Do you get stopped by the same issues day after day, whether it’s your boss, your team, or feeling guilty when you do make time for yourself?
If so, this episode was made especially for you!
Today, Nicole dives into the four biggest blocks that often hinder self-worth — these are the ones you definitely WANT to know!
In the episode, she shares the essential steps to start to break free from these old patterns. From deep-rooted identity issues to outsourcing your value and battling guilt, you’ll learn the powerful shifts required to leave these patterns behind for good.
“There is a world that doesn’t actually want you to value yourself, to see your own self-worth. So the more you can start to identify and learn about it, the more you actually get to reclaim your own power.”
“When you keep putting your value and your worth onto these things that you do, these roles that you play, it limits your capacity and understanding of who you really are. It means that when any of those external things change, all of a sudden you don’t feel worthy anymore.”
“Change is only ever possible right now. It’s not something that we actually can delay and put off. People are like, oh, I’ll do it next year, I’ll do it later. But life is actually only ever in the moment, in the now. We don’t actually have future time allotted to us, and our pastime is done. If you have ever had an experience of losing somebody, you really are aware of how limited that time is. How can we really remember that now is always the time to reclaim who you are? Because there isn’t always a guaranteed future. The more you start to address it in the now, the more that’s actually going to create the change that is around you. It’s going to ripple out around you so much faster and you’ll actually see the change so much sooner and it’s actually super exciting. You get to start to really expand into your life in a totally different way.
Welcome to The School of Self-Worth, a podcast for ambitious women who know they are worthy of an astoundingly great life. Join us weekly as we get on the right side of your intuition, redefine success, and reclaim your self-worth. I’m your host, Nicole Tsong, an award-winning journalist who left it all behind to become a bestselling author of three books and work-life balance expert, helping ambitious women unlock their intuition and step into a life of fulfillment and radical joy.
Every single week, I will bring you diverse and meaningful conversations with successful women from all walks of life who share insight about what it takes to be brave, joyful, and authentic, every day. Every episode is thoughtfully designed to leave you feeling empowered with tangible tips and advice that will lead you to your next breakthrough.
Hello, and welcome back to another episode of The School of Self-Worth. Today, I am giving you all a little taster. A mini episode about unlocking the power of self-worth.
I was inspired by reading The Luminous Self from author and teacher Tracy Stanley, who will be on next week. Her journey was the catalyst for this week’s conversation about the four biggest things that block self-worth. I am so excited to expand on this topic with all of you. So, before we get started, if you are a high-achieving professional woman and you want to step into your roadmap to personal power, DM me power on Instagram at Nicole, and I’ve got something for you.
All right, let’s do this. One of the things I’ve been sitting with is the lessons that you learn on repeat and how to break those patterns and those cycles because none of us want to keep learning the same lessons over and over again. These lessons can feel like particularly stubborn blocks that just don’t want to go away. And there are some common ones that we all tend to experience. The thing is, it is possible to break those patterns, but it might leave you with some other questions, like what causes them? Why does it take so freaking long to overcome them?
So welcome to the journey toward achieving a consistent understanding and embodiment of self-worth and value. Today, I’m going to dig into the four biggest blocks of self-worth. And these are all essential. Self-worth really is an essential component to bringing you closer to a life where you work less, set clear boundaries, and feel purposeful every single day. I’m speaking today from personal experience and also from what I see with my clients. There is a world that doesn’t actually want you to value yourself, to see your own self-worth. So, the more you can start to identify and learn about it, the more you actually get to reclaim your own power.
Let’s look at these things. The first one that I see that gets in the way for so many women around self-worth, is identity. For most people, the identity of ‘not enough’ is really deeply internalized. And this is the programming that says I am not enough. It’s the program that makes you identify deeply with a sense that you need to do more to be valuable, to be enough. For most of us, this is just really a long-standing identity we’ve had since we were kids. It’s super useful to understand that it is actually an identity. It’s also really useful to understand that there are forces out there that want you to believe it because they benefit from it.
