Whether it’s professional or personal, there’s always something missing… No matter how amazing other people think we are, we find ways to dismiss our uniqueness.
There are a million and one ways to address our self-esteem issues, and yet we continue to see the worst in ourselves or at the very least, to focus on what’s not there. And instead of another tool in our self-improvement toolbox, perhaps what we really need is a new way to understand our tendency to find ourselves lacking (without giving ourselves a hard time)?
This is what I do, and I’m giving you this sneak peak into the world of Heart Alchemy because I love you just the way you are. Do you? Love yourself just the way you are. That is, when you look into the existential mirror and say, “hey buddy, you’re a star!” what happens for you? What flaws and one-days come up for you?
Whatever they are, there is a way to hear-see-feel them as powerful invitations to be grateful. Not because they teach you how to be a better person. But because in and of themselves, the ways you reject your uniqueness are doing three important things in your life. I’ll get to that. For now, let’s play with how you can re-story your self-rejections.
1) First, you need to find new value for what you’ve made unwelcome in your self-reflection; to understand that ‘finding myself lacking’ somehow helps you to navigate the everyday.
When you see it without charge, perhaps you can see how clever compartmentalisation is. Or maybe you recognise how it ticks boxes in the ‘something to look forward to’ arena, or motivates you to be humble. Important things, if they are important to YOU; to how you see the world. However you come to value the way you’re de-valuing yourself (yes, I know how crazy that sounds) you can also see how it’s driving you round the bend! Let me explain.
All our self-recrimination and hamster-wheel-style-self-improvement keeps us in this inane loop of: seeking self-acceptance by isolating our flaws and obstacles → which tell us we’re doing it wrong → then working on changing so we can be the person we admire. All the while, there is a motivation gap between our note to self and the affirmation of self.
The note to self says, “I must change in order to be valuable,” while the affirmation of self is urging us to see ourselves as whole, perfect and complete just as we are.
So what’s really going on? And how does finding the value of driving ourselves crazy, stop us from feeling like a failure?
Simple. Every time you look at yourself, you see what’s familiar and focus on what’s new. The same way you explore a foreign country – you try and organise all the new sensory data into categories that make sense to you according to what you’re used to, and then focus on the strangeness. Why you value strangeness as beauty, or devalue it as ugly is the thing we want to understand. Which leads us to the second way to re-story your self-rejections.
2) Meet every “yeah but!” with the trust that this too can be valued. “This too is helping me navigate my everyday, no exceptions!”
When you start making visible all the flaws you notice and open to the idea of accepting them as helpful, there is probably a voice which gives you reasons to see why it’s not helpful. This voice is part of your valuable self-rejection. How can you see the ways it’s trying to make life easier?
Does your “yeah but!” voice help maintain a status quo so you don’t have to take on new ideas that feel frightening and unfamiliar? Does your “yeah but!” help you feel like the expert because feeling like the student is a failure you could not bear? Whatever it does, that “yeah but!” voice is doing it’s best to hold everything in place – where you fit in the world, your rules about what makes the world go round, and whatever else you value more than self-acceptance. And it’s working at your behest according to the story you have about the meaning of life.
3) The third way you can re-story your self-rejection is to see how it gives life meaning. I know. You think it’s impossible to see a connection between making yourself wrong and the meaning of life, the universe, and everything. That ‘impossible’ response is part of the filter which keeps everything as it is so you don’t rock the boat. So why don’t we want to rock the boat if rocking the boat would mean self-love and an end to the struggle of self-rejection?
When you’re truly allowed to see yourself – anger, impatience, body shape, everything – and love unconditionally, without a checklist of ‘what I need to change before I can love myself’… what replaces the motivation, “I need to be better”?
What keeps you eating healthy food? What makes you patient with your co-workers? What inspires you to love your neighbour?
When you’ve stopped judging yourself as lacking and making these things a priority “because”, you see that you only take action on them because you think they need improving. For example, because they must be accomplished in order to fulfil your purpose or because that’s what you do as a good parent or because that’s the trick to a healthy marriage or because of some other ideal that’s not already here in this moment where you are whole, complete and perfectly you.
This is why we focus on our flaws and obstacles. Because it motivates us. The question is, can you embrace self-recrimination as your motivating force and acknowledge all it’s done for you? Or do you instantly seek a way to remove it from your life?
Either way, I love you just as you are. Do you?
. . .
I mentioned how the ways you reject your uniqueness in and of themselves, are doing three important things in your life. If you want to know more, check out the Living Master Equation© below. It’s FREE!
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