Behind Closed Doors: Unworthy

At Any Other Woman, you can talk about anything. Anything you want at all. Any subject, any time. We are proud to be able to provide that platform for you, it makes our hearts sing. But we do understand that sometimes there are topics that are too sensitive, too divisive, simply too hard to write about and broadcast without a second thought. No-one wants to hurt their loved ones unnecessarily and yet sometimes a story needs to be told.

This is your place for those subjects. A place for you to tell those tales you’d not considered telling before. No names, no justifications, no apologies.

You can send your BCD submissions to behindcloseddoors@live.co.uk and we promise that you’ll remain anonymous throughout the entire process.

 

I feel unworthy. It comes and goes in waves, and more often than not, I know I am not unworthy. I know I am not unworthy of friendship, of love, of happiness. But the thought is always there, in the back of my mind and sometimes that thought overrides all others. 

 

As I write this now, I feel I shouldn’t be, as if I am an intruder into a community of people so wonderful that I do not deserve to be a part of. As if my voice should not be heard amidst the voices of all the amazing people here. I was once a regular reader, but I stopped. Partially because I could not get online regularly, but mostly because I felt like I didn’t belong.

 

Foolish, I know. When have you all not supported one another, no matter what views are held? When have you all not rallied around with support and words of comfort when one of the community has needed it? But there I stood, feeling like a clumsy ugly duckling, contemplating commenting on posts so many times, very rarely doing so, until I decided enough was enough and so…I stopped.

I feel like this at work. In a small office full of lovely people, I banter with them, I joke and debate. I put up a front and act as if I feel like I belong. But always I wonder if they miss the person I replaced and wish she had never left. She is one of those people who electrifies the room with her presence and warmth. I am the quiet girl in the corner, the one who observes carefully before tentatively approaching a group of strangers, who comes across as cold and aloof.

I feel like this amongst my family. Lively, loud, exuberant and sociable, I am the bookworm who spent her teenage years reading and studying. As for friends, I have so very few because so many of whom I have loved with all my heart have fallen by the wayside and I am scared of giving my all to people who will not return it. I look at who I am, and compare myself unfavourably to the people around me. I do not feel intelligent, articulate, confident. I am terrified of being rejected, and so I lock myself away. I put up barriers against potential hurt. But those barriers have done nothing but made me feel lonely.

I write this because I know I am not alone in having some of these feelings. A person at work, a person capable of so much, who went though a horrible time at the beginning of the year, feels out of place in the office. A very dear friend of mine, until recently, thought himself unworthy of love. So many people I talk to feel like they are not good enough. That they are not intelligent enough, well read enough, funny enough. Somehow, so many of us feel that we are not…enough.

And yet we are. We are worthy, we are good enough. And I need to remember I am, too. Even if I sometimes find it hard to believe.

Categories: Behind Closed Doors
71 interesting thoughts on this

69 Comments

  1. Posted August 30, 2012 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    Remembering that you are worthy, and telling yourself that you are every.single.day is the first step to believing that it’s true. It’s such a cliche but day by day, as time goes on you’ll find yourself feeling low and sad less and less and there’ll come a time when you truly believe that you deserve the love and happiness in your life.

    Writing this, returning to a place you felt you ‘didn’t belong’ shows massive courage-you should be proud. We’re proud to have you as a member of the community, you deserve to be here with peach and grey bells and ribbons on.

    I hope today is a good day and that you remember how bloody great you are.

    A x

    • Anon
      Posted August 30, 2012 at 9:55 am | Permalink

      Thank you. I do try and tell myself that every day. Some days I find more difficult to believe than others. But I will try even harder on those days.

      Today is a good day. And I hope we all remember how great we are.

  2. Sandra C
    Posted August 30, 2012 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    I agree with Aisling. Obv. I don’t know who you are, but you’ve come back and that’s a big step. I’d like to assure you that you are good enough. We are all good enough. I’m not well read, or cool, and there was a time when it would have bothered me, but not now. I’m not all that, but I’m me and so are you. And it’s great to just be you.

