Do you undervalue your accomplishments?

Do you brush off compliments about your work?

Do you use self-effacing humor to put yourself down before anyone else can?

If you answered “yes,” let me ask you this:

How do you feel about your own worthiness?

From your emails and comments, I know many of you struggle with self-worth. If this is you, you are not alone, and I invite you to read on as this episode is all about worthiness.

I cover why many of us feel unworthy, my own experience with worthiness, and how you can begin to feel more worthy in your life, because you deserve it.

Prefer the audio? Listen here.

Do you undervalue your accomplishments?

Do you brush off compliments about your work?

Do you use self-effacing humor to put yourself down before anyone else can?

If you answered “yes,” let me ask you this:

How do you feel about your own worthiness?

From your emails and comments, I know many of you struggle with self-worth. If this is you, you are not alone, and I invite you to read on as this episode is all about worthiness.

I cover why many of us feel unworthy, my own experience with worthiness, and how you can begin to feel more worthy in your life, because you deserve it.

What Is Self-Worth?

Self-worth is an internal sense of being good enough, of being worthy of love and belonging with others.¹

Many of us feel like we need to earn, do, or achieve to be worthy. You may feel like you are only as good as your last accomplishment, or only as good as the value you bring others.

But the truth is, you are inherently worthy simply by virtue of being alive.

Think about kids- do you look at them and expect them to cook dinner or throw you a parade?

Of course not. They eat, drink, poop, and cost us money, and yet, we deem them worthy of our love, attention and care.

You are the child. You do not have to do anything to be worthy.

Why Do We Feel Unworthy?

If we are born worthy, why do so many of us struggle with feeling unworthy?

You may have been raised by adults who could not consistently show you love or care. Perhaps they were critical, or emotionally immature to the point where they competed with you.

I just watched Sly, the Sylvester Stallone documentary on Netflix, and his father was emotionally and physically abusive. As happy as he was to take credit for Sylvester’s accomplishments, he was also threatened by them. He actually wrote a screenplay called Sonny after Rocky came out and brought it to Sylvester’s former writing partner behind his back. Talk about inappropriate and cruel behavior.

Your parental impactor may not have competed with you to this degree, but emotionally immature parents of any kind can create a lack of self-worth.

As an adult, know this: their limitations or challenges had nothing to do with your worthiness. Your parents having their own challenges does not make you unloveable or unworthy.

But this experience sucks to have because neglectful or immature parents can reinforce our fears of unworthiness. Our family of origin teaches us how worthy we are, what love looks like, and what we need to do to be loved.

And often, we learn we need to perform, add value, or accomplish something to be worthy.

Regardless of how our parents may have failed us, it is up to us to build our self-worth as adults.

Inside the guide, you will find questions you can ask yourself to develop greater awareness of why you might have low self-worth, along with steps you can take to increase it.

Signs of Low Self-Worth

Before we get into how to increase self-worth, here are a few Indications of low self-worth.²

See if you recognize yourself in any of these.

Difficulty taking risks or being brave. It is easier to be brave when you feel okay within yourself because if you fail, you know you will land on your feet.

Of course, no one wants to fail, but when your self-worth is decent, you know you will probably fail before you succeed, and that failing will not be the end of the world.

When we have low self-worth, we are more fragile around failure.

You care about how other people perceive you. When you have low self-worth, you are not sure what you think about yourself and may place importance on what others think about you instead.

Be mindful of how much of your self-worth is contingent upon external things like being in a relationship (or not) and having the ‘right’ kind of friends, car, house, apartment, etc.³

Many years ago, Wayne Dyer told me it is dangerous to give people the power of our self-worth because doing so also gives them the power to take it away.

This stuck with me. Of course, we care what people think of us, but self-worth is an inside job. Only we can establish our self-worth.

Perpetual fear of failure. If we are not solid inside, we might fear we are only as good as what we’ve last accomplished or what we’ve done for others. The question what am I worth if I am not doing? might keep you in this cycle of fear.

Codependency can also show up with low self-worth because when we do not fill up our own bucket or do not think we can, we look for outside validation, which can be exhausting.

Crappy boundaries and self-abandonment can also be a sign of low self-worth. If we get our self-worth from the approval of others, we may end up with porous boundaries (saying “yes” when we want to say “no”) to please others.

Stop Fighting For Your Limitations

How you talk to and about yourself matters when it comes to self-worth, too.

How do you talk to yourself? How do you talk about yourself?

What is your internal dialogue about? Are you putting yourself down to yourself?

(Inside the guide, you will find questions you can ask to dig deeper into your internal voice.)

