“Convinced that we are not good enough, we can never relax. We stay on guard, monitoring ourselves for shortcomings. When we inevitably find them, we feel even more insecure and undeserving. We have to try even harder. The irony of all of this is . . . where do we think we are going anyway?”

You are not your job description, your place of birth; you are not your abuse; you are not your defeat, rejection, or failures. Many of us attach our self-worth to external factors such as our jobs, cars, material possessions, etc. When we lose any of these material things, it usually affects our self-worth and mental health because we have attached so much meaning to them.

In the social media age we are in right now, many of us place our self-worth on the number of followers, retweets, likes, reshares, and all the other metrics used by social media to validate our popularity or awesomeness. The metrics used by social media platforms to validate us are all ephemeral yardsticks, which is not built to last but built to make us come for more; it is like a drug addict always needing the next shot. We are all in a trance.

There is a story about an elderly dying man who told his child:

Here is your grandfather’s gold watch and it is a couple of hundred years old. But before I bequeath it to you, I want you to go to the watch shop and see how much they would offer you.

The child went, and then came back, and said the watchmaker offered 7 dollars because it’s old and has some scratch.

The old man said: go to the coffee shop.

He went and then came back, and said: they offered 4 dollars.

The old man said: Go to the museum and show that watch.

He went then came back, and said to his father “They offered me a million dollars.”

The father said: “I wanted to let you know that the right place values you in the right way.

Don’t find yourself in the wrong place and get angry if you are not valued.

Those that know your value are those who appreciate you, don’t stay in a place where nobody sees your value.

Never doubt, and always believe in yourself by knowing your worth and that there are those who clearly appreciate these values.

“The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering.”  – Bruce Lee

“In their book Stories of the Spirit, Jack Kornfield and Christina Feldman tell this story: A family went out to a restaurant for dinner. When the waitress arrived, the parents gave their orders. Immediately, their five-year-old daughter piped up with her own: “I’ll have a hot dog, french fries and a Coke.” “Oh no you won’t,” interjected the dad, and turning to the waitress he said, “She’ll have meat loaf, mashed potatoes, milk.” Looking at the child with a smile, the waitress said, “So, hon, what do you want on that hot dog?” When she left, the family sat stunned and silent. A few moments later the little girl, eyes shining, said, “She thinks I’m real.”

“Convinced that we are not good enough, we can never relax. We stay on guard, monitoring ourselves for shortcomings. When we inevitably find them, we feel even more insecure and undeserving. We have to try even harder. The irony of all of this is . . . where do we think we are going anyway?”

In her wonderful book, Radical Acceptance: Awakening the Love that Heals Fear and Shame, Tara Brach writes:

In the West, most of us have suffered the fear of not being ‘good enough’, feeling insecure about our appearance, our sexuality, our intelligence, our spiritual progress or – often most importantly – being worthy of love. When these feelings of insufficiency or self-aversion are strong, we fear abandonment and rejection.

“Our imperfect parents had imperfect parents of their own. Fears, insecurities and desires get passed along for generations. Parents want to see their offspring make it in ways that are important to them. Or they want their children to be special, which in our competitive culture means more intelligent, accomplished and attractive than other people. They see their children through filters of fear (they might not get into a good college and be successful) and filters of desire (will they reflect well on us?).

As messengers of our culture, parents usually convey to their children that anger and fear are bad, that their natural ways of expressing their wants and frustrations are unacceptable. In abusive situations the message is “You are bad, you are in the way, you are worthless.” But even in less extreme situations, most of us learn that our desires, fears and views don’t carry much weight, and that we need to be different and better if we are to belong.

“Radical Acceptance enables us to return to the root or origin of who we are, to the source of our being. When we are unconditionally kind and present, we directly dissolve the trance of unworthiness and separation. In accepting the waves of thought and feeling that arise and pass away, we realize our deepest nature, our original nature, as a boundless sea of wakefulness and love.”

“Feeling that something is wrong with me is the invisible and toxic gas I am always breathing.” When we experience our lives through this lens of personal insufficiency, we are imprisoned in a trance of unworthiness. Trapped in this trance, we are unable to perceive the truth of who we really are.

When we strive to impress or outdo others, we strengthen the underlying belief that we are not good enough as we are. This doesn’t mean that we can’t compete in a healthy way, put wholehearted effort into work or acknowledge and take pleasure in our own competence. But when our efforts are driven by the fear that we are flawed, we deepen the trance of unworthiness.

