We all need to feel worthy of love and belonging and our worthiness is on the line when we feel like we don’t measure up. Everyone has their own tape that they play in their head. If only I were smarter, thinner, healthier, younger, more talented -then I would be happy.
Society has played a big part in this quest for perfection that is so exhausting and unattainable. We are bombarded with messages that convince us that our worthiness is measured from the outside. Look at the billboards, commercials and media coverage that drives home the message that we must look, think and be a certain way to be acceptable. The truth is; we are all drawn to people who are “down to earth” and “real”. We love authenticity and we know that life is messy.
We all know there is no such thing as PERFECT, but we spend an incredible amount of time trying to please others and be everything to everyone. We worry about what other people will think. The risk that we face in living life trying to please others is that we begin to lose ourselves. We ignore how we feel, forget what we believe and discount who we really are at our very essence. We may have spent so many years being the person that we thought we were expected to be that we forgot what brings us joy and ignites our spirit.
How many times have you heard the story of the wife and mom who raises her kids, supports her husband’s journey to business success, and in the process, loses her own identity and struggles with depression?
How about the man who retires and does not know what to do with himself? His life was consumed by work. His children are grown. He has no hobbies and his health begins to fail.
Then, there is the young adult who cannot measure up to the world’s expectation and definition of success – he/she begins to medicate the pain with alcohol and drugs.
We need to live a courageous life, which includes accepting who we are; not losing the essence of who we are and what we care about. We need to encourage others to do the same and to accept themselves for who they are.
How do we nurture the notion that we are ENOUGH? How do we embrace our imperfections and recognize that we are worthy of love, belonging and joy? How can we become courageous enough to allow others to see us as we truly are?
- We must believe that we are worthy of love and acceptance. We must believe that we are worthy right now! Not when, not if, but NOW.
- Be yourself, let others know the real you. Let them know what you care about; tell them about your hopes, dreams and fears.
- Listen to others stories and support them. Everyone wants to be seen and heard
- Practice Gratitude. We all have our baggage and our struggles, but we also have things for which we can be grateful. Gratitude changes your mood and spirit - it can even improve your health!
- Replace the tape in your head. Replace the tape that rattles off your imperfections and play this one: “I am worthy of love, acceptance and belonging just as I am!”
This article was written by Gail Stumphauzer, Founder and Director of Margeau’s Free to Be Project
This organization was founded in honor of Gail’s daughter who passed away in the fall of 2011. Margeau suffered from feelings of inadequacy as many young women do today. The project is dedicated to helping women and girls to accept themselves and the gifts they have to share with the world. For more information visit WWW.Free2BeProject.org. or email Gailstumphauzer@me.com