Should I be concerned about disappointing myself?
I struggle with this pretty frequently, and I know I am not alone in this.
Who am I? I ask that question a lot. Part of why I keep asking is because I am constantly changing – which is part of the human condition. Another reason why I ask is because I know that you probably have a different impression of me than I have of myself.
Ever hear a recording of your voice and feel like, whoa, is that really how I sound? If you hear enough recordings of your voice, you get used to how everyone else hears you. It gives you an outside impression of an aspect of yourself.
Same thing applies to photos. Ever look at a picture and wince at how you look? Again, you are seeing yourself from without.
Inside my own head, I see myself differently than how you see me. My voice is deeper, my body is stockier rather than flabby, and my hair is more pepper than salt. If I feel good about myself, then these superficial aspects you see are not terribly important.
However, if I start to see the flabby guy with the greying hair and it makes me feel bad, and I become disappointed about myself, this can begin an ugly trend that might pick up speed and spiral out to further disappointment.
I am a social person. I do a lot of things that put me out there. Between publishing these posts weekly and teaching fencing and standing up in SCA courts, I present multiple facets of who I am. Because I want people to think well of me, I worry about the impressions I make.
Is there anyone who I should worry about disappointing?
Yes. Myself. Because it’s a universal truth that you cannot please all the people all the time. Some people are going to think I am pretty awesome. Others are going to think I am not so awesome. Still others probably think I’m an asshole. I have no control over what you think about me.
Except I really wish that I did. I don’t want people to think I’m an asshole. I want people to think well of me. It matters to me that I not be a disappointment to anyone.
Why? How come this is important to me at all? Because at the root of all my fears is the ultimate fear of abandonment. The fear that I will be left to stand completely and totally alone in the world. Fear of success, fear of failure are really just the surface concerns. What I fear the most is being abandoned.
Subconsciously, I think if I disappoint you, in time you’ll give up on me, and walk away. So long, and thanks for all the fish. If I do not live up to my ideals, I will lose the people I have in my life.
Of course, in realty, this is ludicrous. But the larger issue that this causes is that I have a certain ideal I strive to live up to. In the pursuit of my goals and the bridges I am crossing, I have a standard I work to maintain.
When I do not keep control of my diet, or I don’t get to the gym, or meditate, or stick to my plan, I end up disappointed in myself. I berate myself, I get annoyed with myself, and begin to think poorly of who I am.
Where does the disappointment come from?
I supposed I could blame certain outside influences for my feelings of disappointment. I know that certain people close to me feel I have not made the most of my life. There is worry that I might let down other people who are close to me, and that while they won’t tell me I am disappointing them, I am. Of course, there is nobody to blame, because how I feel is all on me.
I think it’s a matter of validation. Yet in truth, I think its more valuation than validation. The difference is that approval is not indicative of worth. Yet, if you look at Trump, to him approval is the sign of his worth, so maybe it’s not so surprising a thing.
I have been struggling a long time with feeling worthwhile. Because I have spent so much of my life seeking validation in order to gage my valuation, I disappoint myself too easily. When I become disappointed, I begin to feel worthless, and I question everything.
To better combat this issue, I need to re-evaluate what I think of myself. I have mentioned how important self-talk is before, and it really is essential to think well of who I am. When I don’t think good thoughts about myself, is inevitable that I will wind up disappointing myself instead.
While I sometimes find affirmations a little cheesy, that does not lessen their importance. I need to remember when I begin feeling disappointment in myself I am worthwhile. If I am disappointing other people, that’s not on me, because the person I need to not disappoint is myself.
Affirmation is valuation.
My new affirmation, whenever I begin feeling as if I am disappointing myself, is this:
I am worthwhile, skilled, loved, and I deserve good things in my life.
Consciousness creates reality. I need to recognize when I am thinking poorly of myself, and actively turn it around. When you find yourself in the same struggle, I encourage you to acknowledge your own worth, and know that you are not alone in this.
We’ve got this. We will not be disappointing anyone, ourselves included. As always, thank you for crossing the bridges with me.
GOAL LOG – Week 39:
Diet: Back on track, writing it out.
Exercise: Fencing one day, three days at the gym, two days where I took long walks.
Writing: Three blog posts, some work on the sci-fi story.
Meditation: Four days last week, never less than 8 minutes.
Gratitude: I was grateful for 5 things five days last week
This is the fifty-fourth entry of my personal journey, the Crossing the Bridges series. My collectively published writing can be found here.