What does it?
When does it happen?
How does it happen?
Where does it happen?
Why at some early point in our life do we begin to feel unworthy?
It is these questions that will begin the discovery to identifying the people and events that have contributed to feelings of unworthiness.
Let’s go a bit deeper here. I have confidence. I am successful. I am a great mother. I am funny. I am strong. I set goals and achieve them but something deep down says I am not worthy. It happens when I don’t even realize it. If you were to ask me if I was worthy I would say “ Your damn right I am.” I believe this to be true. I am worthy. But my actions more so my internal dialogue doesn’t think so. Your internal dialogue is that voice in your head that tells you all kinds of things about yourself. Sometimes you have the same tape that plays over and over again with the same message. If this internal dialogue was saying “ your awesome”, “ you look fantastic”, “your the best thing since sliced bread” there would be no problem. But most times it tells us all about the things we don’t like about ourselves and it is relentless. If you haven’t heard you internal dialogue just try to stop and listen to what you tell yourself. Here are some examples. This dress makes me look fat. I am fat, I will never be skinny. That person is skinny, They look good. I don’t look good. I am fat. I don’t look good. I am fat and ugly. Now, how do you feel after all that negative self talk? You feel fat and ugly. You feel like you are not good enough. You feel very badly about yourself. Stopping this internal dialogue can be very challenging. It can be so automatic you don’t even know really know what is it saying, you just know you feel really bad about yourself. Awareness of this internal dialogue is the first step to changing the tape.
If we begin to practice self-kindness we can begin to change how we feel about ourself. Basically, self-kindness is being your own best friend. When your friend is having a difficult time or is feeling down what do you say to your friend to help her feel better and get her back on track? Most likely, you tell her how wonderful she is, comfort her and let her know that you there for her. You show empathy, understanding, compassion, kindness. Now, how do you treat yourself during a challenge? Do you show understanding or tell yourself to get over it already? Do you show self-empathy? Self-compassion? Self-kindness?
I have an invisible disability.
I am not understanding of myself in regards to this disability. I lack compassion for myself. I am not my own best friend, in fact I wouldn’t treat anyone the way I treat myself in regards to this disability. I was asked if I was not worthy of this compassion and understanding. Once again my first thought is “of course I am” but knowing I am and treating myself as if I am is in conflict. My internal dialogue is being mean, really mean, nasty.
So here is my project to practice pure loving self kindness. This really is not easy for someone that tends to be very hard on herself. Being hard on yourself can have its perks in getting things done and accomplishing goals but not so much when you need understanding. Changing your negative internal dialogue is major work. Listening to and identifying the negative thoughts is a good beginning.