What do you expect to feel when you're successful?
Fulfilled? Happy? Accomplished? Peaceful? Proud?
I've heard all these and more.
What do you ACTUALLY feel when you're successful?
Empty? Broken? Confused? Angry? Ashamed?
This mismatch between what we expect to feel when we reach "success" and what we actually feel is what I call the Paradox of Success.
There are five reasons for this paradox that I explore in my book The Paradox of Success, but the one I'll ask you to consider in this post is this:
Success won't fill you up.
If you're struggling to feel worthy, if you are seeking external validation by earning, winning, accomplishing, purchasing - you're trying to earn worthiness.
It doesn't work.
I spent much of my childhood and young adulthood feeling unworthy. I was bullied at home and nothing I did was ever good enough, and my response was to try to be invisible and provide as small a target as possible! After one particularly nasty episode, I finally hit my breaking point - enough was enough.
I was worthy of love and respect because of the simple fact that I'm human - and I now take care to treat myself with respect, and limit contact with people who don't seem willing to respect others.
I won't say I never struggle with self worth - but I've come a long way.
So if you're wanting to feel worthy, stop looking for something outside yourself to somehow prove to others that you are valuable - and focus on the internal work you need to do so that you know you're worthy of love.