You can always tell when someone is truly comfortable in their own skin versus someone who is lacking in inner confidence. When you’re at ease with who you really are and the better you feel about yourself, the less you feel the need to big yourself up or boast about your achievements.
“'Your beliefs become your thoughts, Your thoughts become your words, Your words become your actions, Your actions become your habits, Your habits become your values, Your values become your destiny.' ”
- Mahatma Gandhi
And there have been times when my own feelings of self-worth were low, in 2012/2013 they were at rock bottom. I was recovering from my treatment of thyroid cancer, dealing with a relationship breakdown and then the loss of my job; simply put, I felt lost.
But even when I had to drag myself out of bed in the morning to get ready for the day, there was a voice inside me saying that everything was going to work out. The voice may have been more of a whisper then, but thankfully it was there and deep down, I knew even when life was tough, that I was worthy of more than I was experiencing.
Today I still struggle at times with feelings of low confidence, of not being enough, of not being capable; but I now know that I need to give it my attention and switch up that conversation in my mind.
Self-worth is not based on achievements.
It is knowing that your true self IS WORTHY regardless of your relationship status, professional success, how much money you earn, how you look, whether you are a parent, etc. Life is constantly changing, sometimes things are going well, sometimes it’s tough, but I’ve learnt that my own worth runs so much deeper than anything I achieve. It is the essence of who we are in bad times and in good, and it’s especially important to nurture ourselves through the challenging times.
So ask yourself questions like…
Who am I?
Why am I worthy?
What do I bring to the world?
If you struggle to answer these, here are some steps that can help to boost your self-worth…
I really believe this is an important step to bring about change in so many aspects of our lives. To be able to move on, we must first forgive ourselves and/or others. This requires reflection that can sometimes be painful but I have done this and trust me, the benefits to your life are boundless. There are many ways of going about it, you can write it down, talk to a friend or a professional, meditate on it, whatever works for you. But to move on, we need to be prepared to examine our behaviour and get real with ourselves. It can be tough, but it is worthwhile.
Letting go of the need to be right or to be understood, is critical.
Instead of looking for flaws when you look in the mirror why not start to embrace your personal quirks, those qualities that give you, your individuality. A good exercise is try is this…
Find a photo of yourself as a child and have it close by; put it into your wallet or save it on your phone. And if you find yourself being critical of yourself or struggling to stand up for yourself in a situation, look at the photo and ask yourself what would you want for the girl/boy in the picture. It may completely shift your thinking and give you the inner confidence to speak up for yourself or be gentle with yourself.
Have a chat with that negative voice inside but instead of arguing with it, fill your thoughts up with the good stuff. Even if you don’t feel it, our brains believe what we feed it so why not nourish yourself with positivity and see what happens.
For me this is where positive affirmations really make a difference.
What our minds hear, our bodies believe. Saying positive words to yourself, in silence, aloud or simply write them down really do make a difference. Phrases like….
I am Worthy
I am Capable
I am Enough
Connect to supportive people
Become aware of who you surround yourself with. Set healthy boundaries with those you feel bring your energy down. And become aware of your own energy. Are you draining to be around? If so, look at the earlier steps and see if they make a difference. Put yourself first. You are worth it.