In his great book, The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz writes:

“We dishonor ourselves just to please other people. We even do harm to our physical bodies just to be accepted by others. You see teenagers taking drugs just to avoid being rejected by other teenagers. They are not aware that the problem is that they don’t accept themselves. They reject themselves because they are not what they pretend to be. They wish to be a certain way, but they are not, and for this they carry shame and guilt. Humans punish themselves endlessly for not being what they believe they should be. They become very self-abusive, and they use other people to abuse themselves as well.”

“But nobody abuses us more than we abuse ourselves, and it is the Judge, the Victim, and the belief system that make us do this. True, we find people who say their husband or wife, or mother or father, abused them, but you know that we abuse ourselves much “more than that.

The way we judge ourselves is the worst judge that ever existed. If we make a mistake in front of people, we try to deny the mistake and cover it up. But as soon as we are alone, the Judge becomes so strong, the guilt is so strong, and we feel so stupid, or so bad, or so unworthy.”

“In your whole life nobody has ever abused you more than you have abused yourself. And the limit of your self-abuse is exactly the limit that you will tolerate from someone else. If someone abuses you a little more than you abuse yourself, you will probably walk away from that person. But if someone abuses you a little less than you abuse yourself, you will probably stay in the relationship and tolerate it endlessly.”

“If you abuse yourself very badly, you can even tolerate someone who beats you up, humiliates you, and treats you like dirt. Why? Because in your belief system you say, “I deserve it. This person is doing me a favor by being with me. I’m not worthy of love and respect. I’m not good enough.”

We have the need to be accepted and to be loved by others, but we cannot accept and love ourselves. The more self-love we have, the less we will experience self-abuse. Self-abuse comes from self-rejection, and self-rejection comes from having an image of what it means to be perfect and never measuring up to that ideal. Our image of perfection is the reason we reject ourselves; it is why we don’t accept ourselves the way we are, and why we don’t accept others the way they are.

The key to increasing your self-worth includes among other things:

Personal Development/Sharpen the Saw

“Learn to work harder on yourself than you do on your job. If you work hard on your job you can make a living, but if you work hard on yourself you’ll make a fortune.” – Jim Rohn

The key to increasing your value in the marketplace is to do more than you are paid for by going the extra mile, underpromise, and over-deliver. To add value, you need to continuously sharpen the saw, become a lifelong learner, work on yourself, and reflect on your work, your disposition to the world, and invariably your self-confidence self-worth.

Surrond yourself with people that uplift you.

You are often the average of the five people you spend the most time with. As James Allen quipped in his great seminal book, As a man thinketh, “The outer conditions of a person’s life will always be found to be harmoniously related to his inner state…Men do not attract that which they want, but that which they are.” 

“A particular train of thought persisted in, be it good or bad, cannot fail to produce its results on the character and circumstances. A man cannot directly choose his circumstances, but he can choose his thoughts, and so indirectly, yet surely, shape his circumstances.” – James Allen

Re-Invent yourself.

We all going to go through rough paths in our lifetime; the key is to re-invent yourself because for your to find yourself, you need to lose yourself to a cause bigger than you; finding your purpose and worth in life requires losing sight of the shore and leaving your comfort zone, on the other side is bliss and fulfillment.

A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.

Set Goals

One of the keys to having great self-awareness and increased self-worth is to set Big Hairy Audacious Goals that would make you stretch yourself. When you set and achieve these goals, it increases your self-confidence and self-worth. Momentum is key in achieving any goal you set for yourself; always remember the nursery rhyme: “Good better best never let it rest until good is better and better is best.

“The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.” ― Michelangelo.

Set Clear Boundaries

In this one short life we’ve all got, you only need the respect of one person, and that is the person you see in the mirror day in, day out: yourself. Your self worth is determined by what you say to yourself when you are by yourself. You determine how you are treated; you tell people how you want to be treated by the way you carry yourself; what you tolerate becomes your standard.

Daily Affirmation

What you say to yourself daily is very important; it helps you change your perspective; if you change what you focus on, what you focus on changes. Have daily affirmations and statements that uplifts you can be great to help you increase your self-worth. Some daily affirmation includes: Everything is figureoutable, this too shall pass, if it is going to be, it is up to me, “Every day, in every way, I’m getting better and better“, You’ve got this.

All the best in your quest to get better. Don’t Settle: Live with Passion.

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