Do you, as my friend Patricia Moreno would say, fight for your own limitations?

Let me tell you a story about when I stopped fighting for mine.

When I was younger, I thought my legs were gross.

When my husband Vic and I got together and he made a positive comment about my legs, my first thought was: is this guy seriously making fun of me right now?

The possibility he was being genuine entered my mind only because I had come to trust him, and I realized I had a choice. I could convince him my legs were gross, or I could choose to view my legs through his lens of love.

This made me think: why am I wasting time and energy giving a crap about my legs? Why not just love and accept it all? If this guy thinks my legs are great and I’m in love with him and building a life with him, then why hold onto this limiting belief about my legs?

How I felt about myself began to shift after this moment. I went from caring about how other people viewed my body to eventually not caring at all.

For my 47th birthday, Vic drew a naked cartoon version of me from the back. I shared it on Instagram because I loved it.

A lady commented, “Wow, you are so brave to share this. Many of us would want to hide that.”

By ‘that,’ she meant my butt. 🍑

I was laughing. This lady was trying to compliment me, but what she really meant was, if I had a butt like yours, I certainly would not be sharing this picture. 🤣

I wasn’t mad or offended. Instead, I saw how far I had come. I did not care what a stranger thought about my body because I know what matters is how I feel about my butt, and about myself. It’s the whole package.

This is self-worth in action. And trust me, I was not born with it. I have worked hard to build good self-worth over the 30 years I’ve been in therapy.

4 Ways to Up Your Self-Worth

Let’s move on to strategies you can use to increase your self-worth.

#1: Watch How You Talk To Yourself

For 24 hours, watch how you talk to yourself. Any time you have a negative self-conversation, put yourself down, or call yourself a bad name, write it down.

Take a rubber band or hair tie and put it around your wrist. Snap it whenever you notice negative self-talk, and replace it with something loving instead: “I am good enough.” “I am worthy as is.” “I was born worthy.”

Come up with your own affirmation, but do not let it stand, because negative self-talk will continue to scratch away at your self-worth.

#2: Reparent Yourself

Think about this whole process as reparenting.

If your parents did not show up for you (even if they did, you may still have low self-worth), give yourself the gift of your own attention.

Treat yourself like your own beloved child because you are. Reparenting is essentially becoming the good parent we did not have or wish we had.

#3: Baby Photo Exercise

Find a photo of yourself as a little one. Set it as your phone or computer wallpaper, or keep it nearby. Every time you see your little face, really feel the feelings of love. Send this love to yourself, and receive it.

There is no way to look at your face and think this kid needs to do something to be worthy. You have always been worthy. You were born worthy. You are worthy in this very moment.

#4: Find a Supportive Group

Profound healing can also come from being in a safe and sacred container with other like-hearted women.

One of the beautiful members of my Flourish mastermind was recently talking about her self-worth journey. She recalled how when she was younger, she thought a friend was making up stories to help her feel better about herself.

This friend used to tell her, “So-and-so said you are kind/beautiful/smart/etc.” and her first thought was, Wow, she must think I am really pathetic to make up these stories to help me feel better. She never thought these things could just be true about her.

Through the process of therapy and being in a mastermind where other people held her in high esteem, she found her way to the truth: she was worthy, kind, smart, and beautiful. A recent win of hers included letting a date dote on her in a way she would have been completely uncomfortable with before!

It can be challenging to find a supportive and sacred container for transformation, but being in one can make you brave. Something amazing happens when you are with people you respect and care about and you are witnessing each other’s humanness.

A group of non-judgmental, caring, kind, inspired, ambitious women having your back can be a soft place to land, a place to tell the truth, a place where your wounds can exist and not dominate you.

It is not about getting over a lack of self-worth, it is learning you are worthy, warts and all.

Having your worthiness reflected back to you by people you respect and care about is powerful. If you get a chance to join a mastermind, I say, take it! And if you are interested in joining my Flourish mastermind, applications are open and I would be honored to guide you through this process. Check it out and apply here.

You will find additional ideas to raise your self-worth in the guide, along with questions to get a deeper understanding of your self-worth so you can begin to shift it.

I hope this episode is uplifting because you can elevate your self-worth. You do not have to wait around until the end of your life to realize you were worthy, amazing, and could have done what you wanted to do all along.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments or over on Instagram (@terricole), and as always, take care of you.

¹https://uncw.edu/seahawk-life/health-wellness/counseling/self-help-resources/self-worth​

²https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-self-worth-6543764

https://www.psychologytoday.com/gb/blog/click-here-happiness/202201/4-ways-know-your-worth

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