Processing some stuff today. Mindfulness is an interesting experience. It's like an out of body experience for emotions. I can observe myself feeling the things I feel but I can also see them for what they really are, and I can see how they relate to my past experiences and upbringing. It's been a good tool for adjusting habits and ways of responding to various cues and triggers.
In moments of wavering self worth and confidence, I find myself fearfully grasping for reassurance and validation. Seems pretty normal, but I can see how in the past, I'd misdirected that inclination towards people who weren't properly vetted sources of stability or comfort. I had appraised my value so minimally and assumed a superiority in others that was false and a product of whatever misstep I'd made. Its that perfectionism thing again. Any point of perceived failure acts as a chisel to the pillar of my confidence.
Really though, what I should be doing (and have begun practicing) in those moments is acknowledging the discomfort of imperfection, affording myself the grace and leeway I give to literally anyone else, and finding the strength to buoy myself without relying on an ill equipped and poorly chosen confidant to lift me up (or leave me where I lay, as was sometimes the case).
The old practice, I can see now, was a product of fear and an attempt to find the emotional support that I lacked as a child. "Maybe this one will have what I need." In addition to giving away my power and burdening a bystander, its a detriment to my personal brand. So much of our externally perceived value is defined by how we value ourselves. We teach the people around us how to see us and how to treat us by the way to talk about and treat ourselves, as well as what we're willing to accept. A low self valuation results in accepting a low valuation from others and therefore potentially poorer treatment.
I will have setbacks. I will make mistakes, I will stumble and have bad hair days and make bad judgement calls once in a while. I will have failures. Try as I might to be perfect, I can't be. However, my value is not malleable and my standards are not negotiable. Those things aren't invalidated by my being human. I can stand with my head held high and despite my imperfection, expect excellence from others and dismiss where the bar isn't met.
It's not easy to forge new habits of thought and action, but it's necessary for growth. Nothing changes if you don't.