You feel stuck. You are unhappy.
The time has come. You need to improve your life. You can’t go on like this.
So you prepare. You do your research. You read all the popular advice.
You are determined to turn things around this time, once and for all. You hit the gym and embark on another diet but you soon lose momentum. So you remind yourself that everyone is beautiful in their own special way. But, deep inside, you suspect this doesn’t apply to you.
You update your CV and you will send it to higher paying employers…tomorrow. You hope to turn your talents into income one day but you seriously doubt anybody would pay for what you have to offer (even if you had something to offer in the first place).
You attempt to stop comparing yourself to other people but your sister is so much better at it than you are. You push yourself to think positively but secretly can’t believe that good things will ever happen to you. You crafted “what I like about myself” and “what I am grateful for” lists but you question how accurately they reflect reality.
All these tried and tested techniques promise to transform struggles and suffering into success and happiness. They help so many other people.
Why don’t they work for you?
Why can’t you triumph over the disaster that is your life? You tried EVERYTHING! What is wrong with you??!!!!
You are merely betting on the wrong horse! You focus all your efforts on symptom control.
When you are in pain, symptom control is important. If you suffer with frequent severe headaches, a fast-acting remedy is crucial. You want a quick fix that will alleviate your suffering.
The problem is that it never lasts. The pain will return as soon as the effects of the treatment or medication wear off.
The same applies to your life. You can apply quick fix after quick fix and every time your life will improve for a while. But the agony, the fear, the worry, the depression, the desperation will return without a fail.
Unless you heal the “dis-ease” that causes them. It’s like taking pain killers for your headaches but not removing the brain tumour that repeatedly triggers them.
A dis-ease is a disorder or imbalance that causes specific symptoms and adversely affects your quality of life and wellbeing.
Then you likely suffer from a chronic, but curable, condition that you probably contracted in early childhood. The dis-ease is characterised by the unawareness of the infinite worth that is inherent to all living beings.
As such, you operate under the assumption that they have no inherent inner worth. Worth therefore has to be earned through external approval.
The dis-ease is debilitating. It sabotages your life and causes the misery, anxiety and hardship you experience daily. It’s the plague of your life, your tormenter and slaveholder. It is the terrorist who blows up your plans and dreams. It’s the parasite that sucks all the joy, energy, happiness and success out of your body, mind and soul.
It is called lack of self-worth.
Lack of self-worth manifests in 4 major symptoms:
Every main symptom produces specific and characteristic behaviour patterns as an expression of the dis-ease.
Do you believe you are a socially awkward and shy person? Do you think you are a procrastinator and under-achiever by nature? Do you reckon you have a nervous disposition?
You are wrong!
You need to understand that these behaviour patterns are NOT YOU! It is not your character! It is not who you “just are”.
In reality, you are infinitely worthy. And so is every other living being. Low self-worth fools you into believing you are worthless. And you behave accordingly.
Look at the list of symptoms below. If any of these statements apply to you, you suffer from lack of self-worth. And if that’s the case, you can heal your life in one simple step.
If you suffer from low self-worth, you (wrongly) assume that your worth depends on your appearance, your weight, your achievements, your success, your IQ, your qualifications and your bank balance.
Failure to meet the (entirely arbitrary and unrealistic) standards and expectations, usually dictated by yourself and society, causes a chronic feeling of “not being good enough”.
This commonly results in the following behaviour patterns:
• You have problems loving and accepting yourself the way you are
• You criticise and judge yourself regularly
• You expect nothing but perfection from yourself
• You generally wish you could look like or be like someone else
• You have difficulties with social interactions and often feel overlooked and ignored in conversations
• You exaggerate to appear more interesting when talking to others
• You are easily embarrassed in conversations because you don’t consider yourself important enough to contribute or feel ashamed of yourself
• You feel uncomfortable with too much attention
• You are unsure how to react to praise
• You are prone to stomach and bowel upsets, especially when you feel anxious
• You struggle financially because, subconsciously, you feel you don’t deserve an abundant, worry-free, happy life
• You feel awkward asking for what you deserve or charging appropriately for your services
• You tend to sabotage yourself because you subconsciously believe you do not deserve happiness
• You think that happiness, wealth or love are not meant for “people like you”
• You buy things you don’t need and your home is filled with clutter
• You frequently demonstrate your superiority to overcompensate for feeling inferior
• You disrespect other people because you have no respect for yourself
• You have a tendency to be aggressive or abusive towards other people because you believe your own life to be worthless and assume everybody else’s is too
If you don’t know your true worth and live with the core belief that you are not good enough, you will assume that you cannot trust yourself to get anything right.
