I got into Scn because I was yearning for spiritual change. I still do yearn for that and I don't think that was a bad reason to try Scn or to try anything else. But here's the thing: when I was in Scn, I was told that I was going to be a(n) homo novis and that I knew more than "wogs".
Now, I hasten to add, there is nothing wrong with striving to be better. I know that some people do not agree with the "you're broken and we're gonna fix you" aspect of Scn and I get where they're coming from, but that's never been much of a bone of contention for me.
But thing is, with Scn, I was getting a distorted view. When I was really young, I'd loftily announce to people that I did not get colds. I was indoctrinated to say that. Well, shit. I got plenty of colds!! I had a friend who used to say she didn't get colds, just cold SYMPTOMS. Ok, the idiocy of that statement will be obvious to anyone who reads this. I also expected to do better than I did on exams and college courses because I had an unrealistic view of myself, due to this indoctrination. It's not that I didn't study or that I coasted through life on the premise that I was this awesome homo novis, I did not. I did study, I did try. But when I turned out not to be The Best, I used to castigate myself. I felt so bad. This was wrong, though.
There is always someone better who comes along, and I'm ok with that. This does not mean that I think I'm a dummy or that I would settle for personal mediocrity. Neither is true. But I just have observed that you could find any given person who has an extremely high intellect and is very competent and still, there would be someone even smarter than he or she. That's always going to be a given. We have a saying in business that if you're really terrific at your job, you should be considered very replaceable. No one's irreplaceable. So if you're really great at it, you would have things running so well and you'd have procedures implemented AND documented/written up so that if something happened, your replacement could do the job. But this is NOT the way I was taught to think in Scn.
I do want to continue to strive to be better at the things I do in life and to be more spiritually aware. And I feel I'm making strides. But it's one hell of a relief to know that I'm not the best. It gives me something to strive for. I can improve and grow and be considered very competent (and, yes, I am considered competent and smart and all that by a number of people in my life whose opinions matter to me) but not be at all threatened by the idea of someone being better than I or feel upset that here I am, this person who's done this and that in life and had auditing and other things, yet I can't even parallel park (true statement) and I suck at this or that, or I could use improvement here or there. It's ok!! Again, it doesn't mean I'm settling (except that I don't feel like bothering with the whole parallel parking thing) and not striving upward and onward, it just means that I'm secure.
While I'm at it, I want to say that when I meet or hear about people who are clearly sharper than I, that I actually feel very pleased, instead of being either insecure or just feeling like, ok, well, too bad it wasn't me but I can (grudgingly) accept it. I don't think other people are better people than I or that I have a station or place in life.
I have been chided in the past by a few people on a.r.s. and other forums who thought I was too arrogant or that I should be granting altitude to someone who was a whatever OT or level auditor. In fact, I even got chided on Facebook the other week. Sorry, but this still cuts no ice with me. I do not defer to a Class whatever auditor or OT or person who did or does this or that in the critic's scene, any more than I will to anyone in life. This isn't about that. I don't defer and I am still a bit cocky. But I have this attitude in the midst of an understanding that there is much to learn in life and that when I see someone who is better at something than I or seems more competent or smarter in general, that this is an inspiration to me. It doesn't take away from whom I am or my perception of myself. I enjoy reading about or meeting people like that and it no longer makes me feel insecure.