It isn't easy writing this blog post, but I need to share this because maybe it will help others who suffer from this, as well. For weeks I have been meditating on how much being acknowledged as a good, helpful person and being "seen" impacts my self-worth. Have you heard of the Netflix show 100 humans? One of the experiments was how praise and negative feedback affect our ability to perform activities. Participants had to learn how to spin a plate on a stick and were judged. One woman was a natural, she was THE best, but they told her that she wasn't good and needed to go back and fix certain issues (while the told the people who sucked that the did great and keep at it). In round 2, she failed miserably. I was blind to this for so long until I started going to therapy for my anxiety. I knew that negative opinions of me could debilitate my ability to even think straight, it made me panic, especially if I thought the person assumed I was not good enough or did something wrong. Fast forward years later and now I realize my incessant need to please others was my way of being validated and my way of trying to receive love. Those can be very treacherous waters to stand in.
Could I be like this because of my childhood trauma? Could it be that I am naturally an over achiever who thrives when receiving verbal affirmations? I think there is a mix of nature versus nurture there for sure! This leads me to two interviews I wanted to share, which covers this topic a little:
Please check out two video interviews below! With my Texas-based friend Jeremy Fusco, LCSW, of Mind Above counseling, we discuss dealing with anxiety, PTSD recovery, how to face the every day challenges of PTSD and my personal journey that inspired The Survivors Club book. The second video is with my friend and former NYC neighbor (literally, we lived in the same building!), Kerrie Mohr, LCSW, of A Good Place Therapy. She and I tackle a really tough topic: intergenerational trauma, which is inspired by epigenetic studies that have yet to be 100% scientifically proven. We unpack how racism, policing, and being treated inhumanely for decades impact Blacks in America. I believe Blacks today are still dealing with the trauma of their ancestors. I discuss my own revelation with this theory and how the current social justice movement is helping the rest of the world understand how traumatic being Black in America can be on a daily basis.