Friday, November 16, 2007

Not Good Enough

Guilt and shame, awful secrets, destroy the soul from the inside out, toxic and corrosive, eating away at self-respect and self-worth. But there is something equally soul-destroying: undervaluing yourself. Settling for what you think you can get, instead of what you truly want, erodes you self-esteem as badly.

Whatever you've convinced yourself is "not good enough" about you, is the weakness that then defines your decisions. If you don't value yourself professionally, maybe you settle for a job you hate, doesn't pay enough, doesn't honor your talents. If you don't value yourself personally, maybe you settle for relationships that are painful, dishonest, empty.

And when weakness is stronger than any other feeling, when your own bad feelings about yourself are stronger than everything else you know about who you are, you accept people and circumstances into your life that are a practical reflection of that negativity. They are then a constant reminder of your weaknesses made real.

Their presence is painful on their own because of what they are, but even more so because of what they say about you. The awful feeling that you think you aren't good/smart/ special/thin/talented/interesting...enough to live the life you really want, to be the person you really want, to have the relationships you really want.

But acknowledging who you know yourself to be at your best, and admitting that you want a life that reflects that, is an act of courage that is step one toward creating/restoring the life of your dreams. However scary it is to put yourself out there honestly, being clear and simple and straightforward, where others can see and judge you, is actually the freedom you've longed for.

And all the stuff that falls away when you stop hiding yourself is stuff you never wanted anyway.

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