Updated: May 31, 2020
"Who do you think you are?" How many of us have ever heard that phrase in life? Can you think of your earliest memory of hearing those words? I sure can. I remember hearing those words as a child—a beautiful little brown girl—who apparently had “forgotten” her place. Anytime I “overstepped”, I heard those words. Anytime I challenged the status quo or norm, I heard those words. Anytime I wanted something that others didn’t think I was worthy of, I heard those words. The truth is, those words left an imprint in my heart, mind and soul that impacted me throughout childhood and well into my adulthood. I found evidence of the internalization of those words each time I hesitated in pursuing a new goal or task. I found evidence of internalization of those words each time I shied away from a compliment. I found evidence of internalization of those words each time I suffered loss. The narrative in mind mind was laden with underlying tones of unworthiness. You didn’t get the position because…you aren’t worthy. You didn’t get the part because…you aren’t worthy. You didn’t get the guy because…you aren’t worthy. Who do you think you are?
In my line of work as a therapist and life coach, I’ve realized that my experience with that dreadful phrase isn’t unique. I spend hours helping clients identify the source of negative narratives and critical thinking that has taken over their lives. More often than not, I find that they too have been haunted by the same phrase that once crippled me. “Who do you think you are?” As a result they have found themselves preferring to serve, love and give while never looking for the same in return. They often find themselves feeling like they’ve lost their voice. Many feel invisible, fading into the background. They’ve done it so long that they find comfort there, believing somehow that that is where they belong. It’s cause them to accept less than they deserve in places of employment, relationships and interpersonal interactions with others. It causes them to second guess themselves frequently, and persistently look for affirmation from others. Some have wrestled with the phrase “Who do you think you are?” To the degree that they have lost their identity and it has been replaced by being whoever their family, circle, friends need them to be in the moment—that is who they become.
It took years of work for me to identify and reject that line of thinking and even with all of those efforts, every now and then I still hear those whispers. However, I make a conscious decision to reject them daily by speaking back to those demons “I Am Worth It!” Each day I reclaim my time and reclaim my worth. What does that look like for me? That looks like daily affirmations that affirm my value, worth and limitless abilities. What does that look like for me? It looks like speaking back to those negative thoughts with phrases like “Why Not Me?!?” “Who is more worthy or deserving of this than me?” “I am Royalty” I have to fight everyday to reject the narrative of self-hate passed down through generations of racial inequality, social injustice, institutional racism and sexism. I have to fight each day to remind myself of my value and my worth. I fight to see myself through the lens of Yah, the Creator. I was made in His image! That means something!!! And guess what…you were created in His image too!
You Are Worth It!
My experience in battling self-worth gives me a level of empathy and connectedness to those who are in the same struggle. Furthermore it increases my passion, fire and desire to join them in the journey to healing and wholeness. To all who invite me into that space, I am determined to help liberate each and every one of them. My heart’s desire is to usher them to a place of acceptance, wholeness, appreciation and affirmation of their incredible value and worth! This sense of worthiness isn’t prideful, arrogant or superior. It simultaneously recognizes the royalty of self while celebrating the royalty of all of humanity! We were made in the image and likeness of God. We were created a little lower than the angels. We are a of great value! So I plead with you, admonish you and exhort you to Own Your Worth! Embrace Your Worth! Speak Your Worth Daily! Because….
You Are Worth It!