Put me in front of someone who is insulting, putting down, attacking or plain just being mean to someone I love and care about and I’m like a wolf, pouncing and ready to stand and defend their honour. Put me in front of someone who is insulting, belittling, attacking, shaming or plain just being mean to me and I crumble. Why is that? Why am I able to stand up and be strong and defend everyone…but me?! I already know the answer to this question but that doesn’t make it any easier to accept or fight against. The reason I can’t stand and fight for myself when the situation requires it, is because I don’t know my own worth. I don’t value myself. At times I’ve even considered myself completely worthless.
I’m much better now than I ever used to be but at times I really genuinely considered myself to not be worth very much. This wasn’t that long ago either and I’d sit there and think that if this was how I viewed myself then it must be how others see me as well. It made me sad.
Often I’ll find myself going into defence mode because I assume people, particularly women, will turn out to be just like those girls at school who made my life such a misery and then had the audacity to send me a friend request years later on Facebook as if they hadn’t left any scars behind at all.
Even now as a thirty something year old woman, mother, successful business owner, I sit and find myself nervous and on guard against new people. Why are they being nice? Why do they want me around? They must have made a mistake. I’m not “cool enough” to be around long. Give it 5 minutes and I’ll soon become a nuisance.
Don’t even get me started on compliments. When I met Mr Tutu and of course still now as well, he’d tell me I’m funny or beautiful or something like that and I’d either awkwardly laugh, do nothing or tell him to plain shut up… nicely of course. I don’t know what to do with compliments but my go to now seems to be “Thanks” with an added “You too” if appropriate.
So why don’t I know my own worth. I have a couple of really close friends who I value greatly being in my life and spend hours trying to boost them up, support them, encourage them and at times build their confidence in areas where they completely lack it when they shouldn’t. They do the same for me.
So it is not just me. Is it everyone? Is it just women? Is it just mothers? When do we lose sight of our own worth? If I stop and think about all I have done, all I am doing and all I have achieved I should feel nothing but pride and know that what I have done and what I am doing is awesome and that not just because of those things but also just because I am me, means that I am worth something. Maybe more than just something. And to some people a lot.
However, what I, you, we need to do is not to devalue ourselves. It is not always easy and believe me I struggle with it on sometimes a daily basis, but we need to understand our own worth and all that we do.
It doesn’t have to be big or something monumental that makes us worth something. It is just you being you and me being me.