Do you feel worthy? I do now, but for the longest time, I didn’t. Not even a bit.
Because I couldn’t feel worthy on my own, I looked for validation outside of myself. At first, it was my parents and teachers who had to constantly tell me that I am worthy. And then it was my boyfriends or partners and friends. And then it was my spiritual teachers.
Of course, no matter how much they said, I’m the best, or I’m beautiful, or I’m worthy, I didn’t believe it. It didn’t feel right. It didn’t resonate. It wasn’t enough. It was never enough. I was never enough. I never did feel worthy.
What Does Feeling Worthless Look Like?
Everyone is different, so I will share what my unworthiness looked like from the inside and outside. Maybe you will be able to resonate, or maybe not. Either way, hopefully, it will get you asking questions about where your worthiness stands.
When I was younger, as I said, I was addicted to outside sources of validation. It felt like a drug. If someone didn’t tell me that I was awesome in some way every single day, I felt like shit. I felt like I should just go and die somewhere. Like what is the point of me even taking up precious space, water, and air on this planet, not to mention all the food I was eating? Wasn’t there someone else on the planet who could use this food better?
Of course, the people around me didn’t know they were my validators, and they had to tell me nice things everyday. They didn’t know that that was their role in my life. So they failed somedays and I had no way of feeling good on those days.
On those days, when I didn’t feel good about myself, I would skip meals, or berate myself, or punish myself in other ways, calling myself names, or starving myself, as I thought I didn’t deserve kindness or goodness in this world. Unless, I did something to deserve it.
I was a good student and that was another great source of worthiness for me. Whenever I got good grades, I felt good about myself. I was allowed to exist without self-denigration. On those days, I wasn’t perfect, in school, at home, or with my friends, I would wonder what’s the point of me being alive.
Unworthiness Also Results in Not Taking on Any New Challenges
The unfortunate thing about unworthiness is that you don’t have any faith or belief in your own ability. Low self-esteem is definitely part of it. But it’s also that the world is incapable of giving you what you want.
Either way, because you feel unworthy, you end up not taking any new challenges.
I did that all the time. I would stay in my comfort zone all the time, so afraid to do anything beyond it. I stuck with friends who weren’t kind to me because I was afraid to explore further. I stayed in jobs or in relationships that sucked because I was afraid to find something new or explore outside my comfort zone.
It was like I had created this tiny world for myself and I was stuck in it, unable to get out, for fear of making a fool of myself. Embarrassing myself in front of others was a HUGE deal to me, and even one small mishap would make me shiver with shame and hide for days.
The Modern World Is a Constant Reminder of Your Worthlessness – Feel Worthy Despite That
The unfortunate thing about this world you and I live in, even more so then when I was a teenager, is that it’s constantly telling you that you are not good enough. That’s literally the best way to sell new things.
Anytime you watch a TV show or read a magazine or talk to a friend, it’s all about comparison and putdowns. I’m too fat, or I’m too thin, or I’m too young, or I’m too poor, or whatever else. You compare yourself to all the somebodys out there and realize that you are not good enough.
And guess what, you will never be good enough – because the bar is always moving up. ALWAYS. It never stays still. It’s always going higher and higher, increasing your feeling of unworthiness and making you strive harder and harder.
Even if you are able to avoid all modern sources of unworthiness, everyone in your family might be perpetuating the idea that you aren’t good enough by comparing you to your sister or cousin or to that celebrity online. It’s quite hard to get away from it. And yes, you could avoid social media, which is a great way to keep the negative voices out, but you can’t avoid everyone and everything on this planet. You have to live in this world.
As long as you live in this world, it will constantly be telling you how you are not good enough, so it can sell you things that might get you there (but in reality, it will never ever get you there, because an item on the outside cannot get you there).
The World Can’t Give You Anything – You Have to Give It to Yourself
After you’ve lived in the world for a few years, as I have, the realization hits quite hard. Ah, I see, I would say to myself, I CANNOT get what I want from the outside world. They can’t give me my sense of worth. It’s just not going to happen. It was such a sad and devastating realization when it did come, because I had wasted so much time on it.
I have shared my worthiness journey many times, but it has mostly to do with beginning a self-love journey by doing yoga, meditation, and journaling. I started looking for things to love in me, rather than things to hate. It’s difficult, right?
What if I ask you right now, what is the thing you love the most about you? How long would it take you to come up with something? Now, what if I asked you what do you hate about yourself the most? How quickly would you come up with a long list of faults?
We are fault-seeking machines, maybe, but never more so than when it comes to ourselves. Our lips are too thin, or thighs are too big, our grades are too low, our cars are too dusty, our homes are too small, and so on.
There are a thousand ways to put ourselves down. And believe me, I know all the ways by heart. But nowadays, whenever I am thinking negative thoughts about myself, I stop and say something nice instead. Don’t worry about motivating yourself – self-love is definitely a better way to motivate yourself to do things than self-hate.
What Happens When the World Is Too Busy to Give You Your Worth? – Feel Worthy Anyways
The problem with asking the world to give you your worth is that the world can get busy sometimes and forget that it owes you some worthiness. What if you are waiting to receive some praise for your work, but it never comes?
For example, when I write this blog post and put it out into the ether, if I waited for someone to say something nice about it, I could be waiting forever. FOREVER. And nothing could come. And then what? If I only wrote, because I was waiting for praise, I would stop.
That’s why it’s so important to find new ways of proving your worth. Nowadays, I am worthy when I write, not when I get praise. I did something great – I completed my words today, I’m awesome, I tell myself. That’s all. Not because someone read my words (although seeing a dip in my readership does give me a little pang in my heart), just because I wrote my words.
The World Also Can’t Take Your Worthiness Away – You Do It to Yourself
The problem with us is that we don’t realize that the world can’t take your worthiness away, WITHOUT your permission. You are giving it permission to take your worthiness away, every time you agree with its assessement of you.
For example, if that critical voice in my head (which is a composite of everyone outside of myself) says, ah, no one’s reading your stuff, because you are a terrible writer, I have two options. I could give my power away and agree with that voice, feeling terrible about myself. Or I could disagree, stand firm, and realize that I’m a writer, I love to write, I have lots of improve upon and I am excited about the journey.
The second option feels so much more freeing.
In the first option, I am allowing the world to take away my worth. The second option, I am holding strong to my opinion about myself.
I’m sure you can see the difference and have noticed this difference in your own life.
You Should Feel Worthy Just Because You Exist
Yes, yes, we have all heard this phrase, but how many of us actually believe in its validity? It’s like the words slip in through one ear, and slip out through the other, without ever making a dent on a single brain cell in our head.
The truth of the words above doesn’t fade if you believe in them or not. It’s like an invisible banner that you are always carrying around with you, even if you are aware of it or not.
Your existnece – it’s a gift given to you by God or that higher power in which you might or might not believe. Guess what, you are already here. And that’s not going to change, well, not for a little while, unless you are about to die tomorrow.
You are here. You have been given this divine chance to be here. Wow. What a privilege.
God, or that higher power thought that you are a great idea, and decided to create you. Your parents decided you are a great idea and decided to keep and raise you. Your partner thought you were a great idea and decided to stay with you.
You are here. You are awesome. Feel worthy because you took a breath in right now. And another one. And another.
Feel worthy because you are alive. Not because you did something or have something or made something.
What do you think of this post? I would love to hear your stories of worthiness or unworthiness in the comments below.