If I’m not being praised by others it’s very hard for me to maintain my self confidence and I end up spiraling. I’ve always found it hard to defend myself bc I think I’m too busy worrying about coming across mean or harsh but I end up getting steamrolled by other people. I try harder to do things that I think will make ppl appreciate me and feel extreme failure if It doesn’t work.

this is really affecting my career and I don’t know how to stop even though I know it is irrational.

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I really recommend you work on rooting your self-value internally. (There’s lots of books I recommend, I’m happy to share if you want to DM me.) But I was feeling this way too. My job is to represent survivors of child sex abuse and usually they have mental illnesses as adults from the trauma they suffered.

After going above and beyond for a client - he totally exploded over the phone and all his pent up anger came out directly pointed at me and it was extremely jarring. It caused me to feel worthless (and tell myself I was a bad lawyer and nothing I did for the clients mattered). I then realized I was seeking the “wow thank you so much” comments from clients to confirm to myself I was worthy, valued, and successful at my job. So when I got the equivalent of a “fuck you” from a client, I felt the opposite of worthy, valued, and successful. Which I accepted to be true. But it’s not. We’re all inherently these things. Being good at something doesn’t make us have value. And being bad at something doesn’t take away our value. Whatever that something is - a project, job, being a parent, doesn’t determine our value. Never give anyone that power over you. Value is your default state, don’t let anything convince you otherwise. When I started accepting this, the “thank you” was nice, not necessary.

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Great post!

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I suffer from the same challenges although it has become better over a period of time. Here is what you can try - google “Personal Bill of Rights” and read that everyday before starting work or when you feel low self worth. Long term, try working with a therapist to identify your values and change them to intrinsic qualities not external factors like people’s behaviours. If you want to do it along then I would recommend CBT. Buy the book “Feeling Great” by Dr David Burns.

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It might be echos of SPTSD.

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