Build Bulletproof Self-Worth With These 5 Proven Mindset Strategies
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The belief that you are worthy of love and happiness is something you have the power to choose.
Think about all of the things in life that are affected by your sense of self worth.
The people you date. The jobs you accept. The risks you take. The friends you surround yourself with. The treatment you tolerate from others.
All of it is a direct reflection of the level of “value” you place on yourself.
This is why, when you dig deep enough into someone’s challenges or shortcomings, you often find a challenge with acknowledging their own greatness or skills. They feel undeserving of XYZ, and therefore never fully, truly pursue it.
The good news is, your mindset around this perspective is a choice, and you can build it over time with the right strategies and exercises.
Here are a few to get started with:
1: Re-frame negative self-talk.
Let’s start with one of the most important things: How we talk to ourselves when we’re by ourselves.
This simple concept alone is something that most of us take for granted throughout the day and don’t even notice it.
Have you ever walked into a room and forgotten why you went in there? What was your [internal] reaction?
“Ugh, I always do this!”
“I’m so dumb.”
“I am losing my mind.”
These reactive and reflexive sayings can seem harmless or “just something we think,” but in reality they are framing our reality and our identity. The way we talk to ourselves defines how we see ourselves and therefore how we approach the world around us.
If we tell ourselves that we’re “dumb” or that we “always date the wrong people” or that we’re “lazy,” do you think we’ll ever actually put ourselves in a position to change these qualities, or to succeed?
Absolutely not, because we don’t believe we’re capable of doing so.
What we believe about ourselves is what we’ve been saying to ourselves.
If we want to form new beliefs, we need to practice new language.
For example, instead of “I always date people who are bad for me” try “I used to date people who were bad for me.”
“I don’t have this skill right now but I can learn it.”
“I will choose to put more work into this.”
When we start to take control of the story we tell ourselves, our identities gradually mold themselves to fit, and subsequently our actions begin to change. We will show up with more confidence, feel better about our areas of improvement, and, over time, build a higher sense of self-worth through deciding what our value is, rather than letting the world decide for us.
2: Implement a gratitude journal.
Gratitude is more than just saying “Thanks.”
Each day before you grab your phone, take a few minutes to reflect on the things you’re truly grateful for. Even more effective — begin a gratitude journal and start hand-writing lists every day.
They can be simple things like your family, friends, or pets. But as you strive to add new things to the list consistently you’ll find yourself becoming more aware of the things you’re truly grateful for.
“I’m grateful I quit that bad habit 5 years ago.”
“I’m grateful I pursued this new degree.”
“I’m grateful that I have indoor plumbing.” (That is not a joke).
“I’m grateful for my ability to learn new things.”
Just imagine the internal changes that would happen in your thought process and mindset if you truly allowed yourself to feel a deep sense of gratitude for things that seem fleeting or insignificant.
If you added just a few things to this list every day, how many would you have at the end of the month, or the year, or the decade?
If you can’t stop and feel truly grateful for all of the things you already have, nothing more in the future will ever feel like enough.
3: Start giving yourself more credit.
What was your last major accomplishment?
Did you land a big promotion at work? Score a date with your longtime crush? Leave a bad relationship or job? Hit a fitness goal?
Whatever it was, what did you do to celebrate?
Do you know what most people do when they achieve a goal? They look forward to the next one.
This is great to keep you going, but it doesn’t allow you to stop and savor the accomplishment you’ve just made. It doesn’t give you the real depth of recognition for your own work and effort, and therefore makes it less impactful.
When you stop and give yourself the kudos that you deserve, you start recognizing your own accomplishments more and build belief in your own abilities.
This creates an emotional cycle that links effort and subsequent accomplishments to pleasure.
If your brain doesn’t feel pleasure when it achieves something, why would it drive you forward to achieve something else?
Give yourself permission to recognize your own accomplishments. Being proud of yourself isn’t selfish — it’s necessary in order to build self worth and self esteem.
4: Hold yourself accountable.
How often do you let yourself off the hook?
It’s okay, it’s just with small things. Eating just one more piece of pizza…skipping one more sales call…missing this one day at the gym…
Until, it’s not just one. It’s two, or four, or it’s every day.
Each “small” occasion sends a subconscious message to yourself that you’re willing to lower your standards for the sake of ease or convenience.
You’ll start questioning how committed you really are to your health, your business growth, your relationships, your self-education…if you begin allowing yourself to slip on the very things that help you build them.
The self-talk that begins when this happens is centered around criticism and doubt.
“I knew I couldn’t stick with that plan…”
And another cycle of negative reinforcement begins. Self-fulfilling prophecies of failure and defeat.
We break the cycle through commitment and consistent accountability.
Ask yourself every day if you stayed true to your goals through your actions. Did you move yourself forward in areas A, B, or C in alignment with your mission?
Every day might sound overwhelming, but this is your self worth we’re talking about here. Your confidence, your belief system, quite literally the reality you live in being at stake.
Consistency builds confidence through building credibility with yourself. You are the only person who knows how hard you work (or don’t). You’re the only person in your own mind at the end of the day, and truly, YOURS is the only opinion about you that truly matters.
That is the opinion on the line every time you decide whether you’re going to honor your commitment to yourself, or let it slip.
Create a daily task list and checklist and hold yourself accountable through a review system:
What am I proud of today?
What did I do for my physical health today?
What’s something new I learned today?
What’s something kind I did for someone else today?
What is something I did today that made an impact?
How many ANTs did I squash today? (Automatic Negative Thoughts)
What action created the biggest step towards a personal goal?
How can I improve on this tomorrow?
5: Visualize your higher self and do as they’d do.
This is one of my favorite exercises to do with coaching clients.
Look 5 years into the future and imagine your older self walks into the room.
You sit down and have a conversation.
Where are you?
How are you dressed?
What does your relationship look like?
What does your career or business look like?
What did you stop avoiding and start acknowledging?
How do you go about their day on a regular basis?
What would you tell you to stop doing right now?
What would you tell you to start doing?
How different are their decisions from yours?
Once you’ve gotten a clear view of who this further evolved version of you is and what they’d do on a regular basis, start doing exactly that. Make the decisions they’d make. Hold yourself to the standards they’d hold. Cut out the negative influences they wouldn’t tolerate. Surround yourself with the people they’d choose for themselves.
This is how you begin the evolution into your higher self — immediately. You can start making new decisions at this very moment, the second you close out this article (after sharing it, of course).
The transformation into a higher version of you who recognizes and embraces your own value can begin the moment you decide for it to — but until then you’ll stay stuck in the same cycles of doubt and inconsistency.
This is your chance to embrace all of the amazing things you are, and all of the things you’re capable of.
Let your greatness shine through to the world.
This is your life.
Live it accordingly.
This article was originally published on Medium.
Finding success in creating hundreds of viral articles and videos on building limitless confidence and healthier relationships, James has accumulated over 38 million visitors to his website and a collective social media following of over 400,000.
James speaks at live events and in the media across the U.S. and has become a go-to expert with outlets such as CNN, Bravo, The New York Post, The Huffington Post, The Daily Beast, CNBC, The Boston Globe, CBS, and more.
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