It’s the beginning of a new year and with that, a new decade. January is the time for making resolutions. What are you wanting to change? What do you want to be different in your life?
Resolutions usually involve self-improvement. Weight loss is the most common, but people make resolutions to be healthier in many different ways or spend more time doing activities they love. What about resolving to increase your sense of self-worth in the new year?
The Source of Your Self-Worth
Your sense of self-worth can come from a myriad of things. Your childhood years are the biggest factor. People that play a part in the development of your sense of self-worth include parents/caregivers, siblings, extended family, teachers, coaches, neighbors, and friends. You only know what you know growing up. In other words, if someone close to you was abusive, it certainly wasn’t your fault, and there’s little you could have done about it as a child. You are not to blame. Often, you don’t realize how harmful a childhood experience was until you are older and understand it more fully. A few of the most common ways your self-worth can be derailed is by:
- Experiencing verbal, physical, or sexual abuse
- Witnessing violence, especially if it’s within your home
- Being bullied
This can happen as an adult too. Even if you had a childhood with no negative events, situations we experience as an adult can leave scars. You may have dated someone that treated you horribly, been pushed out of a friend group, experienced a sexual assault, worked in a toxic work environment, had major health issues, or dealt with a lot of grief and loss.
How Negative Messages Affect Self-Worth
With any negative event we experience, a pesky negative belief is attached to it. All of this is tucked away in your brain somewhere. As a result, as adults, we carry the weight of these negative beliefs. Beliefs such as “I’m permanently damaged”, “I’m not good enough”, “I’m not worthy”, and “I’m powerless” are a few common ones. We often don’t realize the impact of negative messages. However, the truth is words DO hurt, and what you’ve tried to forget, or avoid, your brain cannot.
Boosting Your Sense of Self-Worth
You may have experienced a lot of negative events in your life, but positive change can always happen. Here are 5 ways to get started in the new year:
- Find a mantra that resonates with you and makes you feel powerful. It may be a scripture, quote, or something that you create. Whatever it is, write it down daily 10x at least.
- Love yourself inside and out. You probably know the basics: drink lots of water, eat foods that are nourishing, get enough rest. Doing this is showing yourself love.
- Identify and focus on your strengths. List out your strengths (your positive qualities, skills, talents, etc). Then, use your strengths as much as possible whether it be as a hobby, in your career, or in your interactions with others.
- Surround yourself with positive things and people. Clear out clutter and make sure your home has things and colors in it that make you feel good. On the same note, surround yourself with people who are encouraging, positive, and strive for better. To read more about traits of people to avoid, check out this recent post: https://fullpotentialcounseling.com/toxic-people-and-how-to-cope/.
- Seek guidance whether it be from a therapist like me or a coach. Find a qualified, professional person to help guide you through any healing you may need to do. EMDR is a great option for people who have experienced trauma. You can learn more here: https://fullpotentialcounseling.com/emdr-trauma-therapy-in-jacksonville-florida/.
To conclude, it’s the new year. You are the captain of your ship, so you decide which direction you’re heading. Take time to build yourself up. Everything flows from our sense of self-worth. Above all, you are uniquely created, so go ahead and shine that amazing light of yours.