Contrary to what most of us are taught, we are all born inherently worthy of love, respect, attention, and good things in life. Our society, culture, peers, and family often send us messages (directly or indirectly) that we need to earn our worthiness. For example, many people attach their worth to their physical appearance or accomplishments. Which makes complete sense because those two things highly idealized in our society. It can be hard to figure out where we get our sense of worth from and the information below may be a good starting point.
External sources. Unfortunately, it’s common for many people to feel like a worthy person once they’ve “made it” or been successful. This might include graduating from college, getting a dream job in their field, or having the “perfect” life. For others, our worth is highly tied to our physical appearance and how we present ourselves in public.
Therefore, if I dislike a part of my body, I’m either going to feel less worthy or do something to fix it. Sometimes we even try to find our worth in other people and relationships, which means our sense of self is compromised. The issue with external sources is that your whole sense of worthiness is tied to factors that you have little control
over. Yes you could study and get through college, but what if that’s an expense you can’t afford? Yes you can go to the gym and eat healthy, but what if the “in shape” version of yourself still isn’t enough? The problem with outsourcing our worthiness is that we may never do enough and may never feel enough.
Internal sources. When we derive our sense of worthiness from inside ourselves, we’re saying “I am inherently worthy and do not have to earn it.” We fully accept ourselves (even the parts we may not love) in the present moment and moving forward. We don’t have to lose twenty pounds or find a romantic partner to feel worthy. There is nothing we need to change about our body, our personality, our relationships, our career, or our circumstances to know and feel like we are worthy of love. This is a powerful place to be! We aren’t dependent upon timelines, a graduation, or a job promotion to “finally” be enough. We’re always enough, even on the days we struggle.
Whether your sense of worth comes from internal or external forces, or maybe you’re not quite sure, remember this: you do not have to earn love. We want people in our lives that see all parts of us and still choose to love us each and every day. You were born a worthy human being and you will continue to be a worthy human being; worthy of love, of kindness, and of happiness.