Simply asking yourself the question “If I truly loved myself, would I allow myself to experience this?”.
For me that would be allowing negative thoughts to arise and then run around of their own free will.
This quickly produces a worse and worse emotional state which then leads to poor behaviour and actions.
This puts into context all the stuff I have read about “change your thinking, change your life”.
While that’s a good reminder, when you don’t fully understand the idea, it’s not enough on its own.
You’re thinking “Yeah but people who love themselves tend to be very egotistical, even arrogant. They value themselves above others, I don’t want to be that person. It feels wrong and makes me cringe.”
The answer to that is that loving yourself has nothing to do with anyone else.
It happens in isolation. You love yourself, period.
You don’t love yourself more or less than someone else, you just do. You place a high value on taking care of yourself on the inside and out.
When you think of the typical person with low self esteem or low self worth you’d picture some shy, timid, reclusive person that dare not go out of the house.
That might be true for someone with a very extreme case but self worth is a slider not a switch, meaning there are an infinite number of levels.
In my case, the self worth slider has been quite far down the low end for a number of years without me even realising it.
The funny thing is that if you’ve met me, you would never believe I had low self worth, because my presenting attitude and personality would be bright and confident.
So you ask, ‘how do you know you have low self worth?’ By looking at my behaviour.
Remember the chain is thought, feeling, action. In this world of cause and effect we can take an effect and backtrack to the cause.
In my case I gradually (through self observation through journalling) became aware of patterns of behaviour that were destructive.
Eventually thanks to the discovery of META Health, I was able to uncover the root cause, self devaluation.
Once that idea was put to me it instantly made sense. Straight away I could see how that was the cause of certain unconscious thoughts, which led to feelings, which led to the behaviours I observed but didn’t understand and couldn’t seem to stop.
If you’re wondering specifically what these behaviours were, here are a couple of examples.
When I met a woman that I liked I would frantically try to get them to like me back.
This was less about my desire to have a relationship with them, it was more about them liking me back to prove I was worth something as a man.
From a third party perspective you might have labelled this as having a desperate energy about it, which ironically isn’t very attractive.
Low self worth has significantly affected my business and financial life.
On a simple level this would manifest itself in my behaviour when I would significantly lower my prices for the services that I offered. This was especially back in my WebChefs days.
Even though I’d decided what my prices would be before going to offer them out in the marketplace, all it would take is for a prospective customer to indicate that they might not hire me and I would lower the price so that didn’t happen.
Often the prospect would even ask me to lower the price because they knew I wouldn’t be able to say no.
Because of the low sense of self worth I believed that I wasn’t good enough to get another customer at my full price if I didn’t give this person a discount.
Plus, I didn’t feel I deserve to be paid that much and was wrong for setting such a price to begin with.
This is the ‘scarcity mindset’ that’s been widely written about.
It ultimately made everything worse because I’d end up with more clients than I could realistically handle, earning less money than I would if I had a job rather than my own business.
My experience has lead me to believe that this problem of being bullied by your clients and customers into lowering your price is rampant (because the issue of self devaluation is rampant).
For me this was giving my time away to other people at a cost of neglecting myself.
This is a poor strategy if you want time and financial freedom.
Why would I do this?
For the same reason I mentioned above about women. I was looking for external validation of my self worth.
By freely contributing to other peoples projects I was hoping to get some recognition, which would be evidence that I was worth something.
The trouble was that it caused me to neglect my core business, which in turn negatively affected my finances and started moving me towards financial disaster.
While I could see this happening slowly, the need to prove my worth was way more powerful.
So there I was in a state of desperation, being re-enforced from two angles. One from the low sense of worth and the added anxiety that by trying to fix that I was sailing towards financial disaster.
The core belief I formed was ‘I don’t deserve … because I’m not worthy of it’.
And I believed ‘I’m not worthy of it because I haven’t earned it’.
And I believed ‘You have to earn everything’.
That meant I wasn’t able to accept help from anyone else. Neither was I able to accept anything I received through good fortune.
The inability to receive the good things that randomly come to you in life puts you at a massive disadvantage.
As my coach Tony Biola instructed me to do as part of his Grow Personal Success program one time, if you actually look at the proportion of things that you benefit from, that came to you rather than being initiated by you, you realise that A LOT of it comes to you.
That was the result of my investigation anyway.
I thought I understood this principle, and I did but on a certain level. Now I get it on a new level, simply by including myself as one of the ‘first things’.
i.e. put myself first.
I would often be heard giving advice to people over the years ‘Give from your saucer when your cup overflows’.
Looking back, even while I was saying that, I wasn’t fully doing it myself because I didn’t include myself as one of the important things.
Jim Rohn taught this when he said “When you fly on an aeroplane what do they say? If the oxygen masks drop from the ceiling, put your mask on first before assisting others”.
That makes perfect sense because if you are suffocating, you can only help one person put their mask on before you’re dead.
If you put your mask on first you would have been able to help countless more people.
Even the Buddha when suggesting we seek personal enlightenment said to seek it not just for personal gain but so we are in the best shape to help others.
How able are you to help someone else find happiness if you are a bag of misery yourself?
I recently read something which I think was Einstein, it said that he would spent 95% of the time understanding a problem and then 5% solving it.
For me the understanding of this problem of self devaluation took 5 or more years.
It was running unconsciously until I met Robert Waghmare and Joanne Ross by attended their META Health Academy Intro course.
That’s where I discovered I was running a self devaluation program in my unconscious mind. Rob actually pointed this out as the result of a META Health scan.
That was the catalyst I needed to go back over these behaviours I couldn’t understand and link them together through this underlying issue.
That was December 2013. Now comes the process of resolving the issue.
So how am I doing that?
I’m attacking this from multiple angles:
This is sure to get it. The only problem will be knowing which strategy worked.
I’m not going to waste time working that out. I’m only interested in the result.