When you lack self-worth, it’s as though the ground below you has been ripped away. You might feel insecure, unstable, and a constant sense of underlying stress and anxiety that pollutes whatever like toxin. Doing not have self-worth is like being a tree without roots. When the winds of existence come along in the form of individuals, relationships, and complex scenarios, you flounder, flex, and fall. No matter where you go or what you do, you feel demoralized, incapacitated, and scarce. While others seem healthy, positive, and robust, you resemble the plant that has had all its leaves duped. You might attempt to put on a mask, a hard facade to try and trick others. Do you feel not worthy of love, happiness, and success? If you have a hard time to feel great about yourself, you’re not alone.
Definition of self-worth
Self-worth means believing that you’re fundamentally worthy as a person. It’s often used interchangeably with words such as self-esteem and self-respect – but self-worth is much more rudimentary. When we lack self-worth, an innate sense of dignity is missing. The Cambridge dictionary elaborates and defines self-worth as “the value you give to your life and achievements.”Yes, There’s a Big Difference Between Self-Worth and Self-EsteemAlthough these two words are used synonymously they’re not the same. There’s a hierarchy of importance here. Self-worth comes before self-esteem. Self-worth is the foundation – it’s like the trunk and roots, and self-esteem’s like the branches. Without self-worth, self-esteem is shallow and unstable. Can you imagine what a tree would be like without its trunk and roots?
Yes, that’s right: a tree would be lowered to a pitiful stack of leaves and branches. And that’s what occurs when we don’t have the foundation of self-regard. Self-worth is thinking that you’re fundamentally worthwhile, whereas self-esteem is feeling excellent, or confident, about yourself. Can you have self-confidence without self-respect? Yes. Just look at narcissists. They exhibit self-confidence (or confidence) so much so that it’s toxic to other individuals. But the concern here is that they do not possess self-respect. Their narcissism is a mask or defense reaction versus the incredible feelings of unworthiness that they carry within.
You see, self-worth is something we need to discover and strengthen, for without it, we end up being doormats or narcissists. As Dr. Christina Hibbert explains: Self-confidence is what we believe and feel and believe about ourselves. Self-worth is recognizing ‘I am greater than all of those things.’ It is a deep knowing that I am of value, that I am loveable, necessary to this life, and of incomprehensible worth. But how do you know if you’re suffering from low self-respect?
Signs You’re Experiencing Low Self-Worth
You struggle to set personal borders. You experience continuous self-doubt. You’re cynical about the value of what you do. You struggle to think that anybody could enjoy. You can’t accept compliments without feeling embarrassed/skeptical. Always put other’s requirements above your own (i.e., you have a martyr complex). You opt for less in relationships and tasks thinking it’s ‘the very best you can, so you value other people’s viewpoints above your own.
You constantly feel a sense of stress and anxiety and stress around others. You are terrified of sharing your genuine self with the world. You let others walk over or mistreat you instead of feeling like the King or Queen of your life. You feel like a beggar constantly needing assistance or a victim always being hurt. You struggle to speak out and be assertive about your needs. You don’t know what your real requirements you feel more depressed than happy.
5 Ways to Cultivate Unconditional Self-Worth
Now that we’ve covered why low self-worth takes place and why it’s so essential, how do we get it? While I can’t guarantee that all of the practices below will always work for you, I can guarantee that if you practice any of these paths persistently and sincerely, you will experience an increasing level of self-worth. And eventually, your self-worth will end up being so second-nature that it will end up being unconditional.
#1 Core beliefs
Rewrite your core beliefs through a mantra. Mantras are declarations that you must repeat over and over once again. Once you’ve pinpointed the core beliefs you have about yourself (e.g., “I’m a loser,” “I constantly harm individuals,” “I deserve to be punished,” “I’m boring” etc.), you can then neutralize them through a mantra. Try picking or developing a mantra that is the specific reverse of your core wound.
For example, if you discover that one of your core beliefs is “I am worthless,” you might like to deprogram that belief and change it with “I merit, and I love who I am.”Initially, you’ll feel a bit tacky or doubtful of this mantra, but that’s just because your mind has been conditioned to believe the opposite. After a while (I’m talking about 3 months or so), you’ll start to see substantial modifications develop in your thinking patterns, habits, and sensations.
