Who determines your self-worth? Is it the boss who denied you the promotion? Is it the romantic interest who declined your date invitation? Is it your parents who focused more on your older siblings? Is it your spouse who shows very little interest in your achievements or challenges? Is it your prospective clients who say no to working with you? Is it your neighbour with the bigger house and flashier car? Is it the mentor or trailblazer of your industry you feel you’ll never be as good as? Is it the friend who treats you disrespectfully? Is it your aunts who think you ‘should be married by now’? Is the over-demanding client who yelled at you today? You and both I know intellectually that none of these people have the right, nor the power, to determine our self-worth. So why do we give it to them? Without them even knowing we’ve done so? Other people’s thoughts about us are not the only misdirected way we measure our self-worth. Others include: how busy we are (or our to-do list), how many social media followers we have, our age, our job, the amount of money in our bank account, material possessions, our relationship status, our physical appearance and the number of friends we have. NONE of these things have anything to do with who we are as a person. But they ALL involve comparing ourselves to other people. Who has this measuring stick? Who determined if busy is ‘good’, how many social media followers is the ‘right’ amount, what’s too old and what’s too young, whether or not my job is ‘better’ than yours, how much money is ‘rich’, what TV we should have, who we should love (and how), that it’s better to work on our outside rather than our inside and how many friends ‘makes you a good person’? If I had to guess right now I’d say the advertising industry and social/cultural conditioning. Generations of both. Let’s change the record (showing my age now!) Self-worth is defined as the sense of one's own value or worth as a person; self-esteem; self-respect AND a sense of one's own value as a human being. Self-worth is about who we ARE, rather than what we do or how others perceive us to be. Self-worth is at our very core. How can we take back our power, cultivate and grow our self-worth from the inside?
Here are my 3 top tips:
1. Remind yourself that NONE of the above gives any meaning to who you are as a person. It is tempting, easy and often a habitual default to fall into the trap of comparing ourselves to others (and coming up short). Check in with your values. Check in with your integrity. Are you living an aligned life? Even if you were a little out of alignment today, it has no bearing on your value as a person. 2. Let go of perfectionism. I Quit Perfectionism a few years ago and it’s hands down one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Perfectionism is not getting up each day and being the best you can be (warts and all). It’s placing unrealistic expectations on yourself and others. When you fall short, your self-worth plummets. Life is about messiness and mistakes and it’s supposed to be that way. This is how we, Human Becomings, learn and grow. Making mistakes has no bearing on your value as a person. 3. Challenge your Inner Critic. When a critical thought flies in, pause and consider it. Is there any truth to it? Where is the evidence? Is it a kind thought? Is it helpful? Or is it just designed to sabotage you? Learn from it and let it fly away, or see it as false and let it fly away. No matter what you did or didn’t do, it has no bearing to your value as a person.
One way I help my clients increase their self-worth is by building their self-understanding - but you can grab your journal and answer these questions yourself if you wish: Who are you? Who are you not? How are you? How are you not? How do you show up in the world? What serves you and what doesn’t? What brings you the most fulfillment and joy? What are your skills, strengths and unique gifts? Where do you hold yourself back? Where and when do you find life energising and effortless? Where and when are you drained of energy?
Good luck! Until next time, keep expanding, creating and leading and REMEMBER, no-one determines your self-worth but you.
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