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The Toxic Drug of Self-Deprecation

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

I’m almost 33 and I’ve made my share of enemies in my life, but the worst enemy of all is someone you would never suspect:

Me.

Growing up, my Pop would tell me, “Bud, you’re sometimes your own worst enemy.” He was so right…I am often incredibly difficult on myself, even to the point of calling myself an utter failure. What I’ve missed much of my life is the incredible fact that I’m the “beloved of the eternal God”. If I’m loved and sought-after by the Creator of all things, how dare me despise my own self!

I’ve heard it before:

“But Andrew, I don’t care if other people love me; I don’t love myself.”

We often stab ourselves in our spiritual hearts and then wonder why we are bleeding from the inside-out. Self-deprecation and self-hatred are completely against what God says of you. According to Him, you are created in His image, deeply loved, and incredibly valued. To hate yourself is against everything that you were created for.

When someone tells themselves “I’m not really very good at anything”, guess what: they usually fulfill their own self-evaluation by living an average life at best.  Most of the people who have accomplished their goals are the people who believe that they can achieve them. They may fail at many dreams, but they don’t stop believing that they are more than “average”.

“I’m not a real actor, because I haven’t landed much work.” This was a phrase I often told myself as I would go to auditions, fearful that a Casting Director would find me out. Why should I be surprised that I would enter auditions feeling incredibly insecure???

I often address the matters of depression and anxiety, hoping that readers will find healing and hope in their battles against the darkness. What I can attest to in my own journey and what many others struggle with is accepting that healing is available to them, not just everyone else. It’s easy to tell ourselves the lie that we’ll never find healing and that we’re just damaged beyond repair.

I’m trying to eliminate a common phrase I often use when I am given a compliment:

“That’s nice of you to say, but I’m really not that good.”

Why? What if I am that good? Why should I depreciate my talent and abilities out of false humility. There’s one thing to be arrogant; there’s another to accept a compliment in gratefulness.

There’s R2-D2 and C-3PO from Star Wars. One is an arrogant little droid, yet full of sarcasm and humor. Then there’s the other droid – the one who is absolutely brilliant, yet he is often scared to embrace his strengths. So strange that we often live in the extremes, not in reality.

I’m not a loser, but dang, I sure do feel like one when I fail at something. When I put that into words and tell myself, “I am a loser…I can’t do anything right” is often when my self-respect dwindles and takes a massive hit to the gut. What we say about ourselves has more of an impact on our lives than we comprehend.

What if we began looking at our talents with thankfulness, grateful that we have abilities that we can utilize for good? What if we began to respect ourselves in a proper way, acknowledging that we are loved and that we are to love others, as well?

I’m ready to stop injecting the toxic poison of self-deprecation into my spiritual blood stream. It’s time to step into who I really am and into the future that God has for me.

What will you do?