OK, I admit it: I undervalue myself, I undervalue who I am and what I do. I think of myself in terms of 'just' and in addition I never reach my own expectations. I am simply never good enough. I always strive for the best I can be and try to do my utmost best in whatever I am doing, but when I inevitably fall short I admonish myself with destructive self depreciating thoughts. I am my own worst critic.
This constant bid for perfection can be a wonderful inspiration, it spurs me on and keeps me on my toes, by always striving to be my best I am in a constant state of re-evaluation; where am I? Where am I going? How? My own high expectations keep me finely tuned and mentally nimble, and I am always adjusting my approach to reach that ultimate goal. However, though I always want to be better and am constantly demanding more from myself, I find myself hindered by my own lack of self value, it corrodes at my self belief; simply wanting to do better, to be better, isn't enough, you have to believe that you can and will achieve it.
The danger is of course that in setting my bar so high I am destined for failure, in undervaluing myself I often fail to see the good that I do. I forget that though my life may be small and my actions minute that they are important, and they are of consequence to someone, to me. If I fail to value myself then how can I expect others to value me? If I view myself as unimportant then I undermine my every action, my every thought, my being.
How we perceive our worth is determined primarily by how we value ourselves. We often allow each wrong decision or bad moment to corrode at our sense of worth, negatively impacting on our own sense of value. When we forget Dad's birthday or our child's parent's evening we can be unnecessarily hard on ourselves with self depreciating notes of uselessness, and worse. We are perhaps too quick to think the worst of ourselves. We have a tendency to undermine and mock ourselves and what we do, we think of ourselves in terms of 'just' rather than giving ourselves the credit we deserve, and as a result we undervalue who we are and our roles in life.
In addition we also judge our self worth according to how we believe others value us; if we feel under-appreciated in our various roles then consequently we feel that our performance, our effort is not valuable either. We often feel like we are unnoticed and perhaps sometimes we are, but our consequent belief that we are unimportant is of course untrue. Appreciated or not, we would all do well to remember that our roles at work, at home, as children, as parents are important; what we do affects someone else, impacts on someone else, in whatever small or large way and so what we do is valuable to them and ultimately to the world.
We forget that we are important and we forget to remind others that they are too. We find it difficult to praise others and to accept praise ourselves. We should perhaps try a little harder because all of us, whoever we are, whatever we do could do with the boost. These moments of being valued are vital affirmations of our importance and worth.
The feeling of being valued by others is a quasi-spiritual experience, it connects us to ourselves and boosts our ego and inner strength. We draw on our self value in times of internal crisis and external chaos, it fuels our energy and focus when life is tough. In being valued we feel the worth of our soul and as a result value ourselves more. Just for a moment we know that we are good.
More from health