I Forgive Myself and Those Who Said I Was Unworthy
"I Forgive Myself and Those Who Said I Was Unworthy”
Confidence is believing that we are worthy of all the abundance life can deliver. Confidence is believing in ourself even when others don’t. Confidence is loving ourself just the way we are without comparing to others or living up to their standards. Confidence is having a high level of self-worth.
Lack of confidence is believing that we are unworthy and not up to the standard of expectations of others. Lack of confidence is allowing our fears to rule our thoughts and actions. Believing that something or someone out there is better than us. Prettier, richer, more intelligent, luckier or happier. And believing that others know what is best for us.
These beliefs of unworthiness are self-destructive. They make us feel less than. They make us feel that we need to compare and measure up to others. And when we feel unworthy we attract people who confirm our unworthiness. People who treat us with disrespect. People who want to control us. Or people with narcissistic tendencies to use and abuse. We may feel victimised and blame others for our unhappiness. This cycle of unworthiness can perpetuate until we wake up and rise above it all.
The beliefs of unworthiness were formed during our growing years. At home, when our parents’ unwittingly set us up against our siblings by comparing our progress. Which child talked first? Who walked first? Which child cut the first tooth? Which child was smarter? Bless their hearts they probably meant well and didn’t realise that children soak up everything in their environment. Everything said and done.
Then in school we were exposed to more separations and comparisons allowing our unconscious mind to create more fears and beliefs of unworthiness. We were compared to other kids in our class. Individuality wasn't considered and creativity was praised only if there was a potential of future reward and financial success. We were encouraged to compete against each other. To be the best. The fastest. The smartest. The big achiever. Someone our parents would be proud of.
We had to live up to a certain standard of behaviour to feel safe in our small world. Seeking approval from adults became second nature to us. We fought with our brothers and sisters for our parents’ attention and love. We competed with our classmates to be the winner. We learned from an early age how to manipulate to get what we want.
As innocent children we had to create a safe haven for the onslaught of fearful behaviour from the adults in our lives. We were bombarded with conditions. But it wasn't our parents’ fault. It wasn’t our teachers’ fault. They were all products of their upbringing. The generational programming. Our parents did the best they could. They were raised to believe that punishment was the only way to make children listen and behave. Some parents went overboard taking out their frustrations on their children with violent beatings or isolating them from the family. Because they could. Many of us had a regular beating and even teachers had permission to use violence if we didn’t behave in class. We were either beaten, belittled, abused, neglected, abandoned or rejected. No wonder it took some of us many years to gain confidence and believe that we are not useless unworthy beings. Unfortunately, children are still abused or neglected daily by adults who feel powerless even though this behaviour is not approved by our society. It still happens. Parents use their children to punish each other or to settle the property and visiting rights.
Children in any era were programmed to behave and fit in with the expectations of the society. Verbal, emotional and physical abuse was the norm and still evident today as we release the emotional baggage we’ve been carrying around for centuries.
Do you remember hearing any of the following statements during your childhood?
"If you don’t eat all your dinner you’ll go to bed without desert! "
"All good children eat everything on their plate!" No wonder many of us have problems with digestion and weight. Eating to please.
"If you don’t keep quiet in class you will go to the time out table and sit by yourself! "
"Do what I say not what I do! Children are to be seen not to be heard! "
Do any of these statements ring a bell? A blast from the past or screeching music to your ears?
Yes, unfortunately it does ring a bell to most of us. We were raised with conditions, punishment, separations, comparisons, competition, shame or guilt to keep us in line. For most people, this conditioning generated feelings of inadequacy and lack of safety well into their adult years.
Adults who raised us were busy making comparisons and pointing out our differences and never stopped to think how we were affected. After the pleasure of creating us and the pain of giving birth to us they took ownership of our entire being. Apparently children have to conform to be able to survive and succeed in life. The conformed unrealistic standards set by our society don’t align with the true self. Generally speaking, children struggle with dishonesty but the conditions placed upon them by adults make them act in undesirable ways just to feel safe. Then they are labelled, the problem children.
