There have been times in my life (after certain relationships especially) that have tanked my sense of self-worth.
It’s happened from being in situations where I felt taken for granted, was treated poorly or flat out abused, or was told in one way or another that I was “too much.” It’s happened from being in relationships with people who didn’t show up, made me and my experience wrong, or continually showed me that I didn’t really matter. It’s happened from situations that made me doubt myself and my power, caused me to question whether or not I deserved support, or led me to gaslight myself in crazy-making ways. It’s happened with family, friends, partners, and in work.
It happens to all of us at some point in our life, to some degree.
That’s just the nature of being human in this world.
But while there are many circumstances, relationships, and situations that can actively lower our self-worth, the truth is, we’re usually the ones who drive it into the ground.
We do this when we continue to stay in a relationship despite knowing it’s not right or healthy, when we make excuses for people who treat us poorly or don’t show up at all, or when we tolerate the intolerable for longer than we should.
This isn’t to suggest that extricating ourselves from traumatic and abusive situations is easy or that we’re to blame for the effects of that treatment. Not at all. We are never to blame for abuse or the damage it causes-but we are responsible for our healing.
There are lots of ways we can tell when our self-worth is low. We stop taking care of ourselves, begin feeling very “what’s the point” about everything, and it feels incredibly difficult to make things happen. We feel apathetic, even depressed, and we don’t go after what we want because we don’t believe we deserve it.
If this is you, don’t worry.