She came into my office and started to tell me how miserable she was feeling at work. My client described a situation where she is constantly comparing herself to and in competition with her co-workers, constantly looking for affirmation from her supervisors, and always wondering what everyone else is doing and thinking about.
As my client was describing her situation, I imagined a thirsty dog running around frantically searching for water. I shared this vision I had with her.
“Yes,” she exclaimed, “that is exactly how I feel! I am miserable and so anxious all of the time. I think it’s because I don’t believe in myself.”
Bingo. That is what I was thinking, as well; that she was having this experience at work because she did not believe in herself. Instead of tapping into a sense of self-belief from within herself, she was searching for that assurance outside of herself.
My client admitted that right now it was at work that she was feeling this way the most, but she knows that it was not work that was causing it. She stated that she looks for this reassurance from others in her personal relationships, as well. It is because she has been so miserable at work, however, as opposed to in other areas of her life, that she was able to recognize her problem as clearly as she had. This was an incredible insight on her part. We thanked ‘work’ for being the trigger that allowed for this insight to come to light.
The rest of our meeting was focused on me teaching her the initial foundational tools she requires to help her get to know, love, and accept the real her. In our meeting we discussed why she never felt full, and still kept doubting herself, even after receiving the outside reassurance she was seeking. “You will never feel full from, nor believe the affirmation you receive outside of yourself, if you, yourself, do not believe in yourself”, I told her.
The other day, my eight-year old daughter asked me which was better, to love yourself or to love others. I told her that was a very deep question she was asking. This was my response to her: “I believe that in order to be able to love anyone else fully, you have to love yourself first.”
If you too are running around seeking assurance from others, and feeling anxious and miserable along the way, take it as a sign that you may not believe in yourself all that much. Use this as an opportunity to get to know, love, and accept the real you. Once you do you will find that your need for running after and seeking assurance from others will fade away.
In support, admiration, and in awe of all that you are,