How I Really Feel (About My Disease & More)
I am often told that I am brave or inspirational. Yet, I do not think of myself in this way at all. My view of myself is very different. Most people say this to me because I have Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus, and other autoimmune diseases (not to mention a few other ailments), while I continue to grow my business. How I really feel about my disease (and other life events) is that it can be a gift from God on some days or a curse on other days. Let me tell you, I am not brave, and let me share a few other self-worth lessons I’ve learned.
What Affects How You Feel About Yourself
Most of us do not view ourselves the way others see us. Although our worth should not be determined by outside forces, too often we allow outside forces to influence how we feel about ourselves. What makes it worse is that these outside forces are often beyond our control.
Many things go into your view of yourself including:
- Your own past history
- Life experiences
- Relationships you have (& have had in the past)
- Traumas you’ve experienced
- Health issues
- Your view of your body
- Accomplishments achieved
- Other’s acceptance, rejection, or interaction with you
- Convictions or how you feel about the world around you
- Religious affiliations
- Lessons taught as you go through life (from parents to schools to life itself)
- [Many other factors]
No, I am not brave, but I have learned and experienced many things in my life that have taught me how to handle disappointments and traumas, as well as, accomplishments. Keep in mind, as you view this list that it is very subjective. Yes, it can change depending on who is writing the list and what they feel makes up their self-worth.
It is also interesting in viewing this list that many of these factors could be considered negative. This brings up a big, glaring item not included – PERSPECTIVE. Our perspective and how we view life and experiences play a huge role in how we handle and process them.
The irony is that I do not consider myself a negative person. Yet, viewing my list of factors that make up self-worth you may think that I am. I think because I’ve counseled and coached so many people over the last 25 to 30 years I can objectively create this list without considering just what makes up my own self-worth.
Focus Can Be Negative or Positive
What you focused on at any given moment can often determine your own self-view at that time. If I was thinking about my childhood for instance, and some of the trauma I’ve endured, my self-worth may be very low if you asked me in that moment. Thankfully, I’ve healed from most of that trauma. Although, I admit, things sneak in at times that catch me off guard because although we get help and heal, some traumas are never fully gone. I do know, however, with God’s help (& the counseling I’ve received over the years) I can speak about these things without the emotion and gripping in my chest and stomach that there used to be.
If, however, I was considering all of the courses I’ve taught, the certifications I’ve earned, and the online service providers (or freelancers) I’ve helped along the way, my self-view may be higher. So, your own self-worth is very subjective and often apt to change depending on the day’s events and focus.
I recently took a few months of training in something called “Positive Intelligence” for coaches. It was an incredible experience overall. Dr. Shirzad Chamine developed this program after years of coaching high-end achievers and CEOs in large corporations.
I like to think I’m a pretty positive person most of the time. In doing this practice for coaches, however, it was evident that I was not keeping my mind focused on the positive. By doing this and focusing on many of the negatives in my life, I was becoming more negative. This affected my relationship with my husband and my children, and it affected my work. I’m so glad I received this training to begin regaining the positivity I wanted to give out to others, rather than zap them with negativity.
I highly recommend this training if you are a coach and if not read the book. In order to stay positive you must continue to train your brain and retrain it. I was surprised to learn that we actually rewire our brains to make them more positive and by practicing this we develop new neuropathways.
Dr. Shirazad Chamin believes that you often create your own self fulling prophecies depending on how you view your life and the experiences that happen. By viewing them as neither negative nor positive you create the ability to respond differently to these, especially in the workforce.
Self-Worth and Activity Level
I believe your self-worth can also be affected by your activity level at times. Years ago, I drove children around, homeschooled all three, cooked meals, cleaned our home, counseled many, had a ministry within our church, and still owned my business. I also hosted events at our home and got together with friends. At that time, I felt pretty good about myself and my family, yet uncertain at times of who I really was at that time. We were not perfect by any means, but I often based my worth on who I was as a mother, a wife, a Pastor’s wife, etc.