It’s what gets you to buy more things. It’s what gets you to have more food or to have more drinks. It’s what gets you to sacrifice yourself to work harder. It’s the things that get you to give up your boundaries. It’s what keeps you scrolling on social media. So this is your workplace. It could be your social media feed, it’s your email, it’s the people in your life who want something from you. Now, sometimes they don’t have the best of intentions, but sometimes they actually do, and the effect is still the same. The sooner you start to shift your identity from not enough to someone who is valued, who is worthy, and you separate yourself from this identity of not enough, that’s when you can start to make a shift. It’s a lot of inward work, a lot of inward attention, and it is what I consider the most critical piece to start to actually move forward.
The second biggest block is so common. I see this everywhere, where people are outsourcing their self-worth to pretty much anything under the sun, except for inside. This is where you tie your worth and your value to the things that you do, like how much you’re accomplishing every single day, and what you’re getting done. It could include how much you’re doing for work, like how many emails you sent or whether your boss gave you a good performance review. It could also be whether you’re getting promoted or if you feel like you’re on the track to promotion.
It can also be the size of your body, how much you weigh, how much you lift at the gym, whether you go to the gym or move your body, and how far you can walk. And then some even more insidious ones, like how good a mom you are, how good a partner you are, how good a daughter you are. When you keep putting your value and your worth onto these things that you do, these roles that you play, it limits your capacity and understanding of who you really are. And it means that when any of those external things change, all of a sudden you don’t feel worthy anymore. Say you get laid off. You would lose who you are when you get laid off, or if you don’t get a good performance review because something needs to change or to improve. Are you taking all of that on yourself? Or if someone feels critical of how you’re doing something or a relationship status changes, does your worth and value plummet as soon as that relationship status changes? Or are you able to maintain who you are? This is what I mean by outsourcing. It means that you’re giving that power away to somebody else.
And if you’re in that cycle, you’ll never get out of that cycle. That cycle is continuous. What happens is you start to lose all your boundaries. You say yes to all the meetings, you let other people’s needs come before your own. You never take the time you need for yourself. Taking your value and worth back from these things, these external circumstances in your life truly is a game changer.
This leads me to the third biggest block and this one is related to the second one in some ways, and that is guilt. I see this one really commonly. So you say, okay, I am not going to outsource my self-worth to my work. I’m going to take time for myself and I’m going to go catch a class, like a yoga class I really want to go to. And then you feel guilty for doing it. Because once you start to take it back, we’re not trained to understand that this is actually something that is valuable in our society. This is something that actually makes a difference for your families, it makes a difference for your work that when you are taking time for yourself, it makes a really big impact on everything around you. People do those things sometimes, and then they feel guilty about it. And when you nosedive into guilt, you stop remembering that you’re worthy of receiving. It actually changes and affects the experience of the thing that you’re doing for yourself.
So you feel bad setting a boundary or you think you’re not worthy of taking time for yourself or away from your family, whatever it might be for you. Or you think you’re sacrificing somebody else, like your team member is having to deal with the fact that you took time off. This guilt crashes your brain, and it is one of the biggest things that’s going to stop you from stepping into your power. Like you might think, “Well, I really should take some time for myself, but that means I’m taking time away from family. Somebody else has to shoulder the load, somebody else has to deal with this at work and then they’re going to think that I’m selfish.” And so instead of enjoying it, which is the point, and instead of actually being in your own power and your worthiness, it actually gets worse, and it keeps you from doing it consistently and it becomes a lack. It’s another way where your power is externalized. You’re not really remembering who you are, that you’re worthy of enjoying your life, you are worthy of having ease and fun in the midst of all the other things that you have to do in your life.
When you can’t do that consistently, these cycles crashing your brain lead up to a ton of stress, anxiety, and overwhelm. Nobody needs you all the time, by the way, and setting boundaries is a powerful outcome of valuing yourself. This is a really important one to start to work through, this feeling of guilt, like identifying it, noticing that you’re feeling guilty, and then starting to work through the things within you that are causing that guilt.
