Bad Actions vs Bad Identity

Have there been times when you have been pretty tough on yourself? Would you happen to be your worst critic? Truth be told would you call yourself a perfectionist. And how are you doing with perceived failures? The things that we tell ourselves, about ourselves many times has originated from programming that we received long before we can remember.
At some stage in most of our lives, we were shaped and molded to think of ourselves in a mostly positive way or mostly negative way. At some point based on the way we were conditioned by our parents or caregivers, we were taught to believe and trust in ourselves that we could conquer the world, or we were taught to shame ourselves, have doubt about what we could accomplish.
For some, we were influenced to believe that each performance that we participated in had to be performed with superior quality, and no matter how high we performed, or how hard we tried, there was great potential that whatever the outcome turned out to be, our performance would not be good enough.  So what happened in the psyche when we didn’t reach the mark? A sense of failure would often take root.  Thoughts that we didn’t make mom or dad proud burdened some of us, and when we could not perform at the top many of us felt unworthy and experienced guilt due to our lack of accomplishment.

Perfectionism Links To Anxiety & Depression

Perfectionistic qualities and the concept of not feeling good enough have the tendency to lead us into a pattern of anxiety and depression. It can be the stimulus of anger and resentments.  When wrapped in the perfectionistic web, we may find ourselves easily beating up on ourselves or beating up on others when they seem like threats.  Anger and frustrations can often be seen when we seek to control situations, others, probabilities, the past, and the future.
Based on our upbringings it is easy to develop thought patterns that make us believe that something is not right with us. Perhaps we think that others just have greater ideas.  Sometimes we believe that the ideas that we have are just not worth sharing. We question ourselves about business and leadership. We can look at other’s performance and be very critical of how they operate. But when it comes to us stepping into their position, applying for that role, making that speech, moving into the new relationship, or venturing to start that business we are highly reluctant to make moves because something tells us with a clear voice or intuitively, “you are not good enough.”
Where does that sinister voice come from, and what evidence does this voice have that makes its opinion fact. You know it’s interesting how when the truth is told, most of us are not as confident as we seem are we?  Many of us have made the visual of low self-esteem look really attractive.  In a way, we often act as impostures.  It’s convenient for us that no one knows how fearful we are to take things to the next level.  Many of us have so many shelved ideas that have been stored away because of our fear of not being able to match our own “greatness.” Because of this fear and anxiety, an enormous amount of energy is spent discounting ourselves concerning what we have to bring to the table.  A portion of this fear is provoked by emulation and comparison.  And how safe is it to stand from the distance and critique others rather than take a risk or to stand and speak what we believe to be of substance.

Who Wrote Your Script?

 What causes this level of anxiety and self-defeating behaviors? Many times we are functioning off of somebody else’s script. You see at some point in life somebody gave you a script. Basically, this script influenced you to determine if you were good or bad if you were going to be independent or codependent if you were going to be confident or insecure.  Some of us rebelled against the negative scripts and decided to write our own.  Some of us prayed and asked God to give us a more pure script and we became dependent on that.  But others of us took on an unhealthy script that was full of lies telling us things about The Uns that Iyanla Vanzant speaks about (Unwanted, Unloved, Unlovable, Unacceptable, Unimportant, Unattractive, Unworthy).  I believe these Uns affect most of us at certain stages of life.  These Uns often have us trapped in depression, comparisons, and angry at our lack of achievement because of a bad script that has deceived us about ourselves.

What To Do About The Uns

One of the most interesting things that I think we fail to do when we are trapped in the Uns is to challenge them and then prove them to be objective truths.  For instance, if you feel like you are a bad person.  You know that it is a fact that you have hurt a lot of people.  When you step into the room, you make others uncomfortable. You have made a bunch of mistakes and been the cause of broken relationships.  There is no coincidence that your negative thinking about yourself and use of introjection can lead to anxiety and depression.  This type of thinking is a sign of depression, and yes, you may be able to benefit from a mental health counselor.

Is It A Fact That You Are Un_____…?

But before you make that move, have your tried proving the Uns.  Can you prove for a fact that you are a bad person?  Would it be easier to prove you have “bad actions” verses proving that you are a bad person?  Bad actions are less subjective if you have a moral value system.  However, drawing the conclusion that you are a bad person is judgment. Are you hurt by your decisions, are you sorrowful, do you want to make things right even if you feel you do not have the capacity.  Have you ever received a compliment?  Have you ever placed a smile on someone’s face?  Have you ever done something that impacted someone’s life in a positive way?
If you have not, you can not prove this, because it is quite possible that something you said to someone regardless of whether it was positive or negative could have saved their life, but you may not know about it.  You may never know about it.  That person whose life you may have impacted or saved may think differently from you.  They may not feel that you are a bad person because of how you impacted their life.  So who’s opinion is more objective?  Who has been certified to make that determination?  No one!  There is no one sin-free, faultless man or woman on earth that has the authority or who is qualified to determine that any human is bad.  So why waste further time on this argument about yourself.  It is easier to prove bad actions, but even that may be subjective.

Who Gave You The Authority To Be The Judge?

These are some of the questions that we should ask ourselves before we decide that we have the authority to be the judge and jury concerning how good or bad we are.  It is very compelling how in our heart of hearts we can hold so much insecurity, doubt, and indecision about actions, successes, and accomplishments.  We can second guess ourselves to no end about what we deserve.  Thoughts may ponder in our minds about our worth in our marriages and relationships.  Anxiety and depression may sometimes take ahold of us.  With all this doubt and fear about our lives, we are so concretely sure that we are right about what is wrong about us.
As long as others have alternative positive thinking about the negative thoughts that we have about ourselves, we lack evidence to prove our uns.  We must at some point accept that our thoughts about our uns are our own thoughts.  Regardless of the programming, its time for many of us to replace the software that has been uploaded in our minds.  We need to spend less time trying to prove the negatives or the uns about ourselves, reboot and spend more time processing God-given good that we possess.

About Choya

LICSW Social Work Licensure Supervisor and Mental Health Counselor in Huntsville, AL 35806

Choya Wise, LICSW, PIP is the owner of Aspire Counseling and Consulting Services a mental health clinic in the Huntsville, Al area.  As a licensed mental health professional Choya specializes in individual counselingcouples therapy, and depression counseling.  He also offers Social Work Supervision in Alabama and Anger Management Classes.

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1955 Rideout Dr. Ste 400
Huntsville, AL 35806
(256) 212-0567

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