Setting My Own Table

The Abstract MIrror

Setting My Own Table

I’m embarrassed to admit the ways I have experienced feeling unworthy or being not good enough.  I don’t like to seem like I don’t have it all together.  But I’m pretty sure everyone experiences self-doubt.  I will try not to shame myself too much for the things I’ve felt even though they may seem shallow; they are honest.

1.  I have felt in the past that I was not worthy of a significant other that has money if I didn’t have money or assets.  I felt like I wouldn’t get the partner I desired without first getting a perfect house and having a profitable and thriving career.  So I achieved both and now I feel worthy.  If I lost both, I do believe I would still feel worthy, however, because it was only something I needed to prove to myself.  Now that I have proven it, I realize how many women come to the beginning of a partnership with the expectation that those things should be provided for them and that they do not need to offer that to hold value.  Why I felt like that was necessary for me to be worthy, I’m not sure.  I still have a sensation sometimes that I am unworthy to keep wealthy company because I am not wealthy.

2. I felt like I was not worthy of having an attractive husband because I was not sexy enough.  I don’t have big boobs or big lips or big hair.  I did not feel like I was as good as other girls at being sexy so I thought a hot guy would only go for them.  I experienced this when guys looked at my friends and not me.  After a time, I learned that those guys wanted to have sex with those girls, not a relationship.  So I stopped worrying about the immediate gratification of a guy being ‘into’ me and concerned myself more with creating a meaningful and sustainable connection in addition to initial attraction.  Now I feel nothing but gratitude for my healthy body that I have never surgically altered.  And I do feel like I am worthy to have a partner I am attracted to and do not take it personally if someone attractive is not into me.  There are so many factors that go into attraction and none of it is personal.  Attractiveness has so much to do with confidence in yourself and authenticity and little else.

3. I felt like I was not worthy of having beautiful friends unless I too was as beautiful as them.  I still catch myself feeling this to some extent but less so now.  Attractiveness as you get older no longer has much to do with ‘popularity’ as it did during grade school.  So, I tend to pay less attention to it as a qualification of friends.  Beauty does still hold weight to me; I am an aesthete.  I think I just find more natural things beautiful and my definition of beautiful has broadened.

4. I have felt unworthy to own and run a big business because I am a woman and not a man.  Or that my business would be less successful because I am not a man.  I have felt unworthy or uninvited to the preverbal business conversation table because I am a woman.  The more time goes by and I witness others blaze that path, this has become much less intimidating.  Also, witnessing and practicing conflict, confrontational, and negotiation communication as often as possible leads to comfort-in-the-uncomfortable and major growth.  Now I love to stay in an ‘uncomfortable’ place because everything practiced becomes second nature.  I have discovered that people (male or female) desire and respect shared knowledge and honesty regardless of your sex.

5. In the past, I really cared what others thought of me.  If someone didn’t like me or want to be friends with me, I thought that it was because of something I did or something about me that was not fixable.  I hated feeling unwanted or uninvited.  I have felt like if I’m not in the in-crowd or popular crowd that I am not cool enough or worthy.  It worried me to miss out on an event.  I no longer have feelings of FOMO or care whether I’m in an ‘in-crowd’.  This is completely subjective and you must not waste a moment in your life doing any activities that don’t fully please you.  Otherwise, you aren’t really living, in my opinion.  I only care to be around people who share my mutual values and are productive to each other’s growth and joy.  I do not strive to ‘fit in’ any longer at all.  I am comfortable standing out or just not caring.  I mostly want to focus on being innovative and functional and gaining intelligence.  But I had to fully achieve and attain ‘feeling popular’ to get over it.

I’ve had a lot to prove to myself to accept myself exactly as I am.  Nothing about me has really changed except my acceptance of myself.  After that, everything else has fallen into place.  I did have to ‘fake it ‘til I made it.  And pretend to be confident even though I didn’t feel worthy at the time to be in “that guy”’s presence, or be included in “that meeting”.  Those feelings are mostly behind me now.  I no longer feel scared to admit I’m impressed by someone and openly share that with them.  It’s liberating and normalizing.

I’ve realized others have had the same feelings of admiration or even jealousy towards me.  It’s hard for me to believe or conceptualize because I was taught to be very humble and just don’t view myself that way.

I still find myself trying to set the stage to feel worthy.

The End. For now.

 

Written by:  Jacqueline J.

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