    You absolutley deserve love, happiness and whetever else it is you want. Don’t waste your life feeling inadequate-you’re not. I bet you’re lovely.

    xx

    • Anon
      Posted August 30, 2012 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      Thank you, Sandra.. I can’t think of anything else to say right now, as the welcome back from all on here has made me a bit teary eyed. So all I can say is, thank you for your incredibly lovely words.

  3. Katielase
    Posted August 30, 2012 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    This is so brave, so powerful. I cried reading it, it must have taken so much to write, and I want you to know that you’re not alone. I fight this feeling so often, when I’m with friends or new people I’m convinced they’d have a better time without me, that I add nothing, that I have no value. When I’m low and struggling I feel my husband deserves better than me. But you’re right, it isn’t true. It really isn’t. I want to tell you that you are so worthy, that you’re a wonderful, brave, strong, loving person. Please, please stay as a member of this community. I can guarantee you belong, and we miss you.

    And if you want to, my email is katiejfleming@gmail.com, I want you to know that I think you sound ace, actually, and very like me in some ways, and I’d love to chat to you. Although I won’t be offended if you choose to stay anonymous, just writing this post was a huge act of bravery. But do please stick around, even anonymously, because you definitely belong.

    K xx

    • Lara Blue
      Posted August 30, 2012 at 8:41 am | Permalink

      Hugs

    • Anon
      Posted August 30, 2012 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      Part of the reason for writing this is that I see so many people around me who have the same feelings of unworthiness that I do, yet I look at them and think they are all brilliant in their own way. Yet often we can see that about others, but not ourselves.

      I definately will stick around. This is a community I want to be a part of, even more so after today.

      • Posted August 30, 2012 at 10:58 am | Permalink

        Hurrah! That is amazing to hear, glad to have you here x

  4. Pickle
    Posted August 30, 2012 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    I’m not usually a very touchy-feely person but I just want to give you a massive hug after reading this.

    I too have spent many wasted hours writing comments to posts on these very pages then deleting my comments because I thought they sounded stupid amongst all the clever, witty, heartfelt contributions. I’ve decided life’s too short and I’d like to be part of this community; as the people here sound lovely I’m hoping they’ll forgive me if it takes me a while to find my voice (I hope I’m right!). I’m sticking around and I genuinely hope you do too.

    One other thing: I very nearly destroyed my relationship with my now husband before we were married as I felt unworthy of his love; counselling massively helped me to get through a very dark time, understand what was going on in my head (a bit) and learn to value myself in ways that were new to me – maybe it could help you too.

    • Lara Blue
      Posted August 30, 2012 at 8:42 am | Permalink

      <3

    • Posted August 30, 2012 at 9:10 am | Permalink

      Yay pickle please do stick around! You’re right sometimes it can take a while to find your ‘voice’, but that’s no bad thing xx

    • Posted August 30, 2012 at 9:14 am | Permalink

      Pickle, I’m so glad you wrote this comment, and welcome! Here’s hoping you delete fewer and fewer comments as the weeks progress and that you feel more able to contribute – you’ll always be warmly welcomed.

    • Katielase
      Posted August 30, 2012 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      I deleted so many comments before I got brave enough to start leaving them properly, so I know how you feel, but it’s so worth sticking around. This is such an amazing community, and it’ll be that bit more amazing with you in it too!

      K x

    • Anon
      Posted August 30, 2012 at 10:12 am | Permalink

      Pickle, I have gone to councelling, and it has helped so much. It’s definately the reason I was able to write this post, a few years ago I never would have been able to do that! If my letter was what gave you the nudge to comment, then I am even more glad I wrote it.

    • Posted August 30, 2012 at 10:20 am | Permalink

      I know that I value everything that each comment says on this wonderful blog (within reason, not the mean ones, obviously) because the fact that we are different women who have different opinions/thoughts/lives/jobs etc. is what makes it so great.

      Please keep commenting, Pickle xxx

      • Becca
        Posted August 30, 2012 at 10:47 am | Permalink

        Am I the only one that DOESN’T think about what they write on here?

