Worthiness is your lifeblood. It is the river that runs through your life, and it feeds every aspect of your well-being. Self-worth is the foundation of your identity, the emotional basis by which all things in your life are judged. In every aspect of your day to day living, each decision you make is bounced against a single question: “Am I worthy of the outcome of this decision?”
At the most fundamental level, all your decisions are based on survival. Eat, drink, turn left or right, stop at the intersection or blast through a red light. Some would think it’s an obvious decision to not blast through a red light. Well, if you value your life, which is a worthiness conversation, you stop at the light so you don’t crash into somebody, killing them or yourself. That’s a real fundamental decision, but those fundamental life decisions are always judged against whether or not you’re worthy of survival.
Most people would consider themselves worthy of survival and do anything to survive. They feel worthy of living. However, there are levels of worthiness beyond survival. Am I worthy of a good life? Am I worthy of wealth? Am I worthy of a relationship or a healthy body? Am I worthy of success in whatever area of my life I want to chase after? Relationships, career, money, children, family, community, politics, pick a topic. If you don’t feel worthy or capable, you will not strive for a better life.
Most have a deep drive to achieve a goal, however, may lack the self-worth to go after it. We feel unsafe and fear criticism. People might say, “You’ve got the wrong person.” Criticism is a dangerous emotional minefield, filled with embarrassment and exile.
Here are five powerful ways to raise your self-worth to help you fulfill your dreams and live a better life. By lifting your worthiness, you increase your confidence and motivation to take action. These powerful tools work for me and countless others and are foundational in the Motive For Life coaching and personal development practice.
#1 – The Power of Language
The power of your internal language is so critical it can’t be overstated. How you talk to yourself is the most important thing you can change to lift your worthiness. If you believe you suck at life, or you’re not smart enough to solve problems, or not big enough, or small enough, or tall enough, or good-looking enough, or from the right school, or the right color, or the right ethnic group, or you don’t have the right abilities to succeed at a higher level, then you will not succeed. You will manifest the beliefs you have about yourself.
As an adult, you have control over one thing – your thinking. Your thinking is defined by the words you speak. If you speak negatively or poorly about yourself, the words set in motion the life you will live. Today’s experiences are yesterday’s beliefs. Tomorrow’s experiences are today’s beliefs.
Many believe their words reflect a life out of their control. New clients often say, “I have no money, and the reason I speak of poverty is I am helpless to change my situation,” What they do not realize is the words they tell themselves are re-enforcing their situation and harden the problem, making it more difficult to get out of poverty. Their continued focus on poverty keeps them in poverty.
The first way to change your situation is to raise your worthiness. To do this, the first powerful way is to change your negative narrative. Start by recognizing your negative self-talk.
For example, here are a few phrases I used to tell myself.
“Robert, you suck at ______.” (fill in the blank)
“Robert, that’s no good.”
“Robert, you’re bad at handling money.”
“Robert, why do you deserve success when you did X and Y to those people?”
“Robert, you don’t deserve a good life because you did bad things. You are unforgiven.”
Negative self-talk is corrosive and eats away self-worth.
I’m speaking from my own experience and from the experience of working with hundreds of clients. Negative self-talk haunted me for years, and until I got in front of it and attempted to stop the verbal beatings, there was no realization of my dreams. When I did achieve a goal, it never lasted. My negative self-talk would light a match and burn the victory down.
If negative self-talk is your reality, the first step in lifting worthiness and moving to higher levels of success is to recognize when the inner voice is hammering you. The most powerful thing you can do right now is to recognize the ongoing narrative of BS flowing through your head.
Consider these narratives and ask yourself if you find yourself listening to them. Fill in the blank with a subject or topic specific to you.
“I’m not good at ______ so why set a goal?”
“My family is _______, and we don’t succeed in business.”
“I don’t make enough money to _______.”
“I live in _________ and if they knew it, they would not _______.”
“My _______ is ugly, and they will laugh at me.”
“I weigh ______ and am unattractive. Who’s going to want to be with me?”
Know this – you can’t get out of the hole you’re in until you change the negative self-talk. I live in this world of dangerous beliefs, and I felt like a victim for years. It’s time to change it. This is the first step of the five powerful ways you can raise your self-worth. Identify the bad language and recognize it for what it is.
Start Your Practice
Just for today, try to listen for the negative self-talk narrative. We all do it from time to time. When you catch a negative thought, use this simple statement to slow it down and send it in the opposite direction.
