Recognizing the internal struggle they often face, many high achievers fail to acknowledge their own battle with low self-worth. Understanding oneself involves two crucial elements within the self-concept. First, it involves assessing your perceived competencies, which refers to how you perceive your skills in various areas. Second, it encompasses intrinsic self-worth, which is the belief in your inherent value as a human being, independent of your skills or achievements. Unfortunately, many high achievers tend to focus solely on their competencies while neglecting their sense of intrinsic self-worth, viewing their worthiness as contingent on their accomplishments. So, what are signs of low self-worth that may be subtly present in high achievers?
Reluctance to Seek Support:
You find it challenging to perceive yourself as deserving of support. Even when you could benefit from assistance, you feel the need to handle everything on your own. For instance, you may hesitate to ask a friend to accompany you to a medical appointment because you believe you should manage it independently. Similarly, you may resist seeking help with household chores despite working full-time, thinking that you should be capable of managing everything alone. Mentors may also be dismissed as unnecessary in your pursuit of career success.
Unreasonable Expectations of Perfection:
You hold yourself to unattainable standards, expecting to excel at everything without allowing room for practice or experience. This applies even to areas outside your primary expertise. For instance, you may believe you should be skilled in painting, despite having no background or interest in the arts. In your professional life, you do not grant yourself grace when venturing into new areas; instead, you anticipate immediate mastery without acknowledging the learning process.
Self-Blame for Others’ Shortcomings: Rather than attributing other people’s mistakes or shortcomings to their own actions, you tend to internalize them as your own failures. For instance, if a doctor misdiagnoses you, you may blame yourself for not selecting a better doctor. Similarly, when someone responsible for teaching or assisting you falls short, you automatically assume it’s your fault for not effectively learning.
Focus on Unattained Goals:
Instead of appreciating your accomplishments and the path you have chosen, you tend to dwell on what you have yet to achieve. In an age of pervasive social media, our minds wander effortlessly into a realm of countless hypothetical lives we could be leading. It becomes effortless to imagine yourself renovating a rundown home you purchased for a mere $10,000 or envisioning yourself well on your way to visiting 100 countries. Rather than acknowledging your present achievements, you frequently compare yourself to others, measuring your success against theirs.
You experience embarrassment in situations where it is unwarranted. For example, you may feel ashamed when your child faces a health issue or a personal challenge, even though these circumstances are beyond your control. Alternatively, chance events, such as getting stung by a bee, can trigger embarrassment rather than recognizing that such occurrences can happen to anyone.
Limited Awareness of Intrinsic Worth:
The notion that your worth is not solely tied to your achievements may have never crossed your mind. As a high achiever, you may have closely linked your self-worth to your accomplishments without considering that your inherent value extends beyond your contributions. The corporate culture often reinforces this perspective with its distinction between higher-value and lower-value employees.
If this resonates with you, you may have noticed that excessive independence and self-assumed responsibility are prevalent themes in many of these points. While you may not identify with every sign, recognizing several of these patterns could indicate low self-worth. Working with a mental health professional can help, especially if you want to work toward overcoming perfectionism and limit self-sabotaging behaviors. Recognizing your self-worth can also help limit anxiety.
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