A letter about … self-worth

Recently I’ve been having conversations with friends around mental health, and I’m about to embark on a small series of lessons looking at advertisements and society expectations of beauty. I’m hoping to get a discussion going about mental health and self-worth in these lessons.

One thing I’ve noticed in my conversations is the amount of times we “compare” our worth to someone and we get caught up on not feeling worthy. And yes, I’m guilty of it. I compare myself to another teacher and I’m getting annoyed that my active teaching time isn’t at that standard. Or that my worksheets weren’t engaging enough. Or that my classroom is too noisy. Or this, or that, on and on my comparison goes.

I was sharing my concerns with my mentor recently, when he just turns to me and goes “how long have you been teaching? A year? See, exactly. You’re doing really well.”

And he’s right. I’ve only just starting on this teaching career; I’m bound to make mistakes and then grow from the lessons I learnt from then. It’s good to observe other teachers, pick up pointers but it’s not healthy to compare myself with them and get stuck on it and let it become the basis of my self-worth.

So, this is for everyone who needs a reminder – you are important.

Yours,

Sophia

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Being okay to say “I’m afraid”

Learning to be comfortable and okay with being vulnerable on a daily basis has been a challenging journey this year.

I needed to learn to be comfortable with acknowledging my fears. In doing so, I needed to move beyond my comfort zone to face those fears.

Yet the most challenging thing this year has been letting go in order to grow. Letting go of fear, of insecurities, letting go of worries and learning to trust me in the face of the unknown. I haven’t been good at that recently, and it’s not going to be an easy road ahead.

They say that growth comes from reflection and vulnerability. They say that perfectionism blocks us from self-acceptance. I’ll be honest – acknowledging and seeing these barriers that my scarred and hurt heart has put up has been the scariest.

There’s this episode in Doctor Who, where the 12th Doctor is stuck in a tower within a time loop, and he is forced to find his way out. The only way he can get out is by punching his way through a solid wall of diamond, all whilst retelling the story of a bird who sharpened his beak in a mountain of diamonds. By the end of the episode, it took him over 51 million years until he finally broke through.

Whilst my barriers aren’t as thick as the barrier in the Doctor Who episode, nor do I have a time guardian monster chasing me, but fighting those fears, insecurities that are these barriers, feels a lot like that episode. At times it feels like no matter what I’m doing, the punches to break the barriers seem ineffective.

Yet I’m determined to continue to let go of my perfectionist nature, and simply grow, no matter how bumpy the road gets. Because this year is about growth, and I need to make some tough decisions ahead if I want to get where I want to be.

Love,

Sophia
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Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it. – Rumi