Sunday, December 24, 2017

One Weird Trick to increasing self-worth

A strange thing happened to me. I went through a time of horrible personal crisis that left the life I knew in shambles. Yet at the same time, I came out of it liking myself more than I ever have. 

This strange result came from realizing that I was not in control of the outcome of my crisis. So I focused on what I could control: myself. Was I actively deciding, moment to moment, to be the kind of person that I wanted to be? Was I speaking 100% the truth? Was I boldly leaving no important words unsaid? Was I avoiding the temptations of self-sabotage? Was I taking some time to think of others, and to leave those around me a little better off? 

As I focused on myself, I saw a lot to be proud of. I noticed all the ways I was already the kind of person I wanted to be, and the ways in which I was growing into it. I used to judge myself based on the outcomes of my actions. In the past, if someone responded negatively to my efforts I took that as evidence that I was a less worthy person. Now, how much I like myself is more outcome-independent. This habit of mind which I adopted as a crisis survival mechanism has become a permanent tool for navigating life.

Often, my adult life has not turned out the way that I wanted it to be. That can get me down, but it doesn’t have to lead to self-loathing. I like how I am showing up. I keep on getting better. In many ways my life is not at its peak, but my self-worth is at an all-time high. 

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