Do you rate yourself more often than you would like?


“I tried so hard! Worked so hard, and yet it failed . Ohhh, it makes me so angry!” She stomps around the room angrily. “Then what does he want? I don’t get it.” Tears of frustration roll down her cheeks.

She tells how she was always there for him, always took him into account, always arranged everything. Also for the children. Keep everything running. He had nothing to complain about. And suddenly he said he is not happy anymore. That he has doubts about continuing together.

The despair is great. And at the same time she is dead tired. In her I see the little girl fighting for attention. That does its best to get love. Is constantly focused on the other and feels what is expected and desired. And then do that as quickly as possible. It works, her efforts are rewarded. She is loved and praised for what she does. Inside, a part of her dies from the infidelity to herself, but the love of those around her is more important. To belong, to survive. That’s how it works when you’re little.

It gnaws

But now she is no longer small. She has become a grown woman. However, the old pattern has not yet been broken. And so more and more of her dies inside. More and more of her individuality disappears from view. “I just kept counting myself away. I was always there, everyone was happy. I adapted, I wanted to, I wanted to do it right . Even though no one saw it. But now I don’t know who I am anymore.”
She put everyone first except herself. It pleased her and often gave a good feeling. But it also gnawed at times. The real satisfaction was missing. Is this it now?

And then this. “How am I supposed to go on now? I can’t stand this,” she says. She realizes that she will never do well enough. “I want it different, I’m getting tired of this. But how? How can I give myself more space? What else should I do then? I can’t just leave everyone alone, can I? When I do that I feel so guilty, like I’m doing something that’s not allowed, which is bad.” She is ashamed when she says it, because she knows that it is actually nonsense. And yet there is the guilt. She is caught in her own snare. And can’t go anywhere. No matter how much she thinks about it, she can’t figure it out.

A bumpy road

We sit down together. I take her on a journey through her inner world. That’s where the answers lie, not outside of her. We examine the voices within, who says what? They all want to be heard, even if they sometimes contradict each other. We discover the motives of all voices, because they are there for a reason. So they don’t have to leave, they want to be heard and loved. Then Selma can choose herself who she listens to and why. This gives her more direction. It’s a bumpy road. The fear of not doing well rears its head regularly. I practice with her to give space to the fearful voices. That fear is part of this process.That’s not childish, but normal at this stage.


The key is in allowing and embracing everything of oneself. A cliche, but true. That fear is bearable; fear passes like a wave if you don’t resist it. Your resistance to the fear is precisely what takes so much energy. It sounds very simple, but it is quite a challenge.

Every time a new undiscovered part of herself comes knocking at the door. Hard to accept at first, but once through the reward is more freedom and more space. Over time, it becomes easier for Selma to make choices that really make sense. Choices that make her feel comfortable and calm. It becomes easier to say no without feeling guilty. Ideas about what she finds fun, important and enjoyable come to her more easily.The fun and relaxation grow. In everything she does and doesn’t do anymore.

the turnaround

Nothing is more satisfying than being completely yourself. Choose and do what is right for you. From the inside. But there’s nothing quite as exciting as that. Nothing so naked and vulnerable. When you are yourself, the fulfillment is in being and doing itself. Not in the result or the appreciation you get for it. And that’s quite a turnaround if you’ve been used to doing what others expect and striving for appreciation from others all your life.

But the more you practice it, the less dependent you become on the appreciation and recognition of others. And at some point it is no longer relevant at all. Because you live your own life and not the lives of others.You find out that you are already good, that others don’t have to tell you that anymore. You are totally fine with all that is and is not.

And while you’ve always thought that doing what someone else needs is always best, the funny thing is that being yourself is the most useful to the world. You just don’t have to do your best anymore.


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