Back in the 1980s, psychologists and personal development teachers used to go around using the words Self-love and Self-worth as if they were inter-changeable.
Back then, it was believed that Self-love and Self-worth… well… they were the same thing really.
But all that stopped rather abruptly when a psychologist happened to give a Self-Worth questionnaire to a group of Mafia Hoods who were locked up in prison… and if memory serves… I think it was a prison somewhere in New York State.
You see, according to the theory at the time, the Mafia Hoods were meant to score LOW… thus showing that they did what they did because of Low Self-worth.
But actually, they all scored HIGH … which showed they enjoyed doing what they did… which was loan-sharking, protection rackets, pimping and physical violence to people who got in their way.
Science is full of examples when people don’t behave how the theory says they should.
The question then becomes… is Science open-minded enough to pursue the new direction… or will it stick its fingers in its ears, going… “We’re not listening… La-La-La… we’re still not listening!”
Well, they did listen… and because of this unexpected result, the whole 1980s Self-Worth personal development industry was thrown into a total spin…
… How could they possibly square this circle?
How could bad people have high levels of Self-worth?
Actually, it’s very easy to square this circle, if you recognize first that Self-Love and Self-Worth are not the same things.
In fact, they are quite separate… and so need to be approached differently.
And that Self-Love is a Being thing… while Self-Worth is a Doing thing.
Self-Love is what you get from the Universe just for being born, just for turning up… it’s your birthright… and there is nothing you need to do to earn it.
OK, it often it gets lost and buried and forgotten… and there are many, many people who don’t love themselves… but Self-Love is always there, buried in their psyche… all they need to do is reach down, dig down, and re-connect to the flow.
However, Self-Worth is something you have to make for yourself… a fuel you have to refine… and you do so through your actions and achievements.
You create Self-Worth Club points for yourself… whenever you step outside of your Comfort Zone… go on a quest and conquer… whenever you are successful in some area of life.
Which is why it is important for a parent to support their kids, and help them to succeed in some area of life (… and those parents who have to win at everything… even if it means crushing their kid’s fragile sense of Self-Worth in doing so… in the end, not cool parents).
And sometimes, you don’t even need to totally succeed to feed your Self-Worth… the very act of trying, even if you fall short of your end goal, is enough to feed your Self-Worth.
To paraphrase the poet Tennyson… it’s better to have tried and failed then not have tried at all.
And the Doings will vary from person to person… because what motivates each person to step outside of their individual Comfort Zone will vary… but we all need to strive in some way to build our sense of Self-Worth… it’s part of being human.
But it’s the people who sit at home, who don’t strive, who don’t try… those are the ones who have Low Self-Worth.
So going back to the prison and the Mafia hoods… they were probably all psycopaths, totally disconnected from any love and compassion… but they got a kick out of doing what they did… and the very doing… even if it was anti-social… fed their sense of Self-Worth.
And this is the thing… it’s also what made them successful in life (… although, I must admit, ending up in prison isn’t that great an indication of success…)
But there are many psychopaths who never get caught… and who end up at the top of the social ladder, running companies, or political parties…
And it’s their High Self-Worth which propels them forwards in life… (you see, Self-Worth isn’t always about being a nice person… it’s your inner connection to Self-Love which secures that).
You have to do something to create the feeling of Self-worth… and then that feeling then propels you forward, to greater success… which creates even more feelings of Self-Worth… and on… and on…
In fact… the whole thing can get quite addictive… and you can’t rest on your laurels forever (to quote the Ancient Greek phrase)… the Self-worth fuel will only last so long… and then you need to engage on another quest to top yourself up again.
Although, the eagle-eyed among you might have spotted the loop-hole… Maybe you could jump-start the process with the feeling… having the feeling first?… Yep, that is entirely possible.
Which is something you can do with personal development… find a way to create the appropriate feelings to kick-start your inner engine… and once you are motoring forwards… the sheer momentum with keep your Self-worth tank topped up.
But… unfortunately… there is another catch at this point…
Normally… Self-worth is associated with the Solar Plexus chakra… and New Age personal development writers say you need to boost this area of your subtle body to build up your Self-worth.
Which is correct… kind of…
But I have found that it also not 100% accurate… because Low Self-Worth can seriously distort all of the 4 lower chakras… Heart, Solar Plexus, Sacral and Base…
Because each of these chakras has some important input into the whole Self-Worth dynamic:
- Heart Chakra… the feeling of being worthy of loving your actions and what you create
- Solar Plexus Chakra… the feeling of being worthy of your empowered thoughts and beliefs
- Sacral Chakra…. the feeling of being worthy of your empowered feelings
- Base Chakra… the feeling of being worthy of having the forms and situations which you create
OK, I know that some of those sentences may come across as a bit of mouthful… but they are the best way I have found to describe how Self-Worth works its way down through the lower chakras…
If you are suffering from Low Self-Worth… then you don’t feel worthy of loving it, thinking about it in a positive way, stepping into the positive feelings of having it… and finally… having it… whatever it is.
And under the distortion of all that… no surprise the good stuff you want and long for doesn’t then manifest in your life.
Note: I wouldn’t be sharing this if I hadn’t already test driven it all to prove it works (honest).
But… the good news… if you can heal each of those 4 chakras, focusing on their distinct role in the whole Self-worth process, then you can actually start living the life you have always wanted…
… Because the Doing, stepping out of your Comfort Zone, and going for what you want in life… becomes a whole lot-easier…
… and then… magically… the magnetic powers of your energy field also start to switch on!
(c) Brian Parsons, March 2017