To be really really honest with you all…
I feel a lot of disdain for myself these days.
I’ve been feeling like a huge failure for the last year or so. And I’ve been struggling to keep the internal conversations I have with myself positive, supportive and kind.
This growing business of mine offers up continuous opportunities to fail. I daily find myself in situations for which I have no experience, no guidebook, no trusted advisor, no certain outcome. The margin between making decisions that lead to success and those that might result in closed doors is razor thin. (Who even knows where it is?)
Just living day-after-day with this reality in my periphery is exhausting and overwhelming. Plus I’m an Introverted HSP (Highly-Sensitive Person) and that’s something to work around, even on a fairly routine day. ( ;
In the face of relentless change, frustrating setbacks, heavy responsibilities and sleepless nights, taking big risks and experiencing very mixed results, I’ve found myself falling back into old ways of thinking about myself. I’ve been responding to my imperfections with harshness and impatience, the way that I used to in the past before I had come to realize the truth about my intrinsic worthiness. The kind of worthiness that doesn’t have to be—indeed can’t be—earned.
I’ve started to blame myself again when even mundane things go wrong:
The truth is that I’m more terrified of what will happen inside me if I fail than I am of any kind of practical repercussions.
Can I survive those horrible feelings about myself, especially if I have to experience them under a microscope, with everybody watching?
This NYT article stopped me short this afternoon, reminding me that I don’t deserve to be measured by the mean standard to which I hold myself. The standard that no one can meet. The standard that I would never hold up as a goal for anyone else but me.
Rereading a post I wrote over 7 years ago called Kinder to a Stranger also reminded me to try to find some tenderness in my heart for myself today.
I know that I’m not the only one experiencing these feelings of self-hatred and fear. Still, sometimes it’s really helpful to actually hear that that’s true, out loud.