There are many reasons why a person might have a low sense of self-worth. Regardless, it can negatively affect every area of their life.
They might not put themselves forward for a promotion because they don’t think they deserve it. They might sabotage themselves in relationships because they believe they’re destined to be alone.
Even when they’ve achieved great things and surrounded themselves with great people, deep down, they feel like a fraud. They’re worried they’ll get exposed at any minute and lose everything they have. There’s always something they need to do before they can proudly be themselves.
In a nutshell, they don’t feel enough for themselves.
What does being enough for yourself mean?
It means being who you expect yourself to be.
In other words, your expectations for yourself match your perception of yourself.
So, when you don’t feel enough for yourself, there are two factors at play that don’t work in your favour:
Who you think you should be.
Who you think you are.
It’s important to recognise that the problem of being not enough for yourself is an internal one.
It’s created by your mind and, thus, can be solved by your mind.
You have the power to change the way you think and feel and have a better experience of life.
How to rewire your brain to be enough for yourself
Now that you’re aware of the two factors that contribute to your low sense of self-worth, you can challenge them and reprogram them in a way that benefits you.
Where did your expectations for yourself come from?
When you don’t feel enough for yourself, you’re measuring yourself against a version of you that is not close to your reality.
Do you wonder where this version of you came from in the first place? When did you start having such farfetched expectations for yourself?
Chances are high you are influenced by your parents, your peers, and the media. You subconsciously internalise other people’s definitions of success as your own. You look at yourself through the eyes of everyone but you.
For example, you have the idea that you’d be a successful lawyer because everyone in your friend group has a thriving corporate career. Meanwhile, your talent is in music.
If you keep measuring yourself through the perspectives of your corporate friends, you’ll always feel inadequate. Well, if you expect yourself to be something that is not founded on your current reality, you’ll always fall short of it.
Even if that’s not the case, your expectations for yourself don’t have to stay the same throughout your life, especially when they damage your mental health.
When you realise that those expectations don’t work for you anymore, you can get rid of them and set new ones. Remember that they’re the thoughts in your mind; they’re completely in your control.
The trick is to start with your knowledge of yourself — meet yourself right where you are.
What do you really know about yourself?
It’s good to set expectations for yourself — it’s the firm belief that something in your life will happen. It reflects a high level of self-worth and self-esteem. It helps guide your behaviours in the direction of your choice.
However, these expectations should be appropriate and flexible, and leave plenty of room for self-discovery.
To be enough for yourself,
1) Keep your expectations for yourself realistic, and
2) Take every life experience, no matter how negative, as a learning opportunity.
For example, when you fail at something, try to identify your weaknesses to improve next time while recognising your strengths in other areas. At some point, you might need to draw a boundary with yourself, meaning deciding when to quit something unsuitable.
Instead of thinking “I’m a disappointment,” think “Interesting! I’ll give it another go!” or “I better invest my time elsewhere then!” — Keep your inner voice positive and productive.
Set expectations based on core qualities instead of superficial achievements.
A toxic expectation gives you pressure and sets you up to fail.
A healthy expectation instills confidence in you and makes you a better person.
The former tends to be based on superficial achievements. For example, you expect yourself to work a certain job or make a certain amount of money.
The latter can be set based on your core qualities and values. For example, you expect yourself to be kind and approach every situation from a place of love.
Next time when you don’t feel enough for yourself, don’t give in to it.
Question your thoughts. Reassess your expectations and perception of yourself. Make them work for you.
After all, it’s worth noting that you should never have to worry about being enough because you already are.
You’re enough because you’re unique.
You’re unique because no one has the same parents, upbringings, physical characteristics, emotional capabilities, and level of intelligence as you do.
You’re enough for yourself because you’re the best person to be you. Literally no one could be you better than you. You’re capable of giving yourself all that you need.
Your job isn’t to become “someone” or get to “somewhere” — it’s to tell the world what “being you” really means and enjoy every minute of it.
Well, you can be anyone anywhere, and you’re already more than enough. Don’t be afraid to claim it.