I had it all backwards.
I was showing up looking for validation. I was looking for others to say “yes, Ari, you are good.” The very fact that I was needing validation proves that I was insecure. I didn’t believe in myself. So I was looking for someone else to complete me, to make up for what I didn’t have. Security. Confidence. Worthiness.
Now, it is not wrong to be insecure. And it is not wrong to show up while you are insecure. In fact, I encourage the latter.
Here is where I was wrong. I believed that if I found enough other people to validated me, then I would feel worthy. Except that I already believed that I was not worthy. And when other people offered me kind words, I could not believe them. They don’t know what they are talking about, I would mutter to myself. They don’t see all the shortcomings I see.
I knew that self was my harshest critic. But there was this voice in my head; it said I had the capacity to become good, even if I wasn’t yet. I needed to make this faith the driving force to keep trying and keep showing up. “Other people” are the wrong place to look for the proof. It was inside all along. Buried beneath my insecurities. I should have dug through them, instead of looking for it elsewhere.
You work on yourself first, so that you become capable of believing in your worth. Then when others validate it, it will actually enhance your worthiness. Instead of being a temporary high from which you inevitably fall off. You learn to believe in yourself first, so that others can see and join you in your belief.
It’s not wrong to be insecure. It’s reasonable to doubt yourself. It may be difficult to have faith in yourself before anyone else does. But insecurity and unworthiness are the learned beliefs, and you can unlearn them. You should still show up and share honestly who you are. Others can offer you pointers and encouragements. Just don’t count on them to create your worthiness. You are the only one who can do that.