Breaking Free: Understanding and Overcoming the Chains That Bind Us In Overdoing

June 8, 2024

Have you ever felt like you are not enough?

Unappreciated, undervalued, unsupported? Is there a belief that no matter what you do, it will never be enough? There is an underlying cause to not feeling enough.

It’s unworthiness. 

If you have struggled with feeling like all you do is never enough and you also want more out of life. You’re not alone. I, too, felt as though I could work every hour of the day and still not accomplish everything that needed to be completed. I was overwhelmed, overworked, stressed, and ultimately burned out. 

After years of healing, researching, unlearning, learning, and helping other women, I discovered the root cause of not feeling enough (and burnout): low self-worth. 

So, I started to heal my feelings of unworthiness through unlearning societal conditioning, remembering the truth of who I am and speaking my truth, expressing my needs, sharing my emotions in a healthy way (plenty of experience of sharing my emotions in unhealthy ways), and ultimately follow my dreams. I quit my corporate career, wrote a best-selling book, I speak on stages, and help women unlearn conditioning, remember their self-worth, and trust their Soul to live out their dreams. 

I went from feeling unsupported, overwhelmed, and emotionally distressed to now, enjoying time with my kids, writing my blog, attending grad school, and running my women empowerment business, Love Personal Growth®, while feeling supported, loved, appreciated, and worthy. 

I realized the power of education, healing, and following your dreams and it changed my life so now I want to share some insights with you. 

In this blog post, you will learn…

  • What is low self-worth and how it differs from self-esteem,
  • Signs of low self-worth,
  • The development of low self-worth 
  • Heal feelings of unworthiness. 

So let’s get started! Here’s how to know if you’re struggling with unworthiness. First of all…

What Is Low-Self Worth?

Feelings of unworthiness impacted every aspect of my life. I used to work 60-80-hour weeks, hoping that I could accomplish everything that needed to get done. That didn’t happen. 

Yet, part some of me knew that I was craving the praise and appreciation I wanted so badly at home but didn’t get. Work gave me purpose, people appreciated my long hours and I was praised with raises, awards, and of course, more work. But it came at a cost: my well-being and my relationships. 

Something had to change, and in 2017, it did. I was carrying my third child, not knowing if the baby would live due to complications. This experience changed my life forever. The miracle birth was the catalyst to my journey to reclaiming myself and, ultimately, my worthiness. 

From my career to motherhood and everywhere in between, I struggled with low self-worth but didn’t know it. I didn’t know what low-self-worth was, let alone the signs of low self-worth until I researched them and found I suffered from every sign I found. 

Self-worth is often synonymous with self-esteem, however, there is a difference. 

Self-esteem is an evaluation of our worthiness and relies on external factors such as success and achievements to define our worth. (source)

Whereas self-worth is our internal sense of being good enough and worthy of love and belonging. (source)

Low self-worth has been defined as “thoughts of self-criticism and self-hatred and feelings of shame, self-blame, and humiliation.”

Yet, low self-worth is much more than a definition is an experience lived daily. So, what are the signs?

Signs of Low Self-Worth: (from research and personal and professional experience) 

  • Perfectionism (source)
  • Self-criticism, perfectionism, and low self-esteem (source)
  • People-pleasing – Carrying out actions to please others rather than yourself, difficulty saying no, taking on too much (source)
  • Difficulty setting boundaries
  • Self-neglect
  • Low confidence
  • Overgiving
  • Overdoing
  • Overspending
  • Overworking
  • Seeking external validation
  • Codependency (source)
  • Self-hatred
  • Control
  • Self-loathing 
  • Fear of failure 
  • Overly critical of yourself or others 
  • Self-doubt
  • Comparison
  • Lack of self-compassion (source)
  • The need to earn or prove
  • Self-punishing 
  • Guilt 
  • Shame  

I don’t know about you but many of these experiences were daily occurrences in my life and impacted how much energy and effort I put into others and how little energy and effort I put into myself. 

The Development of Low Self-Worth:  

So, how did I develop low self-worth? How do any of us develop low self-worth?

For one, it was of course a product of my childhood. Yet, it was so much more than childhood. 

Unworthiness is a direct result of societal conditioning and religious beliefs, especially for women. One study found that ​​”when one’s behavior does not match religiously based standards then self-worth may decrease tremendously.” (source)

But there’s more… 

Did you know the oocyte (egg) you came from spent approximately months in your grandmother’s womb? That’s right, at twenty weeks the female fetus has a fully developed reproductive system, with approximately six to seven million eggs. (source)

So, the trauma and feelings your grandmother experienced, your mom experienced, and ultimately so did you.

The feelings of unworthiness, like trauma, can be passed down through genetics.   

This passed-down trauma is known as intergenerational trauma. 

