Renovating My Self-Worth
What an interesting topic, it just helped me understand something about myself! Thinking about what perceived limitation to write about I was just ready to pick “I am not good enough”. And while that truly is one of my false beliefs that creates a huge limitation I am hunting down a connection to something else. So please bear with me as these new thoughts are just now developing. I am aware of this false belief “I am not good enough” for quite a while now and for the same amount of time I have tried to solve it. While I was able to improve my self-confidence in many places I am still not where I want to be and that really frustrates me thinking it’s been years that I’ve been working on this.
I know of another “habit” of mine, which is to make myself smaller. I always thought I do this so others don’t feel belittled or inferior. That understanding didn’t help me much either in “solving the problem” as it just brought up the thought of “Why am I making others and their feelings more important than myself?” leading me back to working on my self confidence. But just now I am realizing I do this in order to appear inoffensive and harmless in order to deal with or even avoid conflict. It’s the drop dead part of the survival mechanism.
I have a beautiful example for this in my life right now. There was a water damage in my kitchen due to the fact that my upstairs neighbour did not install his washing machine properly. Because of details I don’t want to go into there was conflict between us concerning how and when and how quickly to fix the water damage. It became so bad he finally got a professional painter to do the job instead of doing it himself. While this is exactly what I wanted from the start there still is this vibe of conflict and ego battle in the air. Right now the painter is here as to apply new wallpaper today and then paint the whole thing tomorrow. While he is a fairly nice guy who just wants to get his job done I could tell even before he came that inwardly I started this being small thing again.
Minimizing myself like that can look as simple as smiling and smirking a lot (that’s exactly what I automatically did as the painter arrived!) making sure the other person knows I am friendly and not in warrior pose. In conversation it might look like becoming imprecise and excusatory so the other person can see I leave room for other opinions and facts. Or I might back off altogether or start explaining myself beyond measure when I see negative emotions arise in the other person. In personal encounters I might be overly friendly and helpful, often crossing my own boundaries in the process, again esp. when there is this vibe of conflict in the air which might not even have anything to do with me, instead it is just the other person being upset for whatever reason.
How is that connected to my false belief? Well, the way I feel the “I am not good enough” is via feeling small and inadequate. That feeling makes me believe I am not good enough. Having seen now how and why I minimize myself makes me realize I am putting myself in this spot to feel that way! So “solving” this does not look like working on my self-confidence, but increasing my ability to be in conflict without dropping dead and realizing when I have nothing to do with the other person’s upset and therefore not have to fix it. Clearly this is not a self-confidence issue, this is a matter of tolerating the vibe of conflict! Which makes me finally understand why A. keeps telling me I have enough self-confidence and why I simply could not see this feeling so much the perceived “I am not good enough” in my life.
Wow, ladies, this has been quite insightful for me and exhilarating as it’s gotten me clearer on how that limitation of mine works and how to dissolve it!!