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For When You Struggle to Trust in Your Worth

I don't want to spend my whole life fighting to prove I have a right to be here. I want to do something meaningful while I am here.

(I needed to ask myself these questions again this week.)

There are a lot of things I want to do. There are many people I’d like to get to know and already established relationships that I long to take deeper.

Sometimes I take a step toward one of these things, but often I stay stuck where I am for far too long.

I tell myself that I can’t do it because I’m not smart enough or talented enough or don’t have enough training. I think that others already have more than enough friends and that I don’t have the qualities they’re looking for in a friend anyway. Often I couldn’t tell you precisely what I would need to change or gain, but I seem to be missing some undefinable quality.

You know what really holds me back? I struggle to trust in my worth as a person. I fear I’m not good enough. I don’t always believe I’m capable of doing something meaningful.

I’ve tried chasing achievements to prove to others and to myself that I am worthy, but no matter what I do it’s never enough. The standards keep changing and even if I could prove myself in one area there’s always another.

Am I smart enough? Outgoing enough? Funny enough? Organized and disciplined enough? Thoughtful enough? Decisive enough? Brave enough? Creative enough? Knowledgeable enough?

The problem with proving my worthiness is that the work is never done. I have to keep proving myself over and over for each new quality, in each new situation, in each new moment. And even if I could somehow prove I am worthy, that still doesn’t mean I’ll believe it.

The thing is, I don’t want to spend my whole life fighting to prove I have a right to be here. I want to do something meaningful while I am here.

All that energy I expend trying to prove my value is energy burned just trying to maintain my place. There are so many other ways I could be using my energy and my efforts—ways that could improve my life and the lives of those around me.

Your sense of worthiness may look different from mine, but I think we all fear we’re not good enough in one way or another.

Here are a few questions I’m asking myself this week. Will join me and ask them too?

  • Where does a lack of trust in your worth or your enoughness hold you back? What does it keep you from doing? Who does it keep you from knowing?

  • What does this lack of trust prompt you to do? In what ways are you trying to prove your worth—to yourself or to others?

  • Instead of trying to prove your worth, how can you live it? If you believed you were already enough, what would you be doing differently?

  • You can build trust in your worth by acting like you already believe you are worthy. What if you did the things you listed above without waiting until you feel good enough? Choose one to try this week and take one tiny first step toward trusting your value.

These aren’t easy questions to ask ourselves. When we doubt our own worth it feels safer in the moment to keep trying to prove ourselves. It can feel intensely vulnerable to look at how those painful feelings are impacting our lives and to examine the ways we are keeping ourselves stuck.

I’d love to know how this goes for you. Where do doubts about yourself hold you back? What would you do if you believed you were good enough? What are you going to try this week? Please share your experience in the comments below.