conscious appreciation of who you are
For some, the awareness of our importance and value as human beings was nourished from the beginning, for others it wasn’t. Whichever case may be, this belief continued into our adult lives. As we grew, many of us were presented with the inherent challenges of living in a rapidly expanding and changing world, especially in business. From peer pressure and expectations, to the demands of work, family, friends and relationships, we found that balance and even sanity could be elusive. With all of the roles we play in life, our perspectives of who we are can be seriously affected. We often try to be perfect, like the perfect world that is presented to us; even in these uncertain economic times, in which it often seems as if everything is upside down. We may have felt guilty because a business decision did not have a positive outcome, a personal or business relationship failed or because the revenue numbers were down for the quarter, or year. We think we caused the problem, that something is wrong with us. When we found that we were not perfect, we hid our feelings of self-worth deep within and sowed the seeds of self-doubt. Consequently, our perspective of our self became distorted. Many of us tried to conceal that we felt such pain inside, often to the point that we were challenged to show any real warmth and concern for anyone, including ourselves. We had become isolated from our feelings. And paradoxically, even though we were in a position of power, possessed significant income and the comforts of a quality lifestyle, we often felt empty or removed from reality. The constant quest for more could not fill the void within. Once we enter the space where we doubt our ability to do anything right or if our fear of change has created a profound absence of self-worth, it is then vital to tap into our inherent abilities of patience, honesty and willingness. A little work in the right direction can revive and enable us to access and appreciate our natural gifts that have long been hidden or guarded. Ironically, our true self is found in these very times of adversity.
On our Journey, we see a new beginning–one that shows us that we are worthwhile people, even if we have made mistakes. Eventually, we will learn to accept ourselves as we are, to respect ourselves for what we have lived through and to appreciate the exceptional qualities that are essential to our unique personalities and spirits. This is a significant step in self-discovery, where we explore the unconscious, underdeveloped and denied aspects of our being and embrace the opportunity to fully develop our potential that lies within.
“Even though I had built a very successful company, I often did not have a good opinion of myself, I found myself being constantly concerned with what others thought of me, and any kind of disapproval or rejection made me uncomfortable. If others liked me, then I felt good about myself. Did people show me respect only because I wrote the checks or had the “power”? If they disliked me, or criticized me, I felt compelled to change in order to please them. Or, I would defend a mental position and attack them. My opinion of myself depended entirely on others.
Today I realize that instead of putting the opinions of others first, I must work on improving my own feeling of self-worth. As long as I feel like a truly worthwhile person, I can be less concerned with what others think.”
Questions for Self-Exploration
The content, structure and flow of this exercise are designed to guide you in:
listening to your thoughts
examining your thoughts on how you see yourself and who you truly are
exploring your sense of self-worth and identifying ways to improve and support it
applying these thoughts and energy towards self-awareness and self-actualization