Self-worth is intrinsic. You are always 100% worthy, always!
It comes from living as a human being. You grow, learn and contribute pieces of yourself to others and their journeys through life just by being alive and experiencing what you do. You are always influencing how other people’s lives unfold and what they learn in their lives.
However, at the same time, you are always rating yourself in accordance with your beliefs. Am I ok? How do I feel about myself? How am I judging my behaviour right now?
It is sad, but true that most of us have learnt a ‘not good enough’ mentality and rate ourselves poorly. If you have gone down the path of depression, then my guess is that you continually beat yourself up and notice all of your shortcomings and failures in life, rarely giving yourself credit for anything.
I, too remember in my darkest days, the self-criticism and disrespectful conversations that would roll around in my mind, focussing on everything I was doing wrong and how bad a person or mother I was.
This needs to stop for two reasons. The first is because you want to become a happier person and the second is because you probably want to teach your children how to love themselves.
You need to be the role model for your children on how to love yourself, respect yourself and treat yourself differently, because they will model your behaviour and emulate that in their own lives.
The way to stop this generational self-hate or self-critical society, is to educate parents on true self-worth so that they can pass it onto their kids.
So now you know true self-worth, you want to start doing some work on that rating system of yours – that is, working on your self-esteem. We need to work on changing your beliefs about yourself so that you can start feeling good about yourself and so that you can become the confident, happy person that you want to be.
We’re going to do this in this lesson by working on setting some aims for the type of person you want to be.
Think about what would make you feel good as a person. You may have spent a lot of time criticising the person that you are, but have probably given little consideration to the person you want to be. What is the ideal that you have of yourself? What attributes would make you feel good about yourself? We are not talking about physical features here. We are talking about the personality that you aspire to be that you can work towards.
Setting these aims for yourself gives you a guide to work towards. Bigger picture goals (that is – objective goals) are goals that you continue to work towards throughout your life. It’s not that you ever get objective goals and then you are done with achieving these goals. These are goals that you continue to aspire to throughout your whole life.
For example, some aims you might set around the type of person you would like to be might be:
1. Calm 2. Confident in the ability to make decisions 3. Solution-focussed 4. Kind to yourself 5. Respectful to yourself 6. Respectful to others 7. Feel at peace with who I am 8. Someone who smiles a lot 9. Someone who has fun 10. Have the ability to laugh at my mistakes
These are just a few examples of what you may list in your aims for your self. Let me tell you why it is important to set specific aims such as these. When you are going about your day-to-day life, with these stated aims in mind you can use them to stay aware of where you are at, versus where you want to be.
For example, you may be walking around your house grizzling about all the housework there is to do and how all the kids ever do is leave mess all over the house, and generally entering into this whole conversation about how miserable your whole life is. However you have set the aim to be solution-focussed, someone who smiles a lot and someone who has fun. Are you being this person right now? Is this current behaviour aligning to your bigger picture aim of the person you want to be?
We are so busy hating on all the bad stuff going on in our lives, we rarely stop to take note of what we do want and continue to aspire to that instead. When you consciously set aims in different areas of your life it sets a standard for you to live up to. When we usually talk about setting aims we usually talk about tangible things like houses, cars and other material items. How often to we set aims for the type of parent we’d like to be, what sort of life we’d like to have and the sort of person we would like to aspire to?
If we all deliberately thought about and set these kinds of aims and then continuously reminded ourselves of these aims, then we would start to train our brains to search for ways to implement the steps required to reach these aims, because this is how the brain works.
If you regularly remind yourself of all the aims you have for the type of person you would like to become, then over time this thinking would become habit and you would start to notice those times when you are not being this way, remember (habitually) that you want to be a different way, and then change your behaviour to align with this aim. But if you have never thought about what sort of person you want to be and only ever think about the person you don’t want to be and how badly you are doing, then the brain will find more evidence of how bad a person you are.
Either way you always find evidence of what you put your attention on.
Right now, you can start to guide your mind to set some aims for the person you would like to be and commence resetting the benchmark for being that person.
