Thaddea Thompson

This conversation is closed.

Why do some of us think we are not worthy?

Why should we always or almost always feel second or not enough?

Closing Statement from Thaddea Thompson

I honestly think that it IS the enviroment we grow up in. which is why I at the age of sixteen am determined to find out and work on myself, so that my future children will know what a person self vindicated looks like then possibly want it for themselves. I AM NOT PERFECT. and I like that.

  • Feb 16 2013: As a clinical psychologist I see too many people whose sense of worth has been lowered by shame. From my non-research, clinical perspective, shame is a "lowering/yielding/head down" mammal brain survival reaction to inescapable attack from the pack or society. Accepting one’s vulnerability is just acknowledging that “I am a mortal human and therefore vulnerable to loss, criticism from society, abandonment, death, and amazing feats of courage and joy.” It’s tremendously liberating to simply state: “So I’m not perfect. So What? I’m only human. But I’m still here and worthy of life.”
    There’s no shame in admitting our human vulnerability and imperfection. Quit the opposite. The awareness of our mammal brain lowering reaction awakens us to hold our human heads up high and say, “Yes, I’m human and imperfect. I give myself worthiness. What’s your point?” It’s the denial of humanness and the attempt to be perfect and invulnerable that causes us pain and shame. I’d like to speak up for letting go of trying to be perfect and invulnerable and to compassionate embracing our human imperfection. How liberating and courageous!
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    Feb 15 2013: Some people grow up and live in an environment that encourages them to believe they are forever inadequate or that they never live up to their potential. This feeling, then, might stay with them.

    Some people believe they should always do their best but then don't. This then may produce a cascade of negative feelings about themselves.

    But your question (before I read your elaboration) brought a different thought to my mind first. That is, many people believe that it is unfair to for outcomes to be based on luck rather than effort. A person might feel unworthy, then, of an opportunity if he sees it offered to him while a harder working and in his judgment more capable person is passed over.
    • Feb 18 2013: I think this is a fair answer.
      I believe Ayn Rand has mentioned something about that feeling of guilt someone may feel if they've incurred some sort of 'injustice'... and by injustice I mean an unfairness; something not owed to them. People usually feel this whether the consequence is perceived as positive or negative, but an emotional reaction is dependent on the interpretation of course though.
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    W. Ying

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    Feb 16 2013: .
    It is because they do not order their brains to search for being worthy.
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        Feb 17 2013: .
        You are right.
        I should have said "to search for how to be worthy".
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    Feb 16 2013: Just one sentence:
    "First love yourself !"
    All is self-confidence.
  • Feb 16 2013: I suspect it's the majority of us, at one time or another. We worry too much about what other people think about us.

    When I was in high school, a girl at the restaurant I worked at said, "Lets all go to the school dance tonight after work!"

    I said, "I don't know how to dance and I don't want people looking at me, making fun."

    She then said, very bluntly, "What makes you think your so special? If people even have the courage to get out on the floor, they won't be looking at you! They'll all be worried about whether other people are looking at them. Lets go!"

    That made sense to me!

    So, we went, we bounced around to the music and we had a great time.

    If we just try, and do things the best we can, a lot of people will think we're geniuses!
    But sadly, many won't even try, out of unwarranted fear.
    • Feb 18 2013: That sounds like a very special girl.
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    Feb 15 2013: Some people allow other people to validate their worth. Other people validate themselves. It is called internal vs. external locus of control.
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        Feb 20 2013: As we grow we look for others to take care of us. Part of taking care of us includes validating and approving of us. We initially look to our parents and family and move on to peers, friends and spouses. We may work hard to please them to have them validate our worth.

        But some of us have sought to get everyone's approval and drove ourselves nuts. Then we think, why am I doing this?

        It takes a little soul searching and some growing up, but some of us figure out it is not what others think about us that is important. It is what we think of ourselves. If we think we are second, so will everyone else. Then we think, who really cares?

        It is at that point, when you can let go of what other people think and say about you, that you find true validation and worth. It is not some lightning rod awakening, but it is an awakening none the less. Takes time and work and effort but it is well worth it (pun intended).
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    Gail .

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    Feb 16 2013: I grew up (and all that I know as well), being taught that I am unworthy. From childhood, we heard "Children are inferior to their elders". That was the central message that we heard in many different ways for at least 18 years. Then we reinforced that understanding by teaching it to our children.

    I have many memories from early childhood (even infancy). I had an understanding of how the world works that would have benefited my world, but no one believed that I had anything important to say. What do you think that does to a child, who is totally dependent on those who don't even recognize her essential existence?

    When I was 4.5, I started going to Sunday School. That was like the nail in the coffin. There, the hidden message was verbalized. "You are not perfect. You have sin in you. Your sin is so bad that someone had to suffer and die for you to save you from the hell that you are worthy of". No one told me what that sin was or how it got in me. I just knew that I was bad but I couldn't figure out why.

    Take years and years of that kind of indoctrination, and never go on a voyage of discovery of self (who is the essential me - what is the essential me) and you have a person owned by his/her insecurities without even knowing it.
  • Feb 16 2013: In part, due to religion.

    I grew up in the Catholic faith. We were taught that we are all sinners and as such we are all unworthy and must rely on God's infinite mercy.

    In part, due to high expectations. We are all subject to a simple yet powerful paradox. We need high expectations, we must reach for the stars, to have a reasonable expectation of achieving our highest potential. Failing to achieve these high expectations leads to lower self esteem.

    I recently heard, on the radio, about a study regarding lying. Among other things, it found that winning athletes were the ones that could convince themselves that they were the best. These same people scored high as liars. (I do not mean to imply that all winning athletes are liars and should not be trusted. I searched for this study but have not found it, so far.)

    Life is difficult. There will never be some magic philosophy to guide us through life always feeling good about ourselves and our situation. Life is struggle, especially with regards to self worth, self knowledge, ethics and the esteem of others. The line between healthy self worth and unhealthy conceit will always be fuzzy and gray. Humility is sometimes a virtue, but not when bold leadership is necessary, Do your best and don't let it bog you down.

    On the personal level, becoming aware of this problem is 90% of the solution. Once you are aware of the problem, you can choose to feel good about yourself. Not feeling good about yourself can be harmful, and it does no good for anyone.
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      Feb 16 2013: This is something I have wondered, but I have no personal experience with it. It is one thing to understand that no one is perfect, but this seems from the outside like a lot more negative message.
      • Feb 16 2013: At different times I have experienced a large part of the self-worth spectrum.

        At one point I thought very highly of myself and my skills, and my over confidence lead to a failure that hurt a lot of people. IMO, people who think too positively are as dangerous as people who think too negatively. I think a balance is required, and that can be difficult.

        I know that there are people of consistent achievement that never have a problem with this, and I envy them.
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          Feb 16 2013: I agree with you that seeing oneself in a balanced way is key. My worry is how it strikes small children to think of themselves as sinners.

          But as I wrote, I have no personal experience with this.
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    Feb 17 2013: I've not met people who didn't feel worthy, but if they do, I might think it's a lack of courage.
  • Feb 17 2013: Maybe one could ask the question "What aspect of consciousness am I choosing to deny or ignore which is hurting my relationship to the SELF?"
  • Feb 15 2013: Either we are or we aren't. Don't worry about it as life is not fair.