Earlier this week, it occurred to me that in all my videos and blogs I have done on inherent self-worth versus outside sources of self esteem, I have never explained why this new lens doesn’t come naturally. Why we adults (and/or our children) don’t believe that we have worth because we were born, period?
Keep in mind the Outside Sources of self esteem (my name!):
E is for Esteem
A is for Achievements
S is for Society
A is for Attributes and Assets
These are all sources outside of ourselves that will leave us unhappy and unfulfilled when we look to them to validate our self worth.
But, we have inherent self worth:
I have worth because I was born, period.
I stand equal to all, eye-to-eye and toe-to-toe.
I’m enough and I matter despite my flaws and weaknesses.
Why this so difficult for us to believe? Because the only way in adulthood to believe your inherent worth is to have had unconditional love in childhood. And I have yet to meet anyone—personally or professionally—who perceived that they were unconditionally loved in childhood.
There are many reasons around that, but it doesn’t mean your parents didn’t love you unconditionally; it means parents make mistakes because they are human. They accidentally taught us that their love for us was conditional. (Some parents did it on purpose, but that’s a whole different ball game…)
We have to bear in mind the perspective of a child:
My son is ten years old and he firmly believes that when we set a limit with him—turn off the TV when he doesn’t want to, send him to bed when he doesn’t want to go to bed—it means we don’t love him. So there are conditions.
The only way he will believe that he has unconditional love is if we give him no limits. A child may not perceive unconditional love even if unconditional love is coming towards them. And as a parent, it can be very difficult to show our unconditional love, especially when we are frustrated with them.
What can happen with a child and their perception is that they can see our attention and happiness with them and misinterpret that. My son is on cross-country at his school for the first time ever this year and he did really well in his first meet this week. We were very excited and proud of him, but it is possible that he misinterpreted that excitement that we felt as, “My parents only love me when I achieve.” And this is one example of how someone may become an adult who believes their self esteem comes from their Achievements. (Achievement-Based self esteem.)
If you are having trouble believing in your own inherent worth, let’s work together! This is what Your Decision Diva is all about; I can help you identify your outside sources of self esteem and rewire your mind to believe in your own inherent worth. Shoot me an email to set up a call with me and let’s talk about personal coaching!