What Creates Self-Worth?By Dr. Margaret Paul
October 10, 2022
Do you feel a deep sense of self-worth? Do you want to? It's not as hard as you think, but most people go about it the wrong way.
We all want to feel good about ourselves but many of us go about this in ways that will never create a deep sense of self-worth.
Do you believe that you will have high self-worth when:
- You make a lot of money?
- You achieve a high position in your work?
- You have an expensive car or an expensive home?
- You are famous?
- You find the right relationship?
- You receive approval from the important people in your life?
While all of these can result in momentary good feelings, none of them create a deep and abiding sense of self-worth.
Self-worth has nothing to do with your achievements or with other people.
Self-worth results from two things regarding your inner relationship with yourself:
- How you see yourself
- How you treat yourself
Richard, a client of mine, is a very successful businessman. He is wealthy, lives in a big house, has expensive cars, a lovely wife, and three children. But Richard consulted with me because of his low self-worth. He was perplexed that he continued to feel so inadequate despite all that he had achieved and all that he had.
As we worked together with Inner Bonding, it became apparent that, no matter what the outer truth was, Richard continued to see himself as the inadequate child his father told him he was. His inner dialogue was often self-critical, judging himself just as his father had. He also went further -actually treating himself as his father had treated him - ignoring his own feelings and needs. As a result, Richard was always looking to others for the love, attention, and approval that he didn't receive from his father and was not giving to himself. Instead of being a loving parent to the child within himself, he was a harsh and inattentive inner parent - until he started to practice Inner Bonding and learned how to love himself.
Jackie, another client of mine, is a very successful actress. Yet fame and fortune have not given her a deep sense of self-worth. No matter how many people tell her how beautiful and talented she is, she still feels inadequate and insecure most of the time. This is because, on the inner level, Jackie is constantly telling herself that she is stupid. "How could I have made that stupid remark?" "How could I have acted so stupid?" Mirroring her mother's own self-judgments and her judgments toward Jackie, she is constantly putting herself down. Until Jackie learns, through her Inner Bonding practice, to see herself through the eyes of her higher self, rather than the eyes of her wounded self, she will continue to feel inadequate and insecure.
It might make it easier to see how you create your own high or low sense of self-worth if you think of your feeling self as a child within.
No matter how much you achieve or how much approval you get from others, if you are treating your inner child badly – abandoning yourself by ignoring your feelings, judging yourself, turning to addictions to numb your feelings, and making others responsible for your sense of self-worth - you will continue to feel inadequate. If you continue to see yourself through the distorted eyes of your parents, siblings, peers, or teachers, and continue to treat yourself in the unloving ways they treated you, or the ways they treated themselves, you will continue to experience low self-worth.
If you open to seeing the truth of who you really are - a beautiful divine soul who just wants to share love - then you will treat yourself as you would treat anyone whom you saw as a beautiful divine soul. When you consistently practice Inner Bonding and learn to take loving action on your own behalf, you will feel valued rather than inadequate.
Loving actions might include:
Speaking up for yourself in conflict situations with others, and telling your truth without blame or judgment.
Taking care of your body through eating well, getting enough exercise and enough sleep, and lovingly managing your stress.
Creating a balance between work, rest, play and creative time.
Treating yourself and others with respect and compassion rather than with judgment.
Attending to, rather than ignoring, your own feelings and needs.
Taking the time to pray, meditate and practice Inner Bonding.
Choosing to notice your thoughts, and practicing inner self-discipline regarding your thoughts.
- Choosing gratitude throughout the day.
When taking loving action on your own behalf replaces your inattentive and judgmental behavior toward yourself, you will discover that you feel a deep sense of self-worth. Simply put, high self-worth is the result of loving yourself rather than abandoning yourself.
Join Dr. Margaret Paul for her 30-Day at-home Course: "Love Yourself: An Inner Bonding Experience to Heal Anxiety, Depression, Shame, Addictions and Relationships."
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Do you know who you are in your essence - the spark of the Divine within you? When you know and cherish your essence, you will never feel inadequate. Today, open to learning with your Guidance about who you really are.
By Dr. Margaret Paul