i only feel valuable when i succeed and i should cut that out

thanks 4 watching!! for the interested: there are a few signed copies of my poetry book graffiti available!!! not that many left so be quick: https://www.savbrown.com/product-page/graffiti-and-other-poems

insta: http://www.instagram.com/savbrown
twitter: http://www.twitter.com/savannahbrown
website: http://www.savbrown.com
i wrote a novel: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Truth-About-Keeping-Secrets/dp/0241346304
also a poetry book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Graffiti-other-poems-Savannah-Brown/dp/152721219X


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i think i have a v healthy relationship with my worth and achievement bc i had two years where i`ve been experiencing failure after failure and so i just HAD to find my worth in "what`s left" and treasure it. and also! i recently figured out that i am so much more healthy (and as a result of it productive) when i`m not hard on myself like. there`s this motivation of changing the world and doing great things that comes from just not hating but rather helping myself

I remember writing down “your value as an artist doesn’t define your value as a person” to try and convince myself a bit more than one year ago. I still need to repeat that to myself every once in a while. I hate to admit how much I loved being perceived as “smart” as a kid, performing at my best even though I didn’t put any effort. I hated it so much I apparently made a 180 degree turn and decided to become invisible to everybody. It’s quite funny how all these small things can come together perfectly with time. It’s the first time I take on account that it might have been difficult to process that once I grew up “just smart” wasn’t enough anymore, I feel like I convinced myself I just had no talent. I didn’t allow myself to create freely for basically all my life, fearing my own judgement, and (ironically) things got worse when I met the absolutely incredible artists that are now my closest friends. I’m still unable to feel okay with myself if I think the people around me don’t respect me as an artist. Still from the moment this clicked everything started to change, and I now try and always remind myself and my peers that the art we all make is for ourselves in the first place. thanks so much for sharing Sav, all your videos are always so deeply lovely and comforting 🌸

Mm yes the link to capitalism is totally worth mentioning. Personally in my own life I try to rebel by defending chunks of my time for fun, relaxation, play etc (not with the goal of achievement) but as you said, that's a very priveledged position to be in… so how are we going to disrupt the system 🤣

I've been fascinated with this idea for years as someone who defines themselves by the creativity. The security we feel when we can define ourselves as the "good student" initially, and then eventually the "do-er" of said profession…it can totally mess with your head. If you define yourself as a writer, for example, what happens when you don't write? Yeats talks about this at length in 'Among School Children', ending with "How can we know the dancer from the dance?". The realisation that these definitions of ourselves can be transient can be so disarming. Especially when what defines you comes so easily, what happens when that gets hard? I really like what you were saying about stripping back to the person you are when you're alone or with people you love, and those values you have. If we find fulfilment in defining ourselves, we should define ourselves on the things that aren't so fragile. But how easy is it to do that in a world where people make up their mind about you based upon your Instagram bio? In a strapline-sell-yourself in under 140 characters way? Not very, but it's quite comforting knowing that W.B Yeats also had similar questions without the pressures of social media.

The last few years I've spend working in kitchens which I don't enjoy and can't seem to get the job I want and I feel fucking useless. I try to focus on my good personal qualities rather than my career (or lack thereof) but it's hard.

Wow. This video came at a perfect time for me. I've been feeling this same way and have been trying to work on changing my mindset for when and how I feel valuable. Thank you for sharing and being open with your heart.

I went to a poetry reading on Sunday that was framed as a "show" 🙂 in that it had short acoustic sets by different musicians in between readings and deconstructions of the poems by the author. It was lovely!

The biggest problem I have is that even if I succeed at say 9 things out of 10, and all 10 of those things are equally important to me, the one thing I fail at suddenly becomes of paramount importance. This has been a constant cycle throughout my life. An added problem is, that I HATE the way I am; not just looks, but the way I act, the way I deal with stuff. So, when I focus on the one negative thing, it really troubles me cause it’s adding to the already long list of things I strongly dislike (avoided using the word hate twice improvement?) about myself.
I’m working on it, but because there isn’t a generalised, standard scale of improvement, it’s all relative so…I’m improving I think I’m not sure…
This comment isn’t at all articulate lol

thank you for making this video i relate so much! videos like this are important because they make me feel less alone and i love having these types of open discussions. i think part of what helps me break away from that mindset of being “naturally good” at something is being confident enough to admit my failures. It gives others and myself insight into how much I person can change and grow. I also have to believe in trusting the process. I believe being “naturally good” at something isn’t real. I think when you study something, practice it, etc you become good at it. I think being “naturally good” at something is a product of luck. I still struggle with fear of failure but i know i have to look at how far i’ve come to recognize the value of achievement. The first and hardest step is removing the self shame and guilt of failure.

