Years ago my partner and I were repairing a fence around our home and looking quite butch with our hammers, saws, and cordless screwdrivers. Our oldest son, who was only five at the time, wanted to help. So, he stood nearby and patiently handed us screws as we needed them. At one point I caught a glimmer in his eye and asked what was on his mind. He smiled with admiration and said "You and Daddy can do anything!"
He's almost 15 now, and no longer holds such delusions about us. But in that moment a decade ago, my son believed that his two dads could accomplish anything. Thankfully, he had no idea that it had taken us five hours to do what any decent lesbian with a pocket knife could have finished in 30 minutes.
As parents, we have worked diligently, although imperfectly, to instill positive beliefs in our son, as well as his brother and sister. We, of course, want them to have self-confidence because beliefs are powerful forces that invariably shape the choices we make in life and in relationships.
The quality of relationships we have with others is tied directly to the quality of the relationship we have with ourselves. When we view ourselves as flawed and unworthy we emit an energy that others, or least healthy others, find extremely unattractive. On the other hand, with enough self worth we can draw healthy people toward us and live a life with more connection and satisfaction.
What are the unworkable beliefs that prevent you from reaching your full potential in life and in love? How do you limit yourself? Do you sometimes tell yourself you are not smart enough, attractive enough, thin enough, young enough, or wealthy enough to find happiness or a life with meaning and purpose?
If so, that's most likely not your own voice you are listening to. It may be the shaming voice of a parent that you've internalized. It may be the condemning words of your church growing up. It may come from the harmful criticism and contempt you endured during an abusive relationship. Whatever their sources, begin examining and deconstructing those faulty beliefs so that you can halt any acts of self-violence and begin living a life with more peace, hope, authenticity and abundance.
Rather than waste precious energy on self-doubt and worry, it is my sincere hope that you will make more time for your friends, take better care of your elders, play more with your children, listen more to your partner, and say "I love you" every single time you get the chance.