How can I overcome the dismissiveness of my own personal qualities and continue to build the highway towards authentic self worth and self empowerment?
I have been dismissive of my personal qualities for as long as I have been aware of them. From a dismissive approach towards my strengths to a disregard of any other good personal qualities, I have largely been rejecting of my personal strengths and unique qualities as a person.
What and why makes me reject and dismiss my own personal qualities?
Shame is one of the reasons why. I feel embarrassed listing any good personal qualities about myself to other people. This feeling of sharing my own good qualities to others fills me with a sense of lack, perhaps that I am unable to prove any of the good qualities I have as a person. Beyond this, there is the feeling that perhaps, I am making these qualities up and pretending to have them when I actually lack them in reality.
A sense of imposter syndrome and a need to prove myself constantly to others makes me believe that I either don’t have these qualities or am making them up.
Why do I feel the need to prove myself to others all the time? Why isn’t my present self enough for other people? Growing up, I was faced with a number of comparisons to other people from my caregivers. My relatives, neighbours, classmates, and occasionally persons of famous reputation, were usually points of comparison for me. I was repeatedly told that I would only be loved and respected if I had been able to prove that I could live up to the qualities that were stated or embodied by these people.
Being compared to persons and told that the only way for me to feel loved and respected would be by proving myself and living up to certain qualities embodied or stated by others created this constant comparison in my head with others.
For my child self, it became a matter of concern. Was I unable to be loved because of my grades? What about other children? Are they loved by their parents simply because they are intelligent or sharp, good at school or at household chores, sometimes both? What is this comparison barometer? Why am I always the last one on the barometer?
Subconsciously, I felt confused and unsure of whether I was loved. I wondered whether love itself was something other children only had because they were able to prove certain qualities to their parents first and foremost.
From here, this belief began to build. I began to obsess and compare myself to classmates. Persons who were somehow able to embody these qualities or were recipients of good grades, were intelligent or somehow had a good relationship in their homes with their families, not bound to these expectations filled me with a strong sense of envy. I began to feel inferior and unworthy as compared to other people and this feeling devolved into a sense of unworthiness for me as a person, my good qualities, my strengths and my fundamental self worth.
The comparisons made me envious of classmates, neighbours and persons I had just met, if they were somehow recipients of loving relationships, were intelligent or somehow better than me in some respect. Eventually, these comparisons devolved into a sense of unworthiness.
I began to grow depressed knowing that not only were people around me not facing the same pressure, that I was somehow not being loved and respected at the same time even though I was working for the same quality they received automatically. It became a sense of failure in my head which began to root itself in my approach to relationships with others. I began to fundamentally believe that I needed to prove myself in some shape or form to others around me, in order to feel loved, respected and worthy. While persons around me who automatically received this quality had self worth, or what I thought was self worth at the time.
I grew depressed because of these comparisons, and envied persons who didn’t feel this insecurity in their lives, and who perhaps embodied what I perceived to be authentic self worth.
From this time onwards, the feeling – now already having contributed to my feelings of depression – became a source of personal misery which began to follow me around into new environments and situations. Instead of finding myself excited and inspired to meet new people, I grew angry and resentful of people I met and attempted to avoid people as much as possible. I found myself becoming addicted to a sense of inner and outer loneliness, rejecting the thought that I could build healthy relationships with others, believing that I had something wrong with me as a person, and could never escape this feeling of unworthiness I collected from the false narratives I was told as a child.
How can I heal this belief and remove this myth to continue building the highway towards authentic self worth and self empowerment?
The first truth is that this is an untruth. Self worth is never dependent on any external accomplishments, and a large number of people believing this to be false doesn’t make it so. It is also true that people who share these beliefs with others don’t understand how to inspire and motivate them as individuals to seek authentic joy for learning and intellectual experiences beyond the school. Scare tactics and false perceptions are shared with the recipient to make them fear the negative outcome instead of appreciating the joy of experiencing positive outcomes and working towards them instead. Thirdly, persons who share this belief with others perhaps have been told this mistrust themselves, by someone and have somehow believed this to be a tactic which is applicable to others, regardless of the consequences. Fourthly, persons who hold this mentality often don’t have an understanding of good intellectual development in the emotional sphere. They believe that scare tactics and aggressive communication are fundamental to intellectual learning, instead of believing and understanding that intellectual development is a natural process which occurs with an inspiration, positive discipline training, and educational support.