During the growing years our immature minds soaked up tons of refuse from the powerless adults with limited mindsets. Being a child was like a ping pong ball going back and forth between parents and teachers. Back and forth between mum and dad. Back and forth between siblings. We endured punishment, belittling, name-calling, separation, abandonment, rejection, domestic violence or abuse of some kind. We had to fit into boxes of standard behaviour and academic achievements. Parents with a “gifted” child gloated and bragged about their child’s achievements to other parents and anyone willing to listen. They take on their child’s success as their own because they didn’t or couldn’t achieve it themselves. This self-gratifying, ego-pampering behaviour is based on fear of not being good enough, so taking ownership of their child's success gave them some solace. Insecure parents raised insecure children. This behaviour was perpetuated throughout generations.
As children, we had to endure an avalanche of the authoritarian, controlling and restrictive rules just to survive in this world. We were on a perpetual wheel of other people’s fear and because we didn’t know any better we took it as our own fear. We took other people's fear as our own. We created limitations, filed them into our unconscious mind and played the survival game well into adulthood. We even fell in love, committed to another and even got married to people out of fear of being left on the shelf or because we were afraid of living alone. At first it was love, at least it felt like love but then the cracks began to appear as we triggered each other’s emotional baggage ending up in another cycle of control, punishment and abuse. When feeling unworthy and lacking confidence we often end up with partners who like to blame and belittle. They blame us for their failures. Tell others how “bad” we are. Ridicule us in front of others to somehow make their fear less visible. We may put up with this behaviour for life. We may feel small and insignificant. Unworthy. We may play the game of people pleasing and seeking approval afraid to make a decision in case we fail. Some use drugs, alcohol or sex as escapism from their reality. Eventually something has to break. Either our health, relationships, career or maybe all of them.
When we become victims of our circumstances and reach our limit of feeling unhappy and miserable we give up. The mind and the body can only take so much and then we have to surrender. As we surrender, we give up control and allow the flow of life to guide us towards enlightenment and self-love. Then as we break through the illusion of limitations and inadequacies we become empowered. As our consciousness shifts we can move forward to make changes by peeling layers of limited fearful beliefs we created as children. Each time we are triggered we have the opportunity to peel off another layer of falseness and illusion.
Sometimes the shift in our consciousness may be influenced by a person who acts as a catalyst for our wake-up call. It may be a friend, a colleague or a stranger that says something that resonates or rings a bell in our mind and heart. Suddenly we see the light and realise that only we can give ourselves the freedom from our fears, the imaginary shackles.
As we become aware that our insecurity and unworthiness stems from our upbringing influenced by the suppressed society with limited expectations, we realise that our parents, teachers, bitchy girls and bullies in school were also products of their upbringing. There were all looking for love and happiness but didn’t know how to find it. They projected their lack of self-love onto others to bring them down to their level of misery so they wouldn’t feel alone and empty. Their pain needed company as well. So, the cycle of emptiness and lack of love perpetuated in the abyss of fear.
The lack of self-love and the emptiness within usually results in loneliness and sadness, depression, anxiety and fear of life and death. When feeling down and out we tend to attract more down and out experiences, reinforcing our miserable state. But when the awakening occurs we see the light. And through the light comes self-love and love for others and for life itself. When awakened we know that our beliefs create our thoughts and actions. With that awareness we can proceed to release the beliefs of unworthiness and create beliefs of worthiness, love and happiness.
To release our limited beliefs we have to be able to forgive. We have to forgive ourselves, our parents, teachers and peers for any pain and trauma they caused us. Most of us have experienced some kind of trauma or abuse during childhood. And now it’s time to forgive. To let it go. Forgiveness is not approval of their behaviour, but letting go of the pain. People who hurt us or made us feel inadequate and unloved were coming from their state of powerlessness. They didn’t know any better. And it doesn’t serve us to hold onto that pain any longer. Forgiveness is the path towards happiness.
