Wayne’s World is one of my all-time favourite movies. Yeah, don’t judge me! There is just something about the brilliant silliness that just gets me everytime I watch it. The other day I was reminded of a scene in the movie where Wayne and Garth get backstage passes to meet Alice Cooper after a concert. Upon entry into the lounge where they get to meet “The Godfather of Shock Rock,” they get to praise Alice on the show and then quickly try to excuse themselves as to not feel like they are imposing on Cooper’s aftershow party. Alice tells them to stick around and hang out to which Wayne and Garth drop to the floor and grovel chanting “we’re not worthy!”.
Recently, I was invited to participate in a charity golf tournament at one of the more prominent golf courses in my city. It was a corporate team event where a group of four golfers from the same team would compete against other teams. I was invited by a good friend who entered a team of his colleagues, but he only had three players, he needed a fourth. I am not a seasoned golfer, but my friend wanted to extend me an invitation anyway to have some fun on a summer afternoon, so I accepted.
It wasn’t long after I accepted that a little part of me started to panic. Here I am, a non-golfer (I may golf one or two rounds a year if I am lucky) going to join of a corporate golfing team where I only know one person at a top-notch golf course that I would only dream of playing at. My small playing mind quickly raced to “I don’t belong there!!” and then I began to play the “what if” game. I immediately stopped all of those anxious thoughts and reminded myself: “I was invited not because I am a golfer, but because I am a good person, just go to this thing and be a good person and it will all fall into place.”
Sure enough, it didn’t take long before I began to fit into the team I was on. I was by far the most inexperienced golfer on the team, but I just remained calm, stayed myself and watched, listened and learned to what my teammates were doing. I will certainly give credit to those guys as they had patience with me and gave praise when it was warranted and razzed me just enough when I deserved it. Eventually, I held my own, and by the end of the day, I felt worthy, not because my teammates and everyone else at that tournament allowed me to feel worthy, but because I earned my own worth.
Most of us place our self-worth based on our assumptions and thoughts of ourselves. We get locked into our inward thinking and beat ourselves down based on the weaknesses that we lock our focus on. Even though I enjoy playing golf and could have used an afternoon of gameplay, with trapped inner thinking, I would have declined the golf invitation based on my perceived weakness of being a lousy golfer at a luxury golf course. I would have tied my worth to my weaknesses instead of trusting my strength of listening and learning to elevate them. It was when I became an outward thinker that I found comfort in an otherwise uncomfortable situation and it was that outward thinking that was able to give value to those who I came to meet that day; if even it wasn’t my sub-par golf skills.
There are so many times in our lives where we turn down great opportunities because we are too afraid. We come up with lame excuses to hide our inadequacies and unworthiness; often sacrificing our chance to grow by thinking we already know enough. Somewhere along the way we see ourselves as small or worse, big enough to stay put inside our own little worlds of reality. Afraid to make fools of ourselves outside the comforts of our nests, we avoid chances to meet and learn from new people all because we don’t feel we are worthy of their time and social status. Often, to protect our feeling of inadequacy and to find and congregate others of the same belief to validate our uncomfortableness, we throw up walls of contempt.
To grow up from being small and get more from the more significant life we are meant to live, we need to give ourselves more self-worth. By not making excuses, realizing and leveraging our strengths and finding comfort in uncomfortable situations, we will quickly value ourselves more and in turn gain the confidence to allow ourselves to be more worthy in more worthwhile situations.