Posted on Oct 19, 2022

True Self-Worth: The Inside-Out Approach 

"Those who realize the self are always satisfied. Having found the source of joy and fulfillment, they no longer seek happiness from the external world. Happiness can only be found within the self." ~Bhagavad Gita

Self-worth, what does that mean to you?

It’s a word that holds a lot of weight and means different things for different people, depending on the stage of life you’re in and what your beliefs are. 

I believe true self-worth is something that anyone and everyone has and can experience for themself, despite external differences. 

Today, I'll share what self-worth feels like when done from an "inside-out approach" and the signs of low self-worth. It’s important to understand where you are with how you value yourself, to know where you want to go.

What We Do That (Unknowingly) Affects our Self-worth

If you've read even a small amount of the articles at The Mindful Movement, you may guess, self-worth is grounded in early experiences. If, as a child, you were encouraged to voice your opinion and taught that it was important, engage in areas about which you were curious, and had role models for positive self-talk, you might have unshakable self-worth today. 

If, on the contrary, you didn’t have the above growing up, it’s understandable you may not feel so secure with yourself as an adult.  I share a few more examples of the possible causes of low self worth in this weeks video.

It's Never too Late to Regain your Self-Worth

The good news is, self-worth resides inherently within all of us.  This is, as I mentioned above, the "inside-out approach." Once you live and practice that belief, your worth cannot be taken away from you. It doesn't matter what type of car or house you have, or what level of success or wealth you have achieved.  It is simply true that you are worthy.

Besides the "inside-out approach," the only other option is the "outside-in approach."  This is the belief that you need to achieve a certain level of success, or have a fancy car/house/expensive material thing to be worthy.  And in this approach, your worth is tied to external things and can be taken away or never reached in the first place. This is the approach that our culture has most of us living from.

It’s a challenge, sometimes, to BELIEVE you have value and worth, but it is possible. To move towards a deep sense of love for yourself, you need to first be aware of what behaviors hold you back from unwavering self-worth.

Are you a People-Pleaser?

You say yes to plans that don’t thrill you. You hold back on speaking your truth. Despite it being harmful to you, you feel the need to keep the peace or keep others happy. You are constantly trying to manage other's feelings and thoughts about you.

People-pleasing happens to the best of us.  You may think that it is part of your personality and you just want to be a kind person.  That may be true AND it is likely this is an early adopted coping strategy.  

Do you Have a Fierce Inner Critic?

Or are you endlessly criticizing and judging yourself? You might make negative comments about your body. Or, you feel you never do enough. Or you put yourself down when you mess up while trying something new. This is also a strategy that became a pattern to keep you safe.

This all contributes to low self-worth. Try to notice when these behaviors happen. Once you observe how and when these habits come up, you can start to make changes. 

How to Build Self-Worth that Lasts 

Self-worth is crucial to leading a life of fulfillment and positive well-being at every age (and worth the time and effort, I promise).  Here are a few tips that can help in regaining self-worth while moving you towards the "inside-out approach."

  1. First, be kind and patient with yourself as you learn to reverse harmful behaviors and take steps toward healing your self-worth.
  2. Affirm your own value and step back every once in a while to recognize what truly matters to you.  What are you good at? What do YOU value in yourself? It’s imperative to put time and effort into accomplishing goals that excite you and allow you to “fail” occasionally as part of your learning curve.
  3. Take care of your needs first and learn how to say “no”. There will be times that you can’t show up to a family event or have to say no to extra work. It will be really hard at first, to feel comfortable with the “no.” When you start practicing how to make decisions that are best for your livelihood and health first, you get to move away from guilt and say “yes” to helping others from a place of joy and nourishment.
  4. Challenge your negative thoughts and inner criticism– jot them down in a journal. We can be so mean to ourselves (myself included.) When you notice a critical thought, try saying the opposite right away. (For example: follow comments like “ugh, my thighs are sooo ugly” with “Hey, my legs are strong and capable–I can walk for miles!”) 

Cultivating self-value: Start Today

Commit to focusing on one of the tips above for one week and see if anything shifts internally for you. You might notice that you feel differently, more positive about yourself, just being in practice of a new and positive behavior. 

I hope you found this breakdown on the "inside-out approach" to self-worth helpful. If you are ready to heal your self-worth, I will be hosting a workshop catering to this pivotal element of fulfillment and satisfaction. In this workshop, I provide practical tips and supportive accountability that will allow you to see your true value–and practice your new belief out in the world—where it matters most! 

Register for the workshop here. Spaces are limited and I would love to reach YOU and support you to build unshakable self-worth.

Be well,