Self-Worth Issues Are Rooted In Our Childhood
“You can have anything you want if you are willing to give up the belief that you can’t have it.”—Dr. Robert Anthony
I’d like you to reflect on the following questions before you read the rest of this article: What do you believe you deserve in life? Do you have issues around receiving? Do you find it difficult to get what you want because of the obstacles that get in the way? Do you struggle to fill your needs, whether it be via: a relationship, career goals, finances or otherwise? Yes, there are many questions to consider and I invite you to journal your answers after you finish reading. It may be difficult to acknowledge, however we always get what we believe we deserve. Allow me to unpack this further to explain what I mean. If we have self-worth issues embedded in our childhood, we will settle for less and believe it is all we are capable of receiving.
For example, when I was young, my father remarked that I would never amount to anything because I couldn’t do the smallest tasks properly. Although I didn’t digest the significance of its meaning, it was repeated often enough and became entrenched in my psyche. Like many others, I developed self-esteem issues related to deserving because of this belief. Have you experienced something similar when growing up? It wasn’t until I used self-enquiry to heal the limiting beliefs, that I understood that they were formed during my upbringing.
It wasn’t only my father’s fault because I played a part in co-creating the experience, insofar as I accepted the messages communicated to me. In contrast, my mother was a kind, loving and compassionate woman who constantly nurtured me and my siblings through positive reinforcement. So why did I absorbed my father’s criticism and not my mother’s positive encouragement? Psychologists say our minds are more alert to negativity, known as a negativity bias which is hard-wired into our DNA. I’m not alone in encountering these childhood experiences. I have coached hundreds of people over the years who experienced similar events, whether through a parent, a teacher, a sporting coach or loved one. Each of them adopted the negative stimuli that undermined their self-esteem.
You Must Believe You Are Deserving
“Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.”—Marie Curie
So how do we overcome our childhood wounds to become better receivers? I believe it lies in self-enquiry, to better understand ourselves. For some, it may require working with a trained therapist to explore their childhood traumas. Either way, we must learn to navigate and heal our emotional wounds so we can move forward. How does this sound to you? Can you see how life isn’t conspiring against you? Life wants to give you all the riches you deserve. But first you must overcome the impediments that stand in the way of receiving them. There’s no point bemoaning your current situation while wanting more when underneath it, you feel unworthy of receiving it.
To receive more, we must believe we are deserving of having more. It requires rewriting our childhood script and seeing it through the eyes of compassion and love, even towards our wrongdoer. I’m not condoning acts of abuse of any kind but inviting you to forgive yourself and those who contributed to your pain. This is the essence of what the clinical neuropsychologist, Dr. Mario Martinez captures in his book The MindBody Code: How to Change the Beliefs that Limit Your Health, Longevity, and Success: “One of the most important lessons is that forgiveness is a liberation from the personal enslavement you construct when a misdeed is perpetrated against you. Rather than forgiving the perpetrator or minimizing the intensity of the misdeed, you recover the empowerment and self-worthiness you thought had been taken from you.”
A realisation I experienced in the last decade was that my father’s role in my life was purposeful from a greater perspective because he helped me realise my self-worth. Had I not experienced those events, I may not have valued myself to the degree I do now. My emotional wounds helped me discover my true self-worth. I’m not suggesting this is the only aspect holding us back from receiving goodness, since there may be other childhood wounds interwoven throughout our experiences. What I know is: When we remove the fragmented stories of our undeservedness, we clear the runway for our life to soar. I know people who worked hard to heal their childhood wounds and remain stuck in their pain and suffering.
We must trust there is no deadline for our healing and transformation. You might call it a gradual awakening. Whatever the case, it entails stripping back that which is not conducive to a life of peace and joy. We must believe we are deserving of living a rich and abundant life. This doesn’t mean we will not encounter pain or suffering. It means, when we make peace with our childhood wounds, they no longer hold us captive. With this in mind, I’d like you to open your diary and journal your answers to the questions at the beginning of the article. Take your time and sit with your thoughts to get a sense of what is holding you back from receiving more. Ultimately, if we believe we deserve more, we must change our relationship to attract what is in alignment with our greater self.