Day 16 – Self-worth (it is the answer)

I know I’ve probably said it before, but since this is mental health month, I’m going to say it again, self-worth is quite possibly the key to understanding who we are and getting us to where we want to go. (otherwise I wouldn’t have written a book about it!) Over the course of my life I struggled with fear and doubt, and all of those things that are normal for us to struggle with. I was always scared, and I never tried to do anything I didn’t think I could be at least good at, if not great. I played the sports that I knew I could be one of the best at. I took the classes I knew I would do well in. Part of this may have been my competitive nature, but in the end the major force behind my decision making was my self-worth.

I never realized when I was younger that my self-worth was an issue. In fact, I didn’t really think it was a problem at all, if I even knew it existed. People have a tendency to group self-worth and self-esteem together, and that’s simply not the case I have come to find out. Even though I used to say that I was never happy, which was true, and I used to say that I didn’t think I’d really get anywhere in life, which was also true, I didn’t truly dislike me. In fact, I liked myself a lot. The thing that I hated was that no one else seemed to. Or maybe it appeared that no one else truly cared about me.

People asked me for help. They readily asked me to do things for them. And it was clear that I was dependable. But it seemed like I was left out of all of the important things. No one asked me out. No one seemed to believe in me. It seemed like people felt as though it was terrible if I didn’t do as they asked, but if I asked for a favor I seemed to be an inconvenience. I had some really great friends, don’t get me wrong. But in my head, I just never felt good enough. But it wasn’t in my eyes that I wasn’t good enough, it was the way I believed everyone else thought about me.

My issue was not that I didn’t like myself. It was not that I didn’t hold myself in high esteem. I knew I could do things well. I knew I could probably be anything I wanted to be when I went to college. But I felt like it would never happen. And when it got down to it, it turned out that I felt like it wouldn’t happen because I wasn’t worthy of it happening. I didn’t go through extraordinary circumstances. My childhood was fairly normal, in my mind. Most people weren’t mean to me, though some were. Instead, most people never knew I existed. At my high school reunion, yes I’m that old, I had more people say, I don’t remember you than anyone else probably. And that’s okay, because I spent a whole lot of time not really wanting to be noticed. And the reason was because I had felt so often that when I did try to make friends or get people to like me, they might for a while, but then they’d move on. I wasn’t really worthy of being a part of a real friendship in my head. And considering how often people were happy to exclude me in middle school, I do understand where this idea came from.

It’s really hard to convince a teenager that these times will pass. That the reason people are mean toΒ  you has very little to do with you. In reality it’s all about themselves. So instead, I decided it was absolutely about me, and since it seemed to be the new general consensus, it was probably right.My issue was not self-esteem. I liked me. I didn’t understand why no one else did. I thought I could do things. I didn’t know why people wouldn’t let me try. So when the times started to change, and they did some in high school and especially college, it was really hard for me to let go and be open to people wanting to be my friends, and believing that anyone really cared. My self-worth had dropped drastically. I didn’t think I was worth it, so I spent my time in high school mostly trying not to be noticed by the people I didn’t already trust.

I liked myself. I believed I was capable. I held myself in high esteem. I thought I could change the world given the chance. But what I found when I finally started my journey into happiness, was that I didn’t really feel worthy. I didn’t feel worthy of my dreams coming true. I didn’t feel worthy of good things happening. So I had decided they wouldn’t, and I put measure into place to make sure I was right. Because that’s what we do in life. We work really hard to prove ourselves right about whatever we decide.

But what I have learned is that I, like everyone else, am worthy. My negative self-worth dictated everything. I knew I was capable, but I acted incapable. I knew I could and should be doing things. I acted as though I couldn’t. And it worked. I wasted a lot of time not getting to where I wanted to go. Self-worth dictates our journey. It leads us on our way. Because the way we feel about our worth is what dictates the way we do things and it affects all other aspects of our being. So my question to you is, do you feel worthy?

About laurenc129

I'm a mom. Sometimes my hands turn orange. Other times I write. On twitter: @laurenc129

Posted on May 16, 2012, in 31 days of May, Uncategorized, writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Beautiful post…

  2. Wow… that’s another deep and fascinating post… makes me think.. do I feel worthy? I can’t easily answer that…for me, it would depend on the area of my life you’re talking about LOL But then, as you know, I’m getting divorced so maybe I’m not in the right place emotionally to answer that… and I’m not sure I *can* answer that…

    …you know I was bullied at school… and at home, by my brother… and I felt ignored by those in authority… but I guess, if I were to go to my reunion, the kids at school would remember me, even if it was for the wrong reasons… I can’t imagine how it must feel to not be remembered at all…

    …anyway, it’s late… and I’m rambling… never take a job where your hours could be anything from one day to the next LOL

    πŸ˜‰

    Time for bed…

    • It is a tough question to answer. And there are so many variables that go into it as well. It’s quite complex… as is anything in life I suppose. I didn’t really mind people not remembering me, because I really did spend most of my time trying to go unnoticed. But it was a reminder of just how much the way we carry ourselves and the way we feel about ourselves matter. People do respond to it. And even though mine was a result of what I felt other people wanted, I was the one who did everything possible to go along. And a lot of people knew me. Facebook has a way of making everyone aware again. πŸ™‚

  3. I do feel worthy …but it took a lot of years to get here. I was, like you were growing up in that I felt less worthy then everyone else. Only I didn’t believe as you did that I could do anything I wanted to ..so I guess I was lacking in self esteem as well. When I was raising my children for the most part while nervous as any mother, I had to make myself believe that I could do it because my children depended on me..but underneath it all lay insecurities that plagued me for a long time…just some thoughts…Diane

    • I think those insecurities are certainly natural. I definitely have them all the time. I think of it sometimes as a signal that I really care about what I am doing. If I don’t care about what I’m doing, then I don’t give it a second thought. I give my job as a parent far beyond second and third thoughts πŸ™‚ . I knew that I could do things when I was younger, I just never thought I would. And I did have self-esteem issues as well, they just didn’t happen to be my main issue. Thanks for always being so thoughtful when you stop by!!

  1. Pingback: Day(s) (19 and) 20 – When our best laid plans fail « betweenfearandlove

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