Attempt this practice every day for a minimum of 10 minutes (preferably throughout a meditation practice) for 3 months. Try to instill your mantra with as much wholehearted sincerity as possible since the unconscious mind pays more attention to emotion than words (and the unconscious mind is where all the magic happens).
#2 Reclaim what has been repressed
As theorist and scholar, Ken Wilber writes: Maslow called the fear of our greatness “the Jonah complex,” and much of us have some degree of that– so provide yourself authorization to discover, re-own, and enter your genuine greatness! How can we perhaps feel great or deserving when we’re living a version of ourselves that is not real or authentic? Our interactions, our feelings about ourselves, undoubtedly, our very lives will constantly feel false when we are concealing behind the afraid masks that we have embraced as children. To reclaim what you have repressed, you’ll need to practice inner child work and shadow work. Both of these types of inner work are ideal ways to collect what has actually been quelched and shut away within you. Among the most effective methods I’ve found for practicing both inner child and shadow work is something called mirror work.
#3 Replace people-pleasing with self-care
Change people-pleasing with self-care. It’s impossible to just stop people-pleasing cold turkey. That pattern, more than likely, has been implanted in you for a very long time. However, it is possible to slowly channel that energy into new ways: self-care. Does that sound selfish? It might. But the reality is that by finding out how to care for yourself, you will learn how to look after others. Your care won’t be polluted by unconscious needy intentions (e.g., the need to be verified), rather, it will be fuelled by the genuine desire to assist others. Whenever you mold yourself to be a specific method around someone, do one thing for yourself and just yourself. That might imply making yourself a hot cup of tea, taking a mindful breathing break, eating something nourishing, or investing some time alone to invigorate your energy.
Journaling is a fantastic, refreshing form of catharsis. Not just will it assist you to mentally feel much better, but it will support you to acquire mental clearness surrounding your low self-worth. I advise journaling every day for a minimum of five minutes and doing some introspection. How did your day go, what made you pleased or unfortunate, what did you observe about yourself? For exploring your self-regard, I advise journaling about the following concerns: What is something that nobody could ever eliminate from me?
Who am I, and who am I not? What type of individual do others expect me to be? What does self-respect imply to me? What external things don’t define my self-respect? If I lost everything in my life, what would I still have that would be of value? You might like to review your answers in the future and see if they shift and alter. If anything, you’ll get a fascinating glance into your mind and thought procedures after journaling about these questions. Journaling increases your self-worth by empowering you with self-understanding and self-knowledge. And as they state, knowledge is power.
#5 Work with an archetype
Archetypes are universal patterns or kinds of energy– and they have existed since the dawn of time. We can see archetypes present in all cultures of the world. Some examples consist of: The Orphan The Warrior The Caregiver The Seeker The Lover The Destroyer The Creator The Ruler The Magician The Sage The Joker The Mother The Father The Saint. We all possess various archetypes within our personality structures (take our complimentary enneagram test to discover yours). However, in some cases, certain archetypes within us are missing out on.
Why? Generally, they’ve been repressed in childhood because they were considered inappropriate or ‘bad’ by our moms and dads and caretakers. When it comes to low self-regard, the dominant archetypes that are missing within us are the one in charge, the Rebel, the King, the Queen, and the Lover. I recommend searching for figures in history who you appreciate that match any one of the above archetypes. By consciously working to bring in the energy of an archetype you do not have that is related to self-regard, you will discover the power you require to break through the negative core wounds within you. See our archetypes guide to learn how to work with the archetypes more thoroughly.
You are fantastic, just as you are. I hope you take this to heart and genuinely sink your teeth into it because it’s true. I hope you now have a deeper understanding of why you’re experiencing low self-respect and how to empower yourself. You don’t need to be a servant of your conditioning. You don’t have to stay shackled to people-pleasing and demoralizing lifestyles. At your core, you are wild and free, and now you have the tools to reclaim your raw and genuine self. What is your relationship with your self-worth like?