New year, new me right?
I have been reading The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown. The subtitle is what caught me “Let go of who you think you’re supposed to be and embrace who you are.” My life has always had this high bar of expectation – get As, join clubs, study hard, pad your resume, get into college, then another 4 years of get As, join clubs, pad your resume, get a job. Then in my job, do well, get high performance reviews, get promoted, etc. When I felt my job wasn’t enough, I sought higher education, but I failed to get into any program. And I lost the motivation to try again.
The subtitle spoke to me because I think I’m supposed to be this person who accomplishes many things and changes the world. But really, am I that person? Why can’t I just be happy where I am, with what I HAVE accomplished?
What I’ve learned so far, is that because I have set this expectation on myself – to accomplish enough to change the world – and I have yet to reach that goal, I think of myself as unworthy of love or belonging. This unworthy feeling probably brings out negative actions in me such as, judgement and criticism of myself and of others. In fact I would argue that I grew up in a household where we all felt unworthy and those negative feelings helped to perpetuate the cycle of negativity. Our childhood consisted of constant criticism, comparison and judgement. Feeling emotionally supported is something I have trouble with. Even though I may receive a lot of support from friends, I brush it aside as if it’s not really meant for me. My closest girlfriends might tell me they love me. But instead of accepting the emotion, I play it down because I don’t feel like it could be all for me. “How can they say they love me? All I did was listen to them and be their friend, that’s what friends are for,” I say to myself. Perhaps I’ve associated love with the idea that I have to accomplish a lot and make a lot of money and that I can never be loved until I do those things.This year will be about changing those ideas so that I can really, truly love myself. And hopefully through loving myself I can become a better person – someone without judgement and criticism – and also have the tools to find my calling.