The Bottomless Pit of Unworthiness: Have You Fallen In?

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The Bottomless Pit of Unworthiness: Have You Fallen In?

I’ve been waiting by the phone all day.

It rang once, and my heart leapt into my throat. It was a wrong number. (Really??!?!)

I’ve spent a month interviewing for a job that want and need very badly. I was told i’d hear back by the end of this week (it’s currently Friday at 12:45pm).

Back in August and September, I spent 6 weeks interviewing for a different job that I wanted badly; studying and researching tirelessly to prepare for each of the 4 interviews. I received very positive feedback at each meeting. I was confident I had it; I spent time fantasizing about my new role, and what the new income would do for our family.

After 4 weeks of interviewing, they took an additional 2 weeks to decide. Then they sent me a rejection letter in the mail.

I was pretty devastated, but I pushed through and then this opportunity came along. Now I’ve been waiting, and I fear it’s all about to happen again. More time wasted, more disappointment.

Also, my car broke down yesterday and we don’t have the money to fix it.

I have been torturing myself all week about this job, compulsively checking my email and voicemail. I have been going back and forth from trying to rationalize why the hiring manager hasn’t called or answered my follow-up email (“Maybe she’s in meetings all week! Maybe they are still checking my references!”) to trying to brace myself for more disappointment.

I’ve also been angry at myself for expecting too much, for being too pessimistic, and for being anxious and obsessing over it all.

I feel stupid and materialistic for lusting after the good salary. For wanting more, and not being grateful for what I have.

Clearly, I just can’t win with myself. I never really can, because I am a perfectionist, and perfectionists are never, ever good enough for themselves.

So there I was, drying my hair this afternoon, phone on the counter, obsessing away, scowling at myself in the mirror. I was so agitated and filled with tension I felt like I could explode. Why can’t I be free of this?

As the answer slowly washed over me, I broke down in tears.

It wasn’t the actual job, or the money, or any of those things.

I want this job so badly because I can’t remember the last time I was able to genuinely feel proud of myself. 

I’m leaving town with my sisters and mother-in-law tonight for a girl’s weekend, and I just wanted to have a real reason to celebrate.

I can’t remember the last time I actually felt like I deserved to celebrate anything. I’ve been a stay-at-home mom/part-time writer for 2 years. I haven’t brought home much income, and we’ve been living check to check the entire time.

People tell me all the time that I should be proud of what I do for my family. That motherhood is the toughest job! I hear them, but it just doesn’t resonate with me.

I’ve also been doing a lot of personal writing and really finding my niche, but for some reason that doesn’t make me very proud.

Also, shouldn’t just having wonderful friends and family be a great reason to celebrate??

I realized my self-worth is tied to outside recognition.

A funny thing happened though, in that bathroom. My angry, rigid body and hardened chest started to soften. I felt a warmth, spreading through me.

Compassion, like a warm wave washing over my soul.

All of a sudden, I understood my own pain, and gave myself permission to feel it.

I’m not selfish or materialistic. I just want to feel worthy

In our heart of hearts, isn’t that what we all want most?

I felt oddly better about the whole situation, like I could finally breathe. I felt like I was a part of a bigger, collective consciousness of human suffering and compassion.

If I don’t get this job, at least it lead me to realize that I need to open and soften to my own pain. That I need to work on getting to a place where I can be proud, right here right now, no matter what, just for being me.

And that’s a gift.

Image Credit: Copyright: rasoft / 123RF Stock Photo

In what ways do you fall into the pit of unworthiness? Share your thoughts in the comments! 






  1. This is beautifully vulnerable and honest. I don’t think you’re materialistic at all, I think you and the mass majority of us are conditioned. We’ve conditioned to find our worth in the money we bring in or the title we get it through.

    • I think you are right about that. Thank you for reading! 🙂

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