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Do you know your worth? Some tips to reclaim your intrinsic worth.

A lot of mental and emotional suffering, in all its forms: rumination, obsessions, feeling unworthy, disconnected or unhappy, unsatisfied or sometimes numb or empty, is in my humble opinion, caused by a misidentification to who we truly are. As human being we are intrinsically worthy, independently of what we do, what we achieve and the results we get. But sometimes we don’t realise it, or we simply forget about it.

Too often, suffering is caused when judging your worth based on an attachment to the results you get in your life, for instance at work, or in your relationships (single vs in a relationship for instance, or the number of friends you have), or even the thoughts you have (I am a bad person because I have bad thoughts or equally, I am a good person because I have good thoughts). This can also apply to the results you get in practices that have a more spiritual foundation, for instance yoga. If you base your worth on whether you can achieve a state of flow, or do certain poses or not, then you risk wrongly associating your worth to the results you get, not to who you truly are.

Why is this problematic?

Because when you engage in this habit of judging your worth based on the results you get, you risk attaching your emotional state to the outcomes achieved. So when you get ‘good’ results, you feel good, and when you get ‘bad’ results, you feel bad. This is what we call being externally motivated or attached to the outcomes. By doing so, you run the risk of constantly chasing the highs, and avoiding the lows, which leads to a life of suffering.

When really, you need to realise that you are worthy, independently of the externals and of the results you get. Your worth is your birth right, and your worth is intrinsic to your condition as human being. As such it cannot be taken away from you.

So, in those moments when you feel annoyed, frustrated, sad, depressed, this is your warning sign that you need to reclaim your worth. It is a very important skill and practice. The more you are able to remind yourself of your intrinsic worth in a way that works for you, the more ease and joy you will experience in life.

Why is that?

Because when you stop defending against something that is not true (as an example: you feel unworthy because you had a ‘bad’ thought and then you tried to argue with yourself that you are not bad for having those thoughts, actually you are a good person because you are trying to change those thoughts or feeling), you stop trying to prove to yourself that you are worthy by using the same means you used to prove yourself that you were unworthy in the first place. The moment you stop engaging in that habit, you stop wasting energy, and instead redirect this energy in a way that serves the life you want, one that is more expansive and creative.

So I’d like to challenge you, over the next few days, whenever you feel disconnected, unhappy, to follow those simple steps:

Step 1 - Slow down and notice what arises in you with openness and curiosity. Being open and curious is really the key here.

Step 2 - Try to identify the emotions or feelings that are alive in you.

Step 3 - Try to identify the thought, what you are attaching your current state to that is causing this. Are you feeling down because you didn’t get that job? Because you didn’t meet your targets? Because you feel shame about some intrusive thoughts you’re having?

Step 4 - Notice what does that say about how you relate your worth to external elements – is it externally driven? What is it attached to? In other words, what is your worth conditional to? This can look very different to different people; do you attach your worth to the outcomes of a situation? What is that situation? What does it tell you about what you attach your worth to? This can be to the love you receive from your partner (or lack of love from a non-existent partner if you are single but want to be in a relationship), to what a friend said about you that didn’t land well with you etc.

Step 5 - Reclaim your intrinsic worth by saying something like ‘this does not define my worth, I am worthy by the simple fact that I am being’. In this step, it is important that you reclaim your worth in a way that speaks to you. And this is very personal. You can experience with this step.

Step 6 - Move on with your day and repeat this simple mantra or something that speaks to you as detailed in step 5.

- Notice the changes – how do you feel now? Has anything shifted for you?

Bear in mind that when we’ve been conditioned to attach our worth to externals for most of our lives, it can take a lot of practice to effectively reclaim it. I encourage you to repeat this process whenever you feel something other than peace within. Also do it proactively even if you don’t feel anything in particular. The more you practice it, the more natural it will feel. The more you will own it.

And those of you who never really knew what I meant by ‘going inward’, this is one illustration of how to go within and explore your inner world: when you just work with what is present for you to try to tap into your inner wisdom. When you do so, you move you out of a state of survival and step into a more expansive and creative state.

As always, I’d love to hear whether this speaks to you, and also if you’ve followed the steps what came out for you.

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