Where does your self worth lie?
It lies within. In the intrinsic you-ness. There no outside force or person or thing that can determine your self worth. So why do we let it?
Each week I receive feedback on my grad school assignments for the previous week. I sit with baited breath waiting for the email to appear in my inbox "xx has submitted feedback on your assignment". Then, to elevate the tension and stretch the anxiety even longer, I have to click on the link to read the feedback and see the grade - it doesn't just show up in my inbox. I get a jolt of anxiety in my chest when I see the email. I scroll down to see my grade and the comments and the narration begins before I even see what's been said - 'I could have been more specific, maybe that source wasn't the right one to use, what if I cited that one sentence incorrectly, I am so awesome she's the one who's wrong, she's just a hard grader'
It goes on and on.
Today I received an assignment back with one point taken off. ONE POINT. If I were in high school or even undergrad I'd be fine. I'd think 'cool, I got an A!' or 'hey, basically 100%, I rock!' But now, it's 'ugh - what did I do wrong? this is going to ruin my whole day, why didn't I do xyz instead to get that extra point?'
You guys - it's exhausting.
To allow something as simple as one tiny little point in a graduate school research paper darken my day. It's ridiculous to say the least.
But it does. And I wonder - is it because I'm trying to prove something? Because this is the biggest commitment I've made since becoming a mother? Is it because when I finish this program and get my degree, I'll finally be 'legit'?.
I know the answer. It's the latter. I have tricked myself in to thinking that if I get one more certification, one more degree, one more A, then I'll be successful - I'll be an expert - I'll be legit in my business. But here's the thing: I am legit. I am an expert.
I looked it up months ago. An expert is simply someone who knows more than the average person. I am an expert in nutrition. I am an expert in prenatal health. I am an expert.
And yet, that email dings in my inbox and I still feel the pang of self-doubt and anxiety start to creep in to my chest. I'm sure you've felt the same at one point. If only you could get to this point, do this thing, achieve this - then you'll be successful/a good mama/legit.
Let's challenge that inner monologue. Let's acknowledge our awesomeness inside despite the world telling us we're not worthy. Here's what I'm telling myself this week and I hope if you're in the same spot I am you'll join me:
- I am smart.
- I am an expert.
- I am a good mother.
- I am a good student.
- I am enough.
- I am worthy.
- I am a badass.
- I am successful.
- I am.
In Sanskrit, the mantra 'so ham' translates to 'I am' and really means I am one with myself and the universe (or whatever your spiritual identification). You don't need any of the words after that. 'So Ham' is enough. You are enough. Just by being.