Such encouraging advice, @Vagabond Heart
! Incompetence is an awful word, really, isn't it? People use it like a label. Reminds me of a quote I once read by some anonymous person: Label jars, not people.
And another quote I've always loved by Maya Angelou, so simple and so wise: Do the best you can until you know better. Then, when you know better, do better.
We're all on that journey, aren't we? Learning. I think it helps to do the best we can in each present moment.
Then we'll not only infuse the present with good, but can move toward a better future as well as create a whole bunch of good memories.
You're so right; our self-esteem has so much to do with how we think about ourselves, and, in turn, such self-perceptions are so much influenced by how we've experienced others, rightly or wrongly. If only everyone could just flip a switch and turn the light on, wouldn't the world be wonderful? But, sadly, so many are stuck, unconsciously hoping for new endings to past slights, insults, abuse (so, for example, they choose partners with whom they repeat past patterns while hoping things will be different); they're unable to open their eyes and see because their vision is clouded by the past. Sometimes the way is clear and easily found, but for others, when the trauma is deep, the journey can be far and long until, at last, there is validation that what happened mattered,
that the injury was significant, the perpetrator was wrong, and the suffering real--and often most painful of all, that it was wrong that no one stepped in to prevent it or, in its aftermath, cared that it happened, perhaps minimizing or ignoring it, or worse, blaming the victim. Such survivors can't simply choose to move on. To ask them to do so too soon, as is often done with the best intentions, tends to just deepen their pain, repeating the early trauma of no one caring or understanding. It tells them their pain doesn't matter, and on some deep level, that they
don't matter. Once they experience someone genuinely caring, the holding within can be let go of, they can grieve and be freed to make new choices. And new choices are, indeed, possible in every moment. That's the Beginner's Mind.