In this episode I talk about the challenge of accepting and valuing ourselves as we are. I propose that the way to becoming the best and fullest version of ourselves cannot be found by running away from who we are or by trying to remake ourselves in somebody else’s image. Instead, the path we need to take is to embark on the quest to understand and learn how to thrive with the unique gift that we have been given in each of our personhood.
What if you - in the unique mix of your personality, quirks, talents, interests, life experiences - and even your trials and sufferings - are a gift to this world? What if there is someone who needs you to be who you are? What if YOU are that someone first of all who need your acceptance and love to bloom and flourish? Will you give yourself this chance?
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00:38 - Do You See YOU?
03:24 - Ever Wished You Were More Like Someone Else?
07:04 - Do You Believe YOU Are Worth Becoming?
12:39 - PRAXIS: Listen. Ponder. Act.
Recall your emotional responses as you listened to this episode. How did you feel? Was there a particular line, word or section that you felt particularly strongly about?
Choose one reaction you had and start wondering about it. Why do you think you reacted in that way? Can you connect it with some concrete experience or memory in your life? You may wish to find some time in the next couple of days to write or draw in your journal.
I invite you to consider writing a note or letter to yourself, as an invitation to friendship. Or, if you prefer, to look at yourself in the mirror and say something sincere and affirming. Try and see if you can find one affirming thing to say to yourself which you can truly mean every day
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EP 3 | YOU ARE WORTH BECOMING
Do you believe that you are worth becoming?
Welcome to Becoming Me, your podcast companion and coach in your journey to a more integrated and authentic self. I am your host Ann Yeong, and I'm here to help you grow in self-discovery and wholeness. If you long to live a more authentic and integrated life and would like to hear honest insights about the rewards and challenges of this journey, then take a deep breath, relax and listen on to Becoming Me.
[00:00:38] DO YOU SEE YOU?
Hello, dear listeners. Welcome to another episode of the Becoming Me podcast. I'd like to start off today by asking you this question. When was the last time you looked into the mirror and saw, really saw yourself not to make sure that your hair isn't out of place or because you're shaving or putting on makeup, not to agonize over some blemish on your skin or a frown about your body shape, but really looked at your reflection and saw yourself, saw you.
Most of us look into the mirror multiple times a day, but rarely do we look and see ourselves. We all know too well, the fear we have of being found lacking when we think of other people's gaze on us, we instinctively get into a mode where we expect to be sized up judged and objectified.
And I'm not just talking about the physical aspect of being objectified, but that as an entire person. We are used to being objectified, right, being treated as a means to an end. Think about it. How often have you felt that you were a little more than a means to fulfilling an ends at the office, that your role, whether at home or at work, or even in your relationships was somehow more important than you.
It is easy to agree that most of the time, if we are very honest with ourselves, we feel that our worth comes from our utility. So if we stop being useful to someone say our employer, it is quite likely that we will experience judgment and rejection sometimes. Even, even in friendships and relationships, we let this toxic dynamic play out.
We agreed to be used by one another to escape, loneliness, or a sense of worthlessness. But neither party actually truly see the other with a gaze that does not attempt to use or manipulate, but simply to love and value the other. Now back to my first question and why I asked it, if even you cannot look at yourself in the mirror and really see you instead of finding some flaw to pick on, how can you expect that you will be able to know your true worth when you are on the receiving end of other people's gazes?
[00:03:24] HAVE YOU EVER WISHED YOU WERE MORE LIKE SOMEONE ELSE?
Now I'm going to ask you a second question. Have you ever wished that you were more like someone else? Perhaps there is somebody that you admire and you often wish that you looked more like him or her, or that you had some ability or treat that the other person possessed.
Let me share an example of what I mean, I grew up with a younger brother who is four years younger than me and he and I have quite a lot of similarities. We do share the any after all, but we don't have that much in common. My younger brother, John is very athletic. My father used to like to tell the story of how he discovered John's athletic ability when he was just a toddler, right?
There was ones when he joined my father for one of my father's morning jogs. And my dad said that John basically sprinted on his stubby little toddler legs, but managed to keep pace with my father for quite a good distance. And my father was so impressed, but you know, every now and then he would tell this story.
I on the other hand, to be honest, always hated running and well, most sports ask any of my cousins who grew up with me and they will probably remember me sitting in some corner with my nose stuck in a book while the others were running around playing games. Was there any other activity that I would rather do compared to reading?
Not really. There was nothing that I liked better than reading. So my brother, John clearly was fit and athletic. He was also annoyingly, artistically and musically talented, well, more than I was. And even as a child, I remember feeling envy at his talents. You know, he was more athletic. He was more artistic, more musically talented, and that still remains true to this day.
And because I grew up valuing achievement and talent so much, I felt that I lost out to my brother because he was more talented than I was. Of course. If you spoke to my brother, he would tell you something very different from his perspective. Not that he would deny what I have just said, but he would tell you that he struggled with academic studies much more than I did and that in Singapore, where we grew up, that was a very important yardstick by which children are unfortunately measured and assessed. So for all his multi-faceted talents, my brother also felt that he was never good enough because he was not smart enough. We both grew up with chips on our shoulders because we defined ourselves by what we could and couldn't do.
