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Seeking Self Worth: How to Shift from Doing to Being

Our modern world is constantly reinforcing that our self-worth comes down to achieving, how much we do in order to be successful, revered, acknowledged or even loved. We are taught that we are only worthy if we are doing something that validates a sense of worth or achievement. Taught that we must strive to be this or that, otherwise we are not enough.

I noticed this pattern in myself this morning and experienced a deep sense of grief. I realised that for my entire life I have believed that I am only worthy due to external circumstances. My worth has been closely linked to money and seeking acceptance from men.

It pained me to realise that these were the ways I had gone about seeking self worth and I have been feeling a lot of shame around this. It also felt like a mountain of pain that I was to overcome. I realised that the reason I felt so low was because the things I was grasping at to gain my worth were not working anymore. I had no man in my life and my financial situation wasn’t exactly thriving. I felt my lowest of lows.

I was grasping at straws to prop myself up on external worth, but absolutely nothing was working. I was also experiencing such disconnection from myself, life and numbness in my body. I felt shallow, hopeless and alone.

I could see the pattern I’d played out my entire life, chasing money and chasing men. Neither seemed to matter anymore and my self worth felt too low to care.

What was I to do? Who was I without chasing these ‘addictions’ in my life? I felt blank and my heart numb.

Let's talk about self-worth

Our self-worth comes down to everything, it is a reflection of how we operate in the world, how we see ourselves and how we relate to others.

When we feel a sense of worth, we shine bright, we radiate in the world and touch the hearts of everyone around us. But when we feel low worth, we want to hide away and experience a sense of shame and vulnerability. We live in a constant state of fluctuation.

Humans are the only species that deems themselves unworthy for simply being. The earthly creatures know how to just be, they do not try to be anything they are not because that would be preposterous and unnatural. They just simply are.

We do not judge nature for being the way it is, we marvel and it's beautiful and its uniqueness. When a flower blooms it connects us with our hearts and life, we don’t judge it, we simply bask in its beauty. But for many humans, we try to be something we are not to try to please others or fit in.

I am beginning to realise that true self-worth comes from being, not doing. We are called human-beings afterall.

Being vs Doing

Think of “doing” existing in your head and being existing in your “heart.” Both are necessary, but often the mind overrides the heart, and we go back to autopilot mode. Who are we if we cannot be? We just become more like functional robots, going through the motions of our day.

It is important to do of course, but can you bring more presence and awareness to the things you are doing. 

Are you striving to get somewhere (a destination) or achieve something? 

Is this playing into your sense of self-worth? 

We all get caught up in the stories of what we believe we should be doing and often think if we are doing a certain thing or being a certain way, it will increase our sense of self-worth. These are often the moments we need to step back into being. Take a pause and ask yourself, why am I doing this? Is it really serving me?

Then take a moment to bring yourself back to your being with present awareness.

How to Shift from Doing to Being

Our world is totally dominated by “doing”, as I said, achieving our worth through what we do, rather than celebrating who we are as unique human-beings.

How often do you celebrate just you being you? Do you celebrate your uniqueness or quirks or do you try to hide them away or change them?

These behaviours have become habits, and we often seek doing in order to find safety. There is discomfort in being, because it does not feel natural to us, even though it is our natural state of existence. We were just conditioned out of it as children.

So, how do we find our way back to being? Find some helpful tips below:

  1. Slow Down:

When you begin to notice yourself stuck in the doing, take a moment to pause. Take a breath and come back to the present moment. Acknowledge that you have been operating in autopilot mode. Until you notice, you cannot change it.

Just notice, what are you trying to do? What are you trying to achieve? What are you striving for? Just slow down for a while and allow yourself to be.

  1. Meditation:

This is a mindfulness practice which returns us back to the present moment. Meditation helps us to shift from ‘doing’ to ‘being’. Take some time out to do a meditation practice and come back to your body and state of being. 

  1. Acknowledge Fear: 

When we move into autopilot mode and start over doing, there is normally a fear associated with this. The fear of being with ourselves. There may be discomfort arising which we are trying to escape from by seeking out self-worth externally. Oftentimes we are usually most afraid of the fear itself. From my experience, if we can just be with the fear, sit with it a little at a time, the fear will transmute itself into something else. It won’t last forever, even though it feels uncomfortable at the time.

  1. Practice Loving Acceptance:

When we are feeling low, we don’t value our own self-worth. The practice of loving kindness allows us to come back to gentleness, compassion and self-love. You may wish to do a loving acceptance ritual, light a candle for yourself and practice gentle presence, just being with yourself.

  1. Take in the Beauty Around You:

You are a reflection of the beauty around you - the flowers, the birds, the trees. You are in all of these things. What you vibrate you attract. Take some time out to take in the beauty around you, admiring all of nature and its essence.

Did my article resonate with you? Want to discover more about how to live a heart led life?

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Heart Blessings

Erin Alexis xx

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