I’m a self doubter. It’s what I do. Am I ready for this? Do I deserve that? Am I good enough?
I’ve worked really hard to overcome these doubts on both the career and friend fronts. And while I’m still not quite where I would like to be, I’m getting there. My outlook in these realms is immeasurably better than it would have been a few years ago, and I’m even starting to feel comfortable saying that I’m doing a good job (as a self judger/doubter, this is actually no easy task, let me tell you!).
For some reason though, the strides that I’ve made platonically and professionally have for the most part utterly failed to translate into the romantic areas of my life. For years and years, I have lamented, “Where do I meet the right person?! So many of the best dudes are in solid relationships already. Internet dating is terrible. I am not interested in the type of guy who is usually interested in me. I only ever have connections with people who are moving/dating someone else/living far away. Ugggggggh.” But the truth of the matter is that even if I did meet a person who possessed all of these qualities that I desire in a partner, and even if they did show interest in me, no relationship would come of it. Why? Because deep down (or shallowly down?), I just don’t believe that anyone who I really admire/desire/swoon over would ever have any interest in me whatsoever. I don’t think that I have enough value.
I recently went for a Tarot card reading (JUDGE AWAY. WHATEVEEEEEEEEEEEER) and one of the things that the cards said was that I, “desire a stable/secure relationship, but refuse to accept opportunity that arises”, and further that I, “fear what I cannot control about myself”. Oof. And honestly, I can’t say that any of this was at all surprising.
It’s true. When potential does come along, I work so hard to come across as though I’m as unaffected as possible. This is because 1) the person probably has no interest in me anyways, so DON’T PUT YOURSELF OUT THERE, ALTAIRA! YOU WILL BE REJECTED AND LOOK LIKE A DUMMY AND BE SAD; and 2) if I show any weakness, and not just strength and all of the good parts of myself, then they will definitely hate me forever, and not only that, they will tell everyone what a messed up horrible weirdo I am, and life will be a million times worse than if I had just kept my life to myself and never even tried at all. RIGHT?!?
So great. I know that I have work to do. The problem is that I am not entirely sure how to do the work that needs to be done? What steps do you take to make yourself really believe that you’re enough, and to stop thinking that you’re less than you are? How do you foster vulnerability? How do you master romantic confidence? How do you not just awkwardly avoid and run away as soon anything even remotely related to a romantic situation happens?
I do not know the answers to these questions, but I guess asking them at all is the first step? I’m starting a self directed practice of acceptance and commitment therapy, and I am confident that this will begin to lead me down the right path. It’s hard – changing the story that you’ve been telling yourself for so long. But hot damn, life’s too short not to try.