One of the things that can prevent you from
reaching your potential is not feeling worthy.
Feelings of worthlessness can result from
things such as growing up in a dysfunctional
home, childhood sexual abuse, physical
abuse, losing a job, maltreatment received
from society, and rejection, just to name a few.
If you have feelings of unworthiness, and I think
we all do from time to time, it is important that
you work to overcome them. Why? Because without
feeling worthy, it is nearly impossible to reach
your goals or your full potential. Let me just
clarify that if you do reach your goals and still
don’t feel worthy, you will engage in self-
destructive behavior. Just look at some of the
lives of Hollywood stars.
I have struggled with feelings of worthlessness for
most of my life. One of the things that
contributed to those feelings was not having a
college degree. I considered myself intelligent
and I was a hard worker, but without a degree there
were jobs I just couldn’t get. Let me share one
experience with you.
Back in the mid-80’s I worked for a well-known
research and development company. I worked in the
Receiving Department. All the materials and
supplies that were ordered had to first come
through our department. A job opening became
available in our department. I was already doing
the work so naturally I assumed I would get the
job. Wrong! They brought in a woman from the
outside with incredible credentials. My boss,
Mr. McNabb, felt bad about it. If it had been up
to him, he would have given me the position in a
The new woman started but apparently did not fully
understand her job duties because her work was not
done correctly. When Mr. McNabb asked her why she
didn’t ask for clarification if she didn’t
understand she said, “I have my pride.” (Her exact
words, I kid you not!) Since things had to go out
in a timely manner, guess who they turned to in
order to get caught up? That’s right, yours truly!
I helped out and later Mr. McNabb approached me and
suggested quite strongly that I go to his boss and
ask for a raise.
At first I was reluctant because I knew what the
answer would be. But that wasn’t the point. I
reflected on the message that the department had
given me: that I wasn’t good enough to have the
job. Yet, I was more than capable of doing the
job and proved it by getting them out of the jam.
Realizing that helped me find the courage to go
upstairs to Mr. McNabb’s boss’ office and ask for
a raise. He said no and it would be eight months
before I got one. But Mr. McNabb went to his boss
and told him that what they did to me was wrong and
to go ahead and give me the raise. And I got it!
My feelings of worthiness shot up immediately.
So, how do you overcome feelings of worthlessness?
Let me share 3 things that have helped me
*Affirmations: If you are told over and over by
yourself or others that you’re worthless and no
good, you start to believe it. It’s reasonable to
conclude that it works the opposite way as well.
If you tell yourself or others tell you that you
are a worthy person over and over, then you will
start to believe that also. A lot of us got
negative programming from our families, teachers,
etc. And we’ve started to believe it. But it’s
not too late. Sometimes the only nurturing we
receive is from ourselves.
Affirmations are short, simple statements “that
proclaim a fact in no uncertain terms,” according
to Mark Towers, author of “Self-Esteem: The Power
to Be Your Best.” Affirmations should be clear,
concise, positive and in the present tense (“I am…”
instead of “I will…”). Don’t underestimate the
power of affirmations because of their simplicity.
Affirmations are one of the most effective
techniques I have used to bring about positive
changes in my life.
One of the affirmations I used was “I am a worthy
person.” I wrote it on a 3 x 5 index card and read
it or said it aloud or silently every chance I got,
morning, noon and night and all the times in
between. Other good ones are “I deserve the best
that life has to offer.” “I deserve to have good
things in my life.”
The affirmations may sound awkward at first. You
may not believe what you’re saying at first, but
don’t give up! Use them consistently. Keep saying
them until they sink down deeply into your
*Remember the scene in the miniseries “Roots”
where Kunta Kinte holds his baby daughter up toward
the sky and says, “Behold the only thing greater
than yourself”? Well, I’m not going to attempt to
hold you up like the baby! But I do want you to
remember that the Creator and his heavenly
creations are the only things greater than you.
Every human on the planet is imperfect and going
to die some day. No amount of money, education,
or status is going to change that. And that puts
us all on the same level. Now, I know there are
people out there who don’t see it that way, but
that’s how I see it. You are an individual who
is special and unique. You are just as important
as anybody else. You are capable of achieving
great things if you choose to do so.
*Face your fears by taking action. Even though I
have spent years working on feeling worthy, I still
have a problem with it. When I found out that one
of the sane ways to build traffic for an Internet
business is to write articles and submit them to
article banks, my unworthy feelings kicked in and
I ran the other way. I didn’t feel that my writing
was good enough. What if nobody wants to publish
my articles? I did almost every insane thing to
get traffic in order to keep from facing my fear.
I submitted my web site to classified ads, FFA
pages, and bulletin boards. Nothing worked. I
had to face the inevitable. And you know what?
I finally concluded that whether my articles are
ever published by anyone else is irrelevant. The
important thing was to face these feelings head-on
and do it. So, I wrote articles and put them out
there. And because I did it, I am transformed
forever, just like when I asked for the raise.
I will not insult your intelligence by telling you
that it’s easy and all you have to do is “believe.”
I wish it were that simple. But if you
consistently work at it, one day your feelings
of worthlessness will be gone forever.
Copyright 2002 Dolores G. Wix