Many high-achievers who have low self-worth fail to recognize they're waging an internal battle.
When it comes to understanding yourself, here's something everyone should know. Your self-concept contains two elements. The first is your view of your competencies. Do you see yourself as being good at a variety of skills?
The second aspect is your intrinsic self-worth. Do you feel as worthwhile as other people, independent of your skills? Do you feel like you have inherent self-worth as a human?
High achievers sometimes recognize their competencies and skills but don't feel a sense of inherent self-worth that's separate from those. They see their worth as contingent on their achievements.
Below, discover the subtle, sneaky signs of low self-worth.
You're a high-achiever but...
1. You don't see yourself as deserving of support. You think you should be able to handle everything on your own. For example, you're nervous about a medical appointment but think you should be able to go on your own, even if you'd like to ask a friend to go with you. Or perhaps you think you should be a superwoman (or man) and not need help maintaining your home or garden, even though you work full-time. Or you might think, "I should be able to succeed in my career without mentors."
2. You think it's reasonable for other people to make mistakes on the road to success, but not for you. You expect yourself to be good at everything without practice or experience. You think this even in domains not central to your core expertise. For example, you think should be good at painting, even if you don't have a history or an interest in arts or crafts. In your career, you don't give yourself grace when you're a beginner at something. You expect to be good at everything, right off the bat.
3. You find a way to recast other people's mistakes as your mistakes. For example, you get misdiagnosed by a doctor. Instead of thinking it was their fault, you think it was your fault for not picking a better doctor. Or, if someone whose job is to help or teach you isn't doing that well, you think it's your fault for not effectively extracting that from them.
4. It's easier for you to think of what you haven't achieved than what you have. In today's era of social media, our minds effortlessly wander into countless imagined lives we could be leading. It's easy to imagine that on your weekends you could be renovating a derelict home you bought for $10,000, that you could be well on your way to visiting 100 countries, or that you could be body-building or becoming an expert carpenter on the side.
Do you often find yourself dwelling on the roads not taken, rather than appreciating the path you have chosen and the accomplishments you have achieved? Most of us can only work on one or two major goals at a time. Do you compare yourself to literally everybody else?
5. You feel embarrassed in situations that don't warrant embarrassment. For example, your child is sick or experiencing a challenge and you feel embarrassed by that. Or, a completely chance event happens to you, like getting pooped on by a bird, and that triggers embarrassed feelings rather than recognizing it could happen to anyone.
6. You've never really considered that your worth isn't directly tied to your achievements. Sometimes high-achievers so closely link their achievements with their worth that have never even considered that their intrinsic worth isn't merely the total of their contributions. Corporate culture can reinforce this view with the concept of higher-and lower-value employees.
Did you relate to this profile? You may have noticed that the themes behind many of the points include being excessively independent and taking excessive self-responsibility. Even if you don't relate to every point, if several feel familiar you may have low self-worth. Consider how recognizing your self-worth has the potential to reduce anxiety, alleviate problematic perfectionism, and decrease self-sabotaging behaviors.
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