HONESTY CIRCLES - SELF WORTH AND HOW I VIEW MY IDENTITY
I initially felt afraid and shocked when I was invited to write the reading for this sharing.
“Huh, why me?”
“Seriously? I don’t think I can do it.”
“Hmm I really don’t know.”
I chose to do it because I wanted to prove these voices wrong, and allow myself to really get in depth on what self-worth means to me.
I admit that writing this sharing was tough. I thought sharing about triumphs over being lost on my own identity was easy - but I was wrong. I struggled for a few nights on this, questioning myself on the question of self worth and who I really am.
I’ve always struggled with self-esteem. I never really had an experience where I was fully comfortable with who I am - I always had doubts on certain parts or things I was doing that didn’t feel good enough. Hence, I found solace in the comfort of groups. Of feeling belonged and approached. I spent loads of time being with people, and always wanted to give and put in effort and time for the people I cared about.
For me, I’ve always taken a small bit of pride in being adept and comfortable in social situations and groups, given the fact that I wasn’t a very social person in secondary school. I was always “the nice guy” or “the funny one”, and indeed I was delighted to bring delight to people, whether it be in de light of my annoying puns, or just my desire to fit in and contribute to whatever group of people or situation I’m in. I thought my self worth was in my strength and flexibility to be a good friend to all parties, but it only took one party to make me think otherwise.
It was indeed a literal party I was invited to. A friend whom I haven’t really spoken to in a while invited me to his birthday party, which I initially hesitated but thought, “hmm he’s still quite nice to have invited me!” and decided to head down in the end. It was a little mundane at the start, but at the end when I had to leave, he whispered “Don’t leave, you’re my main event” and suddenly brought me to the centre of the party and exclaimed that I was the close relative of someone who recently got tangled in a controversial saga. I was in utter shock. I recently confided in him this fact because I thought he was concerned about my relative and the whole saga, but I didn’t expect him to use it in such a way of entertaining his guests. “WAH SERIOUS can I take a photo omg?” and laughs and snickers ensued. I hung on for a minute before I quickly raced out, in shock and anger.
Apart from being angry that these people were really shallow about the whole situation, I realized I felt so lost. It was in this moment I realized once I didn’t need to be a jester or be of need to a certain group of people, I didn’t know what I really wanted anymore. It felt like I was doing a lot of things just because it allowed me to fit in or feel belonged. I didn’t see my flexibility as strength anymore. I saw it as my horrid lack of self worth and identity. I felt seriously lost - and a little burdened because I had a whole sharing on self worth to write. :(
It was only after a workshop on discovering how the body works as a channel of discovery and learning, that I realized how naturally dispositioned I was to really be in a space of fun and giving. I had self-doubts on whether my desire to create fun was just to fit in, but a fellow participant commended me on how my flexibility and excitement in creating joy – created a space of openness for her too. It was a simple comment, but it made me realize how much I had doubted my strengths and how much my presence can do.
I realized that my self-doubt, lies at the very heart of my belief that I am inadequate and that I could always do better. I thought I could do anything and be anywhere - but when that failed, I ignored both the result and whatever strengths I had - perpetually falling into emptiness. I spent too much time and effort in wanting to feel belonged because I was so stuck with the concept that I wasn’t good enough for myself.
Self-worth, is acknowledging that I, am good enough - in whatever struggle and weaknesses I find myself engulfed in. I realized that if I keep measuring accomplishments and strengths on a scale of whatever expectations I have for myself, I would never reach the full length of it. Ambition is important, but acknowledging the virtue of sufficiency that we are enough, is important too.
After this whole episode and clearing my self doubts, I feel pride in my optimism and flexibility in creating possibilities and joy for others. I know that there will definitely still be struggles in finding and being sure of who I am - but I am clear that I am worthy, for who I am.
Empty space, drag to resize
1. How do we measure our self worth?
2. Understanding that self worth can be built upon things, people or circumstances, how do I create an authentic sense of self?
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