‘I’m okay, and I’m a good person. No matter what happens, it will be okay.’
#2 – The Power of Affirmations
Self-worth is at the core of my identity and is the reason I self-sabotage, procrastinate, and do crazy things I don’t understand. It’s as if I have an unwanted roommate, spiteful in all actions, living inside me, looking to destroy the home we live in. My unhappy companion seems to randomly counter my desires and tries to block my attempts at a higher level of success.
Negative self-talk is the roommate’s non-stop chatter intended to keep the status quo. He doesn’t like change (because it is not safe) and, depending on the roommate’s emotional state, will distract me in an attempt to keep “things the way they are”.
Human psychology is a strange garden. When physical security is routinely certain, emotional security rises to the top of human priorities. The fear of unpredictable change is avoided at all costs and our inner roommate is in charge of maintaining the current condition, safe or otherwise. Familiarity is what we seek because the roommate knows how to survive the current conditions.
To gain the cooperation of our inner roommate, we need to feed him new and attractive images, language, and emotions so he is prepared for the change. If success arrives without preparing the roommate, he withdraws to his normal routines and launches emotional and physical attacks to distract me from my goals and eventually make my life so painful, I have no choice but to retreat to my conditions prior to the success.
Affirmations prepare the roommate (my unconscious psyche) for success. They pave the ground so the roommate is cooperative and trusts that the new world is safe and welcoming.
If I want to change my prosperity, I need to supply a vision of what prosperity looks like. Over the millennia, great teachers have recognized that humans have the ability to change the programming of their brain. Through repetition of affirmations, we can change what we believe is true. Repeating a prayer daily is exactly this process – this is not a new technology.
For example, the US military turns 18-year-old high school student into a Marine Corps fighting-machines by sending them to 90-days of boot camp. Our military system is built upon reprogramming our fighters’ belief systems. You can leverage the same science for your own benefit, without the risk to your life!
This is the second powerful step in changing your negative self-talk. Practice repeating positive self-talk until it becomes habitual and compulsive. Teach your inner roommate the language you want him to speak! If the brain is plastic and can be changed, then why would I allow someone else to change my thinking to what they want? Moreover, why would I not insert words, emotions, and images that support my goals?
Start Your Practice
If you agree with this logic, then you are ready for the second powerful way to raise your self-worth. I wrote a collection of affirmations and readings to build the foundation of positive self-worth. It’s called The Gift. It’s on the website www.motiveforlife.com and is a free downloadable pdf. The Gift is a set of mantras and readings to replace negative self-talk with higher self-worth language and goes to the heart of the worthiness issue.
The Gift is foundational and changes the roommate’s negative narrative to a set of positive, self-supporting emotions. Here are just a few of the changes you will experience:
I am good
I am worthy of love
I am worthy of a strong body
I am worthy of a healthy and vibrant life
I am worthy of participating in the world of commerce
I make good money decisions
I have loving and supportive relationships
I am smart
I am involved with good and healthy people
Believers and supporters surround me
These phrases and many more, form the foundation of The Gift. The readings are written using the ‘I Am’ statement structure and condition the roommate to accept success when it arrives.
If you have an unwanted roommate living in your head, you have the choice to continue listening to him or present new language, images, and emotions the roommate will have to adopt. Read The Gift every day, for 90-days. It works.
#3 – The Power of Routine
Confidence is the output of higher self-worth. With more confidence comes more action towards your goals. Worthiness precedes all confidence and motivation. If you feel worthy of your goals, you’ll pursue them. This is the definition of motivation.
The power of routine is the power of the cosmos. Human beings are cyclical creatures (like all animals). We are wired to do things over and over and over again. Planets orbit and so do you. Therefore, leveraging your body’s built-in routine engine enables you to perform tasks that advance your success.
Routines are critical to the development of self-worth. When we introduce a new healthy routine, we feel good. However, most people have a hard time maintaining the routine AFTER they receive the positive benefits because they don’t feel worthy of the success.
For example, I’ve struggled with sugar most of my life. I got hooked when I was young and if I let it, sugar will take control of me. Some years ago I made the decision I wanted a healthy body and I am worthy of a physically fit and well-balanced physique. However, there is a part of me not worthy of a strong and healthy body. This is a big iceberg and one of the more glaring critical self-worth issues I’ve dealt with most of my life. The core issue is my genuine dislike for my body.
There came a time when I’d had enough of the negative self-talk. I wrote The Gift and successfully turned my language around. Yet, there was more I had to do to change.
