Finding and Owning Self-Worth: Part 1

I’m near the end of my first trimester. Little baby Simmons is the size of a strawberry. This baby has done nothing but make me tired and nauseous, but MAN do I already love the child growing inside of me that I won’t meet for months. Baby S doesn’t have to do a single thing to be loved, accepted, or worthy – s/he just is. If a baby that has not accomplished a single thing yet holds an insurmountable amount of worth, why wouldn’t you?

Self-worth is my favorite path to go down with clients. It’s deeper than self-esteem and confidence. Those things are based more on how we feel about ourselves. Self-worth goes beyond that to include what we deserve in life. Dr. Christina Hibbert describes self-worth as “a deep knowing that I am of value, that I am loveable, necessary to this life, and of incomprehensible worth.” (read more on the link below!)

There are a lot of reasons we lose our sense of self-worth. Maybe we weren’t accepted in some aspect. Maybe someone has abused us in a way that made us feel undeserving of a good life. Maybe we’re around someone that has been critical of us, and we’ve allowed that to become our self-talk. Maybe we don’t fit in with society’s ridiculous societal norms. Maybe we’ve encountered one too many failures to feel like we can ever succeed. Maybe we feel like we’re only worthy when we’re productive, and on those much needed potato days, we often feel icky – like we somehow need to work harder to make up for simply resting. Maybe you feel like you’ve done something so bad that you’ve lost all worthiness.

No matter the reason, a lack of self-worth is so detrimental to not only our mental health, but also to our future. We’re not likely to succeed when we feel like we aren’t able to in the first place. We often feel like we have to hit a certain milestone to be worthy, and that milestone tends to move farther and farther away from us. We feel like if we just do this thing to our hair to be prettier, if we get this one accomplishment at work, if we raise our GPA at school, if we get just this much more money, this nice car, look like this, do that, be better…we’ll somehow be happier with ourselves.

The thing is – life isn’t a competition, no matter how much you or anyone else feels like it is. The CEO is no more worthy than the janitor. We exist on our own path, exclusive of the success/achievements/beauty/social status of others.

If your self-worth depends on external factors, you will never feel good enough. You will constantly set yourself up for failure. There will always be the next thing to accomplish – the next mission, the next goal, next passion, next anything. You’ll also fail in life. That’s inevitable. None of us will ever be the “best” at anything – the “best” is subjective and doesn’t actually exist. If your self-worth already feels shaky when you hit a bump in the road, it’s easy for that self-worth to spill out entirely on the road in front of you. Imagine all of the time you spend stopping in your tracks and picking up those pieces. When your self-worth is inherent, you can spend that time moving forward, instead.

No matter what you have or haven’t done, you’re not too far gone. What you do doesn’t make you who you are. Focus on what’s within. Focus on how you treat the world around you. Focus on how you treat others. Focus on how you treat yourself. The more you treat yourself like you’re worthy, the more you will believe it to be true.

You qualified for self-worth the moment you came into existence. It’s up to you to find it inside of yourself. Of course, this is easier said than done. Part 2 coming soon.

Further reading:

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