Our level of perceived self-worth is the source of most of our events in life. The events in life that we attract, whether they be positive or negative, are directly correlated to how much we value ourselves and the healing that we still need to do within ourselves.
I was always rather good at disguising the awful thoughts I used to think of myself. I suffered with really intense levels of perfectionism. Nothing I did was ever good enough and I was constantly looking for the approval of others. Until one day, when I started to realise that the thoughts I believed were ‘helping’ me, were in fact destroying my self-esteem and therefore my ability to really enjoy my life.
So I started to tune into the things that I thought about myself and how they made me feel, and started to develop some positive daily habits to boost my self-worth that you can use too.
1. Treat yourself as your best friend
Most of us are really good at consoling our best friends, telling them they’re being silly when they’re being too hard on themselves or panicking over something they’ve said/done. When you tune into the way you speak to yourself, you’ll probably notice how mean you’re being to yourself. This was a really powerful practise for me as I realised I wouldn’t speak to my best friend, let alone another person, the same way I was speaking to myself.
If this is difficult for you, it may be because you believe that you don’t deserve the same level of kindness that you show to others. This is true for most people with low self-esteem. One way you can try to combat this is by recognising one thing you’re proud of yourself for doing that day. It could be something as simple being proud of yourself for working out when you really didn’t feel like it, or helping a stranger by holding open the door for them. Try and do this every day, or at least every time you feel yourself in an unkind place, and learn to start recognising all the wonderful things about yourself.
2. Get curious about what triggers your negative thought patterns
Every emotion is triggered by something else, whether that’s words, actions, feelings, comments etc. When I decided to change the way I viewed my self-worth, I became really inquisitive about why certain things caused such an emotional reaction.
I realised that a lot of my emotional pain came from the thought that I wasn’t good enough. So whenever anyone made a comment or a certain action etc. I’d have this instantaneous knee-jerk reaction without even realising it. Like a defence mechanism when I felt my self-worth being questioned, because part of me believed that they were right. So instead of getting angry or heated, I’d become curious about why my sense of security felt threatened, and I realised it had absolutely nothing to do with the other person and everything to do with me. Often, I was able to realise that I was reading way too much into the situation to begin with and they meant absolutely nothing by it.
When I realised they ‘why’ behind my triggers, I was able to do more healing around my sense of feeling good enough. I’d practise positive habits and gratitude towards myself, to remind myself of the fact that I am and always will be good enough. And you can do this too.
3. Practise love and kindness by helping others
Another powerful habit we can develop is to focus on how we can help others, instead of nitpicking all the parts of ourselves we’re unhappy with.
There’s something immensely powerful about helping others which enables us to develop a positive sense of self-worth. We start to realise that we are of value, that we do matter, and that we can make a really positive impact on others.
Simple things like giving others compliments, holding open doors, starting conversations with the friendly person next to you, helping an older lady carry her shopping bags, calling your grandparents to check that they’re all ok. All of these kinds of things helped me see the power that I have to elicit positive, loving emotions in others and therefore within myself too. It showed me that I am worthy of my own love, and you are too.
So by giving back, even in the tiniest ways, you can make a really positive impact not only on yourself but on someone else who may be needing an act of kindness just as much as you do. And what an incredibly powerful act to pass on!