As a counselor, my work is steeped in the exploration of the human psyche, but it wasn’t until I confronted my own internal struggles that I truly understood the profound depths of personal change. I must confess, it’s been a long, arduous journey with numerous false starts, pit stops, and speed bumps along the way. But as author James Clear says, “Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become.” I have cast many votes and I believe I am now reaping the rewards of my perseverance.
I have been learning so much by reading There’s a Hole in my Love Cup by Sven Erlandson. Most of this blog post has been inspired by reading his book and listening to his podcast. He says the surface that people see are my behaviors and actions and are only a small fraction of who I am. These are guided by my underlying principles, which are unseen yet powerful forces that shape my decisions and reactions. However, even deeper, nestled at the very core of my being, lie beliefs that permeate every aspect of my existence.
Three core questions encapsulate these beliefs: Am I Wanted? Am I Good Enough? Do I Matter? How I answer these questions shape my worldview, influencing everything from my self-esteem to my relationships, my career, and my overall sense of well-being.
For the longest time, I struggled to answer these questions affirmatively. A resounding “NO” echoed within me, a constant reminder of my perceived inadequacies. My soul, the storehouse of my wisdom and potential greatness, was obscured by this negative chorus. “I am not wanted, I am not good enough, and I do not matter!”
But as Brené Brown stated, “Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing we’ll ever do.” I realized that in order to change, I needed to confront these deeply ingrained beliefs, own my story, and begin the process of self-love, which was not quick or easy. I grappled with self-doubt and fear at every turn. Yet, I held on to the wisdom of the king of Unconditional Positive Regard, Carl Rogers: “The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.” And so, I began the painstaking process of self-acceptance.
Slowly, the chorus of “NO” began to quieten. As I dug deeper into myself, I unearthed the resilience and courage that had always resided within me. I began to see that I was wanted, not because of what I did or how I looked, but simply because I am, because I exist.
Next, I confronted the question, “Am I good enough?” I found solace in the words of Marianne Williamson, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” These words acted as a balm, soothing my self-doubt and reinforcing my belief in my inherent worth.
Finally, I faced the hardest question: “Do I matter?” It was here that I discovered the profound truth that I do matter, not because of any external validation, but because I matter to me. There’s a huge shift that happened for me when I gave up trying to matter to everyone else in the world and finally focused all my efforts to matter to myself. “You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody.” Thank you, Maya Angelou!
As I shifted my core beliefs to “I AM Wanted”, “I AM Good Enough”, and “I DO Matter,” I felt a seismic shift in my life. Relationships blossomed, my career thrived, and I was filled with a newfound peace and contentment. Every aspect of my life was positively transformed.
I share my journey not as an expert, but as a fellow traveler. Nearly every client I work worth struggles with some version of these three core beliefs. It’s in every couple dealing with conflict in their romantic relationship. In every family dispute where someone is egregiously wronged. In every troubled teenager whose parents think I can fix their poor behavior. In every single person, me, you, everyone! Am I wanted? Am I good enough? Do I matter?
Remember, you are wanted, you are good enough, and you do matter. I believe in the transformative power of these affirmations, and I hope you will too.
The self-discovery journey is not linear. Just like climbing a mountain, there are peaks and valleys. Some days, you will feel on top of the world, invincible. Other days, you may feel as if you’re stuck in a valley with no clear path forward. But just as Les Brown said, “You don’t have to be great to get started, but you have to get started to be great.” The climb, however challenging, is worth every step. My journey has been filled with moments of doubt and uncertainty, but each step forward, no matter how small, has been a victory. In this process, I’ve learned that change isn’t something that happens overnight. It requires patience, persistence, and most importantly, self-love. It’s about honoring your journey, celebrating your victories, and learning from your setbacks.
As you embark on your journey of self-discovery, I encourage you to ask yourself similar questions as I did. Remember, there are no wrong answers, only stepping stones to growth and understanding. You are not alone on this journey. As a counselor, I am here to support, to listen, and to walk this path with all my clients.
And finally, in the words of Eckhart Tolle, “Awareness is the greatest agent for change.” As we develop our awareness, we become capable of creating profound change in our lives. We can replace the old, limiting beliefs that have held us back with empowering beliefs that propel us forward.
Thank you for joining me on this journey. Unraveling the knots that were previously my unhealthy core beliefs have made all the difference in the world for me. Am I Wanted? Am I Good Enough? Do I Matter? Shifting from a reluctant NO to a resounding YES has been worth every second of the journey!
Peace my Friends,