        I love that its so open and friendly. Welcome back. We are a friendly bunch x

  5. Roz
    Posted August 30, 2012 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    This is such a brave post, I am so glad that you came back and shared it with us. Obviously I can’t speak for the whole AOW community but I’m not sure there are many people out there that could read this and not relate to it in some way. So many of us are our own biggest critics, seeing others around us and wondering why we are not more confident / funny / smart. Do you know something you sound like all those things. Please stay here on AOW, you are worthy. We want you to be part of this community. I am in awe at this piece of writing, I wish I could put into words my feelings on such an emotional and often private subject. So many people reading this will take comfort from your words, knowing it’s not uncommon to feel like this.

    Reading Katie’s comment sort of proves the point I’m trying to make above. I had the good fortune of meeting Katie in real life at the weekend. I saw a gorgeous, outgoing, smart young women who I wish I could socialise with more often. Yet she too admits to doubting herself. And I often find myself in the same boat. We are all need the odd day to feel sorry for ourselves, but ladies we need to stop comparing ourselves to others and finding ourselves lacking, the very people we compare ourselves too are probably having the same thoughts!

    Lots of love and hugs xxx

    • Lara Blue
      Posted August 30, 2012 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      Hear hear!

    • Katielase
      Posted August 30, 2012 at 9:59 am | Permalink

      This is exactly it. As women I think we so often meet people and think “oh holy god, she’s so much funnier and prettier and more confident and shinier than me, and look, she’s so stylish and smart and witty and intelligent and how can I stop her noticing that I’m nothing compared to her?!”, without ever realising that the other woman is probably experiencing the exact same inner monologue.

      So, new rule. We are ALL fabulous, in different ways. Let’s celebrate that. Maybe with gin?

      K x

      PS: Roz, you’re bloody wonderful x

      • Becca
        Posted August 30, 2012 at 10:48 am | Permalink

        Gin and Anna’s brownies. Obvs

        • Frances
          Posted August 30, 2012 at 11:12 am | Permalink

          Seconded. Therefore it must become so, right?

    • Anon
      Posted August 30, 2012 at 10:17 am | Permalink

      I like that rule, Katielase. And Roz, your words, along with all the other comments on here, have brought tears to my eyes. It’s a strange comfort to know others feel the same way, and that I’m not alone. But yes, no more comparing ourselves to others! Our differences are causes to celebrate!

      • Roz
        Posted August 31, 2012 at 12:01 am | Permalink

        Gin. Brownies. And celebrating our differences. Awesome :D xx

  6. Lara Blue
    Posted August 30, 2012 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    Dear Anon,
    You made me tear up on the bus. I wish no-one ever felt this way but sadly we, as human beings, so often do. I wish I was as brave as you in posting this piece, a lot of it could have been me writing. It was really hard to comment the first time here- it’s feels easier to be an outsider to a community than to be rejected from one. But that’s part of a self-fulfilling prophecy (“I won’t be included so I’ll exclude myself instead”)…it does get easier if you just jump in and try to forget about your fears (easier said than done, I know). if you ever want to talk, I’m copying Katie’s brave action and offering my email address too- larablueskies@gmail.com
    Xxxx

    • Anon
      Posted August 30, 2012 at 10:20 am | Permalink

      Thank you. It is true. I often reject others instead of risking rejection myself. But it is lonely. So I will be jumping in, feet first!

  7. Posted August 30, 2012 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    Reading your post made me think of this passage/poem.
    May your light grow and may you be surrounded by other’s whose lights also shine to make yours stronger.

    Our Deepest Fear By Marianne Williamson

    Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
    Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
    It is our light, not our darkness
    That most frightens us.

    We ask ourselves
    Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
    Actually, who are you not to be?
    You are a child of God.

    Your playing small
    Does not serve the world.
    There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking
    So that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

    We are all meant to shine,
    As children do.
    We were born to make manifest
    The glory of God that is within us.

    It’s not just in some of us;
    It’s in everyone.

    And as we let our own light shine,
    We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
    As we’re liberated from our own fear,
    Our presence automatically liberates others.

    • Posted August 30, 2012 at 9:05 am | Permalink

      I like this poem as a comment on this. I am so glad you posted this. I’ve felt this way too, and still do sometimes. I think we all do.

      By sharing this I think you have allowed others to share, and to know they are not alone. And if you share your light (like in the poem) which this post does too, you allow others to shine.

      I read some strength into this – in the posting and in the knowing you are not unworthy, even if you can’t know it all the time. I hope your confidence in your strength grows.