Beliefs of aggressive scare tactics and aggressive communication being appropriate teaching and caregiving methods are rooted in toxic experiences, a lack of understanding of inspiration and positive intellectual growth, and ultimately, a false belief in the lack of authentic self worth for each person regardless of achievements.
In results from this tactic, the major consequences are depression, anxiety and a lack of self esteem in the recipient. Not academic success or intellectual growth. I did not become academically inclined because of scare tactics or aggressive communication. I became interested in certain subjects at school individually, with additional interests undertaken through my own personal time reading and encountering subjects. My intellectual growth would have continued regardless of aggressive parenting and scare tactics, not because of it, as I was a student in a school where teaching already occurred and it was the natural progress from one class to another which marked my intellectual growth.
As I write this, I recognise that my intellectual growth was never going to be driven by scare tactics and aggressive communication, but by natural progress and personal interaction with subjects and topics of interest.
If anything, I became less inclined to pursue intellectual growth and academic success because of these scare tactics. One of the reasons was that people around me were not recipients of this behavior, and remained academically successful on a comparable if not better level. Another was that the scare tactics induced a sense of fear of the subject itself, creating anxiety where interest should have been cultivated. Third was that people around me who didn’t have these consequences found themselves happier and more sociable, capable of interacting with others, making friends and ultimately, becoming emotionally fulfilled from the school experience which left me exhausted and anxious on a daily basis.
Where I should have been interested in a subject, I became afraid and rejecting, noticing the classmates who succeeded academically without these tactics, and classmates who were happier just by making friends and enjoying an experience which left me tired and anxious at the end of a school day.
In these two environment comparisons, I found myself at the lowest rung of both. Neither was I enjoying the school experience fully, and I wasn’t succeeding academically either. Ultimately, I was left with a sense of unfulfilled desires, hopes and dreams, upon my graduation from school. I felt as if my hard work and the emotional resilience I had built over the years were both resulting in limited successes for me in my personal and intellectual settings.
Finding myself unfulfilled emotionally and not extremely successful academically, I was ultimately left dissatisfied by my educational experiences, feeling as if my hard work and emotional resilience resulted in limited successes for me in personal and intellectual settings.
I found myself tired of the consequences of negative academic success and rejecting of the social unfulfillment which resulted from a lack of time and energy for relationship building in school. I was ultimately left to my own self and a self worth which needed healing after the completion of my school experience, of 13 years in total.
I was left with a self worth that needed healing after the completion of my school experience. How can I continue to heal my self worth and build the highway towards authentic self worth and self empowerment?
The first thing is to distance my negative experiences from my authentic self worth. I had negative experiences in my academic settings, which is extremely normal and expected for all students. But these negative experiences do not and will not define my self worth, and never have.
My self worth is absolute and cannot be negotiated for a series of negative experiences in a setting where such experiences are normal and expected. The next thing to work on is to remember that self worth is never, ever dependent on one’s external accomplishments, on the approval or consideration of others, or the number of social connections one has. Authentic self worth comes from internal fulfilment, an acknowledgement and celebration of one’s strengths and unique qualities, and a belief in one’s authentic, non-negotiable worth as a person.
My self worth is not defined by academic experiences, the approval of others or the number of social connections I may have had or have.
I need to also remember that the perception of self worth being dependent on love and respect from others is also false. Self worth is dependent on love and respect from oneself towards oneself, not towards other persons. My own respect and love for myself is what is most important for my self worth. Never the love and approval of others.
I am defined by the authentic self worth I have, not the worth I believe others need to give me. I am most in need and most deserving of my own love and respect.
In remembering this, I also need to remember that my respect for me defines my ability to put my worth into action. My respect and love for me defines my ability to rejuvenate and build self worth on days where I may feel unworthy. Ultimately, my self worth is the most important aspect of me that I need to grow, and needs the most respect and love from me.
How can I build these feelings of love and respect which help me build the highway towards authentic self worth and self empowerment?
Firstly, distancing myself from all sources of inauthentic self worth. Social relationships built for the sake of personal connections and nothing more. Activities pursued for recognition and respect from others, and their approval and nothing more. Ways I have committed my time, energy and space just to please others instead of focusing on my own needs and values as a person.
I commit to making these changes in my lifestyle for me to build the highway towards authentic self worth and self empowerment.