For those who feel the calling but are unable to answer. On some level, we can believe that our invisibility is vital to our survival. Fearlessness is for other people. Bravery is for other people. Your Fears are Too Big. And maybe that’s true.
But maybe it isn’t.
But what if you with all your flaws, imperfections, and demons, (and those shameful things, hints of which wake up us at night, but we cannot acknowledge in the brightness of day, moving on nothing to see here), what if maybe you don’t really have an insecurity problem? What if maybe what you have is a perception problem?
Come on, if you do anything, if you take a stand, if you express a view, if you put yourself out there, you might as well put a dinner bell out for the vultures. They’re coming for you. Oh, the churning! Remember that question your teacher asked in class where the majority knew the answer and no one put up their hand? Or maybe there was one, but we didn’t admire them for it? Yeah.
Somewhere as I dug deeper and deeper into my own anxieties I discovered some of these fears are tied to the issue of worthiness. Who are we to put ourselves into the ring with the people who are already winning? Are you good enough? How do we prove that?
And if we fall into the proof trap we are left unconvinced because most of us are never good enough until we’ve practiced doing it, (something we inherently know but would rather not look too carefully at). But even if we were good enough (but ARE we?), our uncertainty plagues us. Because that is not what this issue is even about.
What do we perceive our worthiness actually based on? That’s the essential question.
None of us really escape the trauma of childhood. We all learn to bend. We all get embarrassed and humiliated and frustrated and rejected. We all learn that we need to think of others even if we often fail at it. We all learn that much the time no one is thinking of us at all. We learn what is expected of us, and we learn that success lies in being able to carry that off. Flawlessly, ideally. Some of us excel, some of us don’t. Some of us are resilient, some of us aren’t. Some of us blame others, some of us blame ourselves.
Some of us, a lot of us, have bigger battles to fight. Imposter syndrome, self-doubt, anxiety, a sense of unworthiness has shaped our very identity that most of the time we don’t even see.
These things can be so ingrained we don’t even see them. Do you know how annoying it is to have people say you are being too hard on yourself? No, I’m not; you’re asking me to set the bar too low.
Maybe that our worthiness was pinned on accomplishments or others’ approval, love or acceptance was the thing that taught us how to be good members of society. But maybe it no longer serves us quite as well as it used to.
Maybe we need to unhitch our sense of worthiness from these former scripts and start connecting it to something that is far more steady, more reliable and far greater than ourselves. Because people are fickle and subjective and often selfish, promotions and raises lose their novelty, we can only ride on the fact we graduated from university with that nice high average for only so long. We can never be who we truly are by trying to be what others want us to be. We can never live up to our true potential without taking a few risks.
Take a step away from the fear for a moment.
When you take the Big Universe view, when we take that that giant step back from our small personal worlds, our petulant egos, our petty grievances, we see that our lives are just a blink of an eye of time. Our fears feel big, but our problems are small and the mysteries large.
What is the experience of You? What is your experience of consciousness? Isn’t it amazing you can observe yourself having thoughts moving in and out of your awareness?
Whether you believe in a God or gods, a higher power, the Universe, or whether you are a die-hard atheist that believes life is just organized chaos, (or maybe especially if you think life is organized chaos), there’s no getting around the fact that life and consciousness is a pretty amazing miracle, because really, watch those documentaries – the odds seem to have been against it.
And yet here you are. Here I am.
We are the purest expression of what it means to be a human without having done anything. What makes us worthy we might ask in the darkest part of the night with the smallest part of ourselves? The answer is that we are. We are the purest expression of life. How do any of us dare to assume we are any less? Well, we do because, hello, our egos. But we can do better.
Does it mean your art is good? Haha, sorry, no. It’s all subjective anyway, don’t believe the hype.
But we are not talking about whether your art is worthy. We’re talking about whether you have what it takes to step into the light. And withstand the pressures that will result from doing so.
It’s a lofty idea, I know, this idea of being worthy for nothing (but it’s not nothing). And I’m not saying it’s easy to really get in touch with the mysteries of life. It certainly is not easy challenging your automatic thoughts and limiting beliefs.
But if you are stuck, if you are living in the shadow of fear, if you are a paralysis-by-analysis type of person, burning out on perfectionism, think you’re not that smart or not that talented, not that orginal, screwed up, broken, can’t find what your voice is or even your passion, seemingly devoid of a single gift (you’d be wrong there), wrong or maybe you are simply unheard, you might want to meditate on this concept just a bit. I’m not wrong.
Now it doesn’t mean I’m not going to think you’re wrong or that I won’t judge you.
But others can only define your worth for themselves. It doesn’t actually affect what your true value actually is.
At the end of the day, the whispers that life whispers into our ears are meant only for our own ears. Only we can live our lives. Only we can test the rightness of our choices. Only we can take action for ourselves. Only we can discover and be who we are. Only we can decide to be crushed or to rise up and feed and nuture our resiliency. At the end of our lives when we face death, it is only ourselves that we can answer to.
Understanding this is how I started becoming unstuck and moving forward. And like anything, it’s a practice, and you have to revisit, prioritize and work with the material. But maybe it’s something that can help you. You can only start with what you have with where you are. And the only time to start is right now.
So does the world need another selfie? Probably not. But maybe right now that doesn’t really doesn’t matter,