When everyone else is giving me a thumbs up, the voice saying “Not good enough” is often the one in my head.

It’s always annoying when someone accuses me of being my “own worst enemy.” I don’t want to hear this, much less admit it. When things don’t go my way, I’d like to blame someone else, not take responsibility for it, although I know that many times it is the truth. I love myself and I hate myself.

I’ve never had a lot of self-confidence, and that puts me at an immediate disadvantage. When everyone else is giving me a thumbs up, the voice saying, “Not good enough” is often the one in my head. When an employer says, “You’ll be great at this,” a terrible internal voice says, “You’re going to fail at this.” At its worst, a lack of self-confidence can be self-sabotage.

Three years ago, a friend gifted me an astrological reading, which I thought would be good for a laugh. Surprisingly, it ended up being life-changing. The astrologer who read my chart told me I was “the most unentitled person” she’d ever read for. She said I needed to stop making sure everyone else was getting what they wanted and work on getting what I wanted for a change. Before I’d heard Tina Fey’s awesome advice of “Say yes and you’ll figure it out afterwards” this astrologer told me to “start saying ‘yes’ from now on, see what happens” and it changed everything for me. That week, I had been offered a writing job that I felt under-qualified for and I was planning on turning it down, but after my reading I decided to accept it (because what a joke if a New Agey astrologer gave me some killer advice, right?) I said yes, and you know what? I knocked that job out of the fucking park.

It feels horrible to admit that the only person who didn’t think you’d be good enough at something was yourself. But it feels great to triumph over that negative internal voice and prove it wrong. As I entered into my fourth decade (leave it, I’m working on age-acceptance as well), I couldn’t help but think about all the different paths my life might have taken if I’d just loved myself a little more, and doubted myself a little less. There are so many obstacles and barriers out there waiting to keep you from doing what you want—don’t add to them by being your own worst enemy. Love yourself, say yes, and see what happens.



PYPEin

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  1. Laura L says:

    Gloria thanks for sharing this to all of us that live/lived this way for years… I self doubt myself in everything I do in life . I never really got praised in life so when I did get a compliment i didn’t know how to act the negative in my life ended up me not caring how I felt since no one else did so I calmed myself by eating or not taking pride on my appearance. As I enter my mid 30’s i learn to say hell yes to myself and say no to any negativity in my life I no longer let anyone or anything stop me in my tracks If they do i find a different route in my life to keep them away from me … So thank you for posting this and helping people think they are so much better than they think they are

  2. Ann W says:

    Wish I had gotten this advice a long time ago. Wait! I did. I heeded it for a while, then went right back to my self-defeating ways. If you do that often enough and long enough, you don’t recover. I’m in my 8th decade and never have gotten it right. Glad you’re there to carry the torch for me. Enjoy the rest of your life; you so deserve it.

  3. Cathy B says:

    How strange that I’d have the same catalyst to put me on a different path to the same outcome. I got a palm reading once that told me my love line was basically erased, but I would be a person to love & take care of many people, like a teacher or a nun.

    Those words still ring in my ears 25 yrs after they crushed my self esteem. I continued to sabotage & hate myself with a inner voice that was my ever-constant ChattyCathy.

    I loved myself when I got a praise at work and hated myself after realizing I did the work for the team & my boss took credit for my ideas. I was the one with the shovel in my hand, digging the hole I could not get out of & thought I deserved.

    This article helped me realize, I’m not alone. Other people have made similar life decisions or indecisions & even let chirpy internal voices convince them that they’re not good enough.

    In my case, I let a fortune teller tell me, “be happy with what you get & it’s more than you deserve.” The best thing I’ve ever done was to shut my inner ChattyCathy up & say “YES! I deserve the best in life, not the leftovers.”

    The more you see you’re not alone & you read shared experiences in articles such as these; the braver you are to stop the love/hate relationship you have with yourself. That’s always a step in the right direction.

  4. Melissa L says:

    Gloria~ So well written and so needed. Thanks for sharing a part of yourself that people don’t see. Keep saying YES!!

  5. sharon z says:

    I could really identify with this article, I have often considered myself my own worst enemy in fact, I often find myself saying “no one is harder on me then me” Growing up with a disability did not help my self esteem I was always the “odd person” out when it came to things. My self confidence was always low, over the years at different jobs that I have had people would always come up to me, bosses etc praising me or my work but I thought maybe they were just being kind. I also find myself a people pleaser & I was always too busy trying to please everyone else in my life instead of concentrating on myself and my own needs. As I’ve grown older and with the help of a good friend that tells me I’m her inspiration for many reasons. I have learned a few things. I have learned that it’s going to be ok if I’m not the best at everything and not to be so hard on myself, And to try and even if you fail it’s ok at least you tried. I guess the last thing that I have leaned (and am continuing to learn) don’t let anyone or anything hold you back from living the life that you want. I think the line in this article that says it best for me is ” If I’d just loved myself a little more, and doubted myself a little less what a different path my life might have taken” I praise Gloria Fallon and her writing for giving me such a powerful essay to help me express my feelings.