For as long as I can remember – I have had a tendency to avoid or ignore good things. To move in the opposite direction of things that bring joy and barely give myself credit for accomplishments. Here’s a couple good examples:
- My husband and I picked out my engagement ring. I cried after because it didn’t feel right to be that happy.
- Friends ask me to do fun stuff and I literally have to think it over (in depth) to figure out if I’m going to go.
- I worked my ass off to buy an amazing house. I still question whether I’m supposed to have it.
Now, if you were an outsider and looked at my life – you’d never know this is how my brain works. I’ve become really good at hiding it. Also, I don’t want you to confuse my inability to be happy with being ungrateful. I definitely consider myself blessed for all the people and things that have come into my life. The challenge is that I struggle to feel worthy of them.
My first reactions to an accomplishment or positive thing is to run, excuse them away, or flat out ignore them.
This was the majority of my behavior until I met my husband. He was the first person I met that began to help reprogram my thinking. He constantly reassured me of my worth and that the positives wouldn’t disappeared if I acknowledged them.
We’ve been together almost 10 years. Those years have been extremely helpful in changing my knee jerk reactions to happiness. That being said, it is still there in the back of my mind. I have realized that my husband (or anyone else) can’t fully take away this feeling.
I need to reprogram myself from the inside out.
So how do you start the process? I decided to put as much energy into myself as I have others. I have a tendency to give very good (and lucrative) advice and it was time to point that energy towards myself.
So – I went out and bought a planner – one that is dedicated to just me – not family, not business, not social events – ME. To be sure it was truly representative of what I wanted to become – I made it sure it was beautiful and colorful! I began making personal commitments in my planner and marking off each day that I kept them. If I teeter towards not keeping them – I repeat “I Am Worthy” – (preferably out loud) over and over until I do it. I bought fun stickers and colored pencils to brighten up and highlight my accomplishments. All of my commitments take a collective 20-30 minutes a day. It’s a small amount of time but it packs a worthiness punch!
My personal commitments include:
- Reciting “I AM” affirmations in the morning and at night. Ex: I AM Worthy. I AM Happy. I AM Healthy. My statements are written on my bedroom mirror in marker.
- I move every day. I don’t care if its for 10 minutes – but I move for me. I make a point on the weekends to get out of the house and try new things (hiking, swimming, etc)
- I’ve started a new bedtime routine that includes deep breathing, guided imagery, and reading. This routine also enables me to unplug at a reasonable hour.
I’ve only been practicing these for a short time but I can already feel a shift for the better. These commitments give me permission to work on myself. I also remind myself that I’m reprogramming 30 years of inner dialogue and thoughts. I was recently reminded that the work of cultivating your worth is never done. It requires patience, compassion and dedication. It is imperative to create repetition around your commitments. That way, they become 2nd nature and can drown out the old way of thinking.
Can you think of some ways to help cultivate your worth?