Updated: Sep 20
All of my life I have been trying - and I say “trying” because I’m not really sure if I’ve ever succeeded in this pursuit - trying my damndest to prove to others I’m worthy. Prove that I’m a good person, prove they should want me around, prove I’m fun, prove I’m smart, prove I’m the right one for the job, prove I’m a good partner, a good girlfriend, good wife material. Trying to prove that I know what I’m doing, or at least I can learn & learn it fast. Prove that my experience qualifies me, prove that I can do what anyone needs me to do, I can be whoever anyone needs me to be. All this proof and you’d think I’d have a giant ego… yet here I am feeling unworthy, feeling misunderstood, not good enough, just not enough, sometimes too much but never of the good stuff. How the fuck did I convince others of all these things when I sit here realizing I haven’t convinced myself? I know I’m worthy. I know this, deep down. But everything is so convoluted and that belief is so fucking far beneath my consciousness I can’t feel it. Now I’m trying to prove to myself for the first time that I’m worth it. “It” being what, life? Being happy? Being my full self? I am trying to prove to myself all of the things I’ve tried to prove to others, BE all of the things for myself that I’ve been for others. I need to be that for me. And I’m trying, so fucking hard. To think I’ve never asked others to prove any of this to me, never asked them to prove that they're a good person, worth my support, prove their intentions. That ends here, baby girl is finally doing it… I’m proving to myself that I am worth ME.
I’ve handed over my valuation to everyone in my life. Family, friends, work, partners, doctors, fucking acquaintances… If I’m not proving my value, my worth to someone else, do I even have any? I have completely lost myself, given Me away, been taken away. Reclaiming myself has been the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. Reclaiming WHO I am, reclaiming my worth. I’m done proving that to anyone else, I’m done trying to get validation from anyone besides me. I think it’s time I start requiring proof from others now. *though I do still enjoy compliments, so feel free to send some honest ones my way…
I will not accept convincing, I no longer can be “convinced” of anything. Show me proof. Want me to believe what you say? Prove what you say. Want me to trust you? Prove that you’re trustworthy. Trying to convince me that you care about me? Nah, prove it. If you can’t figure out how to prove these things to me, don’t ask. I’m not giving the answers. I spent 30 years proving myself, I’m not interested in spending the next 30 doing the same or showing others how to do it. It’s my turn now to be the recipient of the proof. I have trusted without question, shared without reciprocation, and loved without condition. Requiring proof over convincing from others is a boundary that has been a long time coming, you can’t shake the strength it’s taken a lifetime to build that I use to hold this one up.
I sound a little bitter there, and perhaps I am. Maybe I need to be. I need to be a little bitter because anything less has me putting every single one of my needs on the back burner. Enter: nauseating guilt for asserting my needs. I didn’t expect this to be so bitchy, but instead of shying away let’s keep it going… I have always watched “bitches” in awe, how the hell did they just assert themselves? Why can’t I be more like that? If I was a bitch then I really wouldn’t be likable… someone needs to fucking study my psychology though seriously. This brain needs to be hooked up to some futuristic computer shit when I’m dead in a goddamn university research lab. “How does one give their entire self over to absolutely every single person she comes into contact with, and still remain alive? Still remain a contributing member of society? Still adapt and still succeed and still hope… fucking HOW I ask, someone please get on this shit.
Anyhow, I’ve been working on my needs and values, trying to understand what’s important to me and how I can give that to myself. How I can take my next steps and feel good about it, feel good about me. It’s been a trip! It’s fun and exciting and then overwhelming and confusing. One minute I’m lining up 25 different “values” and the next I’m tossing them aside. This practice has some thought-provoking questions too, to really drill down what it is about a specific need or value that makes it important to me, what it is about that word that I’m missing or desiring in my life. I will note here that I’m currently working with a friend, a fucking bomb ass friend, who does this for a living.. literally made it her life’s purpose to help other people live their life’s purpose. Her name is Dorsey, and she is the answer to every ADHD-with-people-pleasing-tendencies-as-well-as-masking-for-the-benefit-of-fitting-in woman’s needs! Imagine all the productivity and organization stuff we all love but have zero capacity to use resourced into one expert that actual knows how our brains work! Shoutout to the Flex Your ADHD community, coaching, and self-healing!
