1. What are some of the thoughts you have about why you are, or what you have to offer is, worthless?
“I’m worthless because I always fail at some point.” / “I’m worthless because I’m not constant in what I do.” / “I’m worthless because I don’t manage my time well, because I’m not productive enough, because I tend to do nothing rather than even trying.” / “I’m worthless because I’m not strong nor determined enough, because I give up too easily even for the things that matters to me.” / “I’m worthless because I’m sick, struggling and unable to do anything right.” / “I’m worthless because I’m not good, kind, talented, patient, healthy, smart, brave enough.” / “I’m worthless because I can’t work.” / “I’m worthless because I have too many failures.” / “I’m worthless because nothing good can come from me”.
2. What is your standard of “worthiness”?
Three things I would need to become “worthy”:
- Being constant and commited in everything I do, whether it’s small or not. To actually FINISH the things that I start - huge struggle. Especially when it’s about creativity/hobbies. I have too many of them and can’t seem to keep a regular schedule/progress in those so in the end I produce almost nothing concrete. To me finishing things => being productive => being worthy.
- Being able to work or volunteer right now. Doing something that has, at least, a small and positive impact for others. To me adding some positivity in this world => being worthy.
- Being healthy. I feel awful to write this, 'cause I’ll never perceive someone else this way. Yet I judge myself through this standard almost constantly. To me being healthy => having the capacity to do what I want/what is needed/using correctly the time that has been given to me => being worthy. (again about being productive tho)
3. What credit can you give yourself in these standards of worthiness?
In regards of finishing things
If I look at the past few years, I made some progress. In learning to accept that I tend to have 20 ideas for 1 project that is really initiated. The fact that I actually see my progress in some areas/skills improved. That sometimes I even share it. Also that I have now a list of things that are actually done. It’s not a lot but it’s still something. I may not be able to finish all the things/make my ideas concrete all the time, I’m not progressing at the rhythm I’d like (really far from it lol), but I can still be proud of myself for trying, as this is the very first step for just… progressing.
In regards of working/volunteering/having an impact
I accepted that I will never be able to work as a firefighter because of my health. Also that I had to give up on some of my passions for the same reason: dancing and running. I already took some steps in the past to be able to do something that I find meaningful - social work and volunteering. I just lack of possibilities right now, due to some circumstances that has been piling up, and it makes me feel worthless. But even if I can’t work right now, I can still support others and share some love, also to use the resources that are available for that. I can still write. I can still reach out and send loving or supportive messages. I can still try to do it creatively. I can’t work right now, but I can still do that kind of thing:
Which are coloring pages from Danjo and the community that I colored for my neighbours, to cheer them up during quarantine, with a little note in each enveloppe. There’s 50 of them. I don’t know if it had an impact. If it made them smile at all, as it was sent anonymously. But at least I did it despite the fears/judging thoughts that I had about myself all along the process. I want to believe that not doing anything is worse than just trying.
In regards of health
Whether it’s physical or mental health, I have to admit that I’m trying my best. And sometimes trying our best is enough. I haven’t been trying all the time in my life. Sometimes I want to give up so badly. This thought comes and go. But I’m still here. I have started to reframe some of the things I can do while facing the things I can’t do. I try to judge myself with more compassion. I’m trying to enjoy and embrace the moments when I’m not productive at all/doing nothing “useful”/when I feel like I just waste my time.
4. A) What techniques, skills, or efforts could you improve?
My personal organization. It’s a struggle to me. Because of depression waves especially, it’s hard to find the right balance between being too organized or taking actions depending on how I feel at the moment. I still didn’t find the right way to do that but can keep working on it.
I can definitely work on my skills (in terms of learning specific techniques) in almost every activity I enjoy. My mind makes me want to aim perfection as a goal, but it’s not realistic. Reviewing my own standards is a way to better myself. I can still try to work on enjoying the process and seeing it as the actual destination. Giving myself some grace. Allowing myself to try and fail. Then try again. Enjoying more the process of learning rather than even trying to achieve something. I love the philosophy behind sand mandalas tradition, and I’d like to let myself inspired by this kind of perspective.
Comparision circle can be a trap as well when it’s about creativity. It’s hard not to fall in it, not to be tempted to give up on everything if I’m not “as good as this artist, or this artist” that I admire. I’m mostly inspired by others artworks, but sometimes automatic thoughts make me feel instantly worthless. For me, a way to fight against that is on both side of: 1/ focusing on just enjoying people’s art, the beauty of it and 2/ not throwing away what I’ve done.
It’s a side work, but I still have to improve the amount of time I dedicate to self-care. I tend to skip sleeping, eating or just daily life if I’m focused on something and/or if I’m too depressed. My physicality and mental health impacts my capacity to do what I want and, by extent, to see myself as worthy. So I have to put some efforts again just to maintain this foundation.
B) For each of your standards of worthiness, write out, "I accept myself for where I am at [in this particular area]."
I accept myself for where I am with my health and physical capacities. I accept that there are things I can do, and things I can’t do because of this.
I accept myself for where I am with my work/life situation.
I accept myself for where I am with my capacity to help others/being supportive and, more generally, to be productive.
I accept myself for where I am with my skills and limits in areas that are important to me: drawing, photography, music, exercising.
Couldn’t do the bonus as I already tried in question 3, but it’s already a step. This exercise is a huge aaargh!(hughuo#&zhg to my mind, but really helpful to take some time to reflect on all of this.