This leads me to the fourth biggest block, which is this: You believe that you can do it later. When I say it, I mean you believe that you can unlock your self-worth at another time. And this shows up in the way that you think about time, the way that you think about your own worth and your value. That your worth and value is something you can put off.
I will counter that your worth and value is actually the most urgent thing I can think of on the planet, for you to pay attention to. Because when you don’t have your self-worth, you suffer. And if you are suffering, that means the people around you are also suffering. The people you love, the people you work with, the people you respect, the people you want to make an impression on, they’re all going to suffer if you’re not really stepping into your own value and into your worth. And this looks like working crazy hours and spending all your time on your phone. When you’re doing things like that, you’re teaching other people, like your kids, people in your lives, not to value themselves as well. When you’re not loving yourself, and that’s really what it is to be in your self-worth, how do you actually love yourself? On a much deeper level that is sending the signal out into the world to people who might want to take advantage of it, places, and resources that might actually want to take advantage of you not being able to do this. We saw a really great example of that when Kristi Coulter was on the podcast for the last couple of episodes, talking about her time at Amazon.
We see this where people do try to take advantage of when you don’t have your own value and your own worth. When we say, “I can do it later”, actually what it means is, “I can keep suffering and being in this place for a really long extended time because, man, I know how to tough it out. I am strong.” But to me, that’s really the opposite of being strong. Real strength comes from knowing who you are, valuing yourself, being in that powerful place for yourself. And change is only ever possible right now. It’s not something that we actually can delay and put off. And this is something I see so much of.
People are like, ‘Oh, I’ll do it next year, I’ll do it later’. But life is actually only ever in the moment, in the now. We don’t actually have future time allotted to us, and our past time is done and the future time we’re always assuming is coming, but we don’t really know. And if you have ever had an experience of losing somebody, you really are aware of how limited that time is. I always think of how we really can remember that now is always the time to reclaim who you are, because there isn’t always a guaranteed future. The more you start to address it in the now, then that’s actually going to create the change that is around you. It’s going to ripple out around you so much faster and you’ll actually see the change so much sooner and it’s actually super exciting. You get to start to really expand into your life in a totally different way.
The truth is, all we’ve got is this moment. Wherever you are right now, listening. Whether you’re in your car or you’re walking, or you have it in the background while you’re making dinner, this is the moment you’ve got. Can you be in the moment? Can you wiggle your toes? Can you be present? And then can you see and start to feel like, ‘Okay, here is where I get to make these new choices about my self-worth. This is the time, this is the moment, for me to start to do it’. And that is actually when you start to say, ‘How do I start to really unlock this on a much deeper level for myself and to clear these blocks that are preventing me from doing it, moment by moment, every single day?’
Thank you so much for listening to this. I feel like this conversation that we’re having on this podcast around self-worth is one of the biggest conversations I’ve ever initiated in the world, and one of those that I feel is the most valuable conversations I have ever initiated. And I’m so grateful to have this conversation with all of you.
I am eternally grateful that you listen, that you tune in, that you examine what is happening for yourself so that you can start to make those shifts. And again, if this resonates with you and you want to step into your own roadmap to personal power, DM me power on Instagram at Nicole Tsong, I’ve got something for you. Let’s chat.
Until then, thank you so much for listening. I am so grateful for you. Thank you so much for tuning into today’s episode. Without each of you, this podcast would not be in the world. If you loved what you heard today, do me a favor and leave a five-star rating and review of the show, and screenshot this episode and share it on social media, and tag me at Nicole Tong.
Every positive review and share out there makes such a big difference to helping get the word out. We are so grateful for all of your support, and if you’re ready to work towards an aligned life, filled with clarity and confidence, send me a DM at Instagram at Nicole Tsong and let me know what resonated most from this episode. Until next time, I’m Nicole Tsong, and this is the School of Self-Worth.