Have you ever thought nobody would ever love you because you have the biggest nose in the world or million freckles on your face, or are overweight in fashion industry’s standards? Have you ever felt like a major loser, because you weren’t married yet, or hadn’t at least two kids or a corner office with the view over the city?
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?
- 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.
- When I was 14, a schoolmate told me I would be a terrific girlfriend if only I wasn’t fat.
- When I was 9, another schoolmate made fun of me when I brought a modest gift to my sweetheart.
- 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.