“Trying to fit in is when you hustle for your worthiness”. That description comes from one of my favorite podcast people, Koren Motekaitis. Her station (is that what it’s called? I am relatively new to podcasts) is called How She Really Does It (http://howshereallydoesit.com).
The idea of “hustling” for worthiness really intrigued me – I had never thought of it that way. But it occurred to me that I have done it! It’s what people pleasers do! Hustling is defined as: to push or force one’s way; to pressure or coerce; to beg; and to sell aggressively. Simply, it’s putting in significant effort (mostly external) to feel worthy or to try to convince others of your worthiness, instead of just accepting that you are. Already.
Of course this doesn’t mean we should stop working on ourselves or stop setting and achieving goals. It just means that when you come from a place of feeling like worthiness is external; that it’s based upon something you have achieved or some other material possession, then the pursuit for it can really be never ending. It might mean MORE of something you think you don’t have enough of (money, friends, etc.); it could be a position, title, or career advancement; or it could even be that your worthiness pursuit is tied into how you look (a certain weight or other physical characteristic).
I will give you some examples: I always thought that having a degree would make me feel worthy. But as proud of myself as I was for earning that degree, it didn’t make me feel worthy at all. In fact, it made me think that I needed another more ‘useful’ degree, or maybe even a Masters. Having a Masters would surely make me feel worthy, wouldn’t it? ;) After all, people would really think I was smart.
Feeling worthy for me has also meant being a certain weight. It seemed to me that skinny women were more worthy somehow. In my mind they had mastered the art of self discipline (or something – good genes?) and their success in the weight department must somehow equate to greater worthiness, right? How silly. I know that now.
There are a ton of other examples I could give you but suffice to say that if you are looking for your worthiness in extrinsic areas, you’re not likely to find it. And I think I finally get that. I really want to try to teach this to my daughter so that she gets it a lot sooner than I got it. I think it would make her journey through life a lot easier.
As a mom, it’s really a catch 22 - you want your child to fit in; be normal. But you also want them to have incredible self esteem and not give a shit about what anyone thinks about. It’s tricky isn’t it? It’s hard for a parent to watch their child go through all these messy things.
I will leave you with one HUGE nugget of wisdom from this particular podcast. Susan Hyatt (https://shyatt.com) was the guest host and she said something that I think we ALL need to hear. Reguarly:
You can’t POSSIBLY behave in a way that’s going to keep everybody happy. It’s just not going to work.
And with that, I hope you feel free to just be you.