it’s ok to feel good about yourself.

These days, it seems extra difficult to allow myself to feel good about myself. Something seems to kick in, as if my body sees feeling good as something dangerous and scary, and uses some mechanism to prevent me from going down that road.

Example 1:

Parent of a child I work with says something nice to me. I feel validated and encouraged, but also wonder if she is going to be disappointed the next time I make a mistake or fall short of expectations.

Example 2:

Colleague asks for my help at work to observe a challenging child in session and suggest what can be done. I feel honoured to be seen as a resource, but also wonder if they might think I don’t really know what I’m saying or suggesting and that they shouldn’t have asked me for help in the first place.

Example 3:

Friend and I are co-hosting a professional workgroup meeting and I help to summarise a journal article for the discussion. I show her the summary and she says it looks “great” and “wonderful”. It feels good to have my efforts appreciated, but I wonder if she is just refraining from hurting my feelings and thinks I won’t be able to accept constructive comments.

Example 4:

I get an opportunity to run a series of online group sessions for an organization. I am excited and passionate about running the groups to the best of my ability and truly believe I can do it. But I also wonder if the organisers agreed to go with me because only my quotation is the lowest and hence they are obligated to use my services.

And the list goes on.

I know it will take time. To allow my body and mind to learn that it is ok to feel good, it is ok to take pride in what you can do, it is ok to celebrate your achievements and abilities. You’re not going to be seen as arrogant and prideful and over-confident for acknowledging your strengths. It’s ok.

All part of the work in progress, right?

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