Let me ask you a question.
Is it important for you to have worth?
Most people would answer yes. After all, you want to be worthy of happiness, fulfilment, love and abundance. You yearn for other people to accept, respect and admire you.
And if you don’t have worth, if you aren’t deserving of the good things in life, you will be deprived of them. Condemned to suffer in misery, isolation and austerity.
You have to prove your worth, work hard, be perfect, sacrifice in order to fulfil the requirements for a happy life. You have to earn it. Right?
Well, not quite.
We tend to define our worth as the value we have to society and other people.
This value isn’t fixed. Instead, it depends on how well we meet certain criteria. As such, we perceive our worth as high when:
Our common definition of worth makes it dependent on our achievements, performance, characteristics and abilities. And assigns every person a different level of worth according to how our accomplishments and attributes are valued in society’s eyes.
But for most of us, some (or all) of these essential criteria are out of reach. Often without our fault. Or despite our best efforts.
For some reason, out of our control, we simply can never comply with the requirements. No matter how hard we try.
Because, according to the common definition, any mental or physical health issue, bodily imperfection or disability will reduce our worth. Being different in any way, deviating from the norm, under-performing, not fulfilling the standards will make us worth less. Unemployment, being single, struggling to pay the bills or ever having failed will diminish our deservedness.
And the list goes on.
Too many prerequisites tower between us and a worthy existence. And the goal post keeps moving. Our quest for worth becomes overwhelming, impossible, hopeless.
And we want to have worth. We crave to be deserving of happiness, love and abundance.
And knowing, deep down, that we will never be good enough to meet the required standards causes an enormous amount of suffering, anxiety and distress. Knocks our confidence, self-esteem and self-image.
Makes us feel inferior to everybody else. Worthless.
All because of one disastrous misconception.
We hate and chastise ourselves, beat ourselves up because we don’t fulfil the criteria required to have worth. We almost kill ourselves, burn ourselves out, sacrifice our life to acquire worthiness.
So we finally deserve to be happy, loved, abundant.
But it’s not the lack of worth that costs us our happiness. It’s the relentless pursuit of it!
Think about it.
How much happier would you be if you didn’t have to constantly prove your worth?
Without the unrelenting pressure to conform, outperform, impress, have more, be better. Without the constant fear of failure, humiliation and criticism that threaten to diminish your worth.
Free from the anxiety that originates in the nagging doubt whether you will ever be good enough. And liberated from crippling depression that results from giving up and surrendering to a worthless life.
You see, happiness is in your reach. It’s there, right in front of you. You just can’t see it. Because you are too busy trying to fulfil the criteria to deserve it.
But the truth is that you do deserve happiness. You are worthy of love, abundance, freedom. Right here and now!
Because all the requirements for worth we live by are society-made, random, arbitrary.
And our concept of worth is based on a lie.
I don’t know when the truth got lost. Or why.
But somewhere along the evolution of our modern society we started to believe that we are inherently devoid of worth. An empty, worthless vessel that needs to be filled before happiness is even an option.
Throughout the decades, the criteria for gaining this crucial worth have clambered up and up and up and up. And are now out of reach of about 98% of the population!
As such, most of us go through life bearing the mortifying mark of failure, ashamed of our worthlessness, resigned to a life unworthy of happiness.
When the truth is that worth is a natural part of our Being. We can never HAVE worth. Nor can we ever be worthless.
Because we ARE worth personified.
Our true worth is within us, unchangeable, infinite, independent of any criteria, standards or prerequisites. It’s our birth right as a wonderful, valuable part of the Universe. Equally deserving of love, peace, happiness and fulfilment, equally worthy to create and manifest our desires.
A newborn baby fulfils none of the requirements we put upon worth. It has nothing, is nobody. And yet, we cannot deny that she is infinitely worthy.
This unlimited worth of the newborn is still part of you. And always will be. You ARE worth. You deserve happiness. NOW.
The only problem is that you have forgotten it.
Healthy self-worth is about feeling great about yourself. Loving yourself, being confident and proud of who you are. Knowing that you are worthy, without the need to prove it.
