“It is not worth the while to let our imperfections disturb us always.” ― Henry David Thoreau In past articles, we talked about feeling not good enough and being stuck in trying to be perfect. Today, we will explore some alternative perspectives and exercises on how you can accept yourself more and feel good enough.
Perfectionism is a self destructive and addictive belief system that fuels this primary thought: If I look perfect, and do everything perfectly, I can avoid or minimize the painful feelings of shame, judgment, and blame. ― Brené Brown The Origins of Perfectionism The unfortunate reality is that most of us suffer from perfectionism to one degree or another.
Verbal abusers, manipulators, those with strong narcissistic tendencies, and otherwise toxic people wittingly or unwittingly use language to hurt and exploit others. Sometimes it’s because they feel insecure and want to attack others to feel better about themselves. Other times they just want something from you and say untrue and hurtful things to get it. Or sometimes they want to justify their abusive behavior or shift responsibility. In these cases, along with many others, they use words to manipulate you. In a previous article, titled Things Abusers and Manipulators Say to Their Victims, we looked at common things abusers and toxic people say to their victims and what it actually means. In this article, we will take a few examples and explore possible reactions to them.
“Trauma victims commonly blame themselves. Blaming oneself for the shame of being a victim is recognized by trauma specialists as a defense against the extreme powerlessness we feel in the wake of a traumatic event. Self-blame continues the illusion of control shock destroys, but prevents us from the necessary working through of the traumatic feelings and memories to heal and recover.” ― Sandra Lee Dennis
What is self-blameAn overwhelming amount of people routinely experience mild or complex trauma symptoms from the environment they had in their formative years. One of such symptoms is toxic self-blame.
The feeling of being valuable—"I am a valuable person"—is essential to mental health and is a cornerstone of self-discipline. It is a direct product of parental love. Such a conviction must be gained in childhood; it is extremely difficult to acquire it during adulthood. Conversely, when children have learned through the love of their parents to feel valuable, it is almost impossible for the vicissitudes of adulthood to destroy their spirit. — M. Scott Peck A child is dependent on the people who raise them, who have authority and power over them, and this is on their caregivers. The child learns about relationships from their relationship with their primary caregivers. And most importantly, this is how the child learns how to self-relate.
Self-esteem is one of the core concepts in regard to our self-perception, self-worth, and self-understanding. Self-esteem is something that people refer to all the time, be it a mental health professional, a regular person, and everyone in between.
Most people have experienced childhood neglect to one degree or another at some point during their lives. Of those, many don’t even recognize it as neglect or abuse because people tend to idealize their childhood upbringing or even defend child abuse in order to cope with their own unpleasant feelings.
A tragic number of children have been raised to practice self-sacrifice and self-erasure in order to meet the needs of others, mainly their primary caregivers. This is often the main function that the child serves in the parent-child dynamic. This is wrong because it’s the parent’s responsibility to take care of the child, not vice versa.
Many people have grown up in an environment where their parents, siblings, family members, teachers, peers, and similarly significant persons told them that they are not good enough. Some of these messages are explicit, while others are covert and very subtle, sometimes to the degree where the child is not even aware something wrong is happening. Here, we will look at four common childhood reasons why a person grows up into an adult who feels or believes they are just not good enough.
“With nothing and no one to judge them against, we assume them to be perfect parents. As our world broadens beyond our crib, we develop a need to maintain this image of perfection as a defense against the great unknowns we increasingly encounter. As long as we believe our parents are perfect, we feel protected.” — Susan Forward, Toxic Parents Babies and small children are new to the world and their brains and minds are still developing. The biggest influence on a child’s development is their primary caregivers and their immediate environment. That’s where we get our understanding of concepts like love, care, empathy, trust, healthiness, goodness, worth, value, and so on.