As Ryan and I made our way west to Whatcom County, WA last week I found myself reflecting on self-worth, specifically: what it means to engage in life from a place of worthiness. (A question raised by Brene Brown in her audio session “Men, Women and Worthiness”.)
It seems that us humans are constantly trying to prove our worth — to ourselves and others — and for good reason…
We have an intrinsic need to feel worthy that no amount of self-development can circumvent.
According to Brene Brown, worthiness is synonymous with love and belonging, so when we say “I am worthy” we are really saying: “I am lovable and I belong here as I am“.
And according to positivepsychology.com, self-worth is: “a deep knowing that I am of value, that I am lovable, necessary to this life, and of incomprehensible worth.”
For me, self-worth is something I must foster with self-care…
Worthiness comes and goes in my mind and always splashes beneath the surface, accessible if I take time to dive deeper and stay a while.
The truth is, I spent a lot of my life (subconsciously) feeling unworthy…unsure of how to access my worth.
Deep down afraid that if I slipped up I wouldn’t be loved or belong to anyone. I wasn’t conscious of it until I took a magnifying glass to my mental and behavioral patterns…
- People pleasing
- Performance anxiety before meetings, presentations, performances, social situations
- Over-extending myself
- Resistance to slowing down
- Fear of telling people how I really felt or what I needed
- Feeling disposable in relationships
The above are examples of what it looks like to constantly question (or need to prove) our worth (and of course, there are more).
Which brings me to the question: What does it look like in our day-to-day life to know in our marrow that we are lovable and that we belong, as we are?
What does it mean to engage in life from a place of worthiness?
✨Reaching out in moments of shame and telling someone who has earned it (not just anybody) that something shameful just happened. (The common alternatives to this are disassociating, hiding, lashing out, or numbing.)
✨Not robbing others of their pain by expecting them to be happy because we have challenged that very expectation in ourselves.
✨Not letting our self-worth be contingent on how much we accomplish or how “put together” we feel.
✨Allowing life to feel undone and resting when we need to rest.
✨Feeling and expressing our fear that we don’t or won’t belong while at the same time knowing that we will always belong to ourselves.
✨Respectfully saying no despite the fear (and sometimes truth) that we many disappoint someone.
✨Accepting that it is woven into our DNA to care what others think and doing the inner work to let what others think dictate the thoughts we think, choices we make and words we speak less and less.
✨Acknowledging and airing our human fear that we’re not enough and in the next breath remembering that we are enough exactly as we are.
✨Feeling and talking about our stress rather than subscribing to the dehumanizing expectation that we should “hold it together” or “stay calm” all the time.
✨Taking care of ourselves and investing in our growth because we know that, no matter how drained and hopeless we feel in any given moment, there’s a way through and we’re worth it.
✨Letting ourselves be messy and giving others the privilege of seeing our mess. (This is true intimacy, baring ourselves to another.)
✨Protecting our time and energy with plenty of space for silence, stillness and self-care because it is deep in these spaces where our worthiness lives.
True self-worth is accepting ourselves as imperfectly human, and at the same time knowing our depth and power…
It’s accepting that we will mess up, we will feel sad and mad and irritable, we will drop balls, we will miss deadlines, we will gain weight, we will feel afraid and weak, we will be imperfect parents and partners, AND regardless of all of that, we know like we knew when we were first born that we are worthy of love.
Prompts for Reflection:
What does living from a place of worthiness look like in your life? How do your actions and thoughts reflect your worthiness, or not? Where do you still have work to do?
If these questions feel relevant, but the answers somewhat elusive, I’d love to coach you to map out a path forward that deepens your self-worth.
Here’s what my client Lisa had to say about working with me:
“If you have any feelings that your life is not quite what it could be, or you are stuck on repeat, and not entirely sure what to do about that, try working with Allie. You’ll gain insight and knowledge about yourself on how to change the course of your path and start living to your fullest potential.” -Lisa, wife, mother/grandmother, tech industry team worker
Here’s to living from a place of worthiness,
About the Author: Allie Andrews
With a decade of experience in the wellness and coaching industry, Allie has partnered with 65 companies and helped hundreds of achievers and workaholics find a pace and rhythm to living that feels sustainable and nourishing.
As a coach, Allie helps her clients grow their impact while prioritizing their health, deepening their relationships, and following their joy.
Allie is a lifelong student of personal growth, certified health coach, yoga teacher, and sex and relationship coach.
Schedule your free coaching session with Allie
Facebook: Allie Andrews, OmBody Health