Who Do You Think You Are?
Do you remember the first time you heard that question? Most likely, we were young, and that question was meant to stop us in our tracks like the ping of a stone flung from a slingshot. How dare you speak your mind! How dare you be so big, so bold, so uninhibited! It was meant as a rebuke or a correction.
Usually the scolding came from someone we respected—a trusted friend, a sibling, a parent, a teacher. And that someone had decided we needed some sort of intervention. However, had we really crossed the line? Or was our light simply shining bright at that moment? Deciphering the difference is so important.
Our sense of worthiness is learned early in life. During childhood, our individuality, that which makes us unique, is all too often discouraged. If we were made to feel self-conscious about our opinions, our thoughts, our dreams, we can develop a sense of shame that makes it difficult for us to see our true selves.
A healthy sense of worthiness allows us to shine; it also helps us to attract and choose good things for ourselves: healthy habits, love, happiness, wonderful relationships. When we feel worthy, outside opinions matter much less and we have a greater possibility of living joyful and enthusiastic lives.
If we’re not careful, we can wear a sense of shame like a wool coat. Slipping out of that heaviness can take a bit of discipline, but it can be done. Here are a few ways we can start to shed the shame and feel more deserving.
· Quell that critical inner voice. Weather that harsh inner coach was developed through a painful childhood or the condemning attitudes of others, we must begin to tame our thoughts and stop judging ourselves if we want to feel worthy of happiness.
· Acknowledge your suffering and the suffering of others. Developing a sense of compassion is crucial.
· Be kind in response to your own suffering and the suffering of others. Kindness is also an important aspect of a healthy sense of worthiness.
· Realize that imperfection is part of everyday life and something all humans share.
Help me add to this list. What other ways can we develop a healthy sense of self-worth? Note your answers in the comment section below.