Whether in business or your personal life, feelings of unworthiness can hamper your ability to shine. When we don’t perceive ourselves as worthy, we tend to self-sabotage and avoid going for (or asking for) what we deserve.
My good friend, entrepreneur Ed Mylett, shared an idea with me that I thought was extremely powerful. He described different things in our lives that have a thermostat: our financial success, weight and especially our self-worth.
The premise is simple. Even if your self-worth increases or decreases a few degrees, or you experience a tremendous change over time, you will eventually revert back to whatever your internal success thermostat is set at. This begs the question: “What can I do to raise my internal thermostat?”
1. Provide value and feel valuable.
The first and best way to improve your feelings of worthiness is simply to provide value to others; be kind to others as well as to your future self. Be of service, which means providing value with no expectations of receiving anything in return. It contains the requirement that you give unconditionally. Giving with expectation, as my friend Bob Proctor says, is trading and not real giving.
It’s essential to have both focus and intention on what we want, in order to get it. And it’s difficult to manifest what you want without being of service to others. Providing value by being of service creates a void that the universe will fill for you.
Giving not only makes you feel good, but this altruistic act is contagious. Giving makes you happy, makes the person who receives happy, and even those who witness giving become happier.
A study tracking 2,000 people over a five-year period, found that those who described themselves as “very happy” were the ones who volunteered 5.8 hours per month, on average. Providing value for others made those individuals feel valuable themselves.
2. Keep your promises.
Part of being of service is keeping promises that you make to yourself, as well as what you promise to others. Living up to your promises builds trust from others, and confidence in yourself, which leads to a better perspective of your worth. When you set achievable goals and put plans in place to meet them, you’ll experience a higher rate of success and simultaneously turn up your worthiness thermostat. You need goal setting (and promise keeping) to be a consistent, persistent behavior, which will then allow you to enjoy the pursuit of your potential by creating objectives and meeting them.
One of my favorite examples to demonstrate this idea involves working out. Many people try to go “all in” immediately on new exercise regimes. I take an alternative approach. I set the bar very low at the start.
The first day that I started working out, I made a promise to myself that I’d put on my workout shoes. That was it. But, that first day, not only did I put all my gear on, but I actually ended up doing 30 minutes of cardio and stretching; I felt great afterward.
The next day, I wanted to increase my progress. I set a goal to put on all my workout clothes. But, once again, I made it to the gym and overachieved even more.
By keeping simple promises like these, and then going above and beyond, you not only build confidence in yourself but also your ability to follow through. You feel good that you are an achiever, and you feel worthy and capable of even greater achievements.
3. Accountability means knowing you’re worthy.
Living with accountability is yet another way to improve your feelings of self-worth. Accountability gives you the power or control over everything in your life. Accountability means that you don’t live in a world of blame, shame or justification. Rather, you take on all challenges as an opportunity to learn and grow.
People who are accountable ask themselves two questions when those challenges arise:
- What did I do to attract it to myself?
- What am I supposed to learn from it?
The tendency of people to go “below the line” stems from the impulse to defend their ego. But, in reality, they’re just avoiding accountability. Going below the line is a guaranteed way to lower your thermostat.
Whenever you can, invite others to help keep you accountable. Whether it’s a spouse, a coworker or a coach, ask them to make sure that you stay on track with achieving your goals.
If you cannot find a group or someone you trust to help keep you accountable, keep track of your words and actions yourself. Journaling is an effective way to do this. Just make sure to be honest with your evaluation of your performance.
4.Raise your thermostat.
If you want to make a lasting improvement to your self-image and raise your thermostat of worthiness, embrace the principles of service, keep promises you make to yourself (as well as to others), set realistic goals that you can achieve, but keep raising the bar. Finally, take charge of your life by being accountable and living above the line of blame, shame and justification.
These strategies are well worth your time if you want to build your self-worth, feel like you are deserving, and consistently, persistently, rapidly attract the great things that are coming your way.
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