What is my self-approval rating?

What is my self-approval rating?

What if I were to let go of all of the judgments, comparisons with others and measurements of myself? Could I be content with just being who I am, with all of my skills, talents, values and desires that I have right now and that keep me moving towards the person I wish to become, regardless of how good others may or may not be (in my opinion)? Could I be content with being the person I am right at this moment, without reference to anyone else’s performance?

kids jumping

It seems that we are always comparing ourselves with others. We have been raised in a society where it is important to put ourselves forward, and above others, if we want to get ahead (school, job, appearance etc.), and we often translate this as our self-worth. However, these attributes are unstable, changing at different times in our lives. Depending on the situation, we may even accentuate or downplay different aspects of ourselves, or change in other ways to suit the situation. Our attributes and our particular adaptations are therefore not the whole story of who we are. Who I really am is much more stable and more profound than these variables.

While it is helpful to acknowledge our skills, talents, thoughts and feelings, along with aspects of ourselves and our behaviour that we may wish to improve, it is feeble to base our self-worth on these aspects or to compare ourselves with others, for it is certain that at some particular moment in time, the tables may turn (and we know that change is the one certainty in life).

Rather than base my self-worth on this instability, it is more enduring to develop fundamental self-acceptance: My Self as a human being.

I do not need to base my own approval rating on comparing myself with others. I can approve of myself right now, just as I am, right at this very moment – even if things are not great in my life. My self-esteem or self-worth is more profound and more real when it is based on my own self-acceptance. 

About Margaret Lambert

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  1. Reflecting is so important Marg – I love the way you cut straight to the chase! Basing our sense of self esteem on others opinions of us is down right dumb and dangerous – I know full well, having done it most of my life. Giving myself permission to recently set myself a 30 day challenge to practice my own version of yoga practices for up to 30 minutes a day has been illuminating, particularly in the midst of a chronic fatigue relapse! Amongst many things, I have come to realise I had been comparing myself to invisible critical yoga teachers for nearly 20 years.. In to my 4th week, I can honestly say I am at peace with who I am regardless to what others think of me. The gift is that in accepting and approving of myself, warts and all, I care less about what others think of me and therefor don’t need external approval.
    “Fear is a reaction – acceptance is a response. I choose acceptance”. xx

    • Margaret Lambert says

      A lovely reflection Bron, thank you. It seems to be very hard to let go of the comparison trap completely, and this could well be a life-long endeavour.xx

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