Angela often worried about what others thought of her. Was she pretty or smart enough? Criticism of any sort seemed to send her in a tailspin. At work, she compared herself to her colleagues and wanted to make sure that she outperformed them. She would stay at work late and cancel plans so that she could stay ahead of the curve.
When she was out on dates, she would compare herself to other women. When she noticed another woman, who was thinner than her, she would starve herself for days and book extra sessions with her personal trainer. She never felt good enough.
Angela often felt that to prove her worth; she had to entertain her friends, she had to be the funniest, have the best stories and pick up the check. This left her broke and feeling drained.
The problem was that Angela didn’t know her worth. She had let others around her tell her who she should and shouldn’t be. She listened to gossip and criticism, and she allowed it to dictate her life. After a while, she got depressed. She had heard, she’s too fat, too thin, too smart for her own good, not smart enough, too nice or too grumpy. She didn’t even know who she was anymore.
What was she trying to prove and to whom?
Know your own worth
Proving your worth to everyone in every situation is not going to work.
- People will love you, like you, feel neutral about you and hate you. That’s not your problem or your responsibility.
- You can set goals and take steps to reach them.
- You can be polite and empathetic to others, but you do not need to change who you are to meet their ideals.
- People who care about you will offer you advice or constructive criticism to help you to develop and grow.
- Others will devalue you or criticise you in a way that is not helpful; you do not need this.
Understand your worth
To understand your worth, ask yourself what your core values and goals are, and stick to them. This will lead you to thrive instead of just survive. People that are your real friends will accept you and see your worth; you don’t need to prove it. When you wear a mask to conform to others, eventually your mask will fall off. When you are true to yourself, you will have more energy because you won’t be constantly worried about what others think of you. It is difficult to enjoy your time with others if you feel like you are performing.
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