I received this message from a dear client who, like so many of us, has a “Black Belt” and our work is around healing the core of her worthiness. The precipitating event in this case was a mistake at work, one that had far-reaching impact within the organization.
“When I fail at something and other people reinforce the failure…that constantly reinforces…my lack of self worth. You absolutely can NOT think “(I’m) enough…” when other people you look up to say otherwise.”
This one hurt my heart. Can you feel the pain here? The placing of worth on external sources? There’s also a cognitive dissonance present preventing two beliefs from existing simultaneously: “I made a mistake” AND “I am still inherently worthy”.
Inherent worth isn’t “contingent upon” perfection…and thank goodness, or we’d all be in a pickle. (“Perfection”, by the way, is just fear in a prettier outfit.)
You are ALWAYS worthy. You are ALWAYS enough. Just as you are, right now in this very moment, no matter what mistakes you’ve made. Yes, even the nasty gnarly ones getting shuffled back into that dark corner of your mind right now.
Making a mistake is never fun. Hearing how a misguided action or word on your part has negatively impacted someone else is even less fun. And let’s not mince words here - it’s not just “less fun”. Discomfort Level: Sink into the floor, never to be seen again. And yet we want to avoid letting mistakes trigger us into an existential crisis. You are human and will make mistakes. Sometimes big mistakes. It’s not an “if”, it’s a “when”. It’s part of the human experience, and as inevitable as the sun rising in the east.
Knowing your worth and believing you are “enough” doesn’t mean denying you’ve made a mistake and it certainly doesn’t mean avoiding responsibility for your actions. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Knowing your worth means you can own your mistake even more deeply because you are truly open to the opportunity of what it’s teaching you, rather than seeing it as further evidence that you aren’t good enough or losing yourself in an existential crisis.
Mistakes aren’t failures.
They’re opportunities to take a deep breath, lift our head up, meet those mistakes straight on, and, with courage, say:
“I accept I made a mistake. Now: what’s my lesson?”
Sparkle on, friends…💖