Okay, now that I’m done fan-girling my friend…
A lot of the “needs” come down to my need for self-worth. This might be why I’m so fired up right now, I’ve spent forever putting my worth in others’ hands so that without their validation I’ve been left wondering if I have any. But I do. I do have worth, and it’s Me now whose holding the power in that. I don’t need to prove to anyone else these things, I don’t need to get their approval or acceptance that I hold these qualities, I need to know them, accept them, understand them, and appreciate them. I don’t know the answers to life or who created this shit (or if anyone even did) but I know that souls are a real thing, energy is a real thing, and my existence is not an accident. My qualities are not an accident. I love my qualities… Plus the fact that they may contradict each other just makes me fonder of myself.
I am sweet & loving, yet willing to stick up for others, willing to stand up for what I believe is right. I am silly, lighthearted and funny, yet smart and driven. I am soft, I am feminine, I am kind & caring. I am also fierce and strong and steadfast. I am playful, yet I’m dead serious. I am loud and I am quiet. I am friendly & outgoing, but can be shy and timid. I am courageous, brave, and fearless… yet I feel terrified at the same time. I give way too many fucks or I don’t give any at all. I am spontaneous and impatient, but also slow and steady (sometimes to my own detriment). All of these contradictions are worthy, all of me is worthy. I don’t know why I never looked at myself that way.
So this is at least the second time I’ve mentioned my values, the work I'm doing to define those. I think I have my top 10 nailed down, but I don’t expect this to be a finished project. Value, worth.. In the definitions of the word value “importance” “worth” “deserve” and “beneficial” come up a lot. For worth the words “value” “important” and “deserving” show up. When determining my values, I’m seeing that a lot of who I am is already worthy. Worthy to me. Important to me. Deserving and beneficial and valuable. These are personal of course. This shit is about self-worth now, remember?
Those values? I’ll list a few of them here, and I do believe I’ve been living up to them. I just failed to recognize and appreciate them.
Love: To be loving and to be loved. Showing care for others; being cared for by others. To cherish, adore.
It’s important to me that I act out of love, whether that be for myself or for those close to me. Love is the bottom fucking line.
Authenticity: to be true to who I am; to accept myself as I am; to have a deep and honest understanding of who I am. Feel good about myself.
It feels amazing to be who I am without running every word or action through the filter of other people’s perspectives. I also refuse to be “cared about” by others if they don’t see the real me or accept all of me.
Connection: (intimacy, friendships, family) to share my innermost experiences with those close to me; having close, supportive friends; having a happy & healthy family.
How do I even put this into words that aren’t already here? Connecting with family, friends, partners… being completely ourselves and sharing that. It’s beautiful.
Meaning: (transcendence) to have purpose & direction in my life; have & share deep feelings about things; to have hope, maintain a positive & optimistic outlook on life.
I included the value of “hope” into this one, because for me so much of the meaning I find value in relies on hope that it reaches others, hope that it impacts the world for the better… the shit I find meaning in and want to spread cannot be analyzed in any measurable manner. Improving lives has no quantification, no algorithm, no calculation…
Wonder: (adventure, excitement, fun, humor, openness) to have new & exciting experiences, and be open to new ideas; to play & have fun; to see the humorous side of myself and life; to have thrills & stimulation.
I fucking love to laugh. I love to act like a child, not act my age. There is so much wonder in this world, so much we ignore for profit or status or productivity. Why not fucking enjoy it? Why not laugh at something entirely way too immature, something slightly inappropriate, something that feels like Hell but you somehow made it through? The silver lining is humor, my friends.
So now the reason for sharing these with you (aside from the fact that I actually write this for myself because I think writing is when my intuition speaks to me… shhhh). If I could remember these values when making decisions for my life or being faced with tough situations, I’ll find that I’m better equipped than I thought. It takes courage to move forward, strength to stand up for yourself, and self-worth to follow your heart. My values give me strength. My heart, my loving and open heart, it gives me courage. And everything that I am gives me self-worth, because I’m finally starting to understand just how important I am to me.
Gotta end this on some type of advice or inspiration because although I’m trying to be selfish I simply cannot do it 100%. Please take the time to assess your needs, take the time to asses your values. Look at your qualities as if they were someone else’s and I’m certain you will see them in a more positive light… I’m certain you will love them about yourself… I’m certain you will love you.
Your friend Terri