In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to reveal the pattern that a client exposed that reflects that she is constantly engaging in behavior that only serves to reinforce her deep feelings of unworthiness.
First a quick update:
The Breakup Test
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Do You Seek Other Peoples Approval?
Who decides how you feel about yourself? Is it you or someone else or, everyone else?
If you seek external validation, then you lose your power. “Beware of saying to other people, ‘You, today, will decide how I feel about myself. Watch my video
Now, let’s talk about the pattern that a client exposed that reflects that she is constantly engaging in behavior that only serves to reinforce her deep feelings of unworthiness.
Do you remember the controversial viral photo “Fit Mom” by Maria Kang? In 2013, Maria posted a picture of her toned body surrounded by her three young children and the caption, “What’s your excuse?”
Now, six years later, Kang who prided herself on ‘no apologies, no excuses’, is actually apologizing, and confessing she did it all for the wrong reasons: driven by insecurity and not feeling good enough, she battled depression, bulimia and body dysmorphia and, she got breast implants in the hope she would have the perfect body and be validated by others.
“I’m sorry for my presence – for unconsciously normalizing an unnatural body standard, not expressing my challenges with body image and not being strong enough to unfix this years ago.”
Kang has now removed her breast implants which were also causing fatigue, chest pressure, heart palpitations and a loss of sensation in her nipples. Kang regrets how she treated her body – “for disrespecting it, not honoring it,” and for the way she promoted unrealistic standards to other women: “the biggest thing is to treat yourself with love and respect. It’s not about how you look, it’s about how you feel, and we can’t idolize fake physiques while expecting women to feel good about themselves.”
This story coincides with a comment by a new client who revealed to me her busy schedules of multiple professional trainings, certifications and recertifications in various fields as well as her constant self-judgment about her weight, working harder and making more money – even though she is financially secure.
‘Do you understand what is driving you Isabelle?’
“Not really”, she responded.
‘All of your behaviors are about being more, doing more, having more; why do you think that you actually need to constantly and for all eternity be more, do more and have more?’
“I don’t feel good enough; I don’t feel worthy?”
‘Yes. And do you also realize that everything you are currently doing is reinforcing your belief that you are not good enough?’
“I see that now.”
‘Your motivations don’t seem to be that you are thirsting to grow and learn more; you seem driven to prove your worthiness. And yet, the harder you try, the less worthy you feel because it becomes an obsessive cycle that always fails to fill inner emptiness and feelings of not being enough or not being perfect!’
“What can I do?”
‘Write out a list of everything that you are currently doing that actually reinforces your feelings of unworthiness and notice the way that fear is driving you. Stop comparing yourself to others and notice that the people who form your jury actually want your validation as much as you want theirs. Get clear about your definition of being ‘good enough’ and you will see that all you are really trying to do is to get the approval of someone from your childhood. Start expressing compassion to yourself.’
Unconsciously, you and I are programmed by society and it requires a conscious concerted effort to undo or end the programming. Notice the way that you judge yourself or compare yourself to others. Notice the obsessions or compulsive behaviors you engage in as a way to prove that you are worthy. Distinguish between needs and desires. Our greatest need beyond food and shelter is connection – love and belonging, and we can achieve that without amassing money, stuff or having the ‘ideal/perfect body.’
“…we dedicate ourselves to finding evidence that we’re acceptable and worthwhile. Whatever our particular outward style, from self-disparaging or fawning to arrogant or angry, we live as if we were defendants in a trial. The jury is composed of all of the people whose opinions we think are important; they’re the ones we’ve got to convince. Unsettled by our insecurities, we await their judgment.
But the jury members never come back with a final verdict. They forever hold us in suspense. Every hour or so, it seems, the foreman of the jury returns with a demand for more evidence. So, we try again to win the jury’s favor or at least to be found acceptable in their eyes, but nothing we can do will satisfy them once and for all.
Why? Because from their individual points of view, THEY are the ones on trial. They are as concerned to have us validate their self-image as we are to have them validate ours. WE sit on THEIR jury. Therefore, what they want from us is not evidence that will establish our acceptability but evidence that will establish theirs. They can’t give us their final stamp of approval because they never felt completely approved of themselves.”
― C. Terry Warner, Bonds That Make Us Free: Healing Our Relationships, Coming to Ourselves
If you need help to overcome subconscious feelings of unworthiness or a drive for perfection, book a one-on-one session with me.
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I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”
Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & SRTT Therapist
Anointed “The Woman Expert” by WGN Chicago, Patrick Wanis PhD is a renowned Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert who developed SRTT therapy (Subconscious Rapid Transformation Technique) and is teaching it to other practitioners. Wanis’ clientele ranges from celebrities and CEOs to housewives and teenagers. CNN, BBC, FOX News, MSNBC & major news outlets worldwide consult Wanis for his expert insights and analysis on sexuality, human behavior and women’s issues. Wanis is the first person ever to do hypnotherapy on national TV – on the Montel Williams show.