    • Anon
      Posted August 30, 2012 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      Thank you Rachel. I think I may print this poem out and carry it around with me, as a reminder. It is beautiful.

  8. Posted August 30, 2012 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    Anon, trust me when I tell you that you’re not alone with this. I’m fairly certain that there aren’t many (if any) ladies here that haven’t at one stage or another felt exactly as you do. When things go badly / not as I hope it’s easy to feel that it’s because I’m not good enough / clever enough / pretty enough / generally perfect enough and that I’m not worthy of the successes other people enjoy. As Lara points it out becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy because then I almost stop trying, which inevitably means success (or inclusion or whatever it is) doesn’t come my way. You’ve gotta be in it to win it as they say (not too sure who ‘they’ are…)

    I can totally understand that joining a new community – whether that’s online or in real life – is daunting. At first look I suppose it can seem a little cliquey with the same people commenting a lot, but I PROMISE I have never, ever found a more welcoming group of women than is here. If you’re not already get yourself on twitter as there’s always someone to chat to there and get commenting here! Even if we don’t always agree with each other, the ladies here always seem to be able to highlight that in a respectful way without the need for any bitchiness or humiliation. Any contribution no matter how small is always, always worthwhile. If people don’t respond to you it isn’t personal, just the way it goes sometimes – they might miss it or come too late to the party to see the ‘point’ in commenting back.

    xxx

    • Anon
      Posted August 30, 2012 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      It’s funny, I never thought this community was cliquey. I was (still am a little, but trying hard not to be) intimidated by the brilliance of the people on here. Thank you, too, for your welcoming words.

  9. Steff
    Posted August 30, 2012 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Aw as if I wasn’t emotional enough already this morning this post (and the lovely comments) has me hiding behind my monitors hoping nobody sees me having a blub.

    Such a brave post and one I can really, really relate to. All the comments just go to show what a wonderful community this is and just how everyone adds value, even if it’s just to offer someone a virtual hug. I’ve often felt intimidated commenting on posts after everyone else as what I have to say seems so trivial and pointless, you’re not alone. Never alone, not here – that’s the brilliance of it.

    Come back and say hi, there are no shortages of chatterboxes to wile away the day with talking random nonsense here :) xx

    • Anon
      Posted August 30, 2012 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      Thank you, Steff. This is a wonderful community. And all the comments (including the virtual hugs) have been lovely and have made me feel so much better.

  10. Zan
    Posted August 30, 2012 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    This made me tear up too… well done for writing this, it shows immense bravery. Sometimes there’s nothing harder than fighting to overcome your inner voice, telling you you’re not good enough. But it’s worth doing – others have said it, but I’m sure everyone who is part of the AOW community has felt like this at some time, most people do. You’re far from alone in these feelings but your post is a fantastic first step to fighting back.

    The one thing I can promise is that you’ll find bundles of support here, on these pages and with these people.

    • Anon
      Posted August 30, 2012 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      Thank you. The support given on these pages is amazing.

  11. Carly
    Posted August 30, 2012 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    I just want to send you a massive hug and ask you to please hang around here. I honestly think AOW is the friendliest, most supportive community on the Internet and I have learnt so much since I started reading.

    See you around X

    • Anon
      Posted August 30, 2012 at 10:35 am | Permalink

      I will definately be hanging around!

  12. Posted August 30, 2012 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    You’re absolutely not alone in this-

    I already have the title of resident Keeno and leave the most stupid comments and no-one’s kicked me out yet so Don’t delete anymore comments!

    Thanks for sharing that poem Rachel- absolutely gorgeous.

    • Anon
      Posted August 30, 2012 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      Thank you, Anna! I’ll try not delete too many more comments!

  13. Liz
    Posted August 30, 2012 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    Gosh, hasn’t everyone felt like they are not worthy, and not as good as everyone else around them? It happens to me constantly; I find the hardest thing is when you have to do work socialising and there is a room full of people who all seem so confident, with lots to say and that they all know each other – am I really the only one in there who doesn’t? Probably not, although I guess part of it all is having the confidence in yourself, knowing that actually you are quite interesting and people could do worse than spending 10 minutes talking to you! Guess it takes a bit of “fake it until you make it”…
    To be honest I’m not sure that I would actually much like people who have never felt this way about themselves, surely you need to have had a bit of self doubt in your life to enable to you not come across as arrogant, unempathetic and, you know, generallly a bit of d!ck!! Having doubted your self will make you a much more rounded, stronger person in the long run!

