Marco Orlando is back with his next blog entry.

I have always had a hard time being able to handle not being liked. There have been times in my life where I have had to deal with not being wanted or appreciated. Even now, I struggle at times to come to terms with the fact that not everybody likes me, that not everyone wants to be my friend. The pressure that comes from being in certain social situations can be too much for me to handle sometimes because of it.

I hate to admit it, but I don’t always have very much confidence in myself, like at all. What I have sometimes is merely the illusion of confidence. I can never truly shake the feeling that nothing I do is ever good enough. It’s ingrained in my head, even though people don’t come right out and say it, that I’m not good enough as I am, that I always have to try to be better. Sometimes I have to ask myself, “What is so wrong with who I am, right now, in this moment?” It’s discouraging going through life consistently feeling less than human, feeling like I have to justify and defend certain aspects of my existence because my mind doesn’t work quite like everyone else’s does.

People kind of joke about it now, but 20 years ago, everyone and their mother knew who Ric Flair was, except for Ric Flair himself, because he was so down on himself back then. It’s hard to believe, but I sometimes feel the same way. Nearly everyone I know thinks favorably of me, except for me. I have a hard time believing the good things that people say about me sometimes because my confidence has taken such a beating in the past, more times than I can count.

I wish I didn’t care so much about what other people think of me. Yet, there has always been a part of me that has needed consistent reassurance from other people that I’m doing things well and doing them right, because I’ve never been able to trust myself enough to know these things for myself. I wish I could be more self-assured like my mom and not allow my self esteem to depend so much on other people. I also wish I could tell people off and stand my ground more like my dad. I have always admired his ability to take a stand and tell someone in no uncertain terms what he thinks of them and not be terribly bothered if he’s hurt their feelings. Ideally, I’d like to be able to strike a perfect balance between being self-assured and standing my ground.

At times, I have been my own toughest critic. I come down too hard on myself sometimes, and I don’t give myself enough credit for doing as well as I can with what I have to work with, because I don’t like to give less than my best in anything I do in life. I continuously feel like I’ve had to work twice as hard as everyone else to be even half as good as everyone else, and this comes from a place of internalized hatred and consistently feeling less than human. I don’t know why I keep comparing myself to everyone else and using that as the basis for my self-worth. I think we all do it subconsciously to some extent, and for some of us, old habits die hard.

One of the toughest lessons I’ve had to learn is not to sell myself short and relegate myself to the clearance racks of life because other people don’t know my worth. I’ve had to make a more conscious effort lately to get myself inside the glass display case where the valuables are kept.

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