The relationship is over but your past contains so much wreckage and rubble.
If your relationship was difficult, challenging and full of conflict, you’re not alone.
Likely, in the final days or months of your relationship or marriage, you both spent a lot of time tearing each other down.
After a long and conflict-filled relationship, you will doubt your own self-worth.
If you grew up having your family take shots at your self-esteem, your ex likely didn’t make it any better.
If your partner ended the relationship first and the breakup wasn’t mutual, you’re likely feeling worse about yourself than ever before.
Feelings of “not good enough” and “worthlessness” can consume your life.
This section from my newest book, Love Yourself After Heartbreak, will help you repair your self-worth and self-confidence.
The first step for you to heal feelings of not being good enough is self-awareness.
Your ex might have destroyed your self-worth but if you dig a bit deeper, you’ll find that others sabotaged your self-worth as you grew up.
Who did? What did they do and how did their actions affect your self-worth?
If you can acknowledge the things that damaged your self-worth in the past, you have a starting point for the work and healing that you need to do. You know you’ll have to deal with the people who emotionally hurt you before – forgive them and come to terms with the hits to your self-worth.
Also, become aware of your belief system.
When things go wrong, what hurtful things do you say to yourself? When you disappoint yourself or make a mistake, what internal dialogue do you have?
The idea is to notice these thoughts and beliefs as soon as they pop up.
2.Prove your internal chatter wrong
Observe your internal self-talk and how you’re putting yourself down.
Pick up on these remarks and prove those statements wrong.
If you’re telling yourself you’re not intelligent, remind yourself about your achievements and academic laurels.
If you’re telling yourself you’re useless, remind yourself about all the people you’ve helped and how many people appreciate you.
This is an active process of continuously rebutting the negative self-talk and self-criticism in your mind.
This internal chatter is simply a continuation of the attacks from people who ruined your self-worth as you grew up.
You heard others attack you and now you mentally attack yourself.
3. Rebut with positive affirmations, visualisation
Not only acknowledge and rebuild this self-talk; actively replace the thoughts with more positive ones.
Some suggest the use of mantras and affirmations to feel more worthy.
You’ll know whether you find this helpful.
You can also visualise yourself in a state of worthiness and imagine what that would feel like.
How would you stand? How would you interact with others? How would you show up in the world? Continue to picture yourself in that state until you end up living in that state.
Visualise worthiness until you arrive at worthiness.
Replace your negative self-talk and improve your self-worth with words, emotions, images and beliefs of high self-worth. Take every opportunity to confront the negative view of yourself and substitute it with a positive one. Turn this into a daily practice.
4. Declutter your friendships and negative influences in your life
Another action is to see who is around you in your everyday life.
You may need a friend-and-family purge. Yes, in the ideal world you’re mature and strong enough to not let negativity bother you. If you’re already there, forget this step.
If you’re still struggling, take note of every person in your life, especially the people who make you feel terrible about yourself. Do whatever you can to reduce the time you spend with these people.
Stay as far away from them as you can.
If they live in the same house you do (for example, your parents), minimise the time you spend with them.
Create a negativity-free zone around your life and minimise the number of people who make you feel bad about yourself. This is not a permanent solution but a temporary strategy while you are working on your self-worth.
5. Doing good makes you feel good
You feel good about yourself when you are doing things that make you feel good.
You will feel good when you take part in activities you do well in.
If you’re an expert in a particular area or the go-to person in your family for something, do more of that.
If you’re the family party planner, plan the party.
If you’re the creative one at work, do more creative work there.
If you’re the leader, lead.
Doing those activities you’re good at will make you feel better about yourself.
Soak in all the positivity, compliments and good wishes you get when you do those things you’re good at doing.
The other activities that make you feel good about yourself are those you generally like doing.
All of us have different healthy feel-good activities.
Drinking martinis or relishing carne asadas may be your feel-good activity but other things you do awaken your heart and bring your soul alive.
Which activities bring you bliss and happiness? Which activities challenge you?
Doing more of these activities will help you feel good about yourself. Spending more of your time in nature, gardening, surfing, going to the movies, shopping or whatever else brings you to a place of bliss – do more of that.
6. The expansive view of yourself
One more way to boost your self-worth involves the spiritual dimension.
Beneath your personality and outward appearance is the real you.
This is a person you hardly know or spend time with.
You have experiences as the “external” you who shows up in the world. You’re a sister, aunt, lawyer, friend, neighbour, etc. Everyone, including you, has a perception of who you are but you really don’t know who you are.
Getting to this person is getting to your essence.
Once you realise who you are and live from that place, you have the potential to live a highly worthwhile life.
When you’re living from this essence or your spiritual centre, you no longer depend on other people’s values or perception of you.
How do you get there?
You slowly unmask and remove all the layers of who you are.
You detach from the different roles you play in the world, from family member to professional to parent, etc.
You become quiet and get into nature to see yourself as someone deeper and more spiritual than who you currently show up as. You get to the fibre of your being.
What do you do that helps you feel more soulful?
The church may be the last place that does this for you.
It could be as simple as spending time with your children or gardening.
Keep tapping into this spiritual realm.
Work on seeing yourself as part of the bigger spiritual fabric of the world.
7. Trust yourself more
When you feel unworthy, you have no sense of yourself. You’re lost. You feel invisible.
To overcome these feelings of worthlessness, like you don’t exist, you have to not only get to your spiritual centre as described above, but you have to get in touch with the wise inner person who resides within you.
You have a guide. You have a voice of reason and wisdom.
You have yourself. Call it your intuition, self-knowledge or higher self.
Within you is this all-knowing, all-wise person in majestic robes who knows what’s best for you.
This inner-person is guiding you but if you’re like me, you avoid, ignore and hardly acknowledge this voice of wisdom.
To live more in harmony with this voice and to raise your worthiness, listen to this voice more often.
Check in with this voice regularly and ask it to guide you in your decision-making.