[00:06:10] COMPARISON AND ENVY
My grass is green, a complex didn't stop with my brother. I admired and envied my peers who had the gifts that I didn't have. I always struggled with how deeply I feel my emotions and always felt it hard to keep them in check. And I envied friends who had a cool, rational, calm about them and who seemed to be able to make decisions, you know, logically and rationally.
could not help, but instinctively compare myself to those who were better than I was. Uh, at least in my eyes were better than I was. And it somehow always made me feel “less than”. I also always felt criticized implicitly when someone else was praised for a quality that I didn't have, even though that may never have been the intention still. I would think, you know that right there. There's another way that I failed to measure up.
[00:07:04] DO YOU FEEL YOU ARE WORTH BECOMING?
Here's a third question. Do you feel that you are worth becoming, or do you wish you were like other people so often that if you had a choice and the power to do so you would change yourself into someone else?
For a very long time, that was me. I don't think I was ever really glad to be me. I would just be relieved if I felt that I wasn't letting people down. And I would feel guilty about feeling that way because in many ways I know that I was blessed and privileged. I felt it was really ungrateful of me not to be happier about my life or about being me.
So in fact, it never even really struck me that I was unhappy with my life. I don't think I allowed myself to acknowledge that emotion. Now do you know what happens or what tends to happen with people? When we aren't able to be happy with being ourselves, we start seeking happiness outside of ourselves.
Right? We try to find something or someone or some activity to make us feel better in something that will make us few more worthy, more valuable. Maybe we work hard to make ourselves better looking, uh, or to achieve something, um, greater in our field of choice, whether it's sports or business or art, we just want to be really good at something so that other people will look at us and say, Hey, this person has something worth valuing.
Or maybe we try to make ourselves indispensable in our significant relationships. Or so that we can get some affirmative feedback from other people that we are worthy of love. When we are unhappy with being ourselves, we also often seek ways to run away and forget the pain of the emptiness. Of not being loved.
And it's a, it's a pain of not being loved, not just by other people, but even more importantly of not being loved or accepted or understood even by ourselves. Sometimes we may try to escape through different kinds of addictions. And I'm not just talking about substance abuse, right? There are actually some socially acceptable kind of addictions like workaholism, right?
It is still a form of addiction and it's a way of running away and escaping what we don't want to acknowledge and feel. Sometimes we seek to escape by trying to control the people and situations around us. Perhaps hoping that if we can bend what is all around us to our will, that we would feel more secure and be able to forget the truth that we cannot ever really truly run away from ourselves.
Well, that was me, that I was describing. And I would bet that what I described is not so foreign to you either. It happens more than we would like to admit. The question is often whether or not we are aware yet that this is going on within our own hearts.
So here's what I want to propose - that the way to becoming the best and fullest version of ourselves cannot be found by running away from who we are.
[00:10:30] Or by trying to remake ourselves in somebody else's image. Instead, the path we need to take is to embark on the quest to understand ourselves and how to thrive with the unique gift that we have been given in each of our personhood. When we look at the rest of the natural world, it's majesty and splendor comes from every creature being exactly what it is.
There is something incredibly beautiful and powerful in the natural world. Simple being, everything just is what it is. We human beings have the dubious honor of being the only creatures who can express ourselves will to choose to go against our own being. But when we exercise that will to say yes to the self that we have been given, even as imperfect winded and in need of restoration, as we may be, we exercise our freedom in an incredibly powerful and life giving way.
There is nothing easy about this, but then nothing that is great and truly worth doing is easy. What, if you, in the unique mix of your personality, quirks, talents, interests, life experiences, and even your trials and sufferings are a gift to this world. What if there is someone who needs you to be who you are?
What if there is someone who needs your story? And what if you are that someone, first of all, who need your own acceptance and love in order to bloom and flourish, will you give yourself this chance? Would you be willing to try and get to know who you are to listen to the hopes and dreams as well as the fears and anxieties that are hidden in your own heart?
This is one of the core invitations on Becoming Me that you dare to imagine, and then come to believe that you are worth becoming.
[00:12:39] PRAXIS: LISTEN. PONDER. ACT.
As we come to the close of today's episode, let me offer you the practice prompts that could help you be nourished more deeply by what you have heard the first step. Listen.
Okay. Recall your emotional responses as you listen to this episode, how did you feel? Was there a particular line or word or a section that you felt particularly strongly about whether positively or negatively and then ponder about it, choose one reaction that you had and start wondering about it. Why do you think you reacted in that way?
Can you connect to that emotion with some concrete experience or memory in your life? You may wish to find some time in the next couple of days to write or draw in your journal and to note what comes up and thirdly, act, I invite you to consider writing a note or letter to yourself as an invitation to friendship, or if you prefer to look at yourself in the mirror and see some things sincere and affirming.
Try and see if you can find one affirming thing to say to yourself, which you can truly mean every day. It doesn't have to be something big. It can be something very small, small, but something good affirming and true.
Well, that's it. Thank you for listening to this week's episode of Becoming Me. Remember the most important thing about making this journey is to keep taking steps in the right direction, no matter how small those steps might be. And no matter where you might be in your life right now, it is always possible to begin. The world would be a poorer place without you becoming more fully alive. Don't forget to visit my website at becomingme.sg and to subscribe to my newsletter as well as to this podcast until the next episode, happy becoming!