BLOG ARTICLES - The Self-Worth Experiment
How to conquer your fears in 3 wacky steps
Oct 11

3 surprising steps to conquer your fears

By Dr Berni Sewell | Overcome your fears

How many things in life have you missed out on because you were too scared? And how many chances have you not taken because of fear?

My whole life, fear stopped me from doing so many amazing things that I would have enjoyed, that would have enriched my life.

I could never travel because I was terrified of trains and planes. And I was anxious of going places I had never been before, of the risks, traps and threats that awaited me at my unknown destination.

I couldn’t drive a car. Because I was horrified I might stall the car at the crossroads and everybody would think I was an incompetent imbecile. I was worried I may accidentally hit someone, or be hit myself and get hurt.

I couldn’t even go to the movies. Because I was so scared about what the other people would think of me if I had to get up in the middle of the film to use the toilet.

And when I faced the decision whether I should move to the UK from Austria, where I grew up, fear completely paralysed me. My thoughts and worries were spiralling out of control. Endless scenarios played in my mind about the potential disastrous consequences of my choices. A relentless barrage of “What ifs” kept me up at night.

And I could just not make a decision.

I knew the offer I had to start a fully-funded PhD studentship was an excellent opportunity I would not get in Austria. But my fear wouldn’t even let me consider it.

And at this point, I had to find a way to conquer my fears. Or else I would miss out on what transpired to be a life-changing experience.

And, as it turned out, there are only 3 slightly wacky (but very powerful) steps we need to take to stop fear from stopping us.

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How to stop punishing yourself for your mistakes
Sep 16

How to stop punishing yourself for your mistakes

By Dr Berni Sewell | Love yourself

“Stupid, stupid, stupid!” How could I have made such a mistake?

I fought the urge to bang my head against the wall. My heart was being crushed by a furious fist. I gasped for air and wiped the tears off my cheeks.

My mind was spinning out of control, replaying the screw-up and worrying about its consequences.

I shouldn’t have told Emma that Jen’s boyfriend dumped her. It just slipped out. What if Jen told me in confidence? What if she didn’t want anybody to know?

What if Emma called Jen to offer support? Jen would know I had spilled her secret, broken her trust.
Would she be mad? Disappointed? Would she never speak to me again?

My stomach cramped and my legs felt weak. People barely tolerated me as it was. I couldn’t afford to mess up like this.

Maybe it wasn’t too late? I could call Emma and implore her not to tell Jen that I told her. Or maybe I could deny my mistake. Or somehow cover it up, or blame somebody else.

I started to panic. Why did I have to be such an idiot? Why couldn’t I just keep stuff to myself instead of blabbing it out?

No wonder people kept rejecting me. I always did and said the wrong things. I made so many mistakes.
And I had no idea what to do about that. At least not back then…

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How to feel good about yourself (without even trying)
Aug 06

How to feel good about yourself (without even trying)

By Dr Berni Sewell | Heal your self-worth

How long have you been trying to feel good about yourself? How long have you struggled to be more, become “a better version of you”? So, you can feel worthy of other people’s love and acceptance. And your own.

And for how long have you felt ashamed of yourself, disappointed in yourself because you still feel worthless? Because no matter what you try, which path you walk, how much effort you put into it, you always fail.

And even if you know, theoretically, that you ARE worth personified, it seems impossible to find your true worth in your heart. You repeat the affirmation, but it’s empty words without meaning. It’s not your reality, it doesn’t ring true. Deep down, you just cannot believe it.

Your mind keeps insisting that your only chance to ever have any worth is to work hard and sacrifice yourself to the relentless pursuit of ever more accomplishments and possessions. To be a success.
But you are never good enough.

And you try to fight it. You battle against the whispers that emanate from deep within your mind. You cling on to hope.

But the voices inside your head are getting louder, more overwhelming, undefeatable: You are worthless.

And everything else you try to tell yourself is just a pipe dream. There is nothing out there for you. Because you deserve nothing. You are nothing. And, sometimes, you hate yourself for it.

