I realized tonight that I base my entire self-worth on other people's opinions of me. Do you think I am good enough to do xxx job? Do you think I am the best harpist in this competition? Do you think my life is worth saving? I put myself into situations, not consciously, but time and time again, purely to see how other people perceive me.
My self-esteem is non-existent, and I rely on others to validate me.
Am I a good enough person to be given that award/medal/job/prize? Is my existence valuable enough that you are willing to step in and stop me from killing myself? Then I resent either outcome. I don't get the job/prize/whatever, and it further fuels my destructiveness. "I KNEW I wasn't good enough". If I DO get what I really want, then it just screws with my head. "They made a mistake/they have ulterior motives/they don't see me for what I really am".
Will I ever feel good enough? Not likely. I aim for perfection and discover it's a moving target. I keep moving the target. Okay, I won X competition, but now I need to win Y. I lost Xlbs, now I need to lose XXlbs. I'll never be good enough to meet my own standards.
It's a losing battle. The more I achieve, the more I strive, and the more I strive, the more I set myself up to fail. The more I fail, the more destructive I become and the cycle feeds off itself.
I KNOW this rationally.
What I don't know is how to change it.
How to lower my expectations/standards. How to accept myself for how I am. How to be happy with what I've got. How to value myself enough to not rely on others to determine what I'm worth.