It’s not who you you are that holds you back, its who you think you’re not.
Do you constantly seek the approval of others through the way you dress, your actions or the words you say? Do you get angry when you don’t get praised and appreciated for the work you do, the gifts you give, or the time you give to others? Do you heavily criticize yourself or possess perfectionist traits?
Do you get upset if your partner doesn’t recognize and complement you? Do you get into relationships and job situations where you aren’t respected, or valued? If you answer yes to any of these questions, then you could be suffering from low self-worth and self-esteem.
If you persistently seek validation from others, you will inadvertently invalidate your own self-worth
Self-worth and self-esteem go hand in hand. The definition of self-worth is: valuing oneself, respecting the fact that you were created with intrinsic value while respecting the intrinsic value of others. Self-esteem is used to describe a person’s overall sense of self-worth or personal value. Self-esteem is often seen as a personality trait, which means that it tends to be stable and enduring. Self-esteem can involve a variety of beliefs about the self, such as the appraisal of one’s own appearance, beliefs, emotions, and behaviors.
If you had a deep knowing that you are of value, loveable and necessary to this life, then you would never seek the approval and validation from other’s to make you feel as though you had worth.
Unfortunately believing you have self-worth can be challenging especially when you don’t get taught it at school, if you were bullied or put down as a child, if you consistently compare yourself to others, or if your family and friends did not help you to see your intrinsic value. For most of us this would be true, our life experiences, perceptions and assessments of ourselves has an effect on our sense of self.
If you did not have a stable sense of self growing up, the likeliness of you developing it as a young adult is minimal, unless you actively chose to get help and support to shift your current mind-set to that of worth and value.
Negative beliefs about ourselves motivate us to behave in a certain way, here are some signs you may have low self-worth.
1. Comparing Yourself “‘I’m Not Good Enough”
Comparing yourself to others can often cause feelings of anxiety and fear within you. Whether it be the way you look, how you perform, your success, the work that you do – comparing any of these can cause you to feel anxious. A part of you may feel as though there are flaws in you that at most times are only magnified and visible to you.
You will find that when you make this flaw known to others, they won’t be able to see it or understand why it is such a big deal to you. You believe that how you look, what you do, or how you perform does not measure up to others. So you will try hard to look, be or act perfect in order to meet the expectations you have over yourself.
The danger is, that you will most likely never meet these expectations you have placed. Sometimes perfectionists and high achievers may look confident on the outside, but suffer from low self esteem and self worth because of the battle they are having with their belief about themselves. These people are often very critical of themselves, and can’t take criticism very well from others. Their air of confidence they put on or possess can crumble easily.
2. Making Goals to Please Others “Other’s Opinions are More Important than Mine”
Do you make goals for you, or do you make goals to please others? Individuals with low self worth and self-esteem can sometimes make goals based on what others want or need. Not believing in yourself enough to make your own decisions, and feeling as though other’s opinions and guidance are more valuable than yours, can mean you end up doing something you dislike. Resentment and anger can set in because you always put other’s needs before yours.
3. Treating yourself badly but not others “I don’t deserve to be treated well”
How many times have you put yourself down by nit picking at the things you do wrong, but when someone else does the same thing, you support and encourage them to keep going, and that they can do better next time? Are you not worthy of a little self love too?
4. Excessively saying sorry “what I say is stupid”
Low self-worth can lead to negativity and criticism of oneself. How many people do you know who say sorry about absolutely everything they do? When you say sorry what you are really saying is, “what I was saying really isn’t worth a lot”. Saying sorry can also come after you criticize yourself for saying something you said, because after reevaluating you made a judgement that it was silly or stupid. You have a right to say and do what you want as you wish, as along as you do it respectfully.
5. Getting upset when others won’t do what you want them to do “What I do or say isn’t valued or appreciated”
Do you get irritable, impatient and upset with others easily? Do you have an expectation of receiving something in return when you do or say something nice to others? Such as getting more appreciation, love, or value? When you are constantly seeking to get something in return from others, can mean that you have don’t give it to yourself, or don’t have enough self-worth. If you do this often, then you are giving your power away to others to make or break your happiness, instead of empowering yourself.
Start to Free Yourself from Low Self-Worth by Following These Steps:
1. Stop comparing yourself to others
Society built us to compare ourselves to others through magazines, the media, hearing it from our friends, and judgement from others. The way we believe we are meant to be is portrayed in a way that is not actually sustainable or achievable.
Realize that you aren’t here to try and be better or as ‘good’ as other people, but your journey here is to know yourself and to express who you really are. Comparing yourself doesn’t get you anywhere, and only wastes your mental energy which could be used to reach other other more meaningful goals you have for yourself.
2. Discover and recognise your gifts
Start to get to know yourself. If you have been living your life based on everyone’s else’s opinions and perceptions of you, then learning about your own unique qualities, strengths, gifts, passions and interests is a great place to start. The more you keep doing this, the more you will realise your own potential, self -worth and uniqueness. Celebrate it!
3. Turn away from self critical and negative thoughts
Recognizing when you are being critical and negative towards yourself can be very empowering. Having awareness means you can change or let go of these thoughts that are taking away from your own self-worth and value. Shift your thoughts, and in turn shift your attitudes about yourself and your life. To learn how to do this, click on over to my article on Overcoming Your Limiting Beliefs here.
4. Practice self-love
Follow Blake Bauer’s advice and give yourself some self-love. Blake Bauer believes that as humans we were not born to suffer and that self-love and self-worth are the greatest gifts you can give to yourself, and I whole-heartedly agree! Give yourself some time for love and appreciation. One great way is by saying positive self affirming statements to yourself every morning. Really feel the affirmation radiate through your body, deeply energizing and loving every cell within you. Affirm to yourself:
- I love myself unconditionally.
- I am beautiful.
- I am grateful for my uniqueness.
- I am not just my thoughts and my emotions I am so much more.
- I am more than what I do or how I look.
You were not born to settle for anything less than a truly passionate, purposeful and fulfilling experience in life. You were born to enjoy the gift of being human. You were born to learn, grow, to create and see the beauty within yourself, in your life and within others. Go out and define yourself based on who you are, not what other’s want you to be.
Now go out and act on building your own self-worth and value! If you feel as though you’re struggling with letting go of old beliefs, and reclaiming your worth, you can accelerate this process by booking a free discovery call and get moving forward today.