A note on Self-Worth, Hustling and What it looks like to be truly You.

As I sit here writing this today, I feel blanketed in complete gratitude and bliss.

I’ve worked to get here. It’s taken three years of re-learning to feel to be able to distinguish what gratitude even feels like. Constant ups-and-downs, wanting to give up, and just straight doubting that I could do anything at all. And I know that my journey doesn’t end here, it’s an ever evolving path.

I’ve tried to write to you at least three times this week. But everything I wrote was tinged with bitterness, and that wasn’t what I wanted to put out into the world. We have enough bitterness to process.

Yesterday something changed for me, and I could finally understand where the bitterness was coming from, and why I was creating this in myself. 

I’ve always instinctively known that I don’t operate the way that many people do. With almost no “energy” exerted, I start to feel depleted very quickly when I’m around people, contributing to a project, working in the traditional sense. It’s all insanely draining. And I was mad at myself, because this made absolutely no sense. I must just be a lazy piece of shit with no drive or real aspirations.

Why can’t I just buck up and get shit done like everyone says I should? Why does everything feel so difficult?

I can’t magically “manifest” like all these online coaches say I should be able to. When I seek out opportunities, even when they feel so right, a lot of the time they just don’t turn out to be what I hoped they would. I burn out and can’t even.

I’ve had to work a lot on myself. On my self worth, my confidence, acceptance.

And every day that I set the intention to love myself a little more than I did yesterday, to honor my feelings, I feel better. Little by little, I’ve built my confidence up, I’ve strengthened my self-worth. I love myself a lot more when I’m not in constant judgement of myself.

And then yesterday something very serendipitous showed up. 

Let me preface by saying that I am by no means an expert in this, but what I learned in pouring myself into this system provided me insane clarity about why I am this way, and in that, I was able to more deeply understand and love myself for my seemingly negative qualities.

I had heard of Human Design before. Over a year ago I found my chart and discovered that I’m a projector. But I didn’t give it a second thought, just read the very brief description provided and moved on with my task-list.

Yesterday it kept showing up for me, and I decided to really give it a good look. 

Turns out, as a projector, I’m just not built for the go-go-go mentality that is so prevalent in our culture. I could get into this more in-depth, but the point I want to drive home with this isn’t about Human Design, it’s more so about what happens when we don’t honor our intuitive feelings and try to bend to fit into a societal standard that just doesn’t work for us.

For a long time, I was really hard on myself. I pushed myself to meditate more, to heal more, to work more to overcome this deficiency I was perceiving. My thoughts went along these lines: It must be some sort of inner-child wound that needs healed. I’m just not pursuing the right things, I’ll start over completely. Maybe I just need to get a job and turn on autopilot. Maybe I need to find someone who can just tell me what to do.

As if I wasn’t beating myself up enough already, I would then go read what others had written who are quite literally just a different breed of humans that DO have the energy to generate and be ever-active, ever-striving.

And every time, I came across statements that inevitably tied self-worth to how much you were achieving. And these achievements were always physically manifested successes. 

It’s a concept heavily backed by the You’re So Special society so-called experts have touted as killing the success of millennials. 

“If you want to boost your self-esteem, then do estimable things.”

I can actually feel my energy shift and bitterness kick in when I start to read things like that. And for some people, it’s right. But for some, it’s not.

Part of the beauty of being human is that not all of us are the same. We don’t all operate on the same system. So sweeping generalizations just don’t work, and the fact that the one above was published in Psychology Today is, in my opinion, more harmful than helpful.

Now, I know that if you’re reading this and you don’t resonate with what I’m saying, or you’ve become conditioned to truly, deeply believe that you must strive to achieve to be considered successful, you’re thinking I’m just stroking my own ego.

And that’s fine.

If that’s what you’re thinking, this wasn’t written for you. Or it’s just not for you right now.

Here’s where I want to really drive my point home though. There’s a huge difference between being a lazy piece of shit, and just perceiving yourself as a lazy piece of shit because that’s what society would tell you when you’re not physically “achieving”.

There’s no right or wrong way to live your life, just the way that feels the best for you. This does take looking hard at what’s true and what isn’t. It takes extreme self-awareness. Knowing your habits, understanding your thought patterns, and eliminating the ones that are not supportive to your success.

For some people, hustling is good and productive. For others, it’s physically, mentally and emotionally draining.

For some people, sitting in a mindful state produces feelings and ideas that create abundance, while for others, it may be working that does this.

Give yourself the grace and space to discover what’s right for you, and understand that it is you, and only you, that can determine this. 

And then, go and create the life that feels blissful, joyous and peaceful. In whatever way that is uniquely yours.

And most of all, remember that this takes time. 

Kirstie Dempsey