The question of worthiness has been an unresolved nuisance on my mind, so I googled “How to determine someone else’s worthiness,” and didn’t get much respite there. Most of the sites listed were for credit score worthiness. Fun. But what I did find in my quick, internet-y research, was that there were a ton of helpful resources for working on your own self-worth.
If we do what we are told and we fit in with the group dynamic, we receive rewards and our emotional needs are met. However, if we think for ourselves, and we do not fit in, no rewards come; leaving us feeling emotionally punished by disapproval, disappointment and the withholding of love by those in authority. In other words, we are deemed unworthy.
Society teaches us that worthiness is directly connected to our future and ongoing success in the world. Therefore, we must possess worthiness in order to have purpose, make money, and attract a life partner; just as being poor, having no partner, or no direction in life directly relates to unworthiness.
In order to turn off the worthiness program, you must stop acting like your worth is conditional – and you must stop believing that you need to improve or change in any way, in order to gain worth. Looking to the outside world of people or things for your worth keeps you trapped in a vicious cycle with no way out… It takes courage to find yourself unconditionally worthy but you are the only one who can do it.
If you have difficulty claiming your worth, at the very least stop pursuing it. In fact, instead of spending the rest of your life trying to prove your worth, what if it was okay to be unworthy? What if you just gave in to unworthiness? This may sound like a silly thing to say but if you have the courage to give in to unworthiness by giving up the search for worth, the illusion of conditional worth will shatter, and you will likely discover that you are already worthy.
…We have unique ways of trying to measure or reinforce our worth. But by the very nature of this being an immeasurable thing, our unique ways of measuring our worth actually become our own personal compass for reinforcing our experience of unworthiness.
As we pay closer and closer attention to the moves we make in order to be worthy, we can begin to really feel that the very thing we chase that we believe will bolster our self-worth, is the very thing that reinforces our fears of worthlessness. If we can see it and stay with it and even share it with others in a trusted space, we can start to see this way of assessing how we’re doing or what we’re worth as not only inaccurate, but simply as a mechanism to our humanity that needn’t hold the hook it currently holds. From there, our behaviors can be an expression of joy, freedom, love or whatever actually fuels us and others, rather than a clamoring and scratching for our acceptable place in the world.
The Bible actually has many passages that tell us what God has to say about our worth and our value in His eyes. Genesis 1:26-27 says we are made in His image, the very image of God. Psalm 139:13-16 says we are fearfully and wonderfully made, and all the days of our lives were written in God’s book before we were ever born, confirming God’s prior knowledge and plan for our lives. Ephesians 1:4 says God chose His children before the foundations of the earth were ever formed, and in Ephesians 1:13-14 we’re told we are God’s own possession, chosen for the praise of His glory, and that we have an inheritance in heaven with Him as His children.But notice the wording in each of the above phrases: “are made,” “are fearfully and wonderfully made,” “were written,” “God chose His children,” “we are God’s own possession,” and “we have an inheritance.”
These phrases all have one thing in common: they are things done to us or for us by God. These are not things we have done for ourselves, nor have we earned or deserved them. We are, in fact, merely the recipients of “all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3). Therefore, we can conclude that our worth is not really of the “self” at all; rather, it is worth given to us by God. We are of inestimable value to Him because of the price He paid to make us worthy—the death of His Son on the cross.
If you’ve ever felt unworthy — because of your weight, your job, your relationship or any other fill-in-the-blank reason — shame and vulnerability researcher Dr. Brené Brown has a message she wants you to hear loud and clear: There are no prerequisites for worthiness.
“Most of us think, ‘I’m pretty worthy of love and belonging — but I’d be super worthy of love and belonging if I could lose 15 pounds,'” Brown says…”‘[Or] I made partner. Or my wife doesn’t leave. Or I stay sober’ –- or whatever our thing is.”
In reality, none of that matters. “Worthiness is an as-is, here and now proposition,” she says. “And to me, that’s the definition of wholeheartedness. Wholeheartedness is about engaging with the world from a place of worthiness.”
“You are imperfect, you are wired for struggle, but you are worthy of love and belonging.”
– Dr. Brene Brown.