Everyone feels worthless sometimes. This can be triggered by different situations. Some people experience this more intensely, because they may have been conditioned from childhood to ignore their own worth. Their family, society, and the environment they grew up in might have made them feel wrong, incomplete or inadequate somehow. Maybe they just didn’t receive the love, care or intimacy they needed when they needed it. They doubted their own worth, and this self-doubt settled deep into their psyche.
What makes you feel incomplete, inadequate, unsuccessful, or powerless? When and how do these thoughts appear?
Who is behind the thoughts that make you feel worthless? And, more importantly, are these thoughts even real? Or are many of them simply assumptions?
Our minds are by the world, with its interpretations, judgments and approach. Our family, school, work environment, popular culture and even images in the media shape our self-perception–without us even noticing. We begin to judge ourselves via the perception of others. These external voices turn into our inner voice, especially during childhood and adolescence, and become the critical voice we hear in our heads. That is, until you realize that that voice is not real. That moment could be right now!
The good news is that your feelings of worthlessness can get better and change.
So, where does this critical voice and feeling of worthlessness come from?
It rears its head when we experience difficulties; when we face challenges, or when we are lonely, tired or unmotivated, this can trigger our feeling of worthlessness. We feel rejected, offended, abandoned, we fail at our job, cannot communicate properly, we are misunderstood, and this leads to a feeling of inadequacy. We find ourselves somehow lacking, and start comparing ourselves to others in our daily life.
Do you find yourself comparing yourself to others? This is a mistake, because you are actually comparing your most unhappy, difficult, tired or anxious self with someone projecting a perfect image. We forget that life actually has its ups and downs for everyone. Everyone feels strong and competent sometimes, or weak and inadequate at others.
You are not alone. From time to time, everyone experiences self-doubt, doesn’t like themselves, feels left behind or lacking, just like you. We are all human beings and our minds have the same conditioning. You are not alone in any of these experiences.
Everything you see on the outside consists of assumptions you make about the lives of others. Don’t believe in these assumptions and tire yourself. It doesn’t matter how others are doing. What matters is how you feel about your own journey.
Sometimes, even if you’re not comparing yourself to others, you may simply withdraw and feel exhausted at the thought of being inadequate. This thought is just a distortion. It’s an assumption, a generalization and an example of catastrophizing. You have value just as you are. You can’t become more valuable by being better, doing bigger things and attracting more people. Your worth is already within you, with every breath you take. You are worthy just because you exist, and you deserve to be loved. There are times when we forget this, or don’t remember it often enough.
Make yourself your priority, treat yourself with compassion and openness, and look at yourself with love just as you’d look at a friend, child, family member, or someone you care about. When you start having negative thoughts, celebrate yourself. Looking at these critical thoughts requires a great deal of courage. And the more you recognise them, the more you realize that you can be free of them.
Every time that you hear that critical and judgmental voice, notice it. And remind yourself that it is not real; it’s just an old thinking pattern. Bring your attention to your breathing, your body, what you have and what you can do in life.
Feel your own worth, your unique existence, with every breath, again and again. You are loved, just as you are.
Translator: Gökçe Yanık