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Musings on Worthiness

Musings on worthiness. Warning…There may be TMI content in the following… (like there usually is.)

My quest for worthiness began a long time ago… as I’m sure all of ours did.

Getting good grades for external praise and validation in order to get into a good college.

Getting good grades in college to keep my scholarship and get accepted into a professional degree program.

Working hard as a professional PT to help heal others. Whether they improved or not determined my worthiness and success.

When the profession proved to be more challenging and less rewording than I expected, I looked for worthiness and external validation by succeeding in athletic pursuits – soccer, running, triathlons.

All that striving finally resulted in me getting sick. Very sick for a very long time.

And then obsessing over the fact that I am no longer working in said professional job and earning money like all my former colleagues…


So, now I’m pondering the idea of worthiness. What is it? What gives it? Does it have to be external or can it come internally?

What I’m thinking is that seeking worthiness from external source isn’t sustainable.

My self-worth would be at the mercy of whatever external metric I’m assigning to it.

Like how much money do I make?

How well are others around me doing – my patients, clients, kids, etc…

How clean is my house? How well am I aging? How fit is my body?

How exhausting and defeating to have my worthiness dependent on these factors!

So now I’m consciously searching for forms of internal validation and worthiness.

Things like “How bravely and honestly am I showing up?” “How well do I love?” “How present am I with others?”

What if we changed our assessment of worthiness to internal metrics?

Then maybe we wouldn’t kill ourselves to be “perfect” in the eyes of others.

That’s unattainable anyways and can we even clearly define what perfect is?

What if we could relax into knowing that we’re worthy just because we are.

Ahh…take a breath here…How does that feel?

As I write this I am reminded of the concept of codependency. I think that might be another name for “looking for worthiness externally.” Maybe I’m just codependent:)

“Feel any feelings that go with rejection; talk about your thoughts; but don’t forfeit your self-esteem to another’s disapproval or rejection of who you are or what you have done.” Melody Beattie Author of Codependent No More

I know you. I know you work so hard. I know you are conscientious, smart and dependable. You take such good care of your loved ones and your home. And yet if the standards of worthiness are so external you may not even realize just how worthy you are! Believe me, YOU ARE WORTHY! So, this is what I am doing in an attempt to feel more internal worthiness. My good friend and I text each other 1 thing a day that we like about ourselves. We read the entire list daily. I’m on number 25. I won’t lie. It’s not easy. But that’s the genius in the exercise. Even though it’s not easy, you have to search for positive attributes about yourself. Internal ones. What’s so great about having a partner is that I have someone to be accountable to. The other benefit is that I get to read what she likes about her self every day too. It normalizes the experience. It makes it less weird. I highly recommend this practice to develop more internal worthiness. I’ll admit I’m slow to have authentic internal worthiness. It takes time to change habits. But I can tell that I’m building my internal worthiness muscle. It feels incredibly empowering! How to develop internal worthiness.

  1. Ask a friend if they would be willing to be your worthiness partner.

  2. Text each other one thing a day that you like about yourselves.

  3. Write each thing down on a growing list.

  4. Every day read the entire list.

  5. Keep going.

  6. You’ll be amazed at the growing list of all your wonderful attributes!

  7. You’re worth it!

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