John Kabat Zinn in his book Wherever You Go There You Are writes, "This 'I' tends to feel good when outside circumstances are supporting its belief in its own goodness, and bad when it runs into criticism, difficulties, and what it perceives as obstacles and defeats. Here perhaps lies a major explanation for diminished self-esteem in many people. We aren't really familiar with this constructed aspect of our identity process. This makes it easy to lose our balance and feel vulnerable and inconsequential when we are not propped up and reinforced in our need for approval or for feeling important."
He suggests giving yourself permission to "take a day off, to stop trying so hard to be a 'somebody.'" He suggests beginning by "taking things a little less personally."
Today, know that you are not creating and maintaining your own sense of identity - reinforced or discouraged by outside feedback. Instead, Love creates and maintains your identity - through its own energy and power. You don't have to try so hard.