“If we are not careful our identities become tied up in who we think we are or in what we are doing, not on who we truly are as humans. Now I base it (my identity and worth) on who I am in Christ because He is who saved me, gave me purpose, and made me whole as a person.“Tammy Durden, Business Coach – Fearless Business Boss
This is no longer the case and perhaps the lack of that activity also affects your self-view. Therefore, if I judged my self-worth by my activity level today I do not think it would be positive.
How I Feel Today
I am told I am brave and inspirational simply because I have a few diseases and still work. Why would I be brave simply by working to try to earn some income to help our family? Most of you are not considered brave just for working.
“Personally, I think my husband, who just turned 60 years old (yes, I’m married to an old man – haha), and is working two jobs to help support us to pay our medical bills, household bills, and have health insurance is the brave one! He is MY HERO!”-Tammy
If you asked me how I feel today I think the answer would depend on the day, like most of you. I do think I often have more challenges than the average person. I also think that my disease can play a role in the way I see myself. Possibly not in the way you are thinking, however. I believe I see myself as a survivor, not brave.
Today, things are much slower in and around my life. I no longer have local friends to get together with here, most are online today. Gatherings with family are where most of my joy, this side of eternity, is now. My grown children (& all I call my children) and grandchildren fill my heart so full.
My church activity has diminished due to my inability to attend regularly. And my business has become my ministry. It has changed from an agency to just me once again. I’ve now hired (or outsourced) my own Virtual Assistant. Often in life, things really come full circle, don’t they?
I am told that I am brave and inspirational because I have a disability and I own a business.
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Joy and Its Affect On Your Self View
Although life is so much quieter now I greatly miss the noise of children running loudly through the house. Truth be told, I miss the hustle and bustle of kids needing to go to friends’ sleepovers and ball practices. I miss cooking for my family and cleaning the house (oh how I wish I could clean this house). And I miss the energy I had when I was doing all of these things. So, I have to ask, does joy affect your self-view?
What is Joy?
This is the perfect definition, as I do not believe joy is equal to happiness as many define it. I believe joy is that deep down knowing of having faith in your life (for me that is Christ). I also think joy is finding things to focus on that thing that brings you a sense of purpose and love, along with this deep-down knowing. It is important for each person to find their inner joy.
If you wondered what I find joy in today it is a number of things. I chose to focus on them as they are the positives in my life.
What Brings Me Joy Today…
- My Faith (in Christ Jesus)
- Bible Studies (or being in the Word)
- Time with My Husband
- My Children Together Again In One Place
- Seeing My Grandchildren
- Being Active in Ministry (God’s calling in my life)
- Getting New Clients
- Clients Seeing Breakthrough Changes
- Clients Business Growth
- My Mastermind Group Coaching (so encouraging and really help each other)
- Hearing My Husband Preach a Sermon (He is a Pastor)
- Worshipping with Our Church Body
- Being Able to Make Changes In Our Home (design or remodeling)
- A Good Program On TV or Streaming
What do you find joy in today?
How Do I Feel Now
I still do not think I am brave but if I can inspire someone not to give up or inspire them so they can own a business or in any other way, then I praise God for that because I know that it is not something that comes from me but is Him working through me. If I appear brave, then perhaps that is actually confidence showing through because I have learned and become an expert in the online service industry after 15 years.
I know I still make mistakes, more often than I like to admit. I had hoped by this point in my life they could be fewer but we learn to embrace them for what they are and be able to share them and the lessons learned.
In fact, many are surprised to learn that I often still struggle with “imposter syndrome” as do many and perhaps it never fully goes away. It is not always present but at times it likes to show itself again. I suppose because I truly want to remain humble perhaps it helps to keep me in check.
The lessons we learn can be bold at times and should be shared and used to help others. Do not hide them as those very mistakes may be the thing God uses to shine your light through.
You never know what will be the ‘thing’ that may break us or bring us humbly forward to help others – often the choice is ours. Mostly, it comes down to how we respond to those events in our life that we cannot control.
Where Are You Today
Do you have things that you can focus on that give you that deep breath of peace and hope?
If you need help with this please reach out. It is never as bad as you think it is. Always remember also that many out there are far worse off than you are at the moment. Not that you should be comparing yourself to anyone but as I always told as a child, “Someone always has it worse than you do.” (unknown who said this) Not that this is a great thing to focus on but the thought and realization that “the world does not revolve around us alone and that others are suffering far worse”, can bring us back to reality and what we should really be focused on.
