Self-esteem? Or self-importance?

Young woman thinking with question mark circulation around her h

Young woman thinking with question mark circulation around her h

Celebrating our inspirations and achievements can easily be misconstrued and judged as ego – by ourselves and others.

The difference between a healthy, balanced ego and a dysfunctional one? One is an effort to prop ourselves up; the other, self-acknowledgement. One is an important asset in our personal and professional life; the other, not so much.

If we’re self-effacing when being acknowledged for doing something amazing, that’s an invitation for inner reflection. If we’re proud of ourselves but feel we shouldn’t be, our ego needs healing. If we don’t have confidence in ourselves, it undermines others having confidence in us – who wants to do business with someone who doesn’t back themselves?

If we’ve succeeded and feel unable to take time out to own it, we need to reflect. Imbalances like time pressures, perfectionism, workaholism or a need to continually prove ourselves can result in us robbing ourselves of satisfaction and joy.

If our unhealthy ego is ‘driving the bus’, and we’ve bought the lie that other people’s judgements define us, we may worry what others think. If we’re willing to embrace self-worth and free ourselves from others’ opinions, we won’t give a flying duck. (Benchmark!)

Marianne Williamson invites us to choose greater. “We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? … Your playing small does not serve the world. As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.”

In light of all this, it was very interesting to observe the self-effacing acceptance speeches of the 2019 Australians of the Year, where hero divers from the Thailand cave rescue seemed quite uncomfortable with all the attention and played it down by saying that what they did was only a brief thing while many other nominees had worked a lifetime. This did not factor in the 20+ years of cave diving they had done to become highly-skilled, experienced and confident enough to be able to effectively carry out such a difficult rescue, and other nominees, as worthy as they were, had not necessarily risked their lives to save total strangers in such a prolonged and dangerous operation.

In stating that they didn’t deserve it as much as the others, they were not only selling themselves short, it was also inadvertently communicating to the decision-makers that they got it wrong, when everybody except the recipients absolutely knew for sure that what they did was extraordinary and deserving of all the accolades.

While humility is a beautiful thing, it does not obliterate the value of owning our hard-won achievements and receiving compliments, appreciation, recognition and praise from others, so why not discover the value of acknowledging ourselves and let’s not hold back when it’s time to shine our asses off and celebrate!
And let’s wrap this up with a metaphysical plot twist … what are we actually acknowledging?

When it comes to creative inspiration, what if we are conduits for creativity to flow through? What if genius is in our collective consciousness and it’s just a matter of being present to receive it (or ‘tuning in’ to find it)?

When inspirations come through me, I’m simply in gratitude, awe and wonder. Though still giving myself kudos for receiving and developing them, my excitement is about the inspiration itself.

What if the entire ego-free universe was ready, willing and able to funnel itself through us if only we’d allow it?

Awe, receptivity and self-appreciation at the ready?
Bring it on!

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