You will never know how great you are until you begin accepting it…
The main purpose of this post isn’t really to give you yet another ‘how to guide’ on why and how you should be and act in order to feel worthy.
Rather, to let you know of a little secret as to what’s been missing in our lives all along yet in front of our noses and as clear as day.
If I had to name one thing about my life in the last 20 years since entering my thirties, it’s the idea that I never had the internal belief that who I was, was enough to feel good about myself and my abilities.
Looking back, I achieved quite a lot for myself – I reached grade 4 in Violin, became a Martial Arts Instructor in the space of a year from starting, obtained a degree, worked alongside a successful entrepreneur, became an expert Cuban Salsa dancer in as little as 3 years.
Yet here I was, still asking myself the very same question.
What can I do to be worthy of other people?
It was a never-ending cycle that always came to me consistently throughout my entire youth, and never quite understood why I felt compelled to live up to other people’s expectations.
As bad and unhealthy as it sounds, it’s something we all go through every day on a continual basis:
- Living up to your manager’s expectations
- Being the ideal boyfriend/girlfriend for your partner
- Being the ideal mate for potential boyfriends/girlfriends
- Following guidelines and systems in school or academic organizations
- Acting accordingly that’s socially acceptable in different environments
You look at it and you wonder why so many people haven’t a clue on who they really are. I’ve spoken to a few people recently having read my blog, asking me questions about how they can learn to feel happy and be ‘like everyone else’. Thinking that there is something not quite right with them.
Having read their problems, it was fascinating to discover how common their problems were with mine. I too felt the same way and felt like an outsider, like something was not quite right.
I didn’t feel like I could fit in no matter how hard I tried and concluded it to just being an introvert who did things by himself without the involvement of others.
Having looked at it logically, I’ve come to realize that the only way you can really overcome this whilst not hurting your own identity is to learn to compartmentalize common norms with the ideals that are personal to you.
What this does is that instead of it being a definition of who you are, you’re instead learning to separate common societal norms from your own character and allowing you to be yourself without feeling depressed or doubtful.
Putting it all together
When you separate the 2, you will allow yourself to create a fine balance between what’s expected of you and what you expect from yourself.
I’ve been told by people how making compromises is the only solution, which I disagree with. It’s seemingly impossible to make compromises of your own character as it will hurt your self-esteem and self-respect.
So here’s a solution:
Base Level – Societal Norms
- Expectations of your family/friends/spouse
- Following school/company guidelines
- Being socially calibrated
- Being a good citizen
Identity Level – Unique Qualities
- What makes you happy
- Your personal systems and daily activities
- Your interests
- Your character and unique personality
Ask yourself the following questions…
Am I doing anything wrong based on society’s standards?
What’s stopping me from being and doing what I want to do and how I choose to live my life?
The second question is vital because it will allow you to stop comparing yourself to others and to finally realize that who they are isn’t to be compared. You’re your own person, and as long as you fulfill basic expectations, there’s really no way to judge yourself negatively.
Finally, learn to accept the way you are.
There’s a reason why you do things the way you do. But if there’s something about you that you feel is stopping you from reaching your ideal then by all means, grow and adapt. But never change your fundamental essence. There is a big difference between change and growth.
But then again I could be wrong with all of this 🙂