One of the questions that I get asked most as a coach is, “How do I feel worthy?”
How do I feel worthy of having, doing, being the person that I know that I can become? How do I feel self-worth?
We must start with defining ‘self worth’ first.
The dictionary says that self-worth is ‘a feeling that you are a good person who deserves to be treated with respect.’
Let’s just pause on that for a second.
It’s a feeling that you are a good person who deserves to be treated with respect. Isn’t that powerful? And yet so many of us don’t feel good and the fact that we deserve to be treated with respect. We allow ourselves to be treated disrespectfully. So many of us don’t have boundaries when it comes to what’s acceptable for ourselves.
I wanted to share with you what I’ve discovered on my journey, because this is very much something that has been a struggle, and I believe that it truly is a lifelong struggle. It’s something that we all face as we go through life. There will be periods of life where we question ourselves and our self-worth.
So here are five things that you can do to feel your most worthy. Five things that you can do to start to reclaim your feeling of self-worth.
Remember, the definition of self worth is ‘feeling like you deserve to be treated with respect.’ The first question that I would ask is, are you treating yourself with respect? That ultimately, is what self love is. It is about valuing yourself because everything else comes from that.
I think for so long in my life, I look to other people to love me for me to feel lovable. And yet it all really starts with me loving me, me being the person that I love most above everything else — not in an egotistical selfish way, but truly understanding that when you truly love yourself, then you can be loved and you can give love in the world.
Self worth starts with, “Do you love you?”
Can you look yourself in the eyes in the mirror and say, “I love you” and feel that with conviction and truth?
One of my favorite books is called Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It by Kamal Ravikant.
When you think about it, your life really does depend on it.One of the exercises that he has is a meditation that you do in this book. What he suggests is that you play some nice meditation music for five to seven minutes, and you just sit there with your eyes closed. When you breathe in, you say to yourself, “I love you.” And when you release your breath, let go of any of the noise and negative thoughts that come up. It’s an incredibly simple exercise, but so powerful.
Another really powerful exercise that you can do is to actually stand in front of a mirror and look yourself in the eyes. Look at yourself, and say those words, say those words with meaning. Repeat them over and over. “I love you. I love myself.”
Understand that self-worth comes from self-acceptance, accepting the fact that there is nothing wrong with you, you are not broken, you are not defective, and there is absolutely nothing in you that needs to be fixed. Who you are today is a product of all of the things that have happened before. But there is nothing wrong with you.
Where you are, is where you’re meant to be, in this moment. Everything that went before was there to help you learn to help you grow.
What you do have control over is the future. You can’t go back and change the past. The past is the past. What you can do is choose to take the lessons, choose to see the past as a gift to you, as an opportunity for you to truly see yourself and then to make choices for your future that move you towards who you want to be.
You have to accept that you are not broken. There is absolutely nothing wrong with you, and you deserve all good things.
We are hardest on ourselves. We are harder on ourselves than any other person can be. We beat ourselves up for the things we didn’t do, the things we should have done, the things that didn’t go right, the things that went wrong… for all of the things.
What you really need to understand is that you’re doing your best.
One of my favorite quotes is from Maya Angelou. She said, “When you know better, you do better.”
We need to approach life from a place of self compassion. I did the best that I knew how with what I had back then, but now I get to stand in that place and choose to learn from the past and move forward from a place of self compassion, from a place of kindness to myself, from a place of nurturing of myself.
You have to be kind to yourself.
You have to be compassionate with yourself, because even if you’ve made mistakes, even if there were huge mistakes, what makes it a mistake is when you don’t choose to learn from it, when you don’t choose to change as a result of it.
I love this meditation called Ho’oponopono. It is a self-forgiveness meditation based on an ancient Hawaiian tradition. It’s a tradition of extending forgiveness to others. But I think more importantly, we need to extend forgiveness to ourself. That truly is what self-compassion is, realizing that you did the best that you knew how, but now you get to make different choices.
There is power in your words.
I think the Bible says that your life is created by your tongue. What we say about others matters. What we say about ourselves matters even more.
You create your life with your thoughts, with your words, and with your actions. So are you being kind to yourself? Are you speaking words of affirmation to yourself, or do you use your words to beat yourself down to be negative about yourself?
It really is a conscious effort that you have to make to speak kindly of yourself and to yourself.
There’s a wonderful book that I recommend called What To Say When You Talk To Yourself by Shad Helmstetter. It is funny that we have to be taught what to say to ourselves and how we speak to ourselves, but it’s so important because everything that we say in our minds matters. It ultimately is the seed of what we believe about ourselves, what we believe is possible for ourselves.
You need to stand guard at the gate of your words in your mind to yourself, of the things that you say repeatedly over and over about yourself. Sometimes they’re seemingly innocent things like “Oh, I’m so stupid. Oh, I’m so dumb. Oh, I’m so clumsy,” but those words matter, because they get ingrained in your subconscious mind. And your subconscious mind is really what is running your life. If you keep telling yourself that “I’m dumb, I’m stupid, I’m clumsy,” it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
For me, I’ve found that affirmations are the most powerful thing. I used to think that they were so dumb, like, how can you say “I love myself?” or how can you say, “I am worthy,” how is that going to change your life?
Your subconscious mind is imprinted by repetition. The more you say those words and connect them with feelings, they become powerful because it is what you start to believe about yourself. So speak words that are affirming. Speak words that place you in your power.
Do you trust yourself? Do you truly trust yourself?
In my own experience, I am great at keeping my commitments to other people, but I’m not so great at keeping my commitments to myself.
I made promises to myself — I’ll exercise tomorrow morning. I’ll do that project, and I’ll make sure I get it done on time… but every single time I break that promise to myself. Eventually, I stopped trusting and believing in myself.
Self-integrity is an integral part of you feeling self-worth, of feeling worthy, when you can truly honor your commitments to yourself, honor the word that you say, honor the things that you’re saying you’re going to do on those goals and intentions that you have. That will start to rebuild your feelings of self-trust. That is your journey to feeling self-worth.
I want to remind you that feeling self-worth isn’t a one and done. It is a continual journey. It is your life’s work to continually feel self-worth to continually put yourself in a place where you feel worthy.
I can guarantee you that the moment you start to step into your self-worth, you are going to feel resistance. You are going to feel those feelings of self-doubt and question yourself, “Am I worthy of achieving? Can I really do it?” All of those self-doubts will rear their heads in a major way.
But instead of trying to fight against it, figure out how you can work with that resistance. How can you question that resistance? How can you journal on it? Understand where that resistance is coming from. How can you address that resistance?
One of the keys is starting with understanding:
- Do I love myself?
- Do I accept myself?
- Am I compassionate with myself?
- How do I speak to myself?
- And am I in integrity with myself?
Always remember that you are worthy. To be to do to have anything your heart desires.
Sandra has a podcast episode on this topic in the WORTHY Podcast:
You can also watch it on YouTube: