Happy Monday, Ladies and Gents! I hope life has been treating you well since we last spoke, and today’s post will cover something most of you may struggle with on a regular basis. Why? Because I know I used to question my own sense of worth and value since CPTSD prevents one from feeling comfortable in their own skin.
Now I realize that’s a fairly broad statement, so let me clarify the topic for today. Have you ever felt sure of yourself, but immediately felt dreadful, empty, or useless when someone or something contradicted you? Here’s an example:
Johnny takes a test and feels proud about having earned an A (95%), although Claire comes over and shares her test in which she earned an A (98%). Now Claire is a kind person and congratulates Johnny with a verbalized “great job,” which is quickly followed by a high five. But Johnny suddenly feels his stomach drop while his head starts flooding with thoughts that simply echo the words: useless, worthless, dumb, stupid, etc.
But he got an A? He earned a 95%? RIGHT. But it wasn’t a 98%…
Here’s another example:
Martha calls Angela into her office in order to assess Angela’s work ethic, and Angela feels a bit worried but overall assured that her boss will give her a positive review for her work contributions. At first Martha has nothing but encouraging news for Angela, which easily makes her feel reassured that her work ethic and presence is well appreciated. But Martha finishes the review by offering advice on how Angela can improve, and Angela quickly forgets all of the positive comments by focusing on perceived criticism from her boss.
Are you noticing a pattern? It basically comes down to this: neither Johnny nor Angela feel adequate even though they exceeded by accomplishing much in their endeavors, and it more than likely has everything to do with their upbringing. How so, some of you may be wondering? Well if you’re anything like me, you weren’t raised in an environment that encouraged your healthy growth and development. I.e. you weren’t uplifted for your successes, and you especially weren’t encouraged when you experienced failure.
Because guess what? Encouragement and uplifting words go a LONG way in regards to helping one develop a sense of confidence in knowing they have worth and value which exists beyond the views and perceptions of others. Not to mention the fact, that confidence will produce an entirely different reaction to criticism of any kind. Here’s another pair of examples coming from me (recently, too):
I decided to shave my head entirely for practical reasons (weight lifting mainly), along with wanting to switch things up. Needless to say I love the change, although I received a negative comment from an older man at the gym that I didn’t embrace with open arms. He basically told me “you look like a skin head!” My response? “I don’t accept that, and I don’t have any association with Nazism so don’t associate me with that.” He then tried numerous times to justify his “joke,” yet I simply repeated my position without flinching or getting bent out of shape.
Most of you also know I’ve been practicing martial arts, and there’s plenty I drop the ball on considering I’m moving my body in ways I’ve never imagined. But my mind hasn’t been putting me down at all for being ignorant in terms of not knowing everything 100%. In fact, I’ve displayed the opposite of admitting my lack of knowledge while feeling excitement in regards to learning new material.
Now I wasn’t always like this because I used to think less of myself whenever I “missed the mark” in terms of learning something new, or even failing with something I thought I knew how to accomplish. Boy am I glad those days are behind me…
So remember to take a step back if you find yourself thinking negative thoughts, or submitting yourself to another’s interpretation of how they perceive you because we are ALL entitled to our OPINIONS. Be yourself, be proud, and more importantly have fun being you because there’s only one!
Ladies and Gents, It’s the Eye of the Tiger!
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