Self Worth: How to Build Yourself Up (Instead of Tearing Yourself Down)

Through coaching hundreds of people, both in my life coaching practice and as a professional organizer, I’ve discovered the one thing that seems to hold many people back from getting what they want: their thoughts.

Is ‘stinking thinking’ holding you hostage? Stinking thinking can be defined as “a bad way of thinking that makes you believe you will fail, that bad things will happen to you, or that you are not a very good person”. It stems from the beliefs that were programmed into our minds years ago.

What’s you image of perfection? And how is that working for you?

It’s impossible to satisfy the inner judge, that critical voice inside your head that expects you to live up to its unrealistic image of perfection. It tells you all the things you should be, and when you don’t measure up, you feel you’re not good enough. Our inner critic creates expectations neither we nor others could ever meet, so inevitably we are disappointed. This can lead to feelings of failure and unworthiness.

“Our life is the creation of our mind.”


Ready to make some changes?

Use the 3-D formula:

1.  Detect:

We’ve been under the influence of our thoughts for so long, we don’t even realize we can take control of them. The good news is that we can. But before we can take charge and change things, we have to become aware of the ridiculous things our inner voice is telling us (detect). One way to bring them to light is to keep a journal. Another way of capturing them is to record them on your phone as you notice them.

2.  Dispute:

How true are these beliefs? Expectations of our inner judge are unrealistic and set us up for failure. Once we have exposed these thoughts for what they are, we can stop believing them (dispute). Let go of these false beliefs. Release any criticism and blame you may be directing at yourself.

3.  Devise:

Come up with a new way of thinking (devise). Shift your point of view and see yourself differently. Think as if you had your own best interests in mind. That means rephrasing those bullying thoughts to something more forgiving. Instead of harsh, judgmental self-talk, speak to yourself with respect. Use phrases, like ‘everyone makes mistakes’ and ‘I did the best I could’. Choose praise over criticism.

Quiet the voice inside your head to make space for love and joy to enter your life.

If your thoughts have the power to create misery and conflict, then they have the power to create joy and peace as well.

Can you learn to appreciate who you are, regardless of how much you achieve, earn or do? Can you see yourself as perfect, in spite of your imperfections? Can you see yourself as strong, despite moments of weakness? Can you see yourself as powerful, even in moments when you feel powerless? Love and accept yourself as you are now. You are not a broken vase to fix but rather a work of art to admire. You are whole.

“Change your thoughts and you change your world.”

-Norman Vincent Peale

Letting go of false beliefs in your mind creates more space in your life for peace and happiness. Change your beliefs and you can change your thoughts. Change your thoughts and you will change your feelings. Change your feelings and you will change your behavior. Changes in your behavior that can lead you to improving your life and your relationships. Ultimately, your thoughts become your destiny.

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This post has 5 comments

  • kirads09 says:

    What I love most, is that you don’t just point out how bad “stinkin thinkin”
    is. You actually give a practicle way to combat it. Thank you!

  • Barb says:

    “Stinkin’ thinkin'” – what a great term!

  • sylvie says:

    Great tips… and what timing… just when I’m starting my new job and my old thoughts of insecurity (imposter syndrome) are creeping up… thank you so much Hellen… printing this and keeping it by my computer for daily reminder.

  • Stephanie says:

    I just happened across your website an am so thankful for this post! Although I hear this all the time, it is so easy to get swallowed into negative thinking….and I’m finding my son doing the same thing. Thank you for a little tool to help remove those thoughts. We’ll both be working towards positive thoughts! Thank you so much!

  • Sonya says:

    I use that term “stinkin thinkin'” too; I believe that it came from Cognitive behavioral therapy, and is very helpful. I love the I love lucy episode reminder. Thanks for writing this. I really struggle with this and articles like yours give me hope that change is possible for myself. Life is short and I want to make the most of it and be grateful for everything that I have. Stinkin’ thinkin’ and rushing rob us of precious time and energy.