I’m a lover of Brene Brown. While I haven’t read any of her books, I’ve seen her TEDTalks and listened to many podcasts where she is interviewed or her works are highlighted. It’s one of the things that inspired me to do write this blog and put all those hidden feelings out in the open. The amazing thing is I’ve heard from several friends and acquaintances that those feelings are common. It’s just that no one talks about them. They are swept under the rug and hidden. It’s great to know that none of us are alone, and I love that I’m able to strengthen my relationships with them at the same time.
So many of us suffer from feeling unworthy, and according to Ms. Brown, those feelings often (if not always) stem from shame…
“an intensely painful feeling or experience of believing we are flawed and therefore unworthy of acceptance and belonging. Women often experience shame when they are entangled in a web of layered, conflicting and competing social-community expectations. Shame creates feelings of fear, blame and disconnection.”
We all have areas that cause us to feel this way, and they are different for every individual. The key to understanding and overcoming those feelings of unworthiness is knowing what triggers them. So I’ve been doing some searching on locating where these feelings come from and what triggers them.
1. Appearance – Growing up hearing you’ll never be pretty enough or skinny enough ends up settling in and making a home. Rewiring your brain from it is a difficult and long process, and becoming comfortable with my body has been a journey. I know this it’s a struggle for all women, and men, but learning that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes has been difficult. When your told from childhood that you’ll never be pretty; you’re as big as a house; no one will ever love you, etc.; it leaves a large imprint. Add into it the fact that this person telling you this is the man who is too love you most, it becomes engrained into your psyche.
2. Not Being Good Enough – This also came from childhood but doubled the added pressure to live up to what society users to measure a person worth. I had many a nights where I would freak out before tests or projects that would, according to my fear, determine the course of my life.
I’ve mentioned that my father and I had a horrible relationship. While Being told you wouldn’t be good Enough for anyone is one thing, it’s also another when what you really strive for is affection and love from someone who is unable to give it. It’s your basic story of a child trying everything they can to earn the good graces of a parent who is unable or refuses to show/give it. As a result, you end up with a young woman who searches for that approval in men who also don’t have that capability.
3. Cruelty -At the same time, I developed quite the defensive and mean steak. It was my way of survival, and I could be vicious. I learned how to identify a person’s weakness quickly. It’s something I became very ashamed up so I did everything I could to change it.
I’ve gone overboard. Now, I am often what people call too nice. I care deeply and give of myself freely, even to those who do not deserve it. Especially those who do not deserve it. I’m not sure and learning appropriate boundaries is difficult for me.
4. A Bad Person– THIS…. I have no clue where it came from. I honestly couldn’t tell you, but being a good person is a high priority for me. I’m not sure what it is but I feel such guilt when I don’t go the extra mile for people. I mean I even remember biting a homeless woman water and something from Starbucks. I remember going across the parking lot, seeing the supermarket and chastising myself for not getting her a full meal. Who does that?! I shamed myself for not going above for this woman.
So this is where I stand. This is where I am at for all to see. I’m searching for ways to grow my comfort in these areas and accept more of who I am and grow my feeling of worthiness. Maybe this is a start, just getting everything it in the table. If anyone else has been working in Brene Brown’s research, I’d love to hear about your journey.