Ask any successful actor, entrepreneur, artist or athlete what the secret of their success is and very often you’ll hear a story about learning how to value their self-worth.
When you have a dream or a goal and the odds seem stacked against you, self-worth is the quality that allows you to persevere.
Did you know, for example, that J.K. Rowlings’ pitch for Harry Potter was rejected 12 times?
Or that Elvis was told after his first performance that he would be better off going back to being a truck driver?
Or that Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team?
Each of these individuals were given the message that their contribution wasn’t good enough.
Each of them persevered and went on to have wildly successful careers.
But even successful individuals who haven’t made headlines have stories where their sense of self-worth helped them overcome internal or external challenges.
Now, let’s talk about the other side of the coin, that being the damage that low self-esteem can cause.
Feelings of low self-worth are not uncommon, and many people suffer the consequences of negative self-talk.
A study by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation titled Self-esteem, The Costs and Causes of Low Self-worth show that low self-worth has a myriad of negative effects.
It can cause people to accept low pay for their skills or to stay in unsatisfying or abusive relationships or to fail to pursue their dreams because they believe they’re not good enough.
It can also cause people to abuse alcohol or drugs, self-harm or have suicidal thoughts or suicide attempts.
Low self-esteem can be caused by a number of sources including bullying at school, negative messages from family members, teachers, romantic partners, employers or peers, trauma or being discriminated against because of sexual preference, race, gender or other issues.
Negative body image, feelings of defectiveness or not being good enough or worthy of respect, success and love are debilitating feelings that negatively impact our ability to live fulfilling lives.
Beyond financial and career success, feelings of self-worth can provide motivation to tackle new projects and express your ideas to others.
It can give you a greater sense of resilience and confidence that you can handle life’s problems and find solutions without feeling overwhelmed when challenges arise.
You can experience better relationships without being plagued by feelings of jealousy or insecurity or settling for less than you deserve.
And you can have a stronger sense of identity, of knowing your core values and feel confident to take actions based on those values.
Sounds good, doesn’t it?
If you like the way that sounds, there are a number of ways to cultivate self-worth.
One of them is by turning negative self-talk into positive self-talk through affirmations.
Affirmations are essentially messages of positivity that we give to ourselves.
Through their repetition, affirmations reinforce brain patterns that are related to rewards.
Specifically, the medial prefrontal cortex and posterior cingulate are activated and these areas deal with our sense of self.
When activated, brain patterns that are responsible for feelings of negativity, pain or a sense of feeling threatened are diverted.
To cultivate feelings of self-worth and self-esteem, you can create a daily affirmations practice.
Your affirmations practice is your own and you can create it in any way you like.
You can perform your practice in the mornings or the evenings or several times throughout the day.
You can write your affirmations down and carry them with you.
You can say your affirmations silently to yourself or say them out loud.
You can say them while looking in the mirror.
The most important thing is that you choose affirmations that are meaningful to you.
Repeating affirmations that don’t resonate with your sense of values and your true goals won’t be as powerful or as effective.
Ready for some examples of positive affirmations to help you cultivate self-worth?
Here they are:
- I am a special person. There’s nobody else like me.
- I love myself.
- I love myself more and more each day.
- I am worthy of love.
- I am worthy of happiness.
- I am worthy of success.
- I deserve to be paid well for my skills.
- I am supported in all I do in life.
- I have the power to create the life I want.
- I am beautiful, intelligent, fun and full of life.
- I am a successful and happy person.
- People value my work, my time and my love.
- I believe in myself.
- One of my greatest qualities is ______.
- I am surrounded by grace and positivity.
- Nothing can stop me from achieving my dreams.
- People want to hear my thoughts and opinions. My voice is important.
- I am enough.
- I am perfect just the way I am.
- I respect myself and others respect me.
- The love I give myself is reflected in all areas of my life.
- There’s absolutely nothing out of my reach.
- I can have everything I want in life.
- I am doing a great job.
- I attract wonderful things into my life.
- I am whole and complete.
- There’s nothing I need to do or be to earn love or respect.
- My body is beautiful exactly the way it is.
- Everything is possible for me.
- I have everything I need to succeed.
- What I want is coming to me.
- I am worthy of the compliments I receive.
- My contributions are valued and appreciated.
- There’s nothing I need to change about myself in order to be accepted and loved.
- Nothing is stronger than my belief in myself.
- My goals are already being accomplished.
- I am creative, strong, powerful, brave and inspired.
- People look up to me.
- People want what I have.
- Many people like me and admire me.
- I am deeply grateful for my body, my health and my unique talents.
- Each day I am more & more aware of my innate beauty, creativity & abundance.
- My life is a miracle and I belong here.
- I believe in my ability to express my true self with ease.
- I am grounded, supported and deeply loved.
- I am empowered to have the things I seek.
- I deserve everything good that comes to me.
- I can assert myself and stand up for myself and others.
- I like who I am and who I am becoming.
- I have abundant self-worth and inner beauty.
The cultivation of self-worth is an essential step on the journey toward achieving life goals.
Believing in yourself, valuing yourself and your unique qualities and talents will help you overcome obstacles in life, whether in your career, love life, family life or any other area you experience low self-worth.
Whether you repeat your affirmations one or one thousand times a day, make sure your affirmations reflect the qualities you most wish to cultivate.
I hope you enjoy creating your affirmations practice and remember, you are enough?