The topic of self worth is coming up in several of my clients sessions. Whether it is through net worth or self-love, it is important to reflect on how you define your self-worth.
This episode is deeply personal, triggered by an assessment I took last December in France, when I became newly aware of my own challenge with self-worth. It was powerful. I felt totally naked when I realized that I was not valuing myself and that it was affecting my net worth.
If you consider yourself successful yet experience failure in your bank accounts or romantic relationships, you might also be struggling with hidden self-esteem issues, whether you realize it or not. Though I feel I have been a strong and successful woman for a long time, though I have helped innumerable clients through their own issues as a coach, my lack in self-worth and self-esteem was hidden from me… until December.
Net Worth and Self-Worth Grow
Money-wise, my life has been a little up and down. Yet I always held positions that brought in a healthy paycheck. I felt successful and earned a lot of money.
My challenge? Keeping this money. Though I don’t consider myself a big spender, nor do I waste money, I was always “investing” (ok, spending) my money on valuable experiences. Though it seemed reasonable, it ensured that my money did not stay in my bank account.
Self-worth, or the lack thereof, comes in many shapes and forms. Many of us who outwardly seem successful and strong, have a hidden lack of self-worth that manifests in struggle. Another way this issue comes to light is an inability to engage in a fulfilling romantic relationship. Others are successful in their intimate relationship but don’t have a penny in the bank, regardless of career or income. Others have a lovely family but not enough self-esteem to raise their hand in a meeting or chase a well-deserved promotion.
I wanted to prune out this limitation, to approach it as an opportunity for self-love. I am excited you to join me in this journey. We will use the Planting the Seeds of Change process to give us a couple of steps and actions to become more wholistically successful.
Prepare the Ground
Change can only be obtained and sustained if you prepare the ground and fertilize. The first step is awareness—self-awareness here. The first thing I did was to explore where in my life I felt I was not successful, especially where patterns repeat. When I saw a struggle, it was powerful to identify several beliefs about myself, money and everything I cherish, and see how much connected to through those beliefs.
I know how much I’m worth and how much I charge. Not being able to keep the money told me how I was defining wealth, worth, and myself against those two concepts. I wrote all this down.
If your dating life sucks or is filled with deception, if your bank account is deep in the hole, or if your career is stagnating, then regardless of how well-off you think you are, something about self-esteem and self-worth is holding you back.
Narrow the issue down. What is beneath the ready excuses (no promotion because your boss can’t see your value; empty bank account because too many expenses)? Poor self-esteem began when, at some point, you decided to hide the little imperfection on the perfect portrait that you wanted to show to the world. What don’t you want others to see? What benefit comes from poor net worth? Here are more questions:
Poor Dating Results: How much do you like the person you are? Are you the most datable person you know? What would discourage you from dating yourself? It is time to practice self-love to develop your self-worth.
Empty Pockets: If you have constantly empty pockets like me, so broke that you live paycheck to paycheck though earning well—how much do you value yourself? Why not? When you remove all external parameters for being cornered, what is left? You and yourself.
What you believe is true about your self-worth affects your net worth. Thoughts like, “I can’t be rich and be a good person” will only lead you to let go of the riches in an unconscious way. By devaluing yourself, you don’t become a better person, only a poorer one. And a very stressed one.
What would change if you were able to believe that your net worth supported your self-worth, not fought against it? Developing this belief is key to improving net worth. Many of us feel you can have only one or the other. On one side, we have religion which says give everything away and don’t long for things; and on the other, in today’s world, material things are available to us and necessary for survival. We must create a balance, where we know we are good inside and we can retain and manage money in a self-supportive way.
Fertilize the Soil
Now that we have brought the elephant in the room to light, I want you to start thinking about your self-worth, your self-love, your self-esteem—and do a bit of reading. Choose any of the references below, depending on your challenge and your goals.
Empty Pockets. For self-worth related to money, I suggest you to read one (or both) of these books:
- You Are a Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth by Jen Sincero (2017), or
- Women and Money: Owning the Power to Control Your Destiny by Suze Ormon (2010).
Poor Dating Results. For relationship and self-esteem, I would definitely suggest:
- Loving What Is: Four Questions that Can Change Your Life by Byron Katie (2003). The system she uses helps you to face yourself bravely and honestly.
- And Jen Sincero’s other book, You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living and Awesome Life.
- If you like, you can also take the opportunity to read The Gift of Imperfections: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brené Brown.
Each of those books will provide pearls of wisdom and practical exercises to practice self-love, and ultimately help your self-esteem and other challenges fade away.
Self-esteem is a muscle. When you are done with these books, don’t leave them by your chair. Practice self-esteem and self-love every day. Start in front of a mirror with some affirmations. For example, “I love myself and I attract the perfect companion to me.” Or, “I am a compassionate being and money is the means through which I support others.” Just make sure your statements are positively constructed. (No: “no,” “but,” “not,” “can’t,” or “should.”)
The topic of worthiness is vast and will be covered in other episodes. Let me know what you think of this topic and tell me of your explorations in the comments.
When you are able to face your perceived flaws, when you can look in the mirror and love the “scars” that give you enough uniqueness to be perfect, you will be, as Jen Sincero says, a badass.