Moving Through Self-doubt into Acceptance

Jun 11, 2022Therapy0 comments


Early on in my path as a therapist, and through having the honor to observe the lives of my clients and reflecting on my own life and the people in my personal life, I had this insight that were all kind of like stumbling around, bumping into each other. Asking this question, am I worthy? It looks very different for different people, but it all could be boiled down to this question around our worth. We’re trying to seek mirroring around our worth in different ways, this can lead to a lot of self-doubt, and this questioning our worth and this self-doubt can become a barrier to accepting our circumstances, to accepting our current behaviors and mental and emotional distress (such as anxiety and depression).

Questioning our worth is rooted in our early childhood experiences, and the quality of our attachment to our parents, where we got a sense that maybe we weren’t worthy of love and attention, and then this becomes the lens through which we experience the rest of our life.
What’s really awesome is that we can change this lens. We can we can uncover these beliefs about ourselves and expose them and bring them to the light and heal them.

When we are stumbling around questioning our worth this creates a barrier to truly accepting our circumstances, because we feel that maybe if we accept our circumstances then that is going to prove that we’re not worthy. This is where self-compassion becomes really important. When we look at the parts of our lives, or look at our patterns of self-sabotage and we really clearly look at the impact that mental and emotional distress is having on us, it can bring up a lot of shame.

I’m a huge fan of Brené Brown, she’s done incredible work around understanding shame. If you if you’re not familiar with Brené Brown, I encourage you to check out her work. Reading her books has been tremendously groundbreaking for me personally and her work continues to inform the work that I do with individuals; specifically around how when we are in a place of shame, we can see that it’s not a place of growth.

In our culture we get this notion that you’ve gotta pull yourself up by your bootstraps, and get your shit together. Like you can do this, a kind of aggressive approach to changing oneself and coming from a lot of judgment and shame. When we’re in a state of shame, it’s complete shutdown.
Brené Brown, talks about guilt being like, oh, I made a mistake and shame being like oh I am a mistake. The conviction that you are a mistake is not a place of growth. That’s not a place where you’re going to have the inspiration to shift things. It’s when we include ourselves within the pool of humanity, and being human is quite messy, it’s when we allow ourselves to be human and we have self-compassion, that we are then able to fully accept where we are currently, and this allows for the space for things to shift.


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