Feeling overlooked and underappreciated? Keep on reading for 3 bits of encouragement.
Whether you were passed over for a well-deserved promotion, or your husband simply forgot to thank you for picking up his dirty laundry, it’s normal to feel overlooked and underappreciated. However, reality tends to remain unphased by our struggles and, often, we feel this wave of invisibility crash into us with each passing day.
If we don’t learn how to establish our presence, our mental outlook on who we are and the space we are worthy of, we are headed for self-rooted disappointment.
Instead of pretending we are all Super Woman, able to thwart the shame of feeling as though we aren’t enough or as if our efforts aren’t worthy of applause, let’s approach this delicacy with brutal honesty: we aren’t Super Woman.
We don’t have a cape. We have high heels that blister our toes for the sake of professional appeal. Most of us don’t have a leotard body. Instead, we have a body we would love to hide in a head-to-toe girdle.
If we don’t have the superpowers, the super outfit, the super body, perhaps it’s time to focus on everyday ways to fight the lies when we feel overlooked and underappreciated. Let’s dive into three realistic bits of encouragement we can use in moments when the villain of dismissal comes our way:
1. So long as my heart is beating, I have purpose.
In 2019, I discovered I have clinical Intrusive-Thought Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and Secondary Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Childhood traumas mixed with the cruel end of the gene pool left me little choice in what sort of brain would occupy my headspace. Nonetheless, therapy has been crucial for my body and soul.
One of the best lessons my therapist taught me was to consciously pause, place my hand over my chest, and allow the thudding of my heart to remind me that I am alive, I am present, I am able to take up space. Whether or not others see this truth, I am valuable, and I don’t have to be manipulated by people’s plans to overlook and underappreciate me.
This action not only calms anxiety and irrational fears, but it reiterates that I am human. And if every other human on this planet has the right to take up space, so long as my heart is beating, I am a dignified human. I have a purpose.
2. Worth can never be dictated by flawed humans.
We aren’t perfect. Whether we spill coffee on our pants while headed to the office, or we decide to finally tell the in-laws what we think of them, we mess up. But, here’s the good news: worth can never be dictated by flawed humans. We don’t set the bar because, clearly, we are too busy cleaning up our own messes and wondering if we should just sweep them under the rug.
Our soul, our heart, the eternal piece of us hand-crafted by the Creator, is where our worth is found. The piece of us that craves love, desires to sacrifice for others, demotes self for the sake of another, is what grounds our purpose.
When others forget to thank us, or label us unworthy of the title, when the feelings of being overlooked and underappreciated seem tumultuous, remember that one flawed human can never dictate the worth of another flawed human. Such a system breaks people, and we were never called to live a shattered life.
3. You have permission to take up space.
When we feel overlooked or underappreciated, a natural protective response is to remain quiet, to stay in the background, to be as invisible as possible to avoid rooting your role as Permanent Pariah. However, it isn’t your job to get out of the way of others, but it is a requirement that you maximize the space you occupy.
While I don’t encourage women to take up space by means of ruthless domination, cutting others down or cutting corners to get ahead, taking up space often exhibits a humble confidence, a leadership that loves and serves others well but doesn’t allow outsiders to trample her convictions.
You have the right to speak the truth, you have permission to say no when you can’t balance someone else’s agenda, and you are free to ask another to take a portion of your load when it’s too much. Each place you navigate, each person you interact with, needs you to take up the sort of space that encourages, inspires, and leaves others feeling the way you always want to feel.
What is the one bit of encouragement you will take away to support you on your journey? Share with a comment and don’t forget to react to this post with an emoji!