This year let’s forget about new year resolutions. Without a healthy sense of self-worth, we will procrastinate and let opportunities slip by. We will seek, attract or be attracted to unhealthy relationships, professional challenges that do not match our abilities and so on. Our decisions will be influenced by whether we believe we are valuable, deserve respect and good things.
“We believe we are seeking happiness in love, but what we are really after is familiarity. We are looking to re-create, within our adult relationships, the very feelings we knew so well in childhood and which were rarely limited to just tenderness and care. “ Alain de Botton, Course of Love
If our sense of familiarity identifies with situations where we were criticised or emotionally abused, how can we lead a life where we are worthy? We will seek, attract or be attracted to situations where we are not whole, where we will be end up being criticised. We will not show up authentically in relationships and when we are loved, we will doubt whether it is for who we are or because we created a fake persona who is lovable, but is not us. We will be subject to a cognitive bias where we attract situations that confirm that we are not lovable.
Equally, people who do not have a healthy sense of self-worth might experience what is called the impostor syndrome: they don’t believe they deserve to be loved and might end up locking up their partner in a cage out of jealousy so that he/she doesn’t see what they see.
When we start seeing our worth, we will find it harder to be around people who don’t. We will not put up with nasty behaviour, beg for love, linger in situations where we receive less than we deserve, etc.
We also need to reconnect with our essence of human beings, and not human doings: our self-worth is there for us regardless of our ability or external achievements.
“Self-esteem is like walking down the street like you own it. Self-worth is walking down the street and not caring who owns it.” John Niland, Self-Worth Safari
John Niland encourages us to move away from this obsessive need for and almost addiction to external validation, to prove ourselves, that causes so much anxiety about not fulfilling our full potential. Instead, we should believe in our self-worth before others do and put ourselves to the service of others and the world instead of linger in self-preoccupation.
What does self-worth look like? People who feel worthy display a mix of the following:
- can take a compliment full heartedly and believe it’s true;
- not just confident, but generally kind to others;
- gentle self talk, with self-awareness and acceptance of strengths and weaknesses;
- high standards reinforced by boundaries;
- generally feel loved and have more loving relationships;
- better collaborators and team players and leaders because not overly obsessed with proving themselves or jealous of others but rather valuing themselves;
- take self-loving decisions to take care of themselves;
- recover quicker from setbacks;
- more creative and entrepreneur because not so self-censored or afraid of failing;
- awareness of the impermanence of things like the sky who knows that both the clouds and rainbows will pass.
How to boost self-worth?
- say kind things to yourself in the mirror;
- cultivate positive affirmations like I am enough. I deserve to be enjoyed fully, in all that I am.
- treat yourself like a good friend;
- list strengths and achievements;
- change your posture, do affirming and powerful moves, embody self-worth – your body affects your mind more than you think;
- take action, it will help no matter the result;
- give yourself a pat on the back for your effort, the things you did well and your learnings than focus only on the outcome;
- look at everything as an opportunity for growth, and at any failures as a First Attempt In Learning;
- set boundaries so that you do not feel that other people are running all over you;
- meditate to a soothing song to calm the mind;
- enjoy your uniqueness and drop comparison;
- be grateful for who you are and who you will grow to be;
- journal or write a letter of self-love;
- befriend your saboteur, those inner voices that criticise you;
- replace ‘must’ and ‘should’ with ‘could’;
- invest and try to thrive in several areas of your life that can help you counterbalance in case one fails, like a relationship or a job;
- use your strengths as often as you can and see how you can be useful to others and the world;
- focus on what truly matters when determining someone’s worth: how you treat others, your kindness, compassion, empathy, respect for others, and not your money, appearance, job or status;
- get to know yourself better, learn what you stand for and live more according to your values;
- be less preoccupied with self and more oriented externally as how to contribute to the world, be more interested than interesting;
- acknowledge that you have the power to influence what happens in your life with every decision;
- reparent yourself: regardless of your childhood and any absent or over-demanding parents, you still deserve the best and you can offer yourself all the unconditional love and care that maybe you didn’t get.
“I am the creator of my life not the manager of my circumstances.” Tony Robbins
What self-care/positive affirmations do you need to hear this year to support your self-worth? You can draw a charter of self-worth, like the one we did during a soul café with my online community Connection Weavers. What other tricks have worked for you?