After my last blog post, “What to Expect During a Quarter-Life Crisis”, I gained humility and started to redefine what success is to me. I am fortunate enough to have friends and mentors who care to talk through with me what it is I’m looking for in life. One of those conversations revolved deeply around deconstructing and rebuilding what my self-worth is. With humility comes an opportunity to identify self-worth, to build it into the idea that I matter.
For far too long, I’ve been in a constant state of “blah”. Where I was once hungry to be more, I’ve become complacent and lazy. So it’s time to change that. In my pursuit to rebuild self-worth, I’m working on being less critical of myself, to be a little bolder, and to fear failure less.
Being Less Self-Critical
Believe it or not, I’m super self-critical. There’s a lot of doubt and hesitation swimming in my head at all times, and there’s always this nagging part of my brain that tells me I’m not good enough. Rationally, I know I’m at least a decent person with good motivations and intentions. But emotionally, it feels like I’m just a mess on legs, which are leading me nowhere in life. It’s a work in progress. Understanding that I’m overly critical of myself is the first step (acknowledging there is a problem in the first place is usually the first step).
Be a Little Bolder
Being bolder is about hesitating less and doing more of the unexpected. It’s about “expanding your sphere” (as my mentor put it) and being okay with stepping outside your proverbial comfort zone. But it’s not just about going skydiving when you’re afraid of heights. By being bolder, you’re committing to becoming more than yourself. It’s an entire lifestyle change that I am pushing myself towards, step by step. It’s a hard change for me to make, though, because I’m a risk-averse person by nature. But it doesn’t mean it’s impossible for me to be bolder! I just need to push myself and commit.
Fear Failure Less (i.e., Be Okay with Failing More)
This goes hand-in-hand with being bolder, and it’s likely one of the most important pieces of rebuilding my self-worth. Because I’m risk-averse, I sometimes don’t know what to do with myself when handling failure. The massive change I need to make in myself is understanding that failures are a natural part of life, but they aren’t what define us. Rather, it’s how we handle these failures. I can list off a slew of people — inventors, musicians, creators in general — who have failed many times but have also found major success, but I think you get the idea. My favorite Japanese proverb about failure is, “Nana korobi, ya oki”, meaning, “Fall seven times, get up eight”.
Tying It Back to Self-Worth
So why is it so important that we keep these three things in mind when rebuilding self-worth? It’s about changing the way we view ourselves, in how we believe we fit into the universe. I’m still working on it, but I’m confident I’ll figure it out eventually.
“Your self-worth has nothing to do with your craft or calling, and everything to do with how you treat yourself.” — Kris Carr, author
Until next time,
Originally published at www.rampantasian.com on December 15, 2016.