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Tiny Wisdom: On Feeling Good

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” -Eleanor Roosevelt

My boyfriend makes me feel unworthy. My mother makes me feel inadequate. My sister makes me inferior. My boss makes me feel incompetent.

Have you said something like this recently? We all do it sometimes–give our power away to other people as if they have complete control over what we feel.

For a long time, I believed it was impossible to change how I responded to certain events. If someone said something hurtful, I had no choice but to feel sad and rejected–and it was all their fault. If someone judged me, the only possible response was to feel self-conscious and angry–and it was all their fault.

I almost felt obligated to feel these things.

I’d sit around stewing in my instinctive emotional response, rehashing the event and feeling bad about it, as if that was my only choice. Soon I realized that most of my life was one giant negative reaction, mixed with righteousness and blame. If I didn’t start to take responsibility for my feelings, that’s all I’d ever know.

It’s a whole lot easier to dwell on what someone else did wrong than it is to let go and create a more positive state of mind. Sometimes I still struggle with this–it’s not an easy to skill to master. But as with everything, it gets easier with practice.

Today if you struggle with uncomfortable feelings and believe someone else is to blame, ask yourself: Would it be worth completely letting go of that story if it allowed you to feel good?

Photo by Orin Zebest

Avatar of Lori Deschene

About Lori Deschene

Tiny Buddha Founder Lori Deschene is the author of the Tiny Wisdom eBook seriesTiny Buddha's Guide to Loving Yourself, and Tiny Buddha: Simple Wisdom for Life's Hard Questions. She's also co-founder of Recreate Your Life Story, an eCourse that helps you change your life. For inspiring posts and wisdom quotes, follow on Twitter & Facebook.

Announcement: Wish you could change your past? Learn to let go and create a life you love with the Tiny Buddha course!
  • http://lookingtobusiness.com Daniel Wood

    I just had a discussion with my colleagues about how it is gerenally accepted to say negative things to yourself, but not positive.

    It is okay to stand infront of the mirror and say “I look fat, I am ugly, I am stupid, I should ….” But not okay to say “I look great, I like myself, I am good, I am smart, I can do anything!”.

    I have always thought that is very strange.

  • Anum Syeda

    This is such a great reminder. We often forget that a) when someone says something negative about you, it isn’t necessarily true (them saying it does not validate its ‘truth’ factor, especially if it’s not a constructive statement) b) negative comments from others also highlights problems they may be having in their own life (a classmate whose dealing with difficulty at home may be more judgemental and snappy; it may not be entirely personal). We can control how we feel, but as you said, it *is* a difficult skill to master, especially since most of us pit our entire self-esteem and opinion of ourselves on circumstance or what others think. Instead of looking inward, we look outward to cement perceptions of who we are. Without a truthful, non-biased assessment of what our values and principles are (or reasons why we act and behave the way we do), our feelings and emotions will always be swayed by external factors.

  • Aquarius Company

    Thanks very much … such a simple and profound question – utterly love your posts!  Namaste  <3 

  • Aquarius Company

    Thanks very much … such a simple and profound question – utterly love your posts!  Namaste  <3 

  • Hazel

    Thanks so much! I was dealing with this exact same thing today, and I was letting it impact me way more than I should have. I didn’t neccesarily think that I should feel bad about myself, but someone else was definitely making me feel like I should… to the point where i started to feel like a horrible person because I did not feel the way the person thought that I should. Well, this just reconfirmed that I shouldn’t feel bad about myself just because someone tells me i should.

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

     You are most welcome. Namaste =)

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    I’m glad to be helpful, Hazel! I love your name, by the way. I’ve only met one Hazel before, and I remember thinking it was an absolutely beautiful name.

  • CurryAndChopsticks

    This post brought out the waterworks. I’ve struggled (like so many others out there) for too long, not being able to love myself, staying in abusive toxic relationships…etc, letting everything and everyone, but most importantly, allowing my own self talk me out of doing things, convincing myself that I just wasn’t (and never would be) good enough.
    No more. I’m keeping this post near and dear to me. It’s a daily battle to convince myself I AM worthy, I mean something, but someday, I’m sure of it, I won’t have to fight with my insecurities. Thank you for this. <3

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You are most welcome. I look at everything as a ratio. I know I won’t always feel confident and happy, but if I can do it more often than not, I’m in good shape. As a perfectionist, I find that this way of thinking makes it a lot easier for me to cut myself some slack when I’m having difficult days. We’re all doing the best we can, right?

    Sending you lots of love,
    Lori

  • Jenny

    I like the saying ‘God does not make junk’. I believe we are all made in the image of God so it is OK to be positive about ourselves. But also to aspire to greater things and leave some of the past behind.