    • Anon
      Posted August 30, 2012 at 10:42 am | Permalink

      A room full of strangers is the hardest thing for me to walk into. But I’ll try to see my self doubt as something positive: something that makes me more understanding and empathetic of others!

  14. Posted August 30, 2012 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    Anon, I’m sure I speak for the others when I say we’re honoured to receive any contribution from our readers but sometimes we are completely blown away by the honesty and bravery of some. The fact you have chosen to come back to our community to share your story, and as you can see above, encourage others to share their own experiences, means you really have cemented your place here as one of us. Please do stick around, as anon or as you, we want you. We value you. There are many of us with friendship to offer.

    Anyone else out there reading this who feels shy, please do give us a wave, leave a little comment when you feel able to or just jump right in and email us. We want to get to know you. We don’t bite (though we might lick you to death like over enthusiastic puppies, sorry about that).

    Rachel, beautiful poem.

    • Anon
      Posted August 30, 2012 at 10:44 am | Permalink

      Thank you, Sarah.

  15. Peridot
    Posted August 30, 2012 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    I think this is more common than you think; one of my best friends is a formidably intelligent woman who is at the top of her profession and yet even she confided that she feels like an ‘imposter’ who could be found out at any time.

    In fact, the only person I know who thinks she is more marvellous than she is, is a narcissist. Perhaps a little hubris is what makes us all likeable and approachable?

    And I wouldn’t worry about the person you replaced at work – I have a paranoia that anyone who replaces me is going to be so much better than I was and people will constantly say how relieved they are that I’m not there, but I’ve equally heard people who have replaced me say they felt intimidated because I was popular. Which I had no idea of at the time!

    • Anon
      Posted August 30, 2012 at 10:48 am | Permalink

      I think it is the case that it makes us more likeable. I guess it makes us more understanding people, more forgiving people. Thank you for your encouraging words.

  16. Posted August 30, 2012 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    We think you’re worthy. I hope that today that might be a ray of sunshine to you :o )

    No judgement here.

    xxx

    • Anon
      Posted August 30, 2012 at 10:49 am | Permalink

      The response of people on this blog has been a ray of sunshine to me today.

  17. Amy
    Posted August 30, 2012 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    What an emotional piece of writing, I can relate to so much you have said, and I agree we have all no doubt felt like this as some point and no matter how many times people ‘big’ you up to feel better, you really have to believe in yourself that you are worthy, we are ALL worthy….I have also written comments on here so many (many) times and deleted them ; )
    Big hugs xxxx

  18. Frances
    Posted August 30, 2012 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    I feel like I am looking in a mirror reading this post! It’s good to know that there are plenty of others who feel or have felt the same way as this poster – it can be hard to jump in the first few times but this community is so so welcoming in letting people just be here and wander around with their own thoughts; it just takes a bit of time – and when you realise that quite a few of the regular posters know each other in real life then any slight cliquey-ness makes much more sense. Hence why I’m hoping to make it to AOP so I can meet some of the lovely people.

    Also – beautiful poem. I might print it out and stick it on my office wall.

    • Posted August 30, 2012 at 11:00 am | Permalink

      Absolutely – please no-one confuse the same commenters commenting regularly as cliquiness – it’s just they’re the most enthusiastic! We look forward to and value absolutely everyone’s comments, and as much as it might take guts to leave a comment on AOW, I hope the acceptance and the feeling that you are among friiends, having a conversation, with make overcoming your fear worth it. I really do. I’ve never seen someone ignored or vilifed on these pages and it’s something we’re very proud of.

