Monday, May 15

Self Worth

When the topic of self-worth and toxic relationships come up, I think most of us naturally think of romantic relationships. It's hard to forget that overwhelming feeling of "less than" with that partner you once had - of feeling like nothing you ever did was right; like all your confidence just drained out of you; of a relationship that you knew was wrong, but you just couldn't leave.

These kinds of relationships aren't relegated just to the romantic sphere, though: this could be your relationship with your parents, your siblings, your grandma, your boss, your friend, etc. Sometimes, when you're in the midst of this kind of relationship, you just can't see clearly. It takes someone else to step in and say, "Hey, I don't think the way she's treating you is right." 

This happened to me recently (in a situation that was decidedly not about my family and not about my husband). It took the people I love to say, "Hey, you're worth more than this," for me to sit up and pay attention.

A month or so ago, when my friend was in a similar situation, I told her, "You deserve better. You should be treated with respect. And you will be fine, because you are beautiful, inside and out, and strong, and smart, and talented." And I realized I was also talking about myself.

It's surprisingly easy to see the best in our friends. Of course your friend is beautiful (that "flaw" she keeps pointing out is literally invisible). Of course your friend shouldn't take that abuse from her boss. Of course your friend shouldn't let her frenemy demean her over cocktails. Of course your friend is a genius; she is strong and incredible and why on earth would she ever believe otherwise? It's not so easy to see those traits in ourselves.

It's much easier to see ourselves through the eyes of the self-critical around us. Those eyes seem to prove to us that every worry we ever had about being less-than were true all along: that those people see us for who we truly are. They saw through our act. They figured out what our friends, our partners, our parents, or our bosses were too blind to see - our inadequacy.

But that's not who we truly are. A pair of critical eyes does not the "truth" make.

My confidence has really taken a nosedive over the past few months, but I'm working on building it back up. Despite the unnatural feeling initially, I'm actively working on seeing myself the way I see my best friends. "I'm going to kick ass today!" "I am so smart and no one's going to tell me any differently," "I know that I did a great job on that and worked hard, and if he disagrees, that's on him," or "I am talented and driven and ambitious and I should be appreciated." Sometimes it feels like a lie. Some days I believe myself more than others. But it's a start, and I've noticed a difference about how I hold myself. I'm more likely to talk back to the people who demean me. I'm more likely to fight for myself, because I'm starting to believe in myself again.

I am strong. I am beautiful. I am talented. I am going to make a difference in this world, and I'm not going to let those who don't believe in me tell me otherwise.

Happy Monday, ya'll. Let's kill this workweek!

No comments:

Post a Comment