It’s a tough time of year here in Michigan. Winter is waning, but not gone and spring is getting closer, but not here yet. It can be a very dreary time as the snow melts, but nothing is budding and blooming yet. Everything is just sort of muddy.
And people get that way, too.
Or at least I do!
It can be weather induced, social distancing induced, hormone induced – whatever the reason, it’s definitely induced and I don’t like it!
What’s a girl to do? Well, for starters, I like to take ownership because that means I can DO something about it instead of being a gloomy victim.
For some people, though, these feelings need to be suppressed. It is this kind of reaction that leads us to pursue unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as grabbing a bag of Cheetos or spending the entire weekend binge-watching something on Netflix (can you say Great British Baking Show?).
If you're like me and action-oriented, are you ready to try something you won't regret later? Why not work on your self-worth in a healthy way designed to build you up rather than tear you down? These following five methods to foster self-worth are so comfortable you're going to be surprised you didn't try them sooner.
Look at What You're Telling Yourself
Does your self-talk have a theme? If you find you're putting yourself down in the same way over and over again, it's time to take notice. What is the statement which plagues you the most? How can you rewrite the statement into something positive? For example, if you're telling yourself you're lazy, try switching over to a reminder of something you've accomplished.
I am a 5’2”, slender female in a male dominated profession. It was easy to tell myself that no one would take me seriously or that my leaders could easily overlook me. Until the day I decided to believe that they disregarded me at their own peril. If I had a message and I delivered it to the best of my ability, the choice to listen or not was on them. Plus, if someone made a comment on my size, I’d give them a squinty-eyed glare and tell them “I may be small, but I’m mean!” in an ominous tone of voice. No one believed me, but at least I delivered my message!
Sometimes a positive statement isn't enough. For this next exercise, sit in front of a mirror. Talk to yourself. Have a conversation about who you are inside. Strip away all lies and show yourself just how worthy you are.
You might have to ease into this one! I tried this and found I had to start with physical attributes that I appreciated about myself (it’s that engineer brain, I think). A warmer upper, so to speak. Then I moved on to accomplishments in my life, and I mean the big ones, like earning degrees and raising children. Only then could I go inside, to the kind of person who was able to do those things.
So why do you feel the way you do? When you take time to journal every day, you help yourself to process your emotions and why you feel inferior. This kind of self-examination and exploration can be very freeing. Add to this a shortlist of things you like about yourself for an added boost in self-worth.
I’ve talked before about my Happiness Journal. Every morning I write two to three things that made me happy the day before. What I haven’t talked so much about is that I also write one lined page of a journal every morning, too. I call it my Thought Download. I just pick a thought or topic and deep dive. I can tell you, for the last year it’s all business related! I try to deconstruct what thoughts I am having, what emotions I’m feeling, what actions I’m taking (or NOT taking as the case may be) and/or what results I’m getting.
I’ve created a free guide called Get Real with Yourself to help with this part of your journey. You can download here for free!
Take Care of Yourself
If you're running around taking care of everyone else all the time, it comes at a cost. Being neglectful of your health and well-being serves no one. If you genuinely want to be of assistance to others, put yourself into a position where you are healthy enough to do so. Make sure you get enough sleep, eat right, and exercise. All these things are crucial to a healthy and well-balanced you.
I won’t lie, this has become easier for me since work-from-home started. I no longer spend 90 minutes in a car on the daily commute so I get to sleep a little longer and use some of that time for my Happiness Journal and my Thought Download. In the evening, I use that time gained back by doing yoga or strength training. Not a lot, but it’s more than I used to do, so I’ll take credit.
At my annual physical, my doctor always asks “do you exercise regularly?” and I’d always answer “Absolutely! Twice a year like clockwork!” Now, I can genuinely say that I do!
Work with Your Personality
Who are you? If you've ever done a quiz to determine your personality type or enneagram, you already have some idea of what your traits are. If you haven’t, contact me and I’ll get you set up! These assessments are invaluable to increase your self-awareness, the first step in emotional intelligence.
But what about your weaknesses or the areas where you feel you're lacking? It might be you have skills and abilities which have gone unnoticed, or which have never been fully developed because somehow you're holding yourself back.
My extroversion must have been a problem when I was a child, because my parents literally paid me to stop talking! Let’s just say it was a lucrative business for me early on!
But that same extroversion is what allows me to be a great facilitator now. And work with teams on communication, and always keep people in-the-know, and do speaking gigs. A perceived fault in my youth has turned out to be a calling for me!
To improve your self-worth, take the time to develop who you are fully. Explore all the unique aspects of yourself and refuse to let anyone bring you down. With a little mindfulness, you truly can become everything you are meant to be. Of course, downloading my guide Get Real with Yourself can’t hurt, either!
Leaving you with this from the lighter side: I have a bumper sticker that says “Honk if you think I’m amazing.” Then I just wait at green lights until I feel better about myself!