How to Overcome Your Feelings of Low Self-Worth


The following is my guest post originally published at Hello Hustle

 

Was your self-worth ever compromised?

Some time ago I’ve been dealing with strong feelings of low self-worth, too. I was caught in a vicious circle of self-loathing, blaming myself for that, being ashamed for being me and self-loathing even more. I was so powerless I gave up hoping for a better future and stopped pursuing my dreams altogether.

It took me a while, but I slowly started to take control over my feelings and put my life into the right tracks. One of the techniques I was using was also making a list of events I thought contributed to my feeling of low self-worth. I dug my past and searched my soul and finally a list of events that had a profound effect on me feeling inadequate emerged before me.

So, what was the technique?

I stilled my mind and asked myself:

“What events contributed to this problem?”

Then I listened. I wrote down whatever came up. The funny thing is, every event that I could think of, had something to do with my self-worth, and in particular with diminishing it.

Be aware, though. Sometimes when I do this process, seemingly unrelated events pop up. I have done it often enough to trust that events do have connections to the problem even though I can’t see them (yet).

What popped up this time?

  1. My grandma telling me no man would love me if I swore, if I was fat, or if I didn’t know how to cook.
  2. When I was 14, a schoolmate told me I would be a terrific girlfriend if only I wasn’t fat.
  3. When I was 9, another schoolmate made fun of me when I brought a modest gift to my sweetheart.
  4. When I was 12, I received a Valentine’s card, but the sender never revealed himself to me.

All those little events appear to be insignificant, but they can have devastating consequences for our self-worth. It pays off immensely to tackle them. So I did! I was challenging my beliefs with some provocative questions, and then searching for proofs my beliefs were wrong.

Is it true no man will love you, if you are such and such?

No! That is a complete lie. I’m sure my grandma didn’t want to put me down and she said those things out of care, but they are nevertheless lies. It doesn’t matter who you are, what you are, what you do, or what you have, there will always be someone who will love you regardless.

If only you would let them.

So, let them!

Is it wise to build your self-worth on something an 11, 12, 13-year-old remarked thoughtlessly?

No! What did they know at that time? Absolutely nothing. For Pete’s sake, I work with victims of domestic violence and other violence against women. I am an author of a legal guide. I can and I do influence the legislation and judicial practice with the power of my arguments. And I am a good person, regardless of my weight or my parents’ wealth some 25 years ago.

So are you!

They were just inconsiderate kids who hadn’t had any clue.

Sooo, pay no attention to their gibberish.

Should you let other people’s feelings dictate your life?

No! Other people’s feelings are just that – other people’s. Other people are their initiators and they have control over them. Other people’s feelings are their own responsibility. No matter what you do, you can’t influence the other people’s feelings. Their feelings exist regardless of what you do. Or don’t do.

Thus, there is no point in building your self-worth on them. If a boy was afraid to speak up back then, that says nothing about me, but everything about him.

Discard responsibility for other people’s feelings.

You are worthy of love. I am worthy of love. We all are worthy of love. Remember that at all times. Click To Tweet

 

Did you struggle with feelings of low self-worth too, and overcome them? Share your tips and/or story in the comments! 

 

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13 Comments

  1. I love this post! I suffered with low self-worth. I was overweight and paralyzed with fear that my life would never change. You’re so right. It’s amazing how seemingly insignificant negative statement can have such a significant impact on how we value ourselves. I can remember those negative moments more than the positive ones. But your exercise is a great way to remove the power from those statements. I have turned to my faith to establish my self-worth. Knowing who I am in Christ has affirmed my identity. I do this daily with scripture declarations, motivational videos and inspirational music.

    • Great, LaKisha, faith can be so soothing. I’m glad you overcame your low self-worth. We all have to realize our worth!

  2. This is so important. I have problems with this as well and it took me a long time to finally let go of insults from when I was younger and tell myself it doesn’t matter. In fact, no ones opinion matters. All that matters is that I love myself and there are people who love me as I am too.
    Lovely post!

    • We brush off those remarks when we were young, but in reality they can have a significant impact on us. They are worth to look at. Thank you, Catherine!

  3. Emotional healing worked for me. I believe in emotional healing so much that I am now certified in a modality and is one of the services I offer. I recommend everyone to do a session at least once a year.

  4. I am currently struggling with this. Those words I’ve heard over my life were soaked up and stored very deeply. Trying to dig them out…..it’s a tough job

    • Hi, Mary! Yes, it’s a tough job, but it pays to persevere. And there are many wonderful techniques and methods you can use to help yourself. I present some of them – very powerful ones – in my book 7 Daily Habits for Singles Not to Be Single Anymore. You can read an excerpt from the book describing one of the techniques (EFT or Emotional Freedom Techniques) at http://www.ninaobran.com/eft/. I hope I helped a little.

    • Hello, Sian! When you do the work, you will find out you don’t need to retrieve all your memories. All you need is few important ones. Don’t get discouraged. You can start anywhere. You just have to start. I cheer for you!

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