One of my favorite movies in the ’90s was Wayne’s World. Wayne and Garth would chant “we’re not worthy” when they met someone they viewed as more successful, more accomplished, or more talented than them, i.e., Alice Cooper. Fast forward 30 years and it’s a statement that I hear often in my practice: “I am not worthy.”
Self-worth is the “internal sense of being good enough and worthy of love and belonging from others.” When I hear someone say they are not worthy, it’s because the person is so focused on the mistakes they have made. They judge and criticize themselves so harshly. They have a low opinion of themselves. They don’t value who they are.
Negative self-worth leads to anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and substance use. It impacts our ability to form relationships and achieve our goals. The Kaiser Family Foundation published an article that compared job loss pre-pandemic to the associated increases in depression and low self-esteem during the pandemic. They found current rates are higher in terms of reported symptoms of mental illness 53% during the pandemic vs 32% pre-pandemic.
Loss – for example, losing a job or ending a romantic relationship – often triggers our thoughts about our self-worth. We tend to feel that we do not belong or that we are not worthy of love.
Living an adrenalized life is living one that is full of self-worth and value.
Here are 5 secrets to changing your perspective:
- Beware of what influences you.
We are bombarded with images of success and seemingly “perfect” lives on social media. We perceive others’ lives or their opportunities as ‘better’ or more ‘advanced’ than our own. We need to be cognizant of what is influencing us.
It’s not only social media but also the people we surround ourselves with. It’s our friends, family, and even the celebrities we look to for advice and information. We construct our worth based on our perceptions of other’s lives. We are comparing constantly.
Beware of what influences you. Ask yourself if these images, advice, and information is kind. Is it true? Is it helping you to be a better version of yourself? If it is not, change what influences you.
- Don’t make assumptions.
You know what happens when you assume…
A client once said to me, “When I see someone that has succeeded, I never stop to think about what their journey was to get there.” Stop and think about the assumptions you make. Everyone is on their own journey. Appreciate that your journey is meant to be different than theirs.
When we assume, we do not actually have all the information or facts. For example, when a colleague is late for work, we assume they overslept or were lazy. When in fact the opposite may be true… they left home on time but had a flat tire and were stuck.
Be careful of the assumptions you are making. If you are assuming, you lack the truth.
- 3. Stop judging yourself harshly.
Judgement of self is the harshest judgement of all. We de-value ourselves. We restrict ourselves and create barriers. We sabotage ourselves and this leads to a negative value of self. Accept yourself as you are, the imperfect. Recognize your progress. When we recognize our progress, we become aware of what we have accomplished. That awareness provides a perspective of success rather than failure. The harsh judge is muted by progress. Keep moving forward. Mitigate the judge, not your self-worth.
- Affirm your beliefs.
Take inventory of what you believe about yourself. Renew your positive affirmations of what you believe to be true, or what you want to be true about yourself. This is a time to remind yourself of what you want to be true about your character and about your life. Practice your ‘I am’ statements…I am worthy, I am loved…I am respected.
When we affirm our beliefs about ourselves, we create behaviors that improve our self-worth.
- Change your language.
The words we speak determine our thoughts and our behaviors. When we say that we ‘can’t’ do something, we limit ourselves. We ‘can’ always do something, and we must recognize that we control what we do. We are in control of how we think about speak about ourselves.
Speak kindly to yourself with words of love. What would you say to someone you love? Why wouldn’t you speak to yourself in the same way?
Worthiness is determined by how our thoughts, feelings, behaviors are connected to our core. If we are aware of what influences us and the assumptions we make, we can improve our self-worth. When we stop judging ourselves, affirm what we believe, and speak positively to ourselves, we can improve our self-worth.
If we believe we are worthy, we act accordingly. Our thoughts and beliefs – and therefore, our self-worth – is something we can control. Adrenalize your self-worth and recognize that your value is priceless.
Tom Marino is a coach, speaker, and author. After a period of personal transformation, he founded Monarch Life Coaching, LLC to help high achievers navigate seasons of transition by recognizing the power of their choices. His book, Bridge to Change, documents the simple process of change and transformation that he utilizes with his coaching clients. Marino works with executives and professionals all over the U.S. to help them overcome burnout and live adrenalized. For more information visit www.tommarino.com. Connect with Tom on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.