“As children we learned that we are not “good enough” as we were. Only if we earned better grades, learned more, did better, gained special skills and abilities—only than could we hope to “amount to anything,” to “be worthwhile.” Our traditional educational pattern stresses a negative value: hardly anyone is good enough as he is. We perpetuate this pernicious practice under the fallacious assumption with oneself. Admittedly, in some few cases the drive for self-evaluation may stimulate progress. But in all cases this negative urge is unnecessary, and in many cases it is highly detrimental.” P. 9 Social Equality, Rudolf Dreikurs.

When we fail to recognize we belong we begin to compensate for our feelings of inadequacy, which results in a futile battle. The more we attempt to be “better” the more we maintain and acknowledge we do not count.

We compensate these feeling of inadequacy by seeking external validation from others. The desire is to stand out, to be different, to be recognized. This is a game without an end. We fear being ordinary, to be like everyone else. We fear being human.

Some common ways we seek external validation are:

Validation through performance based esteem. Your worth is based on your job, income, degree, or how well you do in school, sports, etc. The tendency is to be over accomplished and be the best at whatever you do—less than perfect is nothing. You hold the highest degree or out do all those around you at work. “Performance based esteem augments and insufficient, internal sense of worth by the measuring of one’s accomplishments against those of others and coming out on top.” T. Real

Validation through sexual promiscuity. Your worth is based on the men or women who are interested and willing to have sex with you. We collect encounters to feel desirable and “loved” even if its sex without love.

Validation through physical attractiveness. Our bodies become the main focus in our lives over exercising and under eating. Men chisel their bodies to have the six-pack stomach and women want to appear as the latest celebrity.

Validation by what we own or whom we know. Our house is featured in Homes and Garden and our guests are the most important people in town. This could be viewed as worth by association. If I am seen with some who is “important” than I must be an exceptional person.

There can be others like the parents who validate their worth by how well their children do in school, scores on achievement tests, or the university they attend.

Our way out of this dilemma is to recognize our belonging. We count by the mere fact we exist. You do not have to find your place or even make a place because you already have a place. It is recognizing you purpose no matter how small or out of the way it seems, and than making the most out of what you have. Its being ordinary, a human being, who does not have to earn a place, its your birthright. Authenticity is about accepting your self, as you are, no more and no less, letting go of being “the best” “the most outstanding” or “fabulous” and being yourself. A fallible, capable, creative, and loveable human being.

“Anyone who is sure of himself and satisfied with his abilities can do better than someone who must constantly struggle to prove his worth…It is the feelings of adequacy, rather than of inadequacy that leads to successful endeavor.” R. Dreikurs

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