This will commonly cause the following behaviours:
• You value other people’s views and opinions more than your own as you consider them more important than yours
• You have difficulty making decisions and ask everybody you know what they would do in your situation instead of listening to your intuition
• You only believe that you are right and that your point of view is legitimate if other people agree with you and your way of thinking
• You fear the potential consequences of your choices and decisions
• You often feel (or are) victimised or bullied
• You tend to procrastinate because, deep inside, you feel that once you start you will fail
• You wouldn’t dare reaching for the stars. They belong to more special people.
• You worry that new things you start are automatically destined to fail
• You consider yourself an under-achiever
• You always expect the worst so you won’t be disappointed when you don’t succeed
• You suffer from anxiety in daily life and unfamiliar situations
• You fear change
• You regularly agonise about the future
• You avoid situations that take you out of your comfort zone
The feeling of being worth is a basic human need.
If you are unaware of your limitless inner worth, you will strive to “create” outer worth through approval by other people. You are pleased with yourself if your boss, your family or the random person on the street think you are clever, hard-working, attractive, or successful. You beat yourself up if they don’t recognise your efforts to impress them.
The pursuit of external approval to gain a temporary, volatile sense of worth produces the following behaviour patterns:
• You constantly worry about what other people might think or say about you
• You feel easily criticised and get defensive or upset when somebody doesn’t approve of you or your work
• You don’t ask for help if you are overwhelmed because you worry others will think less of you if you can’t achieve everything on your own
• You believe that asking for help is a sign of weakness in other people’s eyes
• You tend to beat yourself up for things you said or did during interactions with other people
• You replay conversations with other people in your head until you are sure you made a fool of yourself…again
• You desperately want to please and help other people no matter what
• You feel that people don’t appreciate what you are doing for them
• Other people take advantage of you
• You tend to justify your actions, thoughts and feelings
• You feel unloved and uncared for
• You think you should try harder and get more accomplished than you actually do
• You feel lazy and guilty if you take time out for yourself
• You feel self-conscious regarding your appearance, weight or personality
• You have been on every diet that has ever been invented
• You spend a lot of time, money and effort on improving your physical appearance
• You have trouble expressing your feelings towards others because you fear rejection
• You have problems admitting when you are wrong or made a mistake
• When pushed into a corner you react aggressively or bully other people
Another way of gaining a sense of worth from external sources is through comparison with other people.
If you lack self-worth, you obtain a fleeting sense of worth if you feel superior or equal to other people while perceived inferiority will result in the conclusion that you are a hopeless loser.
If you acquire an external sense of worth through comparison with others, you exhibit the following behaviours:
• You perceive yourself as smaller and less significant compared to other people
• You feel self-conscious in social interactions
• You are shy around strangers
• You feel easily intimidated by other people’s achievements
• You consider rich, famous and influential people superior
• You love gossip
• You get downhearted when you think what other people already achieved at your age
• You always try to impress other people
• You tend to criticise and judge other people
• You like to point out other people’s mistakes and flaws
Do you recognise yourself in the behaviour patterns above?
To be honest, I would be astonished if you didn’t (in fact, if your answer is no, please contact me, I need to know your secret).
The heart-breaking truth is that most of us will suffer from lack of self-worth to some degree. The more of the above behaviours you exhibit, the lower your self-worth.
And the tragedy is that most people do not realise that their insecurities, anxieties, doubts and fears are caused by lack of self-worth. We perceive them as part of our personality. We believe they are character traits we need to learn to live with.
But it’s not true!
The insecure misfit, the substandard write-off, the anxious wallflower, the VIP (very inferior person) aren’t you. The stressed out maniac who works 24/7 to gain approval, recognition and appreciation isn’t you! The people pleaser, the notorious saviour, the helpless victim, the bully…guess what?They aren’t you! They are simply symptoms of low self-worth!
And these symptoms will disappear when you apply the correct treatment. Just like fever, pain and swelling subside when you treat the underlying bacterial infection with antibiotics.
If you recognised yourself in the behaviours above, then improving your self-worth is the right treatment for you! You diagnosed the dis-ease that sabotages your life.
Now start the treatment! Become aware of your worth! You ARE worth.
Nobody else needs to confirm this, nobody needs to recognise your achievements, nobody needs to be impressed.
You ARE worth, just because. Full stop. You just need to remember it.
Download the FREE 4-step solution to heal low self-worth in under 5 minutes a day. Learn to love and believe in yourself no matter what.
Dr Berni Sewell, PhD is a health scientist, energy healer and self-worth blogger. She is on a mission to make you feel good about yourself, no matter what. Download her free guide Instant self-worth: an easy 4-step solution to heal your self-worth in under 5 minutes a day” and start to boost your confidence today.