Low self worth is the homecoming queen in your mind who eases up to you, puts her lips to your ear, withholds the anticipated kiss, and instead whispers that you don’t belong at the party.
Notice, I said: In your mind.
People with low self worth use everyday “awful” moments as evidence to support self-hatred. Those thoughts take on a far bigger and more insidious meaning inside the insecure human brain.
Then they replay, replay, replay, replay, and replay–ad nauseum– awful little “not enough” moments. What starts as a nagging little bee sting in the back of your mind swells to an attack from a Hitchcockian swarm within a matter of hours.
“You failed. YOU failed. YOU FAILED. YOU FAILED!”
And oh, how they sting:
I should have said this.
I should have worn that.
I should have told him no.
I should have known ___.
I should have made this point.
I should have looked prettier.
I should have done more research.
I was a fool to even try.
Make no mistake: if you have an inferiority complex, it lies to you.
It says you are never invited.
You are a fraud. You will be found out.
You don’t belong here.
You aren’t qualified to have your job.
You are stupid.
You have some talent, but it isn’t good enough.
Other people have much more to offer the world.
You are boring.
Fat guys aren’t attractive.
You’re too young/old to be relevant.
Everyone at the meeting hated your input.
Your ideas are stupid.
They are all just being nice… deep down, they hate you.
You aren’t handsome or pretty or generally attractive enough to matter.
You can try, but you always screw things up.
That lady wasn’t being a jerk to you. She was just brave enough to say what everyone else really thinks about you.
If you struggle with self-worth, you say things to yourself that you’d never allow your best friend to say to you.
And yes, it stings.
I have found, however, a weapon against this swarm, summed up in a singular statement. Remember this:
Love keeps no record of wrongs.
It’s okay to love the imperfect you. It’s okay to try and mess up in the process.
Truth is, you have as much right as anyone else to cannonball into this life. Truth is, mistakes are a natural part of the process.
Truth is, if you allow the fallout from those mistakes to fester into bitterness against yourself, it will only steal, kill, and destroy.
Each person is given things to share with the world–important stories for ears that must hear, important banquets for those who hunger, important paintings for eyes that have yet to see beauty.
We choose to withhold those things from or release them to the world. Make no mistake: you have something helpful to offer this world, so that struggle between showing it or silencing it? It isn’t about you.
Hiding your greatness isn’t humility, it’s lying.
When you make mistakes, analyze the facts for learning purposes, apologize if need be, and don’t waste one diamond tear on self pity or self-accusations.
Just let it go. That self-hate only conceals the truth in you.
With thanks to my dear friends and creative collaborators: Kimberly Shell, Shanna Delap, Craig Harmann, Jason Hoschouer, David Bouchard, Eric Swanson, Audra Rogers, and Jim Shields.