Imagine for a moment hitting yourself unconscious with a shoe periodically throughout the day.
You get up in the morning, first thing you do, WHAM! Shoe on the head! Because of this, you are unconscious most of the morning. As soon as you come to your senses, WHAM! There we go again.
And so the day goes by. One blow to the head after another. Until it’s time to go to bed. Last shoe of the day. WHAM! Good night!
If you’re now thinking “What’s the point of this? This is crazy talk. Who would do that to themselves?”
The answer is you! And I! And over 95% of the population of industrialised countries. Let me explain.
Think about it. How often do you beat yourself up?
For things you should or shouldn’t have said or done. Things you failed at or could have done better. For other people’s disapproval, criticism or whatever they might think or say about you.
You are completely unaware that your behaviour is crazy because you’ve done it all your life. You learned it from your parents who showed you how to hit hard enough to get the best effect. The shoe habit became your life. It’s what you always did. You can’t imagine anything else.
But why would nobody else tell you that this is bonkers, you ask?
Because they are all doing it too! Everybody hits themselves unconscious with their shoes! And so we all go through life missing most of it. Because we are either unconscious or busy beating ourselves up. And nobody notices the insanity of it because everybody has been doing it for most (if not all) of their lives. It’s considered the norm.
And we own far too many shoes!
Self-doubt, self-punishment, toxic self-talk, negativity, self-loathing are only some of them. We have one for every occasion.
And we make good use of them! But where do they all come from?
It’s easy to feel worthless in today’s society. We are used to measuring a person’s value through their achievements, successes, wealth, qualifications, popularity and attractiveness.
We grow up trying to meet standards set by the media, entertainment, fashion and beauty industries. We strive to fulfil the expectations of our parents, teachers and other people around us.
So we can prove our worth. Feel useful and adequate. Be accepted.
But it is so difficult. The bar is set ridiculously high. Something always slips, we make mistakes, encounter rejection, criticism and disapproval. We burn ourselves out attempting to make others believe that we are worthy.
But it still isn’t enough. And we know, deep down, that no matter what we do, we will never fulfil all the criteria required to be of any value. We simply aren’t good enough.
We start to believe that we are a disappointment to others. That they look at us and see a failure, a pathetic loser, irrelevant nobody.
We think that we will never have what it takes to “be somebody”, be special, have worth. And without worth, who will ever love us, respect us, look up to us.
So we live a depressed life dominated by low self-worth. Distressed and exhausted by all the issues it causes in our life. Manufacturing our shoes out of our sense of unworthiness.
We beat ourselves up because we feel irrelevant, unlovable, unacceptable. Inferior to other people, small and powerless. Incapable, anxious, weak.
And we waste our life punishing ourselves for our worthlessness. WHAM! All day, every day. Buying into society’s misguided beliefs, random rules and disastrous misperceptions.
Remaining unconscious to the truth.
Our whole life we were told that our worth depends on external factors, our level of success and other people’s approval. That we have no worth unless we gain it through hard work, sacrifice and self-invalidation.
But, the truth is that your worth as a human being here and now is a fact. It is non-negotiable, unlimited and unconditional.
It doesn’t depend on what other people think of you, what you believe about yourself or your current circumstances.
In order to be worth, you don’t have to DO anything! You don’t need to be rich, achieve greatness or be a success. Your worth doesn’t depend on how perfect, slim, attractive, special, adventurous, clever, interesting or healthy you are. And it doesn’t increase the more admiration, approval, love and Facebook likes you receive from others.
In fact, it is impossible to increase your worth. Because you ARE worth!
Your worth is an intrinsic part of your Being. Like the number of cells in your body, it doesn’t depend on outside factors, your achievements or value to society.
It is based on being, not doing. I am, therefore I am worth!
No strings attached. Nothing else required. If only we knew it.
Unfortunately, most of us go through life unconscious from beating ourselves over the head with our low self-worth shoes. Completely unaware of our innate, infinite, unchangeable worth and true potential.
All of us do, so nobody notices. It is just how we think life is. It’s how we grew up and what we are used to. Our mind knows nothing else.
Yes, sometimes we might start to wake up from our hazy, seemingly unworthy existence. We might dare to think: “Hey, maybe I AM worth? Maybe I can be more? Maybe I deserve to be happy?”
And out comes the shoe! WHAM! Low self-worth hits us over the head with self-doubt, self-sabotage and fear!
But other people are so much better than I am.
But I have nothing to offer.
But I failed in the past and am afraid to try again.
But happiness, financial stability and love are for more special people, not for me!
I am just not good enough!
Low self-worth controls our mind. Tricks us into believing that we are worthless losers.
So we doubt our abilities. Allow other people to control our lives. Think other people’s opinions and achievements are more important than ours. Never dare to make the next step to improve our life.
Because deep down, we feel that we don’t deserve financial stability, loving relationships, peace, respect and happiness.
Unaware of our natural, limitless worth, low self-worth controls our life. We cling on to those shoes. Beat ourselves up with negativity, self-doubt, anxiety and depression.
And the only way out is to boost your self-worth. So you can get rid of the shoes.
Be honest. Deep inside, you sense that life ought to be better. That you are more than you allow yourself to be. That somewhere out there true happiness awaits.
But you don’t believe in yourself. You are stuck, avoid change, procrastinate, convince yourself that life is ok the way it is. And that you should be content with what you have.
Because you are unaware of your innate, infinite worth. So your life, actions, thoughts and emotions are dominated by your pursuit of approval. You only feel good about yourself if other people approve of you and recognise your achievements.
You feel worthy if you compare positively to other people and match or surpass their expectations. If you please them and gain their admiration, love and respect.
You feel worthless if you perceive yourself as a failure and are rejected, criticised or ignored.
Your sense of worth depends entirely on external factors. Which makes life stressful as you have no control. You are a powerless passenger on an emotional rollercoaster. Being thrown from high to low, happy to depressed by other people’s judgement towards you.
And yet, becoming aware of your worth is the easy bit. All you need to do is read the next line:
I AM worth.
Go on! Say it out loud. I mean it!
And now repeat it as often as you can remember. The more awkward, untrue, weird and ridiculous it sounds to you right now, the more important it is.
Say it when you look in the mirror in the morning. On your way to work. When the boss complains or colleagues criticise. When you cook dinner, do the laundry, put the kids to bed.
Say it to yourself when you feel low, inferior, anxious or insecure. Tell yourself when you feel unloved, disrespected, abused, ignored. And shout it out loud when you feel good about yourself!
Repeat it until you believe it deep in your heart, no matter how long it takes. Don’t beat yourself up if you can’t feel it yet. At some point you will know it’s true. You will feel your true worth.
And you will stop beating yourself up. You won’t need those shoes any longer.
You can go barefoot. And it will be awesome!
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.