You Are Worthy
You are Worthy
Daphne McKinnon, LCSW
During this time of Covid-19, many of us are feeling isolated from friends and family. It has been strongly suggested that we do not spend time and celebrate the holidays with loved ones. Events that we used to enjoy, which allowed us to connect with others and experience a sense of belonging are also discouranged. This means we spend lots of time by ourselves. This can be very uncomfortable for many of us, being in our head, with our uncomfortable and negative thoughts and feelings about ourselves. During normal times, we are often busy with every day distractions to keep our mind from dwelling on the negative. Many of us have developed great avoidant strategies to avoid these negative feelings. However, when our normal, avoidant, or unhealthy coping strategies no longer work, we canbegin to experience anxiety, depression and even suicidal thoughts. We can no longer drown out the negative thoughts of “I am not enough”, and at times “Nobody cares”.
As a mental health therapist, this is a common theme that I hear from my clients. I want my clients to see their worth, how great they are, to believe in themselves and to learn to be their own best friend. It is much easier to show love and compassion for others, but very difficult to show love, compassion toourselves, believe that we are deserving and have great value.
To help my clients begin to see their worth, I ask them to identify 10 strengths and positive character traits about themselves. Such as, being kind, compassionate, determined, etc. This can be very difficult when you are in the habit of tearing yourself down and finding fault. I then ask them to read the list out loud and to notice how it feels and where in their body they feel it. I quite often hear “I can be kind, but I don’t really think I am,” or “I am determined, but I don’t think I am very good.” Many times we devalue ourselves by adding “BUT, I’m not” or “I don’t”. We fall in the trap of all or nothing. We want to be perfect and forget that growth and change is a process. Learning to firmly say “I am patient”, “I am strong”, or “I am thoughtful” with a PERIOD at the end of the statement is step to changing the way we see and feel about ourselves. For many this can be very uncomfortable.
I then ask “How do you show yourself kindness?”, How do you show yourself compassion?” Learning how to do this for ourselves can be difficult and we must be vulnerable with ourselves. If we can show our friends kindness and compassion,we need to learn to treat ourselves as a friend. Ask yourself “what would you say to a friend that is having a difficult time? Then tell yourself the same caring and compassionate thought that you would say to them. This is a step forward in loving and accepting ourselves and believing your own worth.
When we try to make change, it takes practice and consistency. By seeing our strengths and positive traits, we can learn to believe “I am enough”. I challenge you to see yourself as someone with worth and value. You can start by indentifying your strengths and positive traits. Give it a try and see for yourself how you can change the way you feel and learn to love yourself.