Part Two: Why do I still feel like a screw-up even though I am successful?

What can you do about feeling like you are a screw-up when you know logically you are successful, bright, may have a good relationship or home life? 

One way to work through this negative belief pattern is to process the source of the negative belief. By negative belief, we are talking about the belief that you are a screw-up when logically you know you are not. 


Step 1. Identify how you would like to feel instead

I imagine you would rather feel that you are good enough or even great just the way you are, that you work hard and are equal to everyone else - no better, no worse. So you know the belief you have and the belief you would like to hold instead. 


Step 2. Feel into how this belief shows up in your body

Where is it, how does it feel, what does it look like? Consider making some artwork or journaling about it. 


Step 3. Allow the belief to bring you to its source and purpose

Follow your body to point you to insights and inner-knowing about where it started, who taught you that you are a screw-up? Who shamed you to encourage you to be motivated to work harder or be a certain way? What does this belief do for you? Does it motivate you? 


Step 4. Imagine the belief in your body softening into a younger you

Visualize the belief in your body turning into the younger version of you that learned this belief. And begin to dialogue with this younger version of you. Make art about her and what she needs, what she is missing. Track what happens in your body and emotions as you connect with this younger part of you. 


Step 5. Provide the younger you what she needs

Visualize and imagine providing that younger you what she needs. Notice how she responds to having her needs met. Notice how it makes you feel now. 


Continue to provide yourself with the missing need your younger self needed. Be deliberate about it and consistent for several weeks. Soon enough you will find yourself feeling more confident and nurtured internally. 

While this one exercise may not cure your pain of feeling like a screw-up, it can start the process. In my work with clients, we use this technique along with others to heal the pain clients are feeling now. With the relationship of a therapist guiding your process, you will benefit from the safe space, knowledge and relational healing as well. These aspects of the therapeutic relationship accelerate your healing significantly. In my work with clients, I hold the energetic for them to heal as well. 

If you are ready to start owning your joy and stop the self criticism and would like to work with me, call for a free 20 minute consultation, contact me at or 240-480-0152. I work in person in Denver, CO or over secure virtual video chat for those outside of the Denver area in CO, MD, and DC. 

Kimberly Ottinger