Are You Ready to Rediscover Your Self-Worth?
On the day you were born, you knew on some level that your self-worth was unconditional. All present at your birth breathed a sigh of relief that you have arrived safely.
At that moment, and many moments after; you have no doubt of your worth; in fact, it never crosses your mind to doubt it. When you are hungry, in pain, and have any need, you cry and find some way of making sure those in charge of your care hear you.
As you grow, you begin to hear messages and be given instructions on how to behave, what is and isn’t acceptable behaviour. Learning to behave in ways that are socially and culturally acceptable is important. Of course, you don’t know that’s the reason for all the do’s and don’ts, you think that there is something intrinsically wrong with you and the people around you need you to be a certain way to be accepted and loved by them.
“Never forget that once upon a time, in an unguarded moment, you recognized yourself as a friend.”
― Elizabeth Gilbert
You may begin to tell yourself a story that it isn’t safe to be or do in a certain way. You begin hearing yourself described as being good for one behaviour and bad for another, being laughed at or severely reprimanded for doing something wrong and praised highly for doing something right. It may begin to feel unsafe to show some parts of you and very safe to show others. So as our primary concern is safety, it is probable that over time you begin to only show the parts of yourself to others, the behaviours that carry the least risk. You may also begin to tell yourself stories about your safety such as:
- They won’t like me if I behave this way and then they won’t be my friend
- It is not the behaviour that’s wrong, I am wrong, it is not the behaviour that’s bad, I am bad
- It is only safe for me to be good, so I must make sure I am always good.
- I need to look a certain way or I won’t be accepted, I won’t fit in.
- I have to pass all exams, it’s not safe to fail
and of course, our capacity to create our stories are infinite and sadly a lot of them, limit us.
We have had our stories, our idea and beliefs about ourselves and the world for so long, we can forget they are not necessarily true, or helpful. They may have been a long time ago, but not today, not now.
Are you aware of the stories you have made up about yourself and your worth? Do you believe that your worth is dependent on looking or behaving a certain way?
I am curious to know what would happen if you began to become aware of your stories, ideas and beliefs you have for yourself and became curious about how true they actually are. For instance, would you want someone you love and care about to share the same stories you have?
Over the coming week, my invitation is for you to notice the following:
- Pay attention to the stories, ideas and beliefs that may be driving your behaviour
- You will find them in the way you talk to yourself…listen with as much attention as you would to a good friend
- Make a note of them.
When you have done this then be curious about each one, asking:
- Is this a story based on fact, how do I know?
- If I know now, that I am the author of this story, how would I change it?
- How does this story serve me, is it protecting me? and if so how?
- Is it protecting me and allowing me to do what I want, or is protecting me by holding me back?
- How can I both keep myself safe and be authentic?
Be curious, and remember the stories, ideas or beliefs were created when you had less resources than you have now. Now you have more and can begin to allow yourself to explore the possibility that your worth is not conditional on you being good or anything enough …
You are enough, always were, always are and always will be.