Stay focused on the positive forces in your life. In the end, it will also help you with your self-view.
How Does This Apply To Your Business
To bring this around full circle and how this all can apply to your business it is important to remember that how you view yourself plays a big factor in how successful your business can be. I think you can see why perspective and your view of self affects your confidence and even how you carry yourself. In turn, this affects how you sell your services and even speak about your business.
If your self-worth is low then you probably do not exude confidence when speaking with others about the services you offer and how you can help their business. More than likely you think are coming across confident and positive about this yet the tone and mannerisms can indicate your true feelings. If you lack self-worth you most likely like confidence as well. This can truly affect your business and the ability to attract clients.
This is an area where I shine for clients. I’ve always been a great listener and encourager. For my clients, I am their biggest cheerleader. I often point out areas to celebrate and wins they have not considered.
Help With Self-Worth
There are a number of things we can do to help our self-worth. Even those with an appreciation for their worth can also benefit from this list.
#1 – Seek a Highly Regarded Professional
Whether that is a business coach, like myself, to help you and your business grow, or if you have deeper issues to tackle besides confidence and business growth, reach out to a professional counselor. Look up reviews and get referrals from others.
#2 – Be Seen More
It seems counterintuitive if you struggle with a low self-worth but often getting out and being seen by more people actually attracts your people group (your audience) who accept you and appreciate you. And it helps you overcome the need to be perfect as well as the fear associated with this.
#3 – Go For It
If there is something you’ve been putting off or an achievement you haven’t tried to go after now is the time to do it. Maybe you want to apply for a grant or to appear in an article or podcast, why not go for it? I know, you may not get on but there is also the possibility that you will. Achieving something out of your normal comfort zone can do wonders for your self-worth.
Maybe it’s that dream client. Think out of the box and just do it. This will help your self-worth even if rejected because you took action. And if you end up getting it (an award or dream client) think of how that boosts your confidence.
#4 – Help Others
Reaching out to those who may need your help, whether as a mentor or if you are part of a non-profit, can make you feel good. I’m always amazed by this phenomenon. I know when I help someone just because I am led to do so and you’d think it would make them feel good, but often I leave feeling more blessed.
#5 – Avoid the Downward Spiral
Too often when something has happened to us (whether a mistake or someone else hurting us) we tend to keep living in the moment, especially as women. This creates the mind vortex of the downward spiral and keeps going.
Women, in particular, tend to relive the moments and try to consider what could have said or done to change it. STOP! Anytime this begins, try to imagine an actual Stop Sign coming up in your mind. Do this enough and will become automatic. Reliving these events does not serve you or your business.
#5 – List Your Good Qualities
Amber Murphy has good tips on this:
Negative thinking can be the cause of why you can’t see all the good you possess. You can build self esteem by writing down all your good qualities. You can ask a friend for help or even your family members. Ask people for positive feedback so you can become more self-aware about what people value in you.Amber Murphy
#7 – Do Not Compare
Please do not compare yourself to others, it’s a losing game, my friends. You will always find others who seem more successful, more put together, and all-round fantastic. Therefore, remember, almost all of those great social media posts are staged. They are the BEST of people and their families. Not many come on camera a mess (even those pretending to be a mess). We all want to present ourselves in the best light. No More Comparing Yourself to Others. You are uniquely and wonderfully made and God has a plan to use you and you cannot compare His plan for you with His plan for others.
I am not sure why I wrote on this topic today but I hope someone out there really needed it.
Lastly, I cannot sum it up better than this verse. I will only add that I usually do not reference this version (The Message) but it says it so well for this topic:
Please, stay focused on the positive and let me know how I can help serve you better. I look forward to connecting again soon. If you need a boost in this area set up a free mini-session with me.
To Your Continued Success!
Disclaimer Note: If you are depressed, can’t find joy in anything at all, or are feeling very hopeless at the moment please reach out to a local support or call 911 (if you are thinking of doing something to harm yourself). This article is not a self-help blog or a ‘how to fix’ it anything. Please be sure to reach out to a professional counselor if you need more guidance.
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