So, let go of beliefs that your parents didn’t love you because you were not good enough. Let go of beliefs that you are stupid. Let go of beliefs that you are not beautiful. Let go of beliefs that you are not lucky. Let go of beliefs that you are unworthy of love, fortune and happiness and make space for beliefs that are true to you. Accept that you are worthy of love, happiness and abundance. That you are perfect just as you are. There is no other like you. You are unique and beautiful. You were born, so you must be worthy of living.
Transforming beliefs from the negative limited ones to the ones that make us feel abundant is done by repetition. By repeating and affirming what we prefer, we create new patterns of behaviour. Affirmations are a great way to make the shift. It may seems strange at first and you may feel that nothing is changing, but it will.
You can start with the “I Am” affirmations. You can also create your own. Create affirmations that make your heart sing. That make sense to you. That you can relate to. You have to feel comfortable with the process for it to work.
Affirm as you wake up in the morning and anytime time you feel the need. And watch your life transform.
I am love
I am lovable
I am worthy
I am happy
I am healthy
I am wealthy
I am wise
I am joy
I am abundant
The more you repeat the positive affirmations the easier it gets. You are creating new patterns of thinking and behaving. Keep going until you feel and believe what you affirm.
How is your self-confidence now? Improving?
To release false beliefs from our subconscious it takes some work and soul searching. When triggered, frustrated or angry by a comment or behaviour from another person, ask yourself if this is about you or the other person. If you feel angry or feel any kind of resentment then it's about you. Ask what exactly was said that made you angry. Ask what beliefs were stirred up. Ask what you can learn from the situation. What emotions were stirred up? How did it make you feel? What beliefs you have about yourself came up and need releasing? Maybe something that was said made you feel stupid. Maybe deep down you have a belief that you are stupid, incompetent or lazy? Where did that come from? Did your parents tell you that you weren’t as smart as your big brother? Did your teacher tell you that you’ll never amount to anything?
I can relate to that. My teacher told me that I am not very smart because I couldn’t grasp some mathematical concepts. I had no interest in maths and had no idea what the purpose and value those complex concepts had in my life. My teacher told my parents that I wasn’t as smart as my sister. There you go! I grew up thinking that I wasn’t good enough. Took me a while, actually well into my adult years to start believing in myself. I thought my parents and teachers knew what they were talking about. I believed in them. I excelled in languages, chemistry, biology, geography, music and sport but I still believed that I wan't good enough. Yes, that was years ago. And I didn’t need that stupid maths either. I wasn’t planning on being an engineer or a mathematician. My intuitive and nurturing nature lead me to nursing, counselling, teaching, writing and creative arts giving me a variety of interests and I don’t feel stupid anymore. It also took a couple of failed relationships for me to realise my true self-worth.
As my career unfolded I found myself interested in people and what makes them tick. I became very interested in human behaviour and what changes were necessary for us to feel happy and healthy. I love bringing out the best in people. I love guiding them towards self-discovery and joy. The journey of self-discovery also brings out our shadows into the open. Our unconscious fears. And when unleashed they are projected at anyone in the vicinity. You don’t have to be counselling people to be the recipient of their fears. People will project their fears whenever triggered. Anytime through their daily life. We all project our fears when triggered. We are the givers and recipients of projectile fears every day.
To recognise if it's you or the other person projecting their crap, stop for a moment and analyse how you feel. If you feel angry, frustrated or resent what had transpired then it's your work but if you are not affected then it's the other person's.
It’s important to remember not to take other people’s fears as your own. If you can’t help them go through the releasing process or if they are not willing to take ownership of their behaviour then leave it alone. Don’t allow their behaviour shake your confidence. They need to do their own work of peeling the layers of their undesirable beliefs, thoughts and actions.
As I mentioned earlier, we don’t need to blame our parents, teachers and peers or love partners. They are products of their upbringing. And they projected their insecurities onto us. And we took their fear as our own. But we don’t need to do that anymore. We don’t need to carry their emotional baggage around. It’s too heavy. It’s time to let it go. And there is no need to blame them. We don’t need to blame them or ourselves. We don’t need to blame anyone or anything as blame gets us nowhere. Blame keeps us stuck in the same energy. And we can’t move forward. It’s like trying to swim in a pool of honey. Struggling 'til exhaustion. Eventually we have to come out and jump into the pool of water. It's easier. And it makes more sense. Why struggle when we don't have to.