      Anon, thank you for this post, it’s obvious you’ve enabled many who feel the same to come out and say they feel similarly. That’s so empowering. I hope this helps people press “Post Comment” rather than “Delete”. x

      • Posted August 30, 2012 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

        I still remember making my first AOW comment – I was shit scared! And now look at me :)

  19. Posted August 30, 2012 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    Oh anon. This could actually have been me that wrote this post. I feel like this every single day and yet it is you who are so unbeleivably brave to actually say it. I feel unworthy to be engaged, to wear nice clothes, make new friends, create good work contacts… even have a slice of toast. The absolutely devastating thing is, I act upon these feelings. I cancelled on a very generous offer to attend a party, am currently in the process of cancelling a work trip, and sometimes loose more weight than I should when I’m particularly bad. You have just written everything which I feel, and it is a bit of a kick up the bum to realise that I do all these things.

    Yes, you are absolutely worthy. I’ve already cried a little bit this morning, so thank you for making me consider that I might be too.

    L x

    • Anon
      Posted August 30, 2012 at 10:54 am | Permalink

      You are worthy of all that you have. I understand, though, that it’s easy to believe the inner voice that says you are. To take yourself out of situations that you may enjoy, because you think you don’t deserve it. But you do. You deserve all you have. And if my words have made you realise you are, then I am so very glad I wrote it. You are not alone in your feelings, and you are not alone in the difficult process of fighting those feelings.

    • Posted August 30, 2012 at 11:44 am | Permalink

      Laura, you do realise that if you try and cancel on me that I’ll come and hunt you down don’t you?!! ;)

      Oh and don’t cancel that work trip to Belgium – they want you there for a reason and while it’s scary as hell going to those things alone there will be so, so many people in the exact same position wanting people to have coffee/dinner with (trust me that’s normally me!) Plus it’s the land of waffles and chocolate, need I say more?! It could be the making of you! xx

    • Posted August 30, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

      Everything Laura says is where I am. Anon, a beautiful post, and thank you for being so honest, I actually have no more words in me right now. Lots of love xx

  20. Katielase
    Posted August 30, 2012 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    By the way, this feeling, that you are unworthy of things that you have, is a recognised thing and has a name (at least in a work environment). It is called Imposter Syndrome, and I have amassed a bookmarks folder full of quite a lot of good articles discussing it (often from people who I would consider intimidatingly awesome). If anyone is interested in a slew of imposter syndrome articles, just shout. It does help to show that you’re not alone, and although most of the articles related to a work situation, I think it does apply across the whole of life.

    K x

    • Steff
      Posted August 30, 2012 at 11:01 am | Permalink

      Kind of related, I would highly recommend Paul McKenna’s Instant Confidence book to anyone who struggles with these feelings – it’s fabulous!!

    • Rach M
      Posted August 31, 2012 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

      Anon, you are so brave to share your feelings. I know I feel like this in some form at least once a day. I hope sharing your story has made you feel that you’re not alone in this. Ps – Katielase: Imposter Syndroe – surely there’s a post in that, no? xx

  21. Posted August 30, 2012 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    I’ve had to fight feelings like this so much in the past. I think as I’ve got older it’s got better but I still have my bad days, and this week has been full of them. This post makes me very teary and as I’m sharing an office right now so I waited until I felt slightly less emotional to comment!

    My husband tells me to just put these thoughts out of my mind and think about something positive. It sounds silly but if you can do that it does help. Think about something fun you have planned for the weekend, or a holiday, read a book, or get readdicted to Tetris like I have recently! Otherwise, the same negative thoughts and worries just go round and round in your head achieving nothing.

    Obviously this doesn’t get to the root of the problem if it’s something deeper but often my worries are completely unfounded and never actually as bad as I think they are in real life so anything that helps stop dwelling on them is good.

    i hope it helps you to hear that so many of us feel like this at times xx

  22. Emily
    Posted August 30, 2012 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    Everyone has said it all already! I’ve been reading for a while but have only braved two comments so far. The number of fantastic sounding ladies agreeing with you and supporting you here is amazing. I’m another one who feels as you described on a regular basis, both at work and in groups of friends.
    I’m starting a new job in four weeks and can’t wait for a fresh start to try and get on with things and stop worrying but still can’t help thinking about the person doing the job before me and hoping I can fill the gap she’s leaving ok! All so silly really.

    • Posted August 30, 2012 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      Emily, stick around and keep those comments coming – the more the merrier :) xx

  23. Anita
    Posted August 30, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    Big hugs, I feel like this aaaaallllllllll the time. If you saw me at work you’d think I was so confident and ballsy and would never believe that I spend all my time thinking ‘I bet I’ve got this wrong -everyone will realise I’m rubbish -what am I even doing here?’ As for being worthy of love, don’t even get me started.

