“I’m supposed to be stronger than this. I should be able to move beyond this. I am such a failure at everything; this is another prime example.” Oh, that little voice in my head; how loud it can get. It seems like others are so much stronger than I am. It seems like things go so easily for others while I crawl through the muck and struggle to just keep my head up. What if someone sees just how hard I’m struggling? What if they see who I really am; what will they think? They will see that I am a failure and so very unworthy.
You may have heard this voice as well. We all have that voice; that “ego” that is constantly comparing ourselves with those around us. Comparing ourselves with who it conceives we “should” be, who we’re “supposed” to be. In the light of that comparison, we usually fail. Oh, there are times when we shine, but we generally do not hold onto those memories for very long. They don’t carry much weight. Those instances can easily be written off as a “fluke,” just a lucky break. They don’t seem to carry near as much weight as those hard, heavy, demeaning thoughts.
What would you say to a friend that voices these thoughts to you? Likely you would comfort them. You would try to lift them up and help them see how valuable they truly are. Why is it that we can so easily nurture others, but treat our fragile selves so poorly?
For years that negative, comparative ego has been my constant companion. Even in those moments of my proudest achievements, I felt that the glory shouldn’t be given to me. Not me; I am so unworthy. It could have been better. I berated myself at every turn. That was my mantra: I am less-than; I am “not enough.”
You know where this left me in life? Without joy. Without happiness. Without any self-worth or self-love. Feeling unsatisfied with myself, with my career, with my life. I felt empty when it came to loving others (I am not enough for them. They deserve better.). I was not accepting of myself. In self-judgement there cannot be acceptance.
If you haven’t read Brené Brown’s book Daring Greatly, you should add it to your reading list. In it she reveals this negative “ego” voice and smashes it with a hammer!! After reading that book, I now hesitate when I find myself being overly self-critical. Any thoughts of “I should” or “I’m supposed to…” are quickly snuffed out. We often self-define a box that we are supposed to fit in based on what we think society expects. And if we somehow slip out of that box, we shudder in fear of non-acceptance.
How boring. What a shame for the world. This limits the uniqueness that is “you.” This limits the experiences you can have that fulfill your passion and joy. In blocking your full expression of self, you diminish the world. Those around you suffer. You suffer. Once you live in sync with your true essence—your true self—life changes. If you can be brave enough to be your true self, life will begin to flow with you and to you. You will realize that there is no worthy and unworthy; there is only “you,” and you are perfect. Every silly mistake, even your failures, are merely an experience, a time to grow and learn. And your learning path is different from others. It doesn’t make your journey “less-than” or “more-than.” It just IS. It is YOUR glorious path.
So what if the clothes don’t get folded today? So what if you forget to brush the kids’ teeth? So what if you wear two different socks to work? Give yourself a break. And guess what, it doesn’t matter what others think. You can’t control them. It matters mostly what YOU think. In regards to that, you are in total control. Love yourself; in your great achievements and in your failures. Laugh at yourself. When you stumble, nurture yourself. You deserve it, and the world around you will benefit too. Don’t be so hard on yourself. You are doing your best, and your best is good enough. Try to appreciate and love yourself just as you are right now. You are doing a perfect job at being “you.” As a matter of fact, no one can be a better “you” than you can. And you are doing it perfectly.