But you know what? This will sound weird but being NOTHING is exactly what you need to feel good about yourself. Let me explain…

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Why you never feel good enough (and how to change that)
Jun 18

Why you never feel good enough (and how to change that)

By Dr Berni Sewell | Heal your self-worth

For most of my life, I felt not good enough, inferior to others. And I believed that I couldn’t have what I truly desired because of it.

I yearned for a life of purpose and adventure, for excitement and extraordinary experiences. But I didn’t think I was special or brave enough.

I wanted to become a fiction writer since I was 8 years old. But I didn’t feel talented, creative or eloquent enough.

I ached to express my true Self and claim my place in this world, to just be me without apologies, doubts or fears. But I was never confident enough to pull it off, always too worried what other people would think of me.

I never felt important enough to amount to much in work and life. And I believed I was not tall or slender enough to feel good in my own body.

My entire life, I barely scraped the surface of my potential. I rarely allowed myself to shine or be me. And I always quit my dreams before I even gave them a try.

Because I thought that dreams were not for people like me. They were for better people.

And, because of that, I believed that I had to become better to finally deserve the things I desired. I obsessed about proving my worth, worked myself into the ground, adapted, distorted, exaggerated to become more special, more relevant.

But no matter what I achieved, how much I bent and faked, sacrificed myself to the obsessive pursuit of becoming a better version of myself, still I never felt good enough.

And for a long time, I resented myself for this inability to measure up. I beat myself up for being such a failure.

When it wasn’t my fault at all.

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20 truths about low self-worth I wish I had known 20 years ago
Apr 07

20 truths about low self-worth I wish I had known 20 years ago

By Dr Berni Sewell | Heal your self-worth

Twenty years ago, I lived in a constant state of “not good enough”.

I felt inferior to everyone I met, which caused social anxiety and forced me to avoid social gatherings and meeting other people.

I never believed in myself or my abilities. Low confidence and self-doubt shot me down whenever I attempted something new and worthwhile. Which kept me stuck in an inescapable state of mediocrity.
And made me beat myself up for my failure to become more than the pathetic disappointment I was.

I lay awake at night, worrying about the awful things other people may say or think about me. Overanalysing every interaction that day, to gauge where I had made a fool of myself, and how long it would be until I would be rejected. And anxious about the terrifying tasks of the next day that always seemed overwhelming and too big to handle.

In relationships, I was a pushover and people pleaser because I felt unacceptable and unlovable. And hoped I could buy some love if I pleased and served non-stop. As a consequence, people often took advantage of me, my relationships were mostly one-sided, and I was unhappy.

And I was so used to hiding my true Self that I didn’t even know who I was anymore, what I wanted from life. I just tried to get through each day without humiliating myself or being criticised or having a panic attack.

And it took all the strength I had not to hate my worthless butt. I had dreams, hopes and goals. But they seemed unreachable, ridiculous pipe dreams of a chronic loser who would never amount to anything.

In one word, my life was suffering.
All because I didn’t know 20 things about low self-worth I know today.

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How to get off the emotional rollercoaster
Dec 30

How to get off the emotional rollercoaster

By Dr Berni Sewell | Heal your self-worth

I was over the moon. Humming to the cheerful song on the car radio, I replayed my successful workday in my mind. I couldn’t believe that the project manager had thanked me personally for my contribution.

Even thinking of the acknowledgement made me smile and a happy warmth spread through my chest.

I turned right and stopped at the red traffic light. Still swaying to the music.

Also, two people had commented on my weight loss. I had worked hard to shed a few pounds. And it finally paid off.

What an amazing day!

I bounced with excitement. I couldn’t be more pleased with myself. This was the best day I…

HONK!

The angry blare of a horn sent me flying.

Adrenaline raced through my body. My chest tightened. The traffic light was green. And I had missed it turning.

I glanced in the rear-view mirror. The driver behind was shouting, making annoyed gestures.

He clearly thought I was an idiot. An incompetent imbecile.
He would get home to his wife and complain about the most useless driver in the world. They would laugh about me, make fun about my embarrassing blunder.

