Overcoming Self-loathing and Anxiety, Self-Love and Self-Directed Kindness

Is Believing We are Worthy a Good Idea?

Do you believe you are worthy right now, just as you are?

If you are like a lot of people, you may not be sure what that means. On the other hand, you may have some idea what believing you are worthy means, but it may sound dangerous to you. You may feel like such a belief encourages or excuses bad behavior.

Is Believing We are Worthy Dangerous?

These are understandable fears, but we don’t have to be afraid of believing we are worthy. Here is why:

Believing you are worthy does not mean that you excuse unwise or bad behavior on your part.

Believing you are worthy does not mean you stop trying to reach your potential.

Believing you are worthy does not mean that you think you are better than other people.

So if believing you are worthy does not mean these things, what does it mean?

Believing you are worthy right now means that you recognize:

One: You have your own unique goodness to share with the world.

Your unique goodness is the combination of your personality, biology, talents, intelligence, and viewpoint expressed in a moral way for your good and the good of the whole earth.

Two: This unique goodness is beautiful and valuable in itself.

Your unique goodness is beautiful and valuable because it represents the wisdom you have from living a life no one has lived before. You are a rare and special edition, and there is something you bring into the world that no one else does.

More flowers

All of the flower photos in this post are pictures I have taken on various walks.

Three: Your purpose in life is to work consistently to cultivate and share your unique goodness with the world.

Your purpose in life is not to look a certain way, weigh a certain amount, have a certain salary, or work at a certain kind of job. Your purpose in life is to express your unique goodness, and when you act with the intention to do this, you are exactly where you need to be and doing exactly what you need to do.

You Already Know This on Some Level

The idea of being worthy right now may sound odd, but you already understand this idea on some level.

If you have ever been around plants or taken care of plants, you know that every plant has its own unique goodness. It is the unique beauty and goodness it has because of the specific kind of plant it is. For instance, coneflowers aren’t supposed to act or look like roses, and roses aren’t supposed to look and act like coneflowers.

Each of these flowers have their own unique goodness.

Picture #11

Coneflowers

Furthermore, a plant doesn’t have to do or be anything other than itself. For instance, in an imaginary world where coneflower plants have emotions and the ability to talk with people, if a coneflower worried and fretted because it didn’t look like a rose, we would tell the coneflower that it was excellent and beautiful just by expressing its unique goodness. We would tell it that we already have roses in the world, and what we need are coneflowers.

In the same way, you aren’t supposed to look and act like other people. We already have enough of them. What we need is you.

How Do We Nurture our Unique Goodness?

You are worthy right now because of your unique goodness (like the coneflower’s unique goodness), and your purpose is to cultivate and share your unique goodness with the world.

Here is how you can start doing that:

One: Commit to honoring your unique goodness. If you have problems feeling like you are worthy, you can think of yourself as a plant and be willing to accept (or have faith) that you have unique goodness, just like a plant does.

sunlight and flowers

Two: Work on encouraging yourself in your thoughts and words about yourself. Refrain from thinking or saying negative things about yourself. Negative self-talk makes it harder to see your unique goodness.

Three: Work on understanding what your unique goodness is. A great way to do this is to take a personality test like the Myers Briggs test or the Enneagram. These tests will give you a strong idea of what your personality strengths and weaknesses are. (You can find free, online versions of these tests.)

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This is an illustration of concepts from the Enneagram, a personality test that helps you identify the strengths of your personality, as well as ways your personality can become unhealthy. It is an excellent test for helping you understand your unique goodness, as well as habits that detract from your unique goodness. You can find free online Enneagram tests.

You can also think about the kinds of activities or goals that make you feel energized and excited. If you can pursue these activities or goals in a way that brings more goodness to your life and the life of other people, these are very likely part of your unique goodness.

You can also ask close friends and family things they think you are good at. Folks like this often have helpful insight into your unique goodness. Just remember that you are the ultimate judge about whether their opinions are a true reflection of your unique goodness.

Four: After thinking about your unique goodness by doing the activities in #3 or activities like them, think about one to five specific things you could do right now to cultivate and better express your unique goodness. Choose on or two of those activities to do in the next month and do them.

Don’t worry if you are not 100% certain of what your unique goodness is. Figuring it out is a process, and taking action is an important part of the process. Our unique goodness is both something we discover and create through our thoughts and actions.

Five: Work on not comparing yourself to others–especially comparing yourself to them in an unfavorable light. Remember, your purpose is not to be like other people. We already have enough of them. Your purpose is to be you and express your unique goodness.

Six: As you start gaining a clearer idea of your purpose, think about activities or habits that detract you from your unique goodness. Think about how you might substitute  habits that detract from unique goodness with habits that strengthen your unique goodness. You don’t have to substitute these habits to be worthy. Substitute them so that you can better express your worth.

Seven: You may really struggle with body confidence, and if so, it may make it difficult for you to think about your unique goodness because you feel bad or unsafe in your body. If so, start by building your body confidence and then go to the other steps. You can find a list of posts on this topic in my blog archives in the section titled Body Love and Body Kindness.

A Parting Reminder

Believing you are worthy right now does not cause you to excuse bad behavior or cause you to stop pursuing your potential. On the contrary, when rightly understood, believing you are worthy right now creates a stable foundation for you to build your personal resilience, pursue your potential fully, and to share your unique goodness with the world.*

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*If you would like to research the ideas behind worthiness, note that the idea of  personal inherent worth and dignity are a part of every major religious system. In addition, you might also like googling the concept of human dignity, which informs this concept. In addition, you might also like googling concepts like self-efficacy and internal locus of control, which discuss how ideas of worthiness can strengthen our ability to change.

6 thoughts on “Is Believing We are Worthy a Good Idea?”

    1. I am so glad you found it helpful, Ali! And of course that plant metaphor really connects with you. I bet I subconsciously had you and some of my other gardening blogger friends in mind when I wrote that. All of your plant and flower posts have had a big impact on me!

  1. (And yet sometimes the media or Instagram would suggest there are a very narrow set of qualities that are desirable). Maybe because we are only consuming these images with a restricted set of senses (visual)’and not experiencing them in context or integrating our wisdom and experience.

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