In your notebook, write down all of the qualities that you would like to hold as a person. Write down what you would need in order to make you feel good about yourself as a person. Remember that we are all 100% worthy just the way we are and that we are all learning and contributing, so whatever you do does not actually change your self-worth, however sometimes knowing this is not enough and you would still like to change certain aspects of yourself.
Once again, don’t worry about how you are going to achieve these aspects of yourself, that is for the next step on the Mind TRACK to Happiness process – Choices. For now in this step of the TRACK process, you are simply writing about the person you would like to be, setting aims for your self-worth.
Go ahead and write your list before you continue. There is a lot of power and commitment in actually considering these qualities and writing them down.
Now what I want you to do, is take this list and write yourself a little biography of your future self. If you like you can do it on some nice paper or type it out and print it on some nice paper so you can put it up somewhere prominent and read it to yourself often. Reading it to yourself often is the key to imprinting it to your brain and remembering it more regularly so that you can align your behaviour to where you want to be.
Here is an example of a biography:
My name is Jackie Hall and I am a mum of two boys. I am a confident mother who is sure of the decisions she makes with her boys. I believe I am raising my children with qualities of self-love, respect and enthusiasm for life. I teach them this because I live these qualities in myself. I deserve to have self-respect and I only allow myself to enter into conversations with myself that are kind and respectful. If I do notice my self-criticism, I know that this is just my habitual memes and that I am continually working towards changing them. These thoughts are not who I am. I am a kind, caring and calm person who is constantly learning better ways of living my life. Whenever I come across challenges I will look at what I can do about them and be solution-focussed by just seeing them as more lessons to learn in life. I feel at peace with who I am, knowing that I can only know what I know at any given moment and will learn more as time goes on. It’s okay to make mistakes as long as I learn from them. When I do make mistakes I can smile at them, knowing that they have just given my life more meaning and value. As I go about my life I have more and more fun as I experience all the different things that I have on my ‘things to do before I die’ list. There is so much that life has to give to me and I have so much more to give life. I love who I am and I am more confident than I’ve ever been in my entire life and will continue to grow this confidence every day with all the things I will experience in my life. I continue to have more fun as my life unfolds because I am more kinder to myself and more open to allowing myself to learn and grow with each experience life gives me. Knowing what I know now, I am also more kinder, compassionate and respectful to others because I know that they too are learning and trying to experience happiness for their lives, just like me.
This is just a short example of what you might say in your biography, but you will see that I included all of the things that were in my list from Step One of this lesson. Now go ahead in your own notebooks, or on your own special paper, and create your own biography of the person you would like to be.
Creating this little story, keeping it close by and reading it regularly serves as a reminder of the aims that you have set in the area of yourself. As you begin to memorise these aims (through repetition and continual exposure to your biography) then as you go about your day to day experiences, you will remember to measure what is going on against these aims. These things are what you rate yourself as making you feel good.
Your self-worth is always intrinsic, so those times that you aren’t aligning to these aims, are only reminders that you have something to learn and that there is opportunity for you to grow towards these aims, not because you are worth-less or not good enough. Remember, these aims are what you aspire for forever. They rarely change, although they can if you want them to. But they are not goals that you ever get to. There are not final destinations, they are aims that you continually go for within the many different events that you will encounter throughout your life.
Even though you won’t always achieve these aims, it doesn’t matter. Remember the true purpose of goals is not to achieve them. It is to set life in motion. It is the learning and the contributing that happens on the way to getting the goal that holds all the value. Sure you are going to feel fantastic when you do achieve these goals, and probably won’t feel so fantastic when you aren’t achieving these goals, however if you can understand that life is about trial and error and get back onto your bike and continue to pedal towards your goals again when life doesn’t meet these aims, knowing that you have learnt something, then you will stop feeling so bad, stressed, depressed or anxious.
Self-love and understanding that it’s okay not to know everything about everything, is what is going to make some massive changes to your life. You now have a list of qualities to aspire to. Keep reminding yourself of the person you want to be and keep aiming to learn and practice these qualities in your life. Don’t allow yourself to enter into conversations about anything that you are lacking and instead remind yourself that where you are at right now IS part of you getting where you want to be. You just need to have an aim of where it is you want to be. Setting these aims today has now given you that direction.