One of the biggest obstacles I see writers face is a false sense of unworthiness.
But, in my experience, as soon as your get past the idea that you are “unworthy,” and realize that you are very very worthy, the world finally unleashes its riches to you.
So let’s see how we can finally address the issue of unworthiness and come to recognize that we have great worth.
7 Steps To FINALLY Recognizing That You Are Worthy
1. Recognize That Your Sense of Worth Can Only Come From Within
If you get nothing else out of this article, let it be this:
Your worth will never come from outside of you: YOU set your own worth.
If you have been looking for your worth outside of you, know that this is one of the reasons why you have a low sense of self-worth. This is because you have attached your worth to titles, page views, income, awards, number of readers, number of boyfriends and girlfriends you’ve had, etc.
If you tie your sense of worth to something external, you will find that you often lose that sense of worth when that external thing, situation, or person is lost.
So, stop attaching your sense of worth to something outside of yourself
If you recognize that sense your worth comes from within, you will find yourself doing amazing things and carrying out unbelievable tasks—and, best of all, your sense of worth will never disappear.
Why? Because your sense of worth lives in you.
(And, yes, I just stole that line from Rafiki of The Lion King.)
2. Recognize That Your Sense of Worth Has A Large “Margin of Error.”
In statistics, they have this thing called a “margin of error.” A large margin of error means that the sampling size of the statistic was small, and so the results are said to be an inaccurate view of the truth.
So, in determining our own self-worth, we must be like statisticians. If we see that our “sampling size” is just us and that 3rd grade teacher who told us we’ll never amount to anything, then we should realize that our estimate of self-worth has a large “margin of error.” We have very skewed version of the truth.
What I am trying to say, in so many words, is that we are incapable of knowing how truly worthy we are because, as subjective human beings, we are very limited in our scope and vision. We really—really—can’t even begin to fathom how much we have influenced others. I promise you there is at least one individual in this world who is infinitely better off because you exist.
So, the next time you feel that you have a pretty accurate measurement of how worthy you are, just assume that your “statistical estimate” has a HUGE margin of error.
A Quick “Worth Exercise:”
On a scale from 1-10, pick a number that you think represents your worthiness, with “1” representing “complete worthlessness” and “10” representing “complete worthiness.”
Now that you’ve picked a number, I want you to add “100” to it.
I want you to look at the final number and realize that THIS number is a more accurate representation of your actual worth than the number you initially gave yourself.
3. Make Yourself A Stranger In Your Own Life
Sometimes, it’s good to take a huge break from your novel.
Maybe a year.
While you’re away from it, don’t even think about the work. Then, come back to it.
When you come back to the novel, pretend as if you are kind, loving stranger reading your writing for the first time. You might discover that what you thought was bad writing was actually very good writing–or at least better than you thought it was.
And even if the writing does appear bad to you, you (as a kind stranger to your work) will not be as cruel to yourself as you have been in the past. Instead, you’ll probably recognize great potential and see where this person can make great improvements in order to become a better writer.
You can try this same exercise with your life:
Pretend as if you are a very kind, loving stranger walking into your life for the first time. What kind of worth would a loving stranger see in you? Really imagine what he or she would see.
After trying this exercise, you may find that you feel incredibly worthy.
4. Have An Actual Stranger Help You Recognize Your Own Worth
Sometimes we need an actual stranger to help us see our own worth.
Now, by stranger, I don’t mean some random person you pick off the street. I mean a stranger whose job it is to help you step outside of yourself and grow in a positive way. A stranger who is an expert at approaching other strangers with non-judgment and unconditional love. A stranger who is willing to challenge you in order to help you grow.
These “strangers” I am talking about are life coaches, spiritual teachers, guides, counselors, therapists, mentors, and even some really good teachers and professors. These “strangers” are professionals who have years of experience helping people recognize their own self-worth.
Having a “professional stranger” reveal to you your own worth can be very powerful. You are more likely to believe they are telling you the truth because they have no reason to do otherwise. Also, their lack of “personal baggage” with you makes them more objective.
5. Surround Yourself With People Who Have A Healthy Sense of Self-Worth
Start surrounding yourself with people who have a great sense of self-worth. When you do this, you might start to experience the “If they can do it, why can’t I?” effect.
Because when you hang around people with a healthy sense of self-worth, you realize that they are really no different from you. Yes, staring at them from afar, they may seem like superhuman, robotic-like wizards whose success can only be attributed to a magical unicorn horn they rub every night—but, up close, you may see a completely different story.
Up close you may find that one of the big reasons they are successful is because they have a healthy sense of their own worth; and that healthy sense of worth makes their aspirations limitless. (This is why it may seem, from afar, that they accomplish so much with minimal effort.)
There’s nothing special about them other than the fact that they have a healthy sense of self-worth. Moreover, after a while of hanging around these people, their healthy sense of self-worth tends to rub off on you.
6. Have “A Worth Totem”
If you struggle with remembering your own sense of self-worth, try using a stuffed animal, a trophy, a plaque, or some other object that can serve as a symbol of your worth.
Place or hang this “worth totem” near your writing desk so you can see it daily. Whenever you feel your sense of self-worth getting low, check in with this “worth totem” and remind yourself that your sense of worth comes from within and nothing can threaten it.
7. Keep Working On That Sense of Worth
If you find yourself falling off “the worth wagon,” please don’t reprimand yourself for being a “bad cultivator of self-worth”—this will only lower your sense of self-worth.
No. Instead, simply revisit this article.
Start at #1 on the list and work your way back to #7.
Good luck to you.