Intergenerational trauma is defined as symptoms of trauma, traumatic behaviors, or feelings associated with trauma that are passed from the parent to child unconsciously, behaviorally, genetically, and epigenetically.” (source)

What is epigenetically? Psychological trauma, from an overwhelming amount of stress that exceeds one’s ability to cope and/or integrate emotions, causes epigenetic changes (changes to gene expression, brain neurons, memories, and emotional behaviors), which can be transmitted from generation to generation. (source)

As you may know from classics like The Body Keeps The Score by Bessel Van Der Kolk, M.D., our body holds onto all of our trauma. And now, it is proven that trauma in our body can be transmitted as intergenerational trauma.  

My poor body held onto decades of trauma in many forms and my well-being suffered. 

  • Mentally – I had overwhelming, anxious thoughts that would not shut off. 
  • Emotionally – I shoved down my true feelings to “keep the peace” only to feel so overwhelmed, stressed, overworked, unappreciated, and unsupported and would snap.
  • Physically – I had IBS, sinus infections, constant neck, shoulder, and back strain and pain, and jaw tension. 
  • Spiritually – I was so disconnected from my true Self, from my Soul. I didn’t feel like me because I didn’t know who I me was. I was so busy being who everyone else wanted me to be and who I thought I needed to be. 

As a human, I want to heal my trauma, but as a mother, healing holds a greater meaning. I don’t want to pass down intergenerational trauma. While the intergenerational trauma didn’t start with me, it can end with me. 

I have the power to heal and so do you. Here’s a glimpse into my healing journey and some support for you. 

Know that the origination of low self-worth in women is much deeper than what we discussed and have time for here so I will offer that in another blog post.

Heal Feelings of Unworthiness:

The good news is that unworthiness, like intergenerational trauma, can be healed. Through my research and personal and professional experience there are multiple ways to heal. As I state in my book Reclaim Your Self “There are as many ways to heal as there are people on the planet.” – page 170. 

It’s not about finding the right way to heal. It is about finding your way to heal. 

For me, I have found four key aspects to healing: unlearning, meditation, trauma healing, and connecting to Spirit. 

In 2017, when I couldn’t take the stress, overwhelm, and overwork anymore. The traumatic event of my third pregnancy occurred which turned out to be a miracle. Maybe it was the miracle I was unconsciously praying for. I read as much as I could about personal development. The main take-away from my early research was that I had to unlearn the conditioning I had absorbed from society, parents, religion, culture, and more  if I wanted to change my life. 

I had to escape the ‘culture-space’ as Vihsen Lakinani states. That was the first step for me unlearning. I had to unlearn that my self-worth was dependent upon anyone else (religion, society, family, friends, career, accomplishments, success, money, relationships, etc.) and remember that my self-worth is inherent. 

What have you learned that your self-worth is tied to?

Then after loads of research, (if you cannot tell from this post, I love research) I learned that meditation could help me clear the overwhelming thoughts in my mind. So I started meditating, I still meditate daily, because the research was right. It does help. 

What would it take to set aside 2-5 minutes a day to start meditating?

Then in 2019, while attending Southwest Institute of Healing Arts I learned I could heal emotions or rather the emotions trapped in my body that came from trauma. As an overachiever I spent hours in healing each week – inner child work, shadow work, EMDR, IFS, and about fifty other healing modalities. This transformed my life forever, and my kids too. 

What patterns or cycles keep coming up in your life as a call for healing? 

I no longer have overwhelming ruminating thoughts, I have patiences with my kids and feel appreciated and supported, I understand how I feel and no longer blow up, I no longer have any of the physical symptoms I used to. 

Yet, the most important aspect to my healing is my connection to the Divine, to Spirit, my Soul. My soul guides me every step of the way, it’s how I know what direction to go, what step to take, it’s the most important relationship in my life. The trust in my Self, my Soul, Spirit. 

What’s one thing you can do to connect more deeply with your Soul?  

Things had to transform inside first and once they did so did my external reality. Once I saw the power of healing through my own experience – I knew I wanted to help other women who also wanted to change their lives and heal. 

Now I get to empower women to unlearn conditioning, remember their worth, and trust their soul to follow their dreams. Like I did – I quit my corporate career, I get to spend quality time with my kids, I wrote a #1 Bestselling book Reclaim Your Self, and since I love learning and researching so much I am getting my master’s in Women’s Spirituality at California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco California. I am truly living my dreams! 

In my book Reclaim Your Self and in my Spiritual Seeker Monthly Mentorship I teach the 3-Step Rediscovery Process to guide women through healing in minutes a day. As my gift to you here is a link to get a FREE 7-Day Trial for my Spiritual Seeker Monthly Mentorship with access to the 3-Step Rediscovery Process Digital Course. 

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Rooted In Worth

Welcome to my blog, a transformative space empowering women on their journey to mental clarity, emotional resilience, and a reclamation of worth to live out their Soul's Purpose. Explore topics like unlearning societal conditioning, finding clarity, healing unworthiness, and reconnecting to your Soul. Each post offers practical steps, academic research, personal insights, and inspiring stories to help you reclaim your voice and embrace your true self with confidence and purpose.

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