The first routine I implemented was reading affirmations every morning. Louise Hay set the standard for positive affirmations. Key to her effectiveness is the discipline of reading the affirmations every day. Affirmations are effective when they are consistently and repetitively imprinted on the conscious and unconscious mind.
During the summer of my 17th year, I worked in the shoe department of a large department store. Across from my station was the record department and they played hit albums to attract customers. One of the albums was The Grand Illusion by Styx. It was the favorite of the girl cashier and she played it over and over. To this day, I know all the words to every song and cringe when I hear the intro to Come Sail Away.
Styx is habitual and compulsive and part of me burned in routines. It is part of me and will be until the day I die.
Start Your Practice
Read The Gift every morning. It is a great first discipline in building worthiness. The affirmations and readings are structured in a way to plow up old negative self-talk and replace it with strong, positive self-worth language. Do The Gift every day, in the morning and at night just before bed. Read it for 90-days and watch your life change.
If you find yourself skipping days, simply return to the daily practice. Skipping days is the first sign your roommate is trying to get you back to the “old ways”. Reading The Gift takes effort but it is worth it. You are worth it.
#4 – The Power of the Red Zone
The Red Zone is an emotional state occurring after a success or achievement. Consider the number of spectacular failures after winning the lottery. The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards says nearly a third of lottery winners declare bankruptcy. More studies point to lottery winners estranged from family and friends, have a higher incidence of depression, drug and alcohol abuse, divorce, and suicide than the average American.
Why do we do worse after a huge win than we do prior? From my perspective and experience, we exceed our self-worth limit. It is characterized by fear and free-floating anxiety and is the breeding ground for bad behaviors. This is The Red Zone.
A client came to me in desperate shape. He was on the verge of getting fired and needed to close a lot of new business or else he was done. After working with me for 4 weeks, he earned more money than he had in the prior 6 months. He was ecstatic, and on the day he deposited the check, he picked a big fight with his wife—ruining the joyous moment and success.
When asked to explain why he provoked his wife, he was clueless as to the reason. “I don’t know” was all he could say. This is the Red Zone; it lacks explanation and often is justified or explained away as character defects, sins of the flesh, the faults of mankind, or a thousand other reasons we label human.
In reality, it is our roommate making trouble because he is uncomfortable with the new, unknown emotions.
The Red Zone is an emotional state where your unwanted roommate is in full force, creating havoc in your life. It occurs when you exceed your upper self-worth limit as defined by your roommate. Remember, the roommate will constantly check to see if you’re within your limits of worthiness. As soon as he detects you’re outside your limits, he sets off a series of distractions to move you back into his comfort zone.
By the time a client makes it to me, they’ve burned down their house several times and are lost as to why they keep losing their winnings. They’re at a loss for their behavior. My job as a professional coach is to help them condition their roommate, identify the Red Zone emotions and catch the behaviors before they do damage.
Look out for these emotions and actions immediately following a win. They are Red Zone behaviors.
“I stopped reading The Gift.”
“I am fighting a lot with my wife.”
“I can’t seem to get out of this funk.”
“Let’s go to Las Vegas and celebrate.”
“My wife doesn’t understand me like this other woman does.”
“I think I am going to change jobs.” (having just received a great promotion)
“There is no way I’m giving my money to charity.”
“They can help themselves.”
“I don’t have time to exercise.”
“I don’t need to follow up with them.”
“My husband and I are fighting a lot.”
“Someone else will handle those issues.”
“Let’s go out drinking.”
One favorite Red Zone emotion is blame. Nothing distracts us more than finding fault in someone else and blaming them for our nasty situation. The first indication you’re in the Red Zone is talking poorly about someone else and how “they” are doing it to you.
The Red Zone is free-floating anxiety. It follows a win and suddenly you have an obligation on your back. It is a cycle that never stops. With each new success, with each new goal achieved, you will enter the Red Zone because you have exceeded your upper limit of self-worth.
Why The Red Zone?
The key to your practice is to recognize when you’re in the Red Zone. This is the Power of the Red Zone. It is the indicator of success and you are having a normal reaction to the achievement. It is a good thing. Your goal is to become comfortable with the uncomfortable emotions of the Red Zone.
One of my good friends is pushing the edges of the Red Zone. He set his goals high and achieved them, and as a result, the Red Zone emotions are hot, nasty, and have exposed serious character issues. He recognized the Red Zone and worked through the crappy behavior because he wanted to keep the success. He’s educated, knows what to expect, and was prepared for the emotional rollercoaster.
