Do you ever feel like you aren’t enough?
You find yourself doing more work than is required of you because you feel like you need to prove your value to your employer. Or, you avoid going for your dreams and desires because you feel like you aren’t worthy of success. And what you do go for, you push yourself to be perfect even though it’s costing you your health and happiness.
No matter how this feeling of not enough shows up for you, it doesn’t mean you are flawed or broken. We all feel like we aren’t enough sometimes. In fact, we live in a culture that values achievement, productivity, and doing at any cost! No wonder many of us struggle with this.
If you are ready to stop trying to prove your worth, you are in the right spot. You can learn to shift out of thinking you aren’t enough and into standing in your value without having to prove anything! But first, let’s explore what self-worth is, how it’s different than self-esteem, and what does and doesn’t determine your worth.
What is self-worth?
Self-worth is different than self-esteem. When you have strong self-esteem you know your strengths and talents, and you believe in yourself.
Yet you can have a strong belief in yourself and also feel like you aren’t worthy of happiness, success, or a loving relationship. When self-esteem is strong but self-worth is low, you can still feel like your worth is based on what you do, show, or prove to others. This is why it’s important to strengthen all kinds of self-love, from self-compassion to self-worth.
So what is self-worth if it’s not believing in yourself and knowing your strengths? Self-worth is knowing your worth and value aren’t based on anything outside of you. And making choices based on the truth that all human life has inherent value.
We need both, to believe in ourselves and to recognize our worth is innate. The moment you start trying to prove your worth, you are de-valuing yourself or letting others de-value you.
What determines self-worth?
Self-worth isn’t determined by anything external. Your worth isn’t defined by how much money you make, how much you weigh, or what your family or partner thinks of you. And your value doesn’t go down if you have flaws or insecurities.
The truth is self-worth isn’t something you need to prove to yourself or others. Self-worth is something that you recognize, know, and believe.
Imagine recognizing your innate value, just as you are. And that nothing and no one can add or take away from your inherent worth. Because that’s the truth!
3 Steps to Strengthen Self-Worth:
Now that you understand what self-worth is and the importance of strengthening it, let’s explore how to embody the loving truth about your worth and value.
Step 1 – Recognize the Cost: When you act from a place of thinking you are “not enough”, there is a cost. It may cost you your health, your happiness, or your relationships. What is it costing you to hold onto the belief that you aren’t good enough?
Step 2 – Practice Awareness: Next strengthen your awareness of when you are acting (or not acting) from a place of feeling not enough, unworthy, or de-valued. Be a good observer of when you are driven by fear, shame, or guilt vs. recognizing the truth about your worth and value.
Step 3. – Take a Stand for Yourself – Then, from a place of loving awareness, choose to take a stand for yourself. Identify what you are tired of tolerating from a place of “not enough.” Envision what it would look like to act from a place of knowing your worth is inherent and not something you prove. Then make a promise to yourself that you are committing to make a shift from being driven by not enough to being motivated by the loving truth.
Practicing self-worth and choosing to recognize your inherent value isn’t about perfection. It’s about standing in the truth and knowing you have value no matter what!
I’m Marci Payne, Licensed Professional Counselor in Missouri and Self-Love Coach for women. I support ambitious adults in healing perfectionism, people-pleasing, and past hurts via individual therapy & self-love groups. If you want to know how to feel better about yourself, then sign up to receive my FREE Self-Love Notes each month.