    I hope you have found it helpful to know you’re not alone.

  24. Hannah
    Posted August 30, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    Oh wow, I can completely relate to all of your comments. I’ve even started distancing myself from good friends because I’ve felt like I would be disturbing them in their exciting lives if I call.

    I have recently started a new job and am finding it so hard. Why would any of these people want to hear what I have to say? I’m a complete fraud. I don’t know anything about the industry having changed from the service sector to manufacturing. My last company was in a very different financial situation. The competitive demands were different. What on earth do I have to contribute? It’s a struggle to find the part of me that remembers that THEY employed ME. THEY must have thought I was worthy of being here and it’s up to me to show them they were right. Most of the time I want to hide in my office but with you ladies behind me I’m going to make a load of lunch dates and network like my life depends on it because why shouldn’t I? And if they don’t, well, I don’t have to be everybody’s darling.

    AOW ladies, Anon and everybody else, I’m really grateful that you’re here. Let’s not be intimidated by each other anymore.

    • Lara Blue
      Posted August 31, 2012 at 9:16 am | Permalink

      Go for it! :) Also, think about how you’d feel if any of your friends said that they’d really wanted to call you but didn’t think you wanted to be disturbed because of your new job etc., would you have wanted them to call anyway?

  25. Sarah
    Posted August 30, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    Reading this on my lunch break, and trying very hard not to tear up at my desk. So much of this could be written by me. I am by nature fairly shy and struggle with confidence and self esteem issues that first reared their heads during a difficult period during my teenage years, and that I still can’t overcome.
    I love the community feel on this blog – so, so geniune and warm. And yet, while I read regularly, I very rarely comment. I’ve composed so many responses to posts in my head or in the comments box that I’ve deleted, because they don’t add anything, aren’t witty enough, or because I’m not really part of this community. Your honesty and bravery in writing this have moved me to comment today though. I can’t believe so many of us feel this way! I’ve just read through all the other comments and seen such an incredibly supportive response to this post, really heart-warming. What a brilliant place Team AOW have created here.

    • Lara Blue
      Posted August 31, 2012 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      Well done for commenting :) it becomes so much easier (pretty sure people are going to start reporting me as a spammer soon ;p)

  26. Vicki T
    Posted August 30, 2012 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

    Wow, this could be me too, thanks Anon, your wise words prove I am not alone in this.

  27. Posted August 30, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    “I am the bookworm who spent her teenage years reading and studying” <- You're definitely one of the AOW gang!

  28. Lara Blue
    Posted August 31, 2012 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    I was reading Cosmo in the hairdressers yesterday and there was an interview with Zooey Deschanel (the lovely actress from the TV series New Girl and the movie 500 Days of Summer) and I wrote down what she said as I thought it was worth quoting here:
    “I’ve always felt like an outsider and I still do when I go to fancy events. I still sit there and think, ‘I don’t belong here’. I feel like a kid at the adults’ table- like I’m an outsider who got let inside somehow. It’s not a bad thing, it’s just that I see everything differently. I take all the glitz and glamour of this business with a large grain of salt. I feel very removed from it.” ZOOEY DESCHANEL, Cosmo, July 2012

  29. Lara Blue
    Posted August 31, 2012 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    Love your duck metaphor! Keep paddling (hopefully less frantically!)

2 Trackbacks

  • By On being worthy on September 4, 2012 at 7:02 am

    [...] reading the incredible ‘Behind Closed Doors’ piece on feeling unworthy I’ve been thinking about how we (both as women and as a community) see ourselves. The [...]

  • By Behind Closed Doors: Never A Freak on September 26, 2012 at 7:03 am

    [...] it can only take one little thing to take you right back there. I was reminded of the AOW ‘Unworthy‘ post, and wanted to share what knocked me sideways [...]

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Hello! We're Clare, Aisling and Anna and welcome to a corner of the world where smart, flawed, real women talk about the bigger picture; about their experiences, stories and opinions on all aspects of being a woman today, from marriage to feminism to pretty, too.

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