who convinced you
that you were worth so little
who sold you the story
that your shares
and made you sell short
If I could beat sense
into a head
yours would be
my first choice
I've liked this poem since I first read it. Many of us have those days when we feel like our stock is worthless and that people are fleeing from us like a bad investment. Maybe we're not putting the effort into things and it is showing, maybe despite our best efforts we keep crashing and burning, or maybe we just feel like last season's fashions: used to be the first thing grabbed out of the closet, but now at the bottom of the Goodwill donations bag to be sold later for $0.50.
This feeling can sometimes be self-perpetuating; as soon as you feel your shares are plummeting (for example at work), you try to save the situation by overcompensating - and then fail again. Or you begin to despair and start to think you're next to get a pink slip, so rather than re-engaging in your job you start searching for a new one because you just know you won't be taken seriously in this office again.
We're human. Often we are our own worst critics, and find faults with ourselves that no one else would find. My situation recently was a result of me being sick and therefore misreading signs of my boss' grumpiness after a grueling executive staff meeting as disappointment in my work, and I know this now in retrospect. But last week I did go into a small 'panic mode' trying to make sure I made up for whatever it was I did wrong. In the end it turns out I put so much effort in that my boss wound up giving me some nice (and needed!) praise today. I feel like my stock is back up when it never went down!
But what if it isn't you, what if someone else (as with this poem) has convinced you that you're a total fuck up? What is it in us that listens to those voices, both internal and external, that bring us down? Why do we place such trust in others' assessment of us that it can shake even the most self-confident and valued individuals? For Pete's sake, we even listen to people we know are not trustworthy! And once you believe this rubbish about yourself from someone who clearly doesn't have your best interests at heart to begin with, it is very difficult to build yourself back up to the place where you belong.
I love that the voice in this poem just wants to beat some sense into his friend - because the root of this emotion (that your shares are plummeting) is based in a person's response to 'the market', i.e. external perceptions of us. And therefore often no matter how hard we fight to regain our confidence and self-worth, it really takes someone else to set us straight, to show us a more true image of ourselves. Very recently I was in a position like this, trying to help a friend undo the damage done by various people who probably thought they were being supportive but who really need a kick out the door.
Anyway, this poem hints a bit at the themes in 'More than good enough' but with a little less sensitivity ;-) Basically someone is in dire need of confidence and a true sense of 'worth'; this can be frustrating for the friend who has tried everything to help build them back up. I love that this poem uses a violent image to say a very kind thing, it's a little verbal smack on the forehead LOL.