Updated: 6 days ago
You might, like so many other people, base your self-worth on how you believe others perceive you. There are all kinds of measuring sticks against which you could rate yourself. For women, physical appearance is a very prominent measuring stick in our society. When you're feeling insecure, it can make you anxious and irritable, which is ironically less socially accepted than being cheerful and calm.
Measuring Your Self-Worth
Everybody seems to be measured against that, whether they be politicians, actresses, celebrities, scientists, and just average people. For men, other attributes seem to be more important, such as athletic prowess, earning power, intelligence, and aggressiveness. I realize that these might be generalized statements and therefore somewhat inaccurate. However, I have not seen anyone escape the critical lens of media, news outlets, and our cultural emphasis on these attributes. How do you measure your self-worth?
Wondering Why You're Feeling Insecure?
Even people who seem fortunate enough to fit the society's mold feel insecure sometimes. It's hard to fathom that someone who is rich, attractive, successful or otherwise seemingly perfect would feel bad, but there are numerous celebrities who are addicted to drugs, depressed, anxious, or who commit suicide. This is a good reason to base your evaluation of yourself on your own internal standards . You get to create yourself the way you want to be, not the way others want you to be. by doing so, you can escape the very critical lens through which you see yourself.
Otherwise, you might feel anxious, insecure, frustrated, discouraged, and worse. The relentless pursuit of perfection by someone else’s standards is one of the unhealthiest things that you can do to yourself. Do you feel like you can stop doing this? Do you worry that if you stopped you would be rejected at work or socially? I would argue that the opposite is true — to stay insecure is hell on earth.
A lot of advertising depends on your caring what other people think of us. You have to wear the right clothes, be on the right diets, weigh the right amount, have the right amount of muscle tone, know the right people, belong to the right groups, and so on. It’s exhausting how much you need to do to be considered acceptable by someone else.
It definitely takes a toll on your self-worth. The devilish thing is that the standards shift and change all the time. Just when you think you’re wearing the right clothes, there’s a new trend. Then you have to dump your last season’s wardrobe and by all new attire. If we were satisfied with how we looked, smelled, and with our bodies, the advertising and personal products industries would go broke. Or at least that’s what they want as to believe!
Internal vs. External Yardsticks of Self-Worth
I will set aside for a moment my nonexistent concerns about their industries doing well. Instead, I propose that we as human beings need to find a new way to evaluate ourselves. As Kristin Neff proposes in her book, Self Compassion, we are valuable just for being alive.
This is a radical concept and may take time to accept emotionally, but I think it is lifesaving and important. What if our new standards for ourselves were that we are kind, compassionate, wise, judicious, restrained, circumspect, giving, or loving?
I suggest that we all measure ourselves by what we value most and not what we think will grant us others' acceptance and approval. I think it is an experiment worth trying, don’t you? The best place to start is with deciding what’s important to you and what you want to do with this precious life that you have.
If you have difficulty finding your own internal standards against which to measure yourself, I suggest that you call me. There is no reason for your self-worth to suffer any longer. Together we can explore and develop your new roadmap for what matters most to you. How will you show your self-respect? How will you respect others? How do you want to move through this world? What do you consider successful? Is that defined by you or somebody else? We have so much to do together.
Let's get started now! Please call 661-233-6771.