October 5, 2020
Word of the Week: Self-Worth
Last month, I experienced a week when I felt like a monster and all-around failure at life. One night, I only slept for three hours and cried for nearly 8. I found myself in a place that the start-up world calls “the trough of sorrow”—every entrepreneur and creative goes through it.
As I’ve learned from my favorite podcast “How I Built This,” with Guy Raz, the trough of sorrow is when you are suddenly convinced you’ve made a terrible mistake, will never succeed and should, without a doubt, throw in the towel. This is not the first time I’ve been in the trough of sorrow, but it’s just as dark. Most people talk about this period in retrospect, when they are back on the top of the roller coaster. Although I’m slowly clawing my way out of the trenches and learning how to be kind to myself during this period, I want to show and bring you along the very un-glamorous side of this journey, when I feel so exhausted that I can’t think straight.
Growing up in a high-achieving family who put a lot of pressure on staying busy and productive, I thought that being in this constant state of exhaustion was normal (and something to be proud of). I wore my burnout like a badge of honor. It’s taken many years and a lot of therapy to recognize that my value as a human being is not tied to how much I accomplish—which psychologists call a conditional sense of self-worth. I am still learning that when I feel sucked into those old patterns, I am still worthy. These are some things I tell myself to remind me of that:
Ask Yourself: What kind things can I say to myself the next time I feel like I’m failing?
Weekly Mantra: I am worthy no matter how much I accomplish.
When in Doubt, Jam it Out:
Shooting Stars by Bag Raiders (Follow the Spotify playlist “Jam it Out with Elizabeth” to stay up-to-date with the weekly tunes 🎵)
Things I Think You’ll Love:
I talked with Kate Harlow and Catherine Danieli on their podcast, The New Truth “Detoxing from the Good Girl” about struggling with people-pleasing, the fear of disappointing others, putting others’ needs first and how to transform these behaviors and habits.
Are you someone who finds it difficult to unwind? Check out this piece I wrote on Talkspace, “4 Suggestions For What To Do When Relaxing Feels Terrifying,” where I share some research-based ways to relax when the need to be productive feels overwhelming.
Have a beautiful week two of spooky season,
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COPYRIGHT © 2020 ELIZABETH SU
PHOTOGRAPHY BY KRISTA MARIE PHOTOGRAPHY
WEBSITE DESIGN BY BRAND PARTY™