Self-worth can be defined as understanding ourselves as “authentically strong.” We are talking about insight that gives us access to the real power that resides in each one of us—not something that is given to us by others.
Our personalities begin experimenting with emergency solutions in early childhood—we all had different ways of coping with not getting to play with the red ball in the playground.
The ego is our self-concept—the way we see ourselves—and thus it is subject to misconceptions. That’s why ego is often referred to as our “false-self.” Most of us are not the imposters we’re pretending to be. In fact, only by seeing beyond those false perceptions can we be truly authentic.
Self-worth is not something to be created—it is something to be discovered.
Eckhart Tolle referred to this process as awakening to the way that the ego misuses our power and strength. The ego has told us lies about ourselves from a very early age.
On Love and Respect
My ego told me that I could not be loved and respected unless I excelled and earned praise for my exceptional performance. This lie can be traced back to my childhood experiences while learning to ride a horse and work cattle on our ranch in Wyoming. Horses and cattle were our business, not a hobby, and so there was pressure to perform as a cowboy starting at the age of six.
What started out as an emergency solution has evolved into the way I see myself.
The need to perform for praise, which led to acceptance and love as a child, has stayed with me throughout my adult life.
Most spiritual leaders and therapists will confirm that there is nothing on which people are so fixated as their self-image. They are literally prepared to go through the gates of Hell just so they don’t have to give it up.
Your True Identity
The question is:
Do we have the freedom to be anything other than this role and its image?
The answer is yes.
Many people are attracted and drawn to the spiritual life because they want to disarm internally and abandon the defenses of the self-image that they’ve created for themselves. The bad news of the human condition and fall from grace can be replaced by the good news of redemption.
Layers of “Truth”
As an FBI agent, I learned to disarm my suspects both externally and internally. Taking a gun away was the easy part; scraping away the layers until the truth could be uncovered was the difficult part. Truth is not discovered; it is uncovered because it’s been there the whole time.
We do not have to invent it or create it.
Authenticity is the experience of our own personal dignity and worth. It is an awareness of the way our personality has come to terms with its environment. As leaders who lead in every part of our business and life, we need to be authentic if we’re to genuinely believe in our self-worth.
Here are three questions you can ask yourself to uncover how your self-worth has been misused by your ego:
- What’s an unproductive pattern of behavior that keeps resurfacing in your life?
- What’s the impact of these negative patterns on yourself and others?
- What is the source or origin of this behavior?
Once you become authentically strong, you have self-worth; if you have self-worth, you are empowered to live life on purpose rather than by accident.
Don’t let others tell you who you are.
Authentic strength comes from understanding your self-worth
It helps to:
- Deepen your understanding of yourself
- Defuse negative emotions that can derail your daily life
- Gain clarity on your projects and life
- Acknowledge your conscious and subconscious fears
- Heal relationships that are broken
Leading with a sense of self-worth helps us to land on our feet when confronted with the unknown because we’re responding from a place that is strong—authentically.
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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders™
LaRae Quy is former FBI Agent and Founder at Your Best Adventure
She helps clients explore the unknown and discover the hidden truth in self & others
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