If you have trouble with your weight, then you probably suffer from low self-worth and lack of confidence.
Many people mistakenly believe that they lack self-worth and confidence because they are overweight, and therefore believe that they will feel worthy once they lose weight.
But the truth is, you actually need to build your self-worth before you can lose weight for good. Self-worth has to come before weight loss, otherwise, you will continue to struggle with your weight for the rest of your life. You can read more about this in our blog Struggling to lose weight? The real weight you need to lose to change your body shape.
Before we look at how to build your self-worth, it’s important to understand what self-worth is, and why you lack it.
What is self-worth
Self-worth is the belief that you are valuable, worthy and loveable as you are. It’s the belief that you deserve love and positive things, regardless of your weight, appearance, sexuality, beliefs, achievements, or socio-economic status. Quite simply, self-worth is a belief based on your worthiness as a human being.
Self-worth shouldn’t be tied to anything other than your worthiness as a human being, because if it is, and it’s taken away, you have nothing left. This explains why many athletes and sports stars have trouble coping when they retire from their sport or why parents feel empty when their children grow up and leave the house — because their self-worth is tied up in what they achieved as a sportsperson, or what their role as a parent was, rather than who they are as a person.
Why you lack self-worth
Your self-worth is closely tied to your beliefs and values, and your identity.
Beliefs can come from the family system you grew up with, or from different things that happened to you during your life. Beliefs can also be reinforced over time. For example, if you grew up in a family that valued achievement, you may believe that being a high-achiever is the only way you’ll be loved. When you or other family members are praised for achieving great things, this helps reinforce your belief that achieving goals is essential if you want to be loved.
Beliefs are thoughts that we believe to be true, regardless of whether they are really true or not, and they can be positive or negative. Negative beliefs are also known as limiting beliefs because they put limits on what you believe is possible. In the example above, your self-limiting belief is that you are only loveable when you achieve things.
These beliefs (also known as habits) shape your behaviour, and eventually define your identity. For example, if you believe that the only way to be loved is through achieving, you will place great value on what you achieve. You will spend much of your time and energy aiming high to reach your goals.
This then leads to your identity of being a high-achiever whose self-worth is tied up in what you achieve, instead of who you are as a person. If you feel good about yourself when you reach your goals and receive praise but beat yourself up and feel worthless when you don’t reach your goals, your self-worth relies on achieving, rather than who you are as a person.
Unfortunately, many people tie their self-worth to their achievements. Other things that determine how they feel about themselves include:
- What they look like
- How much they earn or what they own
- Who they know, how many they know, how popular they are
- What they do (being a mum, doctor, lawyer, etc.)
This is why people name-drop, tell people what they do for a living, and brag about their possessions or overseas holidays — because their self-worth relies on these things. However, if these things were taken away from them, and they had nothing, they would feel worthless. In other words, their identity and self-worth are based on things other than who they are.
When it comes to identity, the more you repeat a behaviour, the more you reinforce the identity associated with that behaviour because you create ‘evidence’ that supports these beliefs. In the case of the high-achiever, the more you strive to achieve, the more you reinforce your identity of someone who is a high-achiever.
While you identify as a high-achiever, your self-worth will always be tied up to what you achieve, instead of who you are. And if you don’t believe you’re worthy without the achievements, you’ll continue to suffer from low self-worth.
We explain this in more detail in our blog How your limiting beliefs and identity impacts your weight.
Why self-worth is important for weight loss
Low self-worth is why many people struggle with their weight.
You might believe you’ll feel more worthy when you lose weight. But the truth is, you need to build your self-worth before you can lose weight. That’s because when you lack self-worth you will engage in behaviours that will self-sabotage your weight loss. Some of these include:
- Restricting food (aka dieting)
- Binge eating and emotional eating
- Putting a timeline on your weight loss
- People pleasing
- Comparing yourself to others
- Trying to get everything perfect
- Thinking you’re not worth investing in
We explain this and more about these self-sabotaging behaviours in more detail in our blog How low self-worth affects your weight.
How to build self-worth
So how do you build your self-worth? Glad you asked.
Examine your beliefs
The first step to building your self-worth is to examine your beliefs and become aware of the ones that are holding you back. Most people are aware of the situations and events that trigger them to feel unworthy, so pay attention to what these are. Perhaps you feel worthless when you’re shopping for clothes, or maybe you compare yourself to someone who seems more successful than you. Our blog Why you’ll never lose weight without self-awareness will show you how to develop your awareness.
Address your limiting beliefs
Once you’re aware of the beliefs that are holding you back, you need to address them, because these beliefs (habits) will continue to influence your identity. This is because every time you engage in a behaviour tied to your limiting beliefs, you reinforce the identity of the person with low self-worth. You can read more about how to do this by reading our blog How to break your bad habits.
Confront your fears
Self-limiting beliefs are simply fears. And just like any fear, the secret to overcoming it is to confront it. That means you need to do the opposite of what your fear is telling you to do.
For example, you may have the identity of someone who doesn’t like swimming at the beach. The real reason you don’t like swimming at the beach is because you’re afraid of others judging you because you hate your body. However, continuing to avoid swimming at the beach (letting your fear control you) only reinforces this identity and your low self-worth.
On the other hand, if you confront your fear, put on your bathers, and swim at the beach, you begin to build a new identity — that of someone who is confident to swim at the beach. The more you do this, the more you build the identity of a confident person. The truth is that not everyone who likes swimming at the beach has a good body, but they believe they are worthy regardless of what they look like. In other words, their self-worth is not attached to what their body looks like.
Remember, whatever action you take reinforces your identity. If you act out of fear, you reinforce the identity of someone with low self-worth.
If you do more of what scares you (confront your fears), you reinforce the identity as someone who believes they are worthy.
Work with a coach
Addressing your limiting beliefs and confronting your fears isn’t easy. That’s why you need to work with a coach who can help you stay accountable and give you the correct action steps you need to take to confront your fears and start building a new identity. We explain this in more detail in our blogs Why a weight loss goal is bullshit without a weight loss system and Why you need a weight loss coach.
How DATSTM Program helps
The DATSTM Personal Coaching Program will help you identify and address the beliefs that have led you to develop low self-worth. It will help you build a new identity so you can build your self-worth and confidence. And once you feel worthy, you’ll stop your self-sabotaging habits and weight loss will take care of itself.
Quite simply, DATSTM will give you the knowledge, systems, tools, and skills to build your self-worth, so you can lose weight and keep it off — even on your worst days.
- A lot of people with a weight problem have low self-worth.
- Most people with a weight problem believe that they will feel worthy when they lose weight
- The truth is you need to feel worthy before you can lose weight.
- Your self-worth is linked to your beliefs and identity.
- In order to build your self-worth, you need to challenge your beliefs and develop a new identity.
- The more you repeat a behaviour the more you reinforce your identity.
- When you act out of fear, you reinforce the identity of a person with low self-worth. However, when you confront your fears, you reinforce the identity of a person who values themselves.
- When you build your self-worth, you will no longer self-sabotage your weight loss, and you will finally be able to lose weight for good.
- Our DATSTM Personal Coaching Program will help you identify and address the beliefs and identity that has led you to low self-worth, and help you build a new identity of someone who believes they are worthy.
- Our DATSTM Program gives you the knowledge, systems, tools, and skills to help you lose weight and keep it off, even on your worst days.