You, as a beginner, will need to make smaller, more reasonable goals. The reason for smaller goals is not you can’t achieve larger ones, but rather the smaller goals enable you to practice the post-winner emotions. My experience in this area is conclusive. Few people are capable of handling large windfalls of success. Very few.
The goal, while you are in the Red Zone, is to let your self-worth raise to the level of your newly found success. You have to let your upper limit catch up. You have to let it move to the new area of safety. The goal is to get the roommate comfortable with the new routines and feelings of success.
Start Your Practice
Practice is key. Learning to handle a win is not a normal or logical process. We’re not programmed to gracefully navigate success. I’ve always considered this one of the strangest of human characteristics and one, without education and training, will haunt you till the end of your days.
Mediation is a good start. The goal is to calm your emotions and to act with control. Red Zone emotions are difficult and hot, causing poor behaviors. Our goal is to not do damage while in the Red Zone and allow our self-worth to raise and meet the new reality.
Loop in a friend or hire a coach who understands this problem. You will need to talk to people who know what it is like to be in the Red Zone and why you need to “talk it through”. Going it alone is a challenge. I have a team of people who understand the Red Zone and when I am in it, I call them and say, “I’m in the Red Zone and I feel crazy.”
If you’re married or have a partner, be sure they understand what is going on. Many relationships have ended because one person is in the Red Zone and the other is wondering what is going on. Success often destroys the partnership, instead of making them stronger. Keep an eye out and make sure your partner understands what you’re going through.
#5 – The Power of Choice
Discernment is the ability to judge well or to make good decisions. The fifth powerful way to raise your self-worth is to employ good choices as to what you allow into your brain. We are all under the influence of something,
Protection of your thinking is critical to elevating your worthiness. If you accept the premise our brains are plastic, then controlling what allow in is a mandate. We MUST discern and decide what we want to hear, see, feel, taste, and touch – specifically when it comes to negative narratives in our society.
The media is full of bad news. I’ve been avoiding the bad news media for years and I feel fantastic. I make choices as to what I want to influence my thinking. The best decision makers in the world recognize the impact others may have on their thinking and so should you.
I can decide to learn about a war or school shooting, but most days I avoid the bad news media. I found it does not help my thinking. It doesn’t mean I’ve disconnected myself from society – it means I protect the quality of information I allow in my head. I am protecting the language of my roommate narrative. I know my brain is plastic and can be programmed by outside forces, and I don’t want those outside forces to change the habitual great language I’ve already attained
Years ago, I chose the following narrative. Today, my roommate is a friend and tells me the following 24/7.
Believers and supporters surround me.
I’m a fantastic human being that loves helping people.
I’m a teacher that elevates worthiness in all human beings.
I lift the collective well-being of everyone I touch.
I am whole, perfect, strong, powerful, loving, harmonious and happy.
I expand in success, abundance, and love every day and inspire those around me to do the same.
I protect my thinking because I absolutely love my self-talk. I stopped fighting myself and have become friends with my roommate. My roommate and I work toward common goals and, over time, he has become easier to bring along. He trusts me to make great decisions that keep us safe and maintain the routines so he feels secure.
My roommate is now my friend.
Start Your Practice
Make the decision to filter your news, social media, and friends. This is the first step to protecting your mind and your thinking. You’ve invested time and energy changing your self-talk. Take the big step to determine what you want in your consciousness.
Disconnecting from the bad news is a HUGE step. Decide what you want to ingest and leave the rest. It is a practice and requires attention. We can become hypnotized and relaxed into listening, especially when it involves a topic close to us. Use good judgment and make wise decisions. This is the heart of this powerful way to raise your worthiness. Your roommate will appreciate it!
Develop Your Practice
I hope you take action and start your self-worth practice. It’s a lifelong journey. It starts today. You can decide to take it. Start with The Gift. If you want to know more about how to elevate your worthiness in a much deeper way, read my book, “The Bug in Our Brain”. It’s on Amazon and Kindle.
Thank you very much for all your support and I’ll see you on the road to higher self-worth.
Robert Christiansen is an executive, entrepreneur, mentor, public speaker, and master coach. Robert is the president of Motive For Life, a professional coaching, event, and publishing company based in Lake Forest, California. Robert’s thirty years of work in the field of alcohol and drug addiction led him to his discovery of the relationship between self-worth and sabotage behaviors that affect millions of people around the world. Motive For Life is dedicated to bringing this solution to the general public and elevating the collective worthiness of the human population.