Let go of blame and allow gratitude in. Look within to find the gem that you are underneath all those false beliefs you conjured up as a child. Be grateful for what is working in your life. Ride that wave of feeling good then it will be easier to release the crap that doesn’t serve you anymore. Maybe it served you up until this point. Maybe you needed to experience what you don’t want so you can know what you want. And now it’s time to let the crap go. Let go of those beliefs and thoughts that keep creating feelings of not being good enough.
Everything we experienced so far in our life was necessary to make us who we are today.
So, to sum it up so far, confidence is having a belief that you are fine as you are, you are worthy of all goodness, joy and abundance life can deliver. Believe in yourself, no matter what anyone else thinks or says. Believe that you are safe and able to make a change in your life in the way you prefer. Love yourself first. Love all your, as the song goes, perfect imperfections. You have to have a loving relationship with yourself before you can love another or be loved unconditionally by another. No more comparing or competing with others. We all have our own agenda. Forgive yourself and others for any shortcomings. This is an important part of the process. Forgiveness and gratitude are powerful tools. Live and let live. Be grateful for everything in your life. Be confident that everything will be all right because you are in the driver’s seat.
We have to experience the darkness before our light can shine through. We’ve lived in darkness for too long. We can’t see “the forest for the trees” anymore. We are so bogged down by the things that don’t work that we can’t see what does work in our life. We may need to have a complete breakdown before we can break through the illusions that our limitations created. Failed relationships, failed businesses, losing a job, financial loss or ideas that got us nowhere are not necessarily negative or bad. Perceiving failure of any kind can be embarrassing and scary in the society built on the material and external value system. But failures are very important steps in life. They are not mistakes but learning curves that allow humility to do its job. When feeling vulnerable and humiliated all we want to do is run away and hide but actually we need to do the opposite. We need to stand tall, take a deep breath and ask our ego personality to relax as there is nothing to fear. As the ego works with you it will allow you to face whatever you are dealing with in a rational way. And this is the way to deal with all beliefs that keep us feel unworthy. Face life head on, analyse, integrate and release limitations to live your life authentically. True to self. Free and happy.
Analyse - check what belief was triggered and where it came from. Maybe from your parents, siblings or from your teacher telling you that you'll never amount to anything
Integrate - recognise the belief and allow it to flow through you, say how it makes you feel, give gratitude for the experience
Release - Let the belief go, use your imagination to let it fly away or float down the river or up in smoke whatever makes sense to you
Remember this, we can’t please everyone. And we are not supposed to. We can follow our parents’ ideals and their religious belief systems but if their values don’t align with our true core values, then we have to make changes. We have follow the beat of our own drum otherwise we’ll end up living a life of misery. Many worry about disrespecting their parents and losing them if they don’t follow their cultural or religious set of values. But what about honouring and respecting yourself? Is anyone considering and respecting you and your needs? Are you living your life or just existing according to the rules set up by others?
So, confidence is believing in yourself enough to let go of anything that makes you unhappy or unworthy. Having confidence to tell you parents that you love them with all your heart but you are off on your own path is truly empowering for them and you.
It’s important to set healthy boundaries with everything and everyone in your life. Love yourself enough to set healthy boundaries with your relationship to food, drink, exercise, work, rest and people. Treat others how you want to be treated. Love from your heart and set all your intentions from the heart, not from the ego, then others who are worthy of you will be drawn to you. Love yourself and others unconditionally. No conditions, no comparisons, no competition, just be your best self in each moment.
Believe in yourself and have confidence that no matter what comes your way, you will be safe. You can create the life you prefer.
Hope you enjoyed this journey in finding your confident self! I would love to hear from you. Let me know if you enjoyed it. Best wishes from Nancy! Email me: [email protected]