It is an often said but poorly understood notion, that many if not most people in your life will try to discourage, devalue and chip away at your self-worth. Due to toxic patterns, poor upbringings, selfish behavior, and other environmental and psychological factors, the masses try to bring you down. While exploring this subject, I took a deeper look at these things, and decided to share my thoughts as to why people do this, what you can do stop them and yourself from , and how to cultivate and nourish your own sense of self-worth.
What does a healthy sense of self worth get you? A solid sense of self worth can go a long way to helping you earn more money at work, improve personal relationships, and reinforce your ability to have enough self respect to say “No, I don’t have to”
A healthy sense of self worth also helps to:
- Identify abuse and toxic patterns in your mind and in your relationships with others.
- Demand more for your time. This may mean more money, more focused attention, more balanced role in a relationship, or just more.
- Empower you with the ability to respectfully decline to do things that you don’t want to do; the power to confidently opt out.
Why People Bring You Down
One way or another it comes down to the ego. Control, fear, insecurity and desire for dominance and schadenfreude drive us to put others down, be it internally in our heads or externally. No gender is immune to the practice or effects of this behavior. Men crush other men, rub in victories and defeats, women trash talk, judge themselves and compare to themselves to others. It seems like it’s the way of the world and it’s encouraged in our culture commercially throughout almost every medium and method of information consumption, making it more difficult than ever to ignore. You would think that because the world is telling everyone that they are worthless, that we could at least be our own advocates, but by in large, our thoughts tend to conform and betray their masters. Don’t give up- there is hope.
What is the cure?
An attitude of constant cultivation and nourishment of our own sense of self-worth and confidence actually allows us to feel more comfortable around others, more likely to encourage, relate, empathize and focus on the task at hand.
How do I get it?
Become aware of your self-talk and what you’re doing internally to bring yourself down. Identify those moments and switch tracks by reminding yourself that you are in control of your thoughts, feelings and actions, and ultimately, it is your choice. Nurture your new found sense of self by paying homage to the body-mind connection. Think about hitting the gym, yoga, self improvement books, find your zen, and take fun and play seriously.
Why The Man is Always Trying to Bring You Down
Why they don’t really want you whistling while you work-it’s good for business.
In the business world, the preferred level of self-worth is lower than it ought to be. It is mandated and enforced by egotistical micro-managers and in every exchange. If you can lower your competitor, opponents, customers, and employees’ sense of self worth, you, (the superior one) can assert control and assure compliance.
- Lowering the self worth of others saves money. The lower the sense of self-worth, the lower the price of the goods or services as people will feel less confident.
- Ensuring compliance by projecting superiority while simultaneously deflating your sense of self worth.
- Lowering self worth is often used by managers who are seeking improved performance. Ironically, if they lead by example, a new and more positive performance pressure would be created.
Carrying on between the sheets-these notions are at play in your personal relationships too.
Self worth is a big factor in determining whether the level of control in your relationships. Your confidence level is everything, plays a role in surrendering, seizing and balancing control. It effects how you judge yourself, what makes you insecure and jealous, etc.
- If your partner feels that they are less attractive or more invested in the relationship, guess who holds the greater power?
- Guys know (and love…then loathe) this one- There is often a correlation between the self-worth and sexual performance. Someone with a lowered sense of self worth is more eager to please and more likely to be up for anything. I’ll let your imagination take you on that little journey. It’s great for a night but dealing with a damaged, depressed partner who is addicted to a cycle of self-deprecation is never a fun trip.
Here are but a few misconceptions around self-worth that we operate on a daily basis:
- A Positive Sense of Self Worth is abi-something…abnormal. People are afraid and intimidated by those that are different, or who display genuine confidence and self worth. Society has such a toxic misunderstanding of confidence and self-worth, that it seeks to stamp out even the slightest sprout.
- A lower sense of self-worth is acceptable, respectful, and humble. The problem with this notion is often that those doing the judging would prefer you to be so humble that you live under the floorboards. Many parents over-emphasize discouraging their children.
- Mistaking confidence for arrogance. The climate for confidence is so bad in this country that people seek to prevent any sign or inkling of self confidence. They do so in the name of preventing arrogance. Let’s clear this conundrum up right now. Confident people focus on being and doing while arrogant people emphasize pride in their achievements.
- The world wants to bring you down right? GIVE THEM THE FINGER. Even at your best, if the world has it’s way, they’d give you 50 cents to the dollar. Remember: It’s got nothing to do with accurate assessment of your worth. There are many reasons why the world wants to get you down, and accurate and objective assessment is not on the list.
- Respect yourself enough to be picky about community. Strengthen and cultivate relationships with friends and loved ones who encourage, inspire, nurture and support the best in you.
- Consider eliminating the Debby Downers from your life. These are the self-loathing, depressed friends who narrate life as if each day were a Seinfeld episode. At some point, you have to stand up for yourself and have the strength to move forward with or without them.
- Stop narrating your life in a negative way as if each and everyday were a Seinfeld episode. It will eventually drive away all of those friends and loved ones who you really want around in life.
How To Fix it – 7 Ways to Super Charge Your Self Worth
- START. Simply Sending yourself down a path of self-improvement is a helpful by itself. Decide to start. Whether it’s a diet, an exercise routine, a book, a conference, etc., just by seeking a path, you’ll see things improve. Problems arise when we procrastinate and excuse or allow ourselves to stray.
- Clean up your psychological surroundings. Think of the things and content that feed the negative thoughts and consider reducing or eliminating them.
- Put fun and relaxation on your schedule. Treat them as you would your most important business meeting. Block out the time and don’t let life interfere. Understand the effects these activities have. They re-invigorate you. They bring you more energy and excitement. They bring you back to life.
- Monitor your internal chatter. Note when and where your thoughts begin to send you to a place of distress.
- Confront your negative self talk with realistic and positive opportunities to act. Consciously make course corrections away from the thoughts that bring procrastination, distress, and anxiety.
- Have courage and invest in self-respect. Having self- respect sometimes requires you to take a stand and say No. No thanks. None for me. I Won’t do that.
- Remind yourself of your goals when you have to interrupt temptations and old patterns e.g. “No. I won’t have another piece of cake. I care about my figure and health and am working hard to improve it.”