If you ask “why”, you might be surprised by what bubbles up from your subconscious, and the little messages that whisper in your ear. Last night I had one of those reflective moments, when I dared to ask myself why I was feeling afraid. What arose is what I call angel whispers. They told me “you are more afraid of success than you are of failure and your real fear, under that, is you don’t think you deserve it.” Wow, that struck hard and it struck deep.
I call these thoughts from the subconscious angel whispers because they seem to come from nowhere and yet the truth of them resonate through my whole being. That whisper of thought then sent me searching for more information, to ask why anyone would be afraid of success and was it really about self-worth?
The value of asking “why”
Asking why, getting comfortable with that word, and using it often leads to other important questions and ultimately to greater self understanding. “Why” is the word that we use as youngsters to help us understand our world. It often gets shut down because the asking of why is a wish to know what lays behind the worldly ways. Sometimes, as adults we don’t have the answer or aren’t comfortable with the reasons. As a result, we can teach our children to quit asking and become content not knowing.
As you know I am an avid reader and for the last few years have sought out books on a variety of subjects. They include goal setting, entrepreneurship, personal development, self-improvement, creativity, spirituality and philosophy. It has been wonderful expanding my knowledge and pushing the boundaries of life. What is also clear is that this knowledge, while tremendously useful can only be taken to the next stage of life development by applying it. Taking in all this information, without acting on it, is like buying priceless works of art and then putting them in the basement for no one to see. What last night’s subconscious angel whisper was telling me is that the time has come to act. Time to make good on the dreams and desires I have inside me.
Back then to the idea of fear of success and whether I deserve it. As I said, that struck pretty deep. We don’t always, or often, understand the belief systems that move us to self sabotage. I am blessed with many friends who have forged ahead in careers and lives, challenged to bring the best of themselves forward. Frankly, I am often impressed with all they have accomplished.
Self-worth and self-esteem
My interest in what propels some forward and others to sit on the sidelines is an area I continue to seek answers. Certainly some of it is personality, but not all of it. One of the questions from last night’s light bulb moment, was to find the difference between self-worth and self-esteem. Dr. Christina Hibbert (http://www.drchristinahibbert.com/self-esteem-vs-self-worth/) describes the differences in this way, “ Self-esteem is what we think and feel and believe about ourselves. Self-worth is recognizing “I am greater than all of those things”. It is a deep knowing that I am of value, that I am lovable, necessary to this life, and of incomprehensible worth.”
That description hits the proverbial nail on the head for me. I have struggled through much of my life to really believe that I mattered, that in and of myself, I was enough. Those messages were not ones I grew up with. Until now, I didn’t understand just how damaging they were. I am an excellent employee and in the past gave 110% to be good enough in former relationships. Give, give , give but I had a very difficult time receiving. I could love others, but self-love and self-worth has been a harder road to travel.
When I awoke early this morning, self-worth continued to be on my mind. I wanted to know more about how to foster it and how to practice self acceptance and self-love. As an adult and both parents gone, it is my job to parent myself. Time to let go of old messages and nurture messages of acceptance, worth and value. It is a slow process and one I continue to develop. Books are the tools I use to continue learn. Learn more about who I am and believe that I am inherently a good person, worthy of love. Not because of what I have, who I know or what I have accomplished, but simply because I exist.
The subconscious shines a light on the path
The great gift about the subconscious “angel whispers” are that they allow us to look below and give us glimpses of what else is going on . We may not see much, but we can see that there is more of a path than we thought. In fact, they give us our next stepping-stones to creating the lives, relationships and careers we want. The best way to invite those whispers is to ask our childhood’s favourite question – “why”.
For those of us in the northern climes winter is upon us. The longer evenings and colder weather are invitations to read more, reflect and begin the long steady climb to fully create our whole selves. For your reading pleasure, you may find the following books worthy of your attention. Each are on my bookshelves, the first two I turn to for various answers and the last one a recent purchase that I am currently enjoying.
- The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron.
- The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz.
- The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday
If you have books or blogs that you find useful and you think others would benefit from, please feel free to list them in the comments sections.