In order to have more, we have to change our thinking, behaviors, and habits related to self-worth—little by little. As we do that, we can continue to increase our “worth threshold.” This means that we allow ourselves to receive more and more.
We walk around thinking, “Hey, I will happily let myself receive! Give me the lottery winnings! Show me the money! I have no problem with that.” But the truth is that deep down, we do have a problem with that. Our self-worth beliefs— which we’ve always related to as facts—will determine how much we let ourselves have. And that includes money.
But what if I told you that you can move beyond your current threshold of what you’re willing to have and receive? All it takes is a little guidance on how to catch yourself in limiting patterns and behaviors of low self-worth. Here are some strategies for increasing that worth threshold:
Positive Self-Talk. Listen for self-judgments, and replace them with nurturing self-talk. “I can’t believe I could be so stupid” becomes “I did the best I could. It’s safe to be imperfect. Nobody else is perfect either. I love myself anyway.” When my critical voice starts to shout, I say, “Oh, here you are again. I’ve been expecting you, and I’m going to turn your volume down now. We’re not doing that anymore.”
When you practice nurturing, loving self- talk, you can more easily elicit compassion for yourself by talking to the small child within. How can you beat up on yourself if you’re relating to your young, vulnerable self? And in truth, the part of you that feels stupid really is that young, vulnerable child.
Stop Yourself. As I’ve said more than once,? one of the best strategies to stop poor self- worth habits in their tracks is simply moment-to-moment awareness or mindfulness. Once you become mindful of behaviors and patterns that aren’t in keeping with the self-worth you desire, you can begin to catch yourself in the act. For example, the next time you put someone else’s needs ahead of your own, you can stop and ask yourself what you want. The next time you tell yourself, “I can’t,” you can say, “Wait a minute. Is it true that I can’t? What do I really want here? If I want this, what’s holding me back? What am I really afraid of? Can I talk myself down from my fears and still go after what I want?” ?
Look Around You. As I’ve already said, your outer life is a reflection of the state of your? inner self-worth. So look around. Does your environment reflect someone with the high self-worth you’re after? If not, how can you change your environment to be closer to what you deserve? Now, I’m aware that you may not necessarily be able to go out and buy a beautiful home tomorrow. You might need to do some real work on your self-worth before you could make that happen. But you can make small changes in the interim. It might be as simple as cleaning more often, fixing something you’ve let go for a long time, or sprucing the place up in whatever ways you can. When you do something nice for yourself, you might feel your self-worth increase, and you can build on that.
Jeanine, for example, has a “cheap” habit that’s a direct reflection of her self-worth. “If I let myself buy new clothes, they have to be from a very cheap store, and usually on sale. A treat is buying myself a $3 bottle of wine. Perhaps being cheap with yourself cheapens you. I want to feel worthy and capable of full-price and even luxury items without guilt.” I don’t advocate anyone spending beyond their means, but often, we buy cheap items because we don’t feel we deserve better. While staying within your budget, allow yourself to have something really nice now and then. As your self-worth increases, so will your net worth. Then, you can treat yourself more often. And eventually with higher ticket items, if you so desire.
It’s easy to forget that increasing self-worth is a gradual and lifelong process. So keep that front of mind! Because even as you expand your worthiness threshold, you’ll still have to deal with those old demons that occasionally rise up. Over time, they’ll become quieter, and you’ll pay less attention to them. But every time you expand beyond your current threshold, you can expect them to pipe up again. Don’t worry; it’s just the voice of fear, in a misguided attempt to keep you safe.
Let’s keep this conversation going! Head on over to Facebook and tell me the one thing you’re going to do today to increase your self-worth.