Learning to fully embrace your self-worth is a journey in undoing our past conditioning and negative self-talk, then starting to see ourselves as the strong, talented, intelligent and capable people we are.
Not everyone is the same. We don’t share the same talents, skills, or strengths. But that doesn’t mean that some people are more worthy than others.
Everyone is worthy.
Why our self-worth dips
Self-worth really takes a plunge when we’re experiencing Impostor Syndrome.
“Impostor syndrome is a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts his or her accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a “fraud”.”
I’ve felt this. I downplay my achievements and undersell myself. I feel as though I don’t count as a real writer or a real author. That I’ll one day be found out and called out as a phoney. Basically, stripping away my worth.
Validation from others
Our self-worth decreases when we seek and aren’t granted validation from others. As in, I’m not a good enough writer because no one has said that I am. No one that I respect and want to tell me that I am, anyway. You’re looking for a medal that external factors and other people aren’t giving you.
Social media can sometimes force us to play the “seek external validation” game, through desiring likes, followers, comments etc. So, switch off every now and then.
And our self-worth is low when we are trying to fit in rather than belong. Belonging is the opposite to fitting in because fitting in is conformity. It’s wearing a mask in order to be accepted by the herd. Belonging is instead being yourself, and being loved, valued, and appreciated just as you are.
Playing the comparison game
When we play the comparison game, no one wins. Every time we compare ourselves to others, we are stealing from our self-worth. Comparing in this way is pointless. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses; experiences and achievements. No one is better or worse.
If someone is succeeding in a way that you wanted to, that doesn’t mean that you are a failure compared. It means you should be happy for them and seek your own form of success.
Seek community over competition; progress over perfection, as Aileen Xu says.
Social media can sometimes force us to play the comparison game, through comparing our everyday life to someone else’s filtered, “highlight reel” of a perfect looking life. So, switch off every now and then.
How we give ourselves worth
When we actively become authentic, we are empowering ourselves. We are telling ourselves that we are worthy and perfect just as we are. Flaws, weaknesses, scars, mistakes, failures, they’re all a part of us, but they don’t define us. Accept your pitfalls or forgive them and love yourself through it.
If your aim is to belong instead of fit in, then you are being authentically you and not forcing yourself to do or be something else just to be accepted by others. You’re giving yourself power, validation, and worth by saying, “I’ll allow myself to be seen and valued by the right people, not falsely accepted by the wrong ones who aren’t for me.”
“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” – Dr. Seuss
Self-worth as a Practice
Self-Worth Keepsakes (Lavendaire)
A favourite YouTuber of mine, Lavendaire aka Aileen Xu, had this idea of making a “self-worth keepsakes” collection. Where you actively find things that give you a sense of joy, worth, achievement, value, beauty, encouragement, courage, or the like.
I did this for myself and went to find photos or trinkets that I felt good about.
- Brave trips or experiences
- Starting my own business (I put the business cards and a screenshot of my website in the pot)
- Big achievements like events you’ve hosted, things you’ve published etc.
- Important people who have always loved and supported you
- Things you’ve created
- Unlikely moments of triumph (I got photos of the obstacle run I did last year, my trip to Africa, and paragliding!)
These things are personal to you. They are important and valuable for you and you alone. Find them, keep them together, refer back to them again and again.
Badass Bitch list
I created this a couple of weeks ago. This is a long list of achievements, awards, triumphs, strengths, mountains climbed, and villains slain! Again, these are personal triumphs. It can be anything from overcoming depression to running a marathon. It can be landing your dream job to going on a boat when scared to do so.
Just write the list and make it good and long! Then print it off like I did and stick it in plain sight, so that you are reminded every day that you are a badass bitch who has been through more than you realise. Who is more capable than you realise. Who is goddamn worthy!
Journal on insecurities
There is no denying the insecurities that we all have inside of us. Things that crop up and bring a lot of hurtful emotions with them. They can come from certain experiences, beliefs, or even our upbringing.
Ignoring insecurities doesn’t take their power away. We need to instead tackle them.
How to work on your insecurities:
- Get clear on what they are; be self-aware and notice when you get upset, defensive, or emotional in certain situations.
- Take each insecurity that crops up and challenge it. Where did it come from? Who was involved? What beliefs come from it? How true is it?
- Then do the self-work on those emotions and experiences.
Turn to the right people
And whenever your worth feels low, ensure that you turn to the right people, not the wrong ones. Not people who you seek validation from. Not people who don’t know you, respect you, or love you for you.
Instead, turn to the good people who know the real you and have never judged or got at you for it. Those who are honest with you but love you, too.
When we are vulnerable and we turn to the wrong people, our self-worth can become weak. We leave feeling worse, not better.
Admitting, confronting, or fixing mistakes or failures or shortcomings is necessary for adults. This is called responsibility and accountability. But the right people won’t point out our flaws to hurt or shame us, they will instead help us to move forward and take on the next steps.
It’s not for society to determine how worthy you are, like some points based system where you’re ranked on your income, achievements, job, relationships, body, intelligence, or other. Self-worth comes from the Self; You.
It’s not for family, friends, teachers, siblings, partners to determine, either. We tend to give them way too much power over our worth, too. Self-worth comes from the Self; You.
Give yourself your power back.
Look within for your worth, you’ll find that it was there all along.
If you need any help in bettering your mental health, or better coping with anxiety, depression, and stress, then my book “You’re As Mad As I Am” may be for you. Check it out here, and download a free sample to see what it’s all about.
If you want to hire me to write about mental health (or other), then don’t hesitate to get in touch!