My stomach was in knots, my vision blurred. Please don’t make another mistake now. He’s still watching…

I pulled into the next layby and let him pass. Sobbing and shaking, I sat behind the steering wheel, too upset to move on.

How could this day have turned so awful so rapidly? What had happened to the happiness I had felt only a few moments ago?

And why was my life such an emotional rollercoaster?

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How to stop being ignored and overlooked by others
Aug 30

How to stop being ignored and overlooked by others

By Dr Berni Sewell | Transform your life

When I was younger, I was used to being ignored and overlooked by others.

Whenever I joined a group of people who were chatting, and I wanted to contribute, others would talk over me. As if I wasn’t there. Nobody reacted to what I had said. As if I had never spoken.

I don’t think people did it intentionally. Or, at least most of them didn’t. But, nonetheless, it happened a lot. And it was frustrating, disheartening. And hurtful.

Especially as it took all my courage to join the conversation in the first place. And being cut dead just confirmed my belief that I had nothing of interest to share.

Maybe you have experienced this in your life.

People talking over you, overlooking you or taking credit for things you said or work you did. Without batting an eyelid.

And, like me, you may wonder why this is happening to you. Why other people do this.

Could it be their egos trying to steal the limelight at your expense? Or selfishly grabbing praise for work they did not do? Are they just so used to you being shy and kinda invisible? Are they taking advantage or mocking you?

Or, worst of all, is it possible that you really are that irrelevant?

But, in most cases, the answer is something completely different altogether.

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How to stop being bullied by your own mind
Jul 20

What to do when you are bullied by your own mind

By Dr Berni Sewell | Transform your life

I don’t know about you, but my mind never encouraged me to live up to my full potential. It didn’t cheer me on when I tried to embark on a new journey.

And it never supported me when I wanted to pursue my dream life.

Instead, it erected barriers.

It hit me over the head with every fear it got its hands on. It struck me down with doubt, destroyed my self-belief, stole my courage. And handcuffed me to my oh-so-safe, but fruitless, comfort zone.

Toxic self-talk was all I ever heard:

“You want to change things? That sounds far too risky for us.”
“You want to be happier? Don’t you think that’s too big a demand for a loser like you?”
“You want to help other people improve their lives? That’s cute. But who would ever listen to you? Or buy anything you offer? You’d just get on people’s nerves.”
“You want to be an energy healer? Don’t kid yourself. You will never be special enough.”
“Sure, other people live their dreams. But you just don’t have what it takes. Just be happy with what you have and stay where you are.”

My mind spat me in the face with relentless degradation. Stopping me in my tracks with destructive criticism and doomsday prophecies of certain failure. Because, apparently, that was the only outcome imaginable whenever I started something new or tried to move forward in life.

AI was being bullied by my own mind. And it had to change.

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How to stop feeling worthless during social isolation
Apr 23

How to stop feeling worthless during social isolation

By Dr Berni Sewell | Heal your self-worth

Coronavirus rules the world right now. Spreading, infecting, killing.

The human race had to retreat into social distancing, self-isolation, quarantines and lockdowns.

And, for many people, it is the first time that they are truly alone. Cut off from their bustling lives and social interactions.

And, even if they never before struggled with low self-worth, they now feel insecure, unsettled, anxious. Because, in isolation, they are starting to doubt their worth.

Now, feeling worthless is nothing new for us introverts.

We are the social misfits, the outsiders. The ones who are always too anxious to introduce ourselves, start a conversation, invite others in.

We are the ones who never fit in, no matter what we try. The awkward rejects, who are too terrified to speak up and claim our place in society.

And we always believed that we were experiencing social isolation because we didn’t have enough worth. And as such we were unacceptable to others.

But what if worthlessness was never the origin of our social isolation? What if, instead, social isolation creates a feeling of worthlessness?

We aren’t lonely because we were worthless. Rather, we feel worthless, because we are alone. For 4 simple reasons.

Let me explain.

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