“you are valuable without bringing anything else to the table. without showing up with anything other than yourself.
yes – you have gifts and resources to use. but they are not your value.
your value is simply, beautifully, perfectly, you. and there is power in that realisation”
What is the definition of worthiness?
Worthiness is the quality of being good enough or of having value. It comes from the middle English worthynesse. The word worthy originates from Old English weorþ and is of Germanic origin; related to Dutch waard and German wert .
Who is worthy?
“Just being born makes you worthy enough to be here.” Oprah Winfrey
We are all worthy, but when you remove any social masks that you wear and take an honest look at yourself in the mirror with all your idiosyncrasies, strengths and weaknesses do you like, love and respect what you see or do you feel that you are worthless or not really deserving, are lacking in something or only good enough if…..?
“We all have a social mask, right? We put it on, we go out, put our best foot-forward, our best image. But behind that social mask is a personal truth, what we really, really believe about who we are and what we are capable of” Phil McGraw
What does it mean to have a sense of worthiness?
“You are valuable because you exist. Not because of what you do or what you have done, but simply because you are.” Max Lucado
Being or feeling worthy doesn't mean that you have a sense of superiority or feel better than others, rather it means that you are aware that you are deserving of respect and have self-respect for yourself, your time and your life in general.
“Worthy now. Not if. Not when. We are worthy of love and belonging now. Right this minute. As is.” Brené Brown
When we feel intrinsically worthy, there is no need to prove anything to anyone. We do not have to have a perfectionist drive that only allows us to feel good about ourselves when we achieve perfection in a task. Although there is nothing wrong with aiming high and doing things to the best of our ability, we are not a failure or unworthy if things are less than perfect.
When we know that we are worthy regardless of our ‘perfect imperfections’, we can live with courage and without fear. It is possible to develop a quiet inner confidence and sense of inner peace as we accept that we all have a mix of strengths and weaknesses that make up our perfectly imperfect selves. We can then be comfortable living authentically, knowing that our mistakes do not define us but rather that our mistakes contribute to our learning and resilience and in turn this help us to grow and flourish.
“You’re imperfect, and you’re wired for struggle, but you are worthy of love and belonging.” Brené Brown
In ‘The Power of Vulnerability’, Brené Brown discusses fear, shame and a sense of unworthiness in contrast to courage, compassion and connection and encourages us to have the courage to be imperfect and embrace vulnerability. Courage, she tells us, comes from the Latin word ‘cor’ (heart). When we are courageous, we feel free enough to tell the whole story of who we are. It is about having the courage to be imperfect, the compassion to be kind to ourselves and to others. It is about having connections as a result of authenticity; fully embracing vulnerability and being willing to let go of who we think that we should be in order to fully be who we are.
How can we be more worthy?
We are worthy when we are authentically ourselves, so perhaps the way we can ‘be more worthy’ is to ensure that we are living with self-acceptance, authentically and without masks, without pretence etc
So how can we develop a sense of self- worth and work through feelings of unworthiness?
Our sense of self-worth is foundational to everything we think and do and contributes directly to our happiness and innate sense of joy. Self-worth is about having the confidence and assurance in our core that we have a right to be here and to be happy and we do not allow temporary feelings of doubt, mistakes we make, temporary emotions etc to cloud this fact. Self-worth is very closely connected to self-acceptance, forgiveness of self, self-compassion and self-love. It is about believing in our inherent right to thrive and flourish.
We cannot magically wave a wand and in a flash feel ‘worthy’; the sense of feeling worthy is an ongoing process. We achieve it though self-examination and reflection, by considering what our values are and then aiming to live with integrity by reflecting those same values.
Self -worth is not based on comparisons with others, it is about taking a self-effacing look at our own unique skill set – strengths and weaknesses with acceptance of this starting point and then working to strengthen or change things that do not align with our values but without it taking away from the fact that we are already worthy here and now.
Self-care is an essential part of developing our sense of self-worth. It is about remembering to take time out for ourselves to examine our lives, replenish our spirit and to centre ourselves
The advantages of developing a sense of self-worth
When we feel confident that we have a right to thrive and know we are doing our best, it will help us put into perspective the various setbacks we come across. When we start to develop negative beliefs or thought patterns, we can learn to step back and examine those negative thoughts, question them, then replace them with those that are more useful and constructive and have a more positive affect on us.
When we know our own self-worth we have no need for external validation and it makes it easier to set boundaries knowing that we have an equal right to be heard, loved, our values respected etc