Lately, I've witnessed several situations where individuals devalue themselves and put others on a pedestal. Here are a few examples:
1) My friend, a former actress, is starting a new career and is terrified of contacting a key person because she is afraid that he will look down on her lack of a formal education.
2) A woman emailed me saying that, although she really wants to, she doesn't post comments on blogs because her ideas and writings aren't as good as other people's.
3) I attended a dinner and a few of the guests were multi-millionaires. A male guest, who is not wealthy, kept making self-deprecating comments such as: "It's such an honor to meet you, regular guys like me don't have the brains to do what you do."
I once put everyone else on a pedestal. If I met a couple who appeared happy, I made mental pictures of the positively blissful relationship they had and noted how pathetic I was because my relationship had failed. When I met a wealthy person, I imagined the trouble-free, power-filled life they led and detailed all the reasons they were better than me.
When I met my ex-husband, he had three Masters degrees and was a high level executive earning more in a month than I did in a year. He invited me to attend a business conference with him. The idea of being in a room full of educated, well-traveled and successful people terrified me. I knew that I would stick out like a sloth in a pack of tigers. Thankfully, I was born hardwired to run toward my fears. I went to the conference, attended the seminars and the social events. What I learned changed my view of people forever. I couldn't connect to the conference attendees on the level they connected with each other; I didn't speak the language.
However, I could connect to them as human beings. I gave them my attention and listened to who they were, not what they did. By the end of the conference, at least fifty people knew me by name and lit up whenever they saw me. It turned out that everyone had wounds, unsatisfied desires and fears. Everyone. Beneath the surface, people are just people.
Many years have passed and I now coach some of the people I formery aggrandized. I've learned that, across the board, wealthy, famous, loved, beautiful, and successful people experience as much struggle, grief and insecurity as anyone else, often more. No one is exempt from life. Remember this when you find yourself on the brink of giving your power away. We are far more alike than different and the thing that makes another better than you is your belief. A side note: sometimes people attempt to equalize a situation by being loud, bragging and even belligerent. This is the same energy as groveling in unworthiness; it is just expressed differently. Be you, the real you--be human and see them as such. The rest will take care of itself.
The world is full of people imagining regalia adorned emperors. In truth, we're all naked.