When I think back as far as I can remember on the self esteem/self worth bandwagon I rode, I realize what interesting (read wacked) turns many of us take.
When we’re little, we’re often told we can do and be anything we put our minds to. Most of us were regularly told how smart and capable we were and praised consistently for small achievements like tying our shoes, learning to properly write the number 5 and even coloring between the lines (mostly). These days, we even give 5-year-olds diplomas for graduating Kingergarten. ???
Then we scurry off to grade school and beyond where all of a sudden, it ain’t cool to tell others how smart, capable and beautiful we are. Dare we tell the other kids we will be a princess or bonafied cowgirl when we grow up (No, we didn’t use the word bonafied then and yes, I have documented proof of my desire to become a cowgirl.) and we were met with certain ridicule and labeled odd-ball or stuck-up. The horror. Ostracized from being accepted at 6 1/2. All we want is to fit in. Shit.
So we learn to tone it down for fear of being considered conceited. Even taking to the practice of self-degradation. I vividly remember a Jr. High School classmate and friend making a list of 78 things that were wrong with her and her life. The new cool. I suck and here’s why.
Then we grow a bit older and wiser. (Although I must say I truly believe there is tremendous and grossly undervalued wisdom in the un-jaded beliefs and dreams of children.) We start setting our sights on goals and begin to come into our own. Get into a certain college, become a teacher or architect, and look for ways to wait for it . . . stand out and be unique – raring to go, ready to take on the world. So far so good. I love it when a plan comes together.
Until it doesn’t.
Jobs are hard to come by, or we land them, but they suck. the boss is a nightmare and we’re neither happy with what we do nor what we earn. Maybe we even get laid off or fired. We make mistakes, some small, some not so small, with career, health, money and relationships. We wake up one day unhappy in our lives and feel as stuck as our ass on a couch watching a Sex and the City marathon sipping Chardonnay. Yeah, we aren’t going nowhere fast. Ugh.
Then what do we do? Pile more on. We proceed to dump on ourselves by comparing ourselves to others and wonder what’s wrong with us that we have not achieved as much. Clearly we are either inadequate, unworthy or somehow being punished for past indiscretions. We begin a conversation loop in our heads and even out of our mouths degrading our capabilities and worth and begin to lower our expectations and settle into a daily existence of boredom or worse, ongoing struggle. Because, of course, we suck and aren’t intelligent or deserving enough to live an extraordinary life.
Ahem. How about we stop the bullshit and lies. Seriously. That’s exactly what we do when we question our self worth and believe or tell ourselves we are anything less than the powerful, intelligent, intuitive and capable beings we are. I refuse to believe that the limited time we are given here on earth is meant to be spent unhappy and in struggle. I believe the opposite. We’re put here for a reason. We are designed for and intended to live happily.
Life is supposed to be fun. (I stole that from a brilliant dude named Dr. John McGrail.) How’s that for a mantra?
I’m not riding in on a shiny white unicorn (mine would be pink) and am not telling you life will be free of challenge. I am, however, telling you that in every moment of every day, you get to choose what to think and believe and how to respond to what comes your way. That’s pretty powerful, my brilliant, glorious friend.
A bird sitting on a branch doesn’t put his faith in the limb he sits upon. He sits happy and singing, confident in his ability to fly. That is you.
Here’s what I suggest. Become a kid again. Bring fun, play and silly back in your life. We should never outgrow silly. How cool we can still be silly and now we can also sip wine or a martini and curse?? Yeeehaa! Things really are looking up.
Bring back your bragging rights. Stop putting yourself down and start lifting yourself up. Become your new best friend again.
The relationships we have with everything around us, career, money, circumstances and people are direct reflections of the relationship we have with ourselves.
Let’s start there. Let’s kiss our own ass, do what makes us happy and treat ourselves FIRST with the love and respect we desire and deserve. Maybe, just maybe, all the things around us will fall into place.
Keryl Pesce is a Happiness Expert, author of “Happy Bitch – The girlfriend’s straight-up guide to losing the baggage and finding the fun, fabulous you inside.” Follower her on Twitter as @TheHappyBitch or Facebook at www.Facebook.com/HappyB.tch.