization for CBT based Therapy

20% off your first month


Best for Treatment Plants

  • $60 to $90/week, billed every 4 weeks

  • Therapy via messaging, phone, or live video chat

  • Flexible cancellation at any time

$100 off your first month with code SPACE

Final Thoughts…

I feel so incompetent” – when you think this or feel this way, then it can make you feel overwhelmed. When this happens, know that you’re not the only one. With the help of a professional therapist and some careful practical steps, you can build your confidence and self-esteem and say goodbye to your self-doubt and feelings of inadequacy.

The power to change your thinking is in your hands, so take the opportunity as it comes and embrace whatever life throws your way with confidence. You are strong, confident, and competent. Keep working on these attributes!

I hope this article helped you learn why you keep thinking, “I feel so incompetent” and how to overcome this thinking effectively. For more, you can write to us at info@calmsage.com or leave a message on our social media.

 Take Care!

About The Author

Swarnakshi Sharma
Swarnakshi Sharma

Swarnakshi is a content writer at Calm sage, who believes in a healthier lifestyle for mind and body. A fighter and survivor of depression, she strives to reach and help spread awareness on ending the stigma surrounding mental health issues. A spiritual person at heart, she believes in destiny and the power of Self. She is an avid reader and writer and likes to spend her free time baking and learning about world cultures.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

As Seen On