In just about every post I’ve done so far, I’ve mentioned self-worth, fear and self-sabotage! I’ve gone on about how important they are because they form the foundation of our negative self-talk. But yet, I’ve still not written about any of them!
The reason, in all honesty, is that they are that profound and interrelated that I’ve not known where to start! But after recently talking about exactly this with a friend, I’ve decided to start with the background to self worth and why it’s so damn important!
What is self-worth?
Self-worth is how we value our own worth as a person i.e. the person we are rather than what we do. This is different to our self-esteem which is how we compare ourselves to others and view their opinions of us.
One of our most basic needs is to feel connected and have a sense of love and belonging. We express this desire in many ways from religion, sports teams and social interactions right through to our connection with nature from our love of gardening and walking! Whilst we each express it differently, this desire is universal to us all and is what brings purpose and meaning to our lives.
Personally, I therefore prefer the definition that self-worth is having a strong sense of love and belonging and more so, believing that we’re worthy of such things!
Why self-worth is so important…
When our self-worth is low, we don’t feel worthy of love and belonging so we feel disconnected and live in fear of being alone through rejection.
However, when we value our self-worth and believe that we’re worthy of love and belonging, we don’t seek approval from others and stop living from a place of fear. As a result, we become more content in ourselves and instead of being afraid and angry, we start listening and are kinder to both ourselves and others.
Self worth teaches us that in order to be kind and compassionate to others, we must first be kind and compassionate to ourselves. How can we expect others to love and respect us when we don’t love and respect ourselves? We must treat ourselves the same way we want others to treat us; with a healthy level of love and respect.
Back up! We have to be kind to ourselves first?! Put ourselves before others?! Yep!! We can’t look after anyone else without looking after ourselves first and that includes your children, partner, parents, everyone! I know many of you will find this difficult to understand initially but bear with me!
You’ve heard the safety talk on a plane right? The reason the air hostesses tell us to put our own masks on first in an emergency is because if we don’t, we can’t help anyone else. It’s exactly the same here, if we’re running on empty we’ve got nothing to give to others. If we’re on top form, we’ve got so much more of ourselves to give!
I strongly believe that serving others is one of the most rewarding and fulfilling things we can do in life and when you feel great in yourself I promise that what you give will have a more positive impact. But if you give more than you’ve got, you will end up losing your true self.
Now for the hippy bit! Self-worth is the foundation of true joy and happiness because they come from within. I can personally guarantee that they don’t come from material possessions or other people and there are a lot of rich and successful people who will agree with me on this.
Some common misconceptions…
Misconception #1 – being kind to ourselves is self-indulgent and leads to arrogance
This is a belief, which although I’d never realised, was very true for me. The results of this misconception is that we look after others before ourselves, have self-doubt and hold ourselves back. We tell ourselves that we can’t have it all because if we do, we will be rejected by those we love. This belief impacts our entire life because it prevents us from achieving our goals. We spend our lives feeling that we’re not enough because we’re living in fear of rejection and not belonging.
Misconception #2 – perfection exists
It doesn’t exist and whilst ever we’re seeking it we will not be happy! Now I know Bradley Cooper is pretty damn close, but even he’s not perfect! You’re not perfect, I’m not perfect, nothing and no one in this world is and it’s your imperfections which make you beautiful. It’s only when we believe that we’re worthy of love and belonging that we have the courage to be imperfect and can then become our true selves.
What should you take away from this…
In order to improve our self worth we must first believe that we’re worthy of love and belonging. And this comes from addressing our fears so that we can change our negative self talk and address our self sabotaging which I will cover in my next few posts! Re-read my ‘Acceptance and Accountability’ post for a reminder as to why acceptance is the first step towards improving self worth.
But for now, start putting yourself first! Book that massage – you deserve it! Take an afternoon nap if you want one! Leave work half an hour earlier to do something you want to do! I promise that once you start showing yourself some love and respect, you’ll start to feel a whole lot better! You are amazing and you deserve love and belonging!
Don’t worry if you find this difficult to begin with, you’re likely going against years of opposing beliefs! I’ll be covering this in my next few posts, make sure you check them out – they really do have the power to change your life!
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