From time to time, we all go through periods where we begin to devalue our worth. Our thoughts may begin to create a narrative which dictates that we aren’t enough.
We may feel that we are useless. That we don’t matter. That we are a burden to others, or that there is nothing we can contribute to the world.
These feelings may co-exist with low mood, loss of interest in activities we usually enjoy, and physical symptoms, like changes in appetite, lacking energy, or sleeping too much or too little.
It’s important to try and register when you’re speaking to yourself like this, or when you’re experiencing the accompanying symptoms. As much as we may try to deny it, this is what depression looks like.
You are not alone in feeling this way. After all, haven’t we all experienced feeling worthless or useless? The time we failed that exam, the instance we felt too nervous to speak up, or the day that we couldn’t help fix a friend’s pain.
So, how can we feel worthy?
Before we delve into this, I need to let YOU, the person reading this, know that you are worthy of love. This is the truth. You deserve to be here, even if you don’t feel like it at this moment.
- Accept that you are allowed to feel unworthy: we are human. Try to understand that you can never be 100% at any given moment, and that you don’t always have to show up happy, and feeling your best. You are not any less for feeling this way. Sometimes we feel useless and that’s okay.
- Validate your inner personal qualities instead of results. For example, say “You worked hard. You persisted. You were brave to try,” instead of validating yourself based purely on external results. Results are never permanent. Your personal qualities are. They are the gifts that no one can take away.
- Don’t set yourself up for failure. Learn how to break down tasks and manage your expectations. Take each task one step at the time, and acknowledge your accomplishments at each stage, instead of setting yourself unrealistic expectations and feeling like a failure when you don’t meet them. When you feel accomplished, you’ll have more motivation to continue with your task.
- If you are a parent, treat each sibling as an individual. Avoid words of comparison like ‘better’ or ‘taller’. Create individual time with them, and enjoy time alone with each of them every now and them. Each of them are special in their own way.
- Identify your strengths and values, and nurture them. You never need to be perfect, but you can always try to become more ‘you’. By connecting with the wonderful things that define you, it can become easier separate yourself from negative self-talk, and truly see yourself, and how worthy you are.
- Speak kindly to yourself. Watch your inner narrative, and ask whether you would say the same thing to a loved one. You are deserving of the same love they are. Try to develop your voice of compassion.
I hope that you know you matter. You were born worthy, and are worthy, even if you feel broken.