In my education class, they advocated for “growth mindset,” which is acknowledging improvement and teaching from mistakes. A student can become smarter through studying. The previous generation saw a rise in the importance of proficiency testing and students deciding if they were a “math person” based on their scores on assignments and whether they learn it right away.

you're wonderful sav – all of your smaller achievements all add up to something you should be really proud of! (also, your hair looks stunning :0) <3

I really appreciate this video. I am really struggling to see my self worth right now. I am not working and part of the reason I left my job was to focus more on my art and my friendships but I have not been making art and all of my friends have not been talking to me either. Every time I go out and try to meet new people they act like I am not worth talking to because I am not achieving anything right now.

I feel the same. For me, it has always been like this, everything at school used to be easy for me without studying. The problem started when it didn't, because I never learned how to study, so my grades started falling and it really affected my self-worth. I still feel like everything I do is either a 0 or a 100, I either don't care at all or I care to a point of it being unhealthy. It has definitely affected my art since I feel like everything I do has to be perfect I am afraid to start something cause I know it's not gonna live up to my expectations and If I don't succeed then I am worthless. I fully recognise that it's unhealthy but I can't help it. I think that's why failure is one of my biggest fears. So yeah you are definitely not alone in this one.

I had to drop out of college when I was seventeen for severe mental health issues and my stupid academic elitism mindset meant that I spent years beating myself up about it- I still kinda am.

In school I was one of those “gifted” children. I literally NEVER studied, was never challenged, and was always praised by my parents/teachers for being the smartest. My whole identity was centred around being smart, specifically being smarter than other people my age. I got to uni and was surrounded by smart people doing the same subjects as me and didn’t know what to do with myself. My attendance was shocking and I got myself kicked off the industrial placement program because my grades were so bad. I’m in my 3rd year now and am terrified of graduating. Instead of praised I’m now criticised for being smart but lacking ambition. I’m trying to figure this out, but I feel stupid because I’m not top of the class and useless because I don’t know what job I want. Gonna try meditating on who I am when my achievements are gone and see if that helps.

For the 2% of people reading this, I believe that everyone is valuable no matter what so whether you believe it or not, just know that you are worth it and you are worth more than anything. May all of your dreams and wishes come true and may you be extremely successful in all of your endeavors and bright future ahead of you. I make poetry as well and my biggest dream is to become a famous and world-famous poet.

I feel exactly like this, I’m a quality assurance lab technician for a very well known cereal brand and I used to put myself under so much pressure to perform well and to deal and spot problems honestly if I’ve had a bad day or felt like I’ve performed bad in work for that day I honestly feel like shit and put myself down even though no one else says these things to me, I think I do also suffer from imposter syndrome because when I get my monthly reviews and my supervisor tells me how amazing I’m doing I’m genuinely shocked

I really relate to the whole priding yourself on being "naturally smart" thing. It is so unhealthy— like you and like many of the commenters here, I based a lot of my identity and self-worth on this idea of being able to excel academically etc. without putting in much work, and I seem to have conditioned myself to believe that hard work is like… something to be embarrassed about? Which is absolutely ridiculous. I've kind of come to believe that my achievements are worth less if I have to work extremely hard to achieve them. It's a mindset that is kind of paralysing, now that I'm in college, hard work is so important if one wants to succeed. Natural smarts can only get you so far. It makes you lazy, and this world rewards hard work. So I've been having a bit of an identity crisis, and I've been procrastinating a lot because I have such a weird complex surrounding working hard. It's difficult to rewire your thoughts to value hard work over being "naturally intelligent," if you've spent your entire childhood/young adulthood thinking that this innate intelligence is the most important thing about yourself. Being "naturally intelligent" should not be the thing we derive most of our pride from. Being disciplined, diligent and driven is hugely admirable, those are the qualities that we should value.

Yeahh!! I relate! I feel like personally for the majority of my teenage/ school years I based my value on my relationships with other people and wether or not I would ever find a boyfriend and be like a cool 'social butterfly'. Which was lame and stupid of me, because I'm an inherently shy and quiet person and I should've accepted that long ago, and popularity isn't a measure of success.

I still feel this way a little bit, but now that I've gone through uni and a break up, I'm realising that putting in effort and actually trying hard at a project (something I also didn't do much of at school) is so worth it if you're passionate about it. So now I would rather base my successes on work ethic, whilst trying not to let perfectionism take over and beat myself up about the things I think I haven't achieved. I think it's one of those things in life that is always a process and probably changes with age and life circumstances. But being a youngish person, I wouldn't know for sure haha

I'm driven by achievement. I haven't achieved much so far in my life. But I am working towards goals. I think the reason we want to achieve things is because of the idea of potential. We're all born having done nothing then throughout our life we do things. We each have a huge potential to do great things, I truly believe that. And we have a finite time available in life. Not achieving, or at least not even trying to achieve, seems like a massive waste of that potential. Im not naturally gifted at anything so I've got to work hard to achieve my goals. You say you don't think you've worked harder than others but I'm sure you worked hard on your book and you poetry book. I've failed in the past at many things but I keep trying.

There is a balance though. Each day I do something towards my goals but also I take time to enjoy life and focus on what I'm doing, because achievement isn't the only thing and you're right, you shouldn't base your identity on it.

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