But healthy self-worth has to come from within.
It has nothing to do with how well you meet some random criteria. How much you feel you comply, fit in or make the imaginary grade.
Healthy self-worth isn’t about accepting and appreciating the worth you managed to acquire. Being grateful for the limited worth that you HAVE.
It’s about becoming aware of the worth that has always been within you. Embracing the infinite worth that you ARE. And always will be. No matter what.
As such, low self-worth is a state of unconsciousness, where we are unaware of our inner worth and define worth according to society’s rules.
To get from low self-worth to healthy self-worth (the awareness of our true, inner worth), we have to go through 4 distinct stages.
Which we can do in 3 simple, but life-changing steps.
This is the state most of us spend most (or all) of our life in. We know our life isn’t right, that we should be happier, that life should be easier, more joyful and fulfilling. We struggle with anxiety, low confidence, relationship issues and financial problems.
And sometimes life seems to consist of a relentless string of pain, disappointment and suffering.
Yet, we are unaware that the majority of our problems are caused by low self-worth. We waste our life, forgoing happiness, sacrificing our health and sanity so we can meet society’s expectations. And are oblivious to the fact that we do it because, deep down, we feel worthless.
In this stage we start to realise that low self-worth causes our struggles.
We begin to see the connections between our feeling of worthlessness and the awkward way we interact with others. We become aware that low self-worth causes our fears, self-doubt, self-loathing, self-denial and self-sabotage.
At the end of this stage, we know that low self-worth is our true issue. Now it’s time to fix it.
Realise that most of your struggles are mere symptoms of low self-worth, caused by the damaging belief that you are inherently without worth.
In this stage you start to discover that you ARE worth. That nobody and nothing can ever change, reduce or obliterate your true, inner worth.
You can feel your worth occasionally. Know it every now and then when you actively remind yourself of it, when you repeat “I AM worth”.
But you can’t really believe it yet. Your mind keeps resisting, questions the new paradigm, clings on to the familiar, limiting beliefs.
So, you fall back into old patterns when you aren’t mindful. When life distracts you and the daily grind takes priority.
This is why this stage takes the longest.
It might be weeks, months, maybe even years. But with every passing day your awareness will increase and your life improve.
Become aware of your inherent worthiness. You can use the affirmation “I AM worth” to discover the real nature of your true, unlimited worth.
If you need help with this, check out the free Healthy Self-Worth Starter Kit (which also includes the 7-Day Self-Worth Booster email course to get you started).
This is where you want to be!
You have repeated “I AM worth” a thousand times. You convinced your mind that infinite worth is the essence of your Being, and you know it without constantly having to remind yourself.
The awareness of your true worth has become your natural state. Fear, low confidence and self-consciousness have fallen away. You love and accept yourself. You are proud of what you accomplish without the need to compare yourself to others or meet expectations.
Life flows freely and effortlessly. Things fall into place, everything always works out for you.
Because you know that you deserve happiness, love and abundance. Just because you are alive. Just because you are YOU.
Keep affirming “I AM worth” until it becomes a habit, a new belief, your normal state of mind.
Use the 4 action steps in the “Instant Self-Worth” workbook which is part of the free Healthy Self-Worth Starter Kit.
Be patient with yourself. You are retraining a conditioned mind, leaving behind old beliefs. You are swimming against society’s flow. And it can be terrifying, doubts inevitably creep in.
But you are on the right course. Setbacks happen to everybody. Never beat yourself up. Just keep going. Affirm your worth. And ignore the naysayers who are still stuck in stage 1.
You ARE worth!
Does this sound overwhelming? Are you scared to embark on the journey to healthy self-worth?
Well, the good news is, that you already went all the way to stage 3. Simply by reading this article! You are aware that low self-worth causes your problems.
It’s time to start believing that you ARE worth. Inherently, infinitely, unconditionally.
So repeat after me: “I AM worth”.
Because that’s the truth.
I believe it. And with a bit of time and practice, you will too.
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.