In one of my earlier posts, I posted one of my favorite Ted Talks. The Power of Vulnerability by Brené Brown encouraged me to embrace vulnerability as it is part of being human. However, through the last few months, I have felt rather down about myself in different facets. This happens every now and then, depending on what is going on in my life. In a crowd of friends, I seem perfectly normal, maybe I might start out quieter than normal. But eventually, I find my usual social spirit, cracking jokes or gossiping over junk TV. Yet in quiet moments, I notice that my self-esteem is low. I turn to others to provide reassurance in different ways. I look to my family to see that I am supported and loved; I look to my boyfriend to see that I am beautiful and desired. I look to my girlfriends to see that I can still connect with others who may have similar moments and struggles.
What is difficult about these moments, it starts out in one facet of my life, and trickles further into other facets, like a domino effect. Most of the time, it all stems from work, then over time I don’t have the energy or desire to exercise. I begin to feel fatigued and unhealthy. I am disconnected from myself and the world around me.
I realized what I was truly feeling was worthless, that I am not enough. I am not smart enough, pretty enough, fit enough. I thought back on this Ted Talk and remembered at the core of Brené’s presentation was worthiness and belonging, and I knew I had to listen to it. As much as I was telling myself, yes, I am vulnerable, I wasn’t really accepting my vulnerability. I was choosing to neglect my feelings of shame and failure, and in doing so, I was also neglecting feelings of joy and happiness. This week, I received a very exciting job offer, but I proceeded to feel nervous and anxious about it. I was not being fair to myself because I did not feel worthy of this success.
“You can’t numb those hard feelings without numbing the other affects or emotions… so when we numb, we numb joy, gratitude, and happiness. We are miserable and we are looking for purpose and meaning.”
I can only hope that my attitude towards myself changes in the next few weeks because I really do deserve this. I am posting this video again, as a reminder that we all need to circle back to this topic, just like we may circle back to a cycle this vicious.