24 Jun Finding Your Meaning and Purpose
Self-worth comes from one thing – thinking that you are worthy. – Wayne Dyer
In the honest journey to finding our meaning and purpose we invariably come face to face with the barrier of not feeling our own worthiness. Our thoughts and actions, in fact our very being, can be felt to not be important or special enough to really embrace and share with the world.
Some of the common ways this inner voice of criticism and unworthiness speaks to us — especially when we feel insecure — is through the fear that our voice, ideas, or feelings don’t matter. It may send out familiar messages such as:
- I don’t deserve to really shine in my career or earn more income
- What I have to say is not important or good enough.
- I have to prove my value to friends or in relationships
- Others are worthy of my love, but I need to do/be/offer more to earn theirs in return
- I can’t ask for what I really need because it will show my imperfections
Even though we may be fortunate enough to have friends and life experiences that tell us that we shouldn’t doubt our worthiness, we still do. We listen to the nagging voice inside on its automatic rotation of thoughts, even in spite of the all the good that is in our life.
Take a few minutes to sit with yourself and reflect on some of the messages that nagging voice tells you. If you are interested in digging deeper, take out a sheet of paper and write down a few of the main messages that seem to run consistently in your life. After you have a list go back to that first item and on a new sheet of paper write down 3-5 things you would be or do if you didn’t believe that message. Continue down the “negative voice” list, writing 3-5 changes in your life that could happen without that negative belief on your new sheet of paper – and let yourself dream big! When you are finished dispose of your “negative voice” list in any way that feels right to you and spend some time looking over your new list of dreams and goals. There is a potential gold mine here! Are there items that, if you had the right support and found ways to make happen, could bring a greater sense of meaning and purpose to your life? From this list can you see some of the ways the belief of not being worthy holds you back from the very things in life your heart longs for?
Reclaiming our worthiness is no small task and truly is a process of deep transformation. One part of embracing our worthiness is learning how to let go of the need for our life to look and feel perfect. That inner critic voice that is always telling us to not take risks, to keep up the illusion of perfectionism while judging us for our imperfections, puts our sense of worthiness in the hands of others; we are good enough if someone else shows or tells us that we are. The constant pleasing and performing is what Brene Brown refers to as the “hustle for worthiness.”
And this hustle keeps us stuck in a looping pattern that over time drains our creativity and passion. In order to really feel and know our worthiness we must get comfortable with our imperfections. Our imperfections don’t make us less than others – it’s part of what defines us.
Nobody’s perfect. And we are all worthy.
This article is the 2nd of a 3 part series, written by Prema McKeever (M.S., SEP) and Path of Love Facilitator, on finding your purpose and meaning in life. For the 1st article in the series, please follow this link.