Archives for posts with tag: self-worth

I had an entirely different idea for a post today. Then as I was closing Facebook in order to write it, I saw another one of those inspirational quotes that has come to make my skin crawl. There were examples of how potentially negative attributes have positive implications, as well. The ending of the quote was, “There’s nothing wrong with you.”

Why do so many feel it necessary to say this? I believe it is very unhealthy.

Everyone and I mean everyone has faults. Lots of personality qualities have both positive and negative implications. The positive implications don’t erase the negative or vice versa.

Why do we need to convince ourselves that we are somehow perfect?

We aren’t. It’s a lie. It’s an utter and outright lie.

The problem is not being imperfect. The problem is not accepting that we are still good and worthwhile despite imperfections.

There are lots of things wrong with me. There are mostly things right with me.

There are ugly things about me. There are mostly beautiful things about me, and I’m not talking about pretty.

There are dishonest things about me. I am mostly honest.

There are selfish things about me. I am mostly fair and generous.

If I have to tell myself that I am perfect to feel better about myself, how will I ever look at myself honestly, trust myself, value myself, and grow as a person?

Finally, let me put it this way. I am a clinical psychologist. My job is to help children and teens be happier and healthier. I know of no effective treatment that involves my telling my patients lies or teaching them to lie to themselves.

Honesty is the best policy and a keystone of self-acceptance.


As I’ve mentioned before, I am a fan of the show, RuPaul’s Drag Race. It is a comedy reality competition show. The contestants are drag performers. RuPaul Charles, who is a famous drag performer who also sings, created the show and hosts it.

RuPaul is a gay man in his early 50s. He dresses in women’s clothing when he performs. You know that he’s been called all kinds of names, been gossiped about, and beat up, many times in his life. One of the expressions he uses in his books (yes, I’ve read more than one of his autobiographies) and on the show is, “What other people think of me is none of my business.”

For those of us who are plagued with self-doubt, who feel lack of validation, who perceive and/or receive rejection from others, this is a very powerful statement.

At first, it sounds like a joke or some overly glib line.

How other people treat you is your business. These are actions.

But how many times have we read each others’ minds when we really don’t know? I know that I have done this a lot in my life, less so in recent years. But I still do it. We can’t know what another person is thinking. And if we did, pandemonium would ensue!

When I consider what people would hear if they could read my thoughts, I know that I would lose all of my friends and family. We all have careless half thoughts, mean thoughts, selfish thoughts, critical thoughts. But we have other thoughts, too. And sometimes, we may have a very nasty thought about someone, in the heat of the moment, only to soften later. I don’t want you to read my thoughts because they are private. It is my right to share them or not share them. In other words, they are my business.

And you know what else is my business? How I feel about me. Yes, I may sound like a children’s show, but think about it. What would your life be like if you worked toward accepting this in your heart?

“What someone else thinks of me is none of my business.”

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George Lakoff

George Lakoff has retired as Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley. He is now Director of the Center for the Neural Mind & Society (


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