Acting As If Everything is Fine
I like to act as if everything is fine. I don’t want to be a burden to anyone. I want people to see me as self-sufficient. This is both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because I am a competent, caring person. A curse because I don’t know how to tell other people what I need. Worse, I often don’t know what I need. I understand why I’m like this, but it’s a struggle to continue to change and grow.
Self-Awareness vs. Self-Esteem
- Self-esteem = confidence in one’s own worth or abilities
- Self-awareness = emotional clarity; understanding what is going on within us, allowing us to be conscious of insecurities, fears and emotions without repelling them, i.e. accepting them.
There’s a lot of talk about people having too much self-esteem or confidence. That the ego that comes from self-esteem doesn’t serve us well. On the other hand, self-awareness, the never-ending journey of self-discovery… does provide us with the tools to improve, serve others and create movement towards a better world.
Stretching Our Wings
One way to increase our self-awareness is to think about a time when we learned something about ourselves. Was it a time when you were embarrassed? felt awkward? defeated? By focusing on this experience, not on the negative, (why did I, why did they), but what did I learn about myself from the situation? This requires us to listen to the self-talk that plays automatically in our head. For instance, sometimes, when I reflect on these situations, I hear such negative messages in my head!
I was once fired. Boy, did I feel like crap. I knew that although the job wasn’t a good fit for me, I aggravated the situation by being willful. I had a choice, but I wanted my way. Instead of studying my options and deciding that the job wasn’t for me, I blamed my boss and others. It’s not wrong that I wanted my way, but it was counter-productive to attempt to get my way by acting out.
Reflecting on this, I could focus on the fact that I had been fired, or I could (once I processed the feelings) decide that I could do better. Better at 1) picking a job that would suit me and 2) being aware of the 2-3 things that I had done that had contributed to the problem.
In future employment situations, I didn’t berate myself for getting fired, I focused on how I could be more successful in getting what I wanted… knowing that the way(s) I’d tried before DIDN’T work!
Image credit: AZ Quotes