How can you increase your self worth…when you’ve been practicing low self worth for most of your life?
Is it even possible to increase your self worth?
The quick answer is yes.
I know because I’ve done it.
The answers of HOW can be pretty nuanced because we’re all individuals and our low self esteem shows up in varying ways but there are absolutely some simple (not necessarily easy) ways to start you down that road..
But first, where does low self esteem and low self worth actually come from?
It tends to start in early childhood.
All sorts of things can affect it over the course of our lives, like toxic relationships, tough work places and things like that.
But primarily it begins in childhood. All our experiences of not getting our needs met, all our experiences in school, with teachers, parents, grandparents all combine and help form our opinion of ourselves.
Along with everything we watch, read and absorb through society.
Self worth and self esteem are very closely linked but they are essentially what you think, feel and believe about yourself and your place in the world.
So how do we start to shift this around?
Understanding Neuroplasticity is important here. That’s the brain’s ability to create new neural connections. Also understanding that the brain will always go the ‘easiest’ route. The path of least resistance. This basically means, the most rehearsed patterns of thinking.
So it takes time and it takes energy but you can absolutely start rewiring yourself for the opposite of your current path of least resistance and make THAT your default mode.
So now we know it IS possible, how do we start to go about doing it?
It’s incredibly helpful to start to identify the negative unconscious beliefs that you have about yourself. Get them written down. Now look at them objectively and challenge them. Argue against them. What would your best friend say about them? Where did they come from? What evidence do you have that they aren’t true?
Next little task. Write down a list of your accomplishments and amazing things that you’ve done. This can simply be kind things you’ve done for others, it can be accolades, awards, things you’ve overcome, cool things you’ve done. The sky’s the limit here but challenge yourself to find as many as you can. Things that prove you’re awesome and a good person.
Next up is to start to notice your unhelpful habits. These are just wired in protection behaviours that can be changed. But things can only change when you know what you’re trying to change. So don’t do this through the lens of criticism and judgement. It’s absolutely not your ‘fault’, we all have our habits that don’t serve us, it’s a part of the human experience. Do this task through the lens of curiosity and knowledge that you’re going to be able to make positive changes.
The next one might feel slightly clunky, different and unnatural to start with. Treat yourself kindly. Ask yourself, how could I be kind to myself right now. It might be an acknowledgement, a new way of thinking or it could be something you physically do for yourself that helps you know that you’re worth the time and effort.
Learn to meet your own needs. Actually ask yourself what they are and tune in to the answer. What do I want right now? What do I need right now? How can I look after myself in this moment? And actually give yourself what you need. If the answer is something that you know isn’t good for you, challenge yourself. Your pesky ego has come out to play but you get to put it back in its box and ask, would this be good for me right now? What need am I trying to meet and is there another, better way for me to meet it?
Following on from this is to communicate your needs to others to give them a chance of being met. If you don’t learn to communicate your needs, how can you expect them to be met? Maybe you need space, perhaps you need time, maybe it’s something else.
Remember to shift the focus. If you’re focusing on the negatives then you will find more of them. Intentionally start to seek the positives. When you do this you aren’t denying any negatives, you’re allowing them to be present and you can be curious about what they’re trying to tell you rather than being consumed by them…but when you intentionally shift the purpose to emotions like gratitude and appreciation, you’re also wiring your brain to start seeking the positives.
Next, challenge yourself. We only grow through learning to sit in a little discomfort and challenging ourselves. Allow yourself to achieve things. Actually give yourself the opportunity to grow. The more you do this the more your confidence and self worth will grow. When we challenge ourselves we literally create new neural pathways that support our sense of worth. So how could you challenge yourself? Maybe you want to learn something new, run a marathon, write a book. Sit with it and see what comes up.
Show yourself compassion. The same compassion you would offer someone else.
Do the things that make you feel good. I’m always talking about something I did that really helped me on my journey of self love and self worth. To the point I think everyone in my membership, 1:1 and in my programmes thinks I’m pretty weird because it’s so seemingly simple that they may not be able to see how it has a profound effect. Every single day when I get out of the shower I moisturise my whole body. I use the fancy stuff. Why? I feel amazing. I smell great, my skin is great, it feels luxurious, I feel worth it. Instead of looking at things you wish you had, ask yourself why other people have them. I get complimented on my skin all the time. I have great skin, because I put the time into having great skin, I don’t just get it though wanting it, I take action. That person with the amazing body probably puts the work in to have it. What do you know will make you feel great that is something you can easily give yourself and turn into a positive habit?
Spend time on yourself. Even if you start with just 5 minutes per day, investing time in yourself is an incredible thing to do. Particularly if you lean towards people pleasing and putting others first. 5 minutes of meditation or journaling can really kick start your belief that you are worth your own time. You can look to gradually increase it, but you just need to start with 5 minutes.
On the subject of people pleasing, notice when you say yes but want to say no. Practice saying no. It gets easier, I promise.
Next up. Notice how the people you spend your time with make you feel. Spend more time with the people who make you feel good and fill your cup, and less with the people who bring you down or put you down!
Understand that the things you don’t feel you have capacity for are usually things that you can learn. This could be confidence, self love, patience, belief in yourself. You can learn it all but you have to start somewhere.
Ask people you KNOW love and appreciate you, what they love and appreciate about you. The brain likes evidence, give it some!
Remember that the little voice in your head is not YOU! It’s a collection of defense and protection mechanisms that you’ve learned over time, that can all be unlearned.
Above all else please don’t value your self worth on external factors like busy-ness, how many followers you have, income, appearance, wealth, size etc. And PLEASE don’t allow anyone else to.
You are so worthy…whether you think that or not right now, it’s still true.
Now i’ve got you pondering all that I also have a little reminder that the opportunity to join Lauren’s subscription box course, ‘Tick all the boxes’ and access to all of her, and my glorious bonuses closes for enrollment tonight (11th July 2022) at 9.00pm. To check it out or joinhead to https://bit.ly/mysubsbox
If now is the right time for you then i’m really excited to support you for the next 6 months. If it’s not, I hope you feel good about making the right decision for you. Because that’s what it’s about when it comes to self worth. Knowing you’re making the right decisions and choices for yourself.
Because everyone deserves that.
Fran Excell, Success Mindset Mentor at www.franexcell.com – Helping Business Owners & Executives Overcome Stress & Self Sabotage so they can get back their time, get off the emotional rollercoaster and feel more in control.
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© 2023 Fran Excell. Success mindset mentor for entrepreneurs & executives.