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11 Things to Remember When You’re Feeling Worthless

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11 Things to Remember When You’re Feeling Worthless

You’re having one of those days or weeks. Nothing seems to be working, your motivation is all gone, and you’re daydreaming about quitting. Your confidence is running empty and you’re feeling worthless.

Breathe, because we’ve all been there. Furthermore, I want to remind you that a high growth lifestyle comes with vulnerable emotions. You feeling this way does not say anything about your character or capability.

A study by Harvard Business Review surveyed CEOs at the top of their game and revealed that most have felt imposter syndrome—questioning their abilities and worth—over the last year.[1]

With that in mind, remember that you are not alone.

However, the longer you stay in a state of feeling worthless, the more clarity and momentum you start to lose. Because while feeling this way is normal, staying there becomes a choice.

In this article, you’re going to learn 11 things to remember and practical steps to help you come out the other side with more resolve and clarity, not less. Let’s dive in.

1. High Growth Equals High Vulnerability

You wouldn’t be reading this article if you weren’t someone committed to their personal and professional growth. And let’s be clear here—a high growth life requires dealing with messy emotions.

Why?

Well, for starters, you’re leaving your comfort zone. You’re working on yourself. You’re no longer a “talker” but someone who is actually doing it. It’s important to remember what you’re going through now is a natural part of growth.

2. You’re Exactly Where You Need to Be

One of the biggest misconceptions in psychology is that you should feel bad if you’re feeling bad. There couldn’t be anything further from the truth; ”negative” emotions are as healthy as positive ones. It is our reaction to negative emotions that can cause harm. But the emotion alone is a healthy and normal part of life.

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Todd Kashdan, a psychology professor at George Mason University who wrote the book The Upside Of Your Dark Side expands:

“There is a not so hidden prejudice against negative states, and the consequence of avoiding these states is that you inadvertently stunt your growth, maturity, adventure, and meaning and purpose in life.”

This means that feeling worthless can be a catalyst to growth, not a roadblock.

3. Zoom Out to Step Away From the Trenches

Often, we can be in a momentary valley—the place where we feel worthless and wonder what it’s all for. In this place, we can’t see clearly and quitting seems like a great idea.

Bestselling author and marketing guru Seth Godin calls this the “dip,” and Scott Belsky of Adobe calls this the messy middle. However we choose to name it, I want you to remember that growth is never linear.

A breakthrough leads to a plateau, leading to a breakdown and vice versa. There are ups and downs and last-second challenges we never expected.

This is when you must zoom out of your current valley. Expand your time horizons, and recognize how far you’ve come during the last six months or three years. This reminds you that you have grown, and it provides some much-needed perspective.

4. This Feeling Is Temporary

Feeling worthless usually comes with an emotional storm that can leave us disoriented, lacking confidence, and not wanting to do much of anything. But remember: emotions are like the weather: scattered, random, unpredictable.

Sure, the weather can be intense—a random thunderstorm with howling winds, but the next day, the sun comes back out and everything is peaceful and normal again.

Your emotions work this way, too. Remember that your current state is temporary. In fact, brain scientist Jill Bolte Taylor argues that any emotion lasts much shorter than we believe. According to Taylor, the chemical process of emotion only lasts 90 seconds.[2]

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What does this mean to you?

You will feel better. You will feel worthy, motivated, and excited about life again. The acceptance of this state, instead of resistance, leads to a sense of peace.

5. The World’s Most Successful Feel This Way Too

The role models, mentors, and people you look up to have felt exactly what you’re feeling right now. It can be easy to put others on pedestals due to their accomplishments. Surely, they never feel worthless, right?

This couldn’t be further from the truth. Everyone in this world—especially those who are growing—feels this way. Regardless of their social media highlight reels and online personas, they struggle like you do.

Some of the most successful people on the planet feel worthless at times. A recent documentary, The Weight Of Gold, featured stories of Olympic athletes such as Michael Phelps, Bode Miller, and others who felt depressed for months after the Olympics.[3]

Think about that—these are the highest achievers on the world stage who have hundreds of millions of eyes of admiration and respect on them. And they, too, struggle with feeling worthless.

6. There’s So Much That Is Working

Being in a vulnerable state can shift our awareness to stack all the ways life isn’t working for us. We think of the people who betrayed our trust. We think back to being fired after giving time and energy to an organization. We overanalyze a comment on social media and obsess over how our goals aren’t happening fast enough.

Remember, you woke up today—50,000 people didn’t. Your heart’s still beating to the tune of 2,000 gallons per day. You likely have access to shelter and clean water. This is a simple perspective shift that allows us to lower the bar on gratitude and remember what is working.

7. Contrast Creates Perspective

We live in a culture that emphasizes 24/7 positivity. We must present our best selves—we must find the ‘silver lining’ in every circumstance. And while these are great aspirations, they’re not real life.

Enter contrast in life—the experience of something different. Hard moments, unsettling emotions, and experiencing conflict in our lives all lead to a newfound perspective we wouldn’t have otherwise had access to.

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With “contrast,” we ask better questions. We seek better answers. We ask for help, creating a deeper connection. We become empathetic to others’ struggles. We may even get an idea for a change in our lives that could only be accessed in the contrast.

With that said, stay curious. When we are curious about our emotions and what we’re going through, we are compassionate instead of judgmental. We stay open to new insights instead of labeling ourselves. All of these lead to healing.

8. Dig Into the Truth About You

Years ago, I started keeping a digital file that someone advised me to call “the truth about you.” It is a simple document where I keep screenshots, emails, comments on compliments, and reminders from those I respect.

We all have a folder in our minds where we can remember the truth about ourselves—the places we showed up and followed through. The accomplishment someone else is amazed by. The consistency we showed when it was easier to quit. You may not have this folder available, however, I highly recommend you start building it.

But even without it, remind yourself of the truth. To do so, you’ll have to transcend your current circumstances and emotional state and dig deeper.

9. This Is Why You Do the Work

If you’re reading this article, you’re interested in maximizing your potential and living a productive, fulfilling life. This means you have a toolkit at your disposal—practices, routines, and actions that are designed exactly for what you’re going through right now.

Remember that the tough times are the best times to use these tools, whether meditation, time in nature, doing some journaling, or going for a long walk—don’t forget the power of these tools.

Recognize that most people don’t do this work. They’d rather give their time, energy, and attention to distraction or entertainment. But you’re here, and this is when the “work” really pays off.

10. Emotional Agility Is a Superpower

Because negative emotions don’t feel good—like feeling worthless and lost—it’s easy to distract and avoid them. It’s easy to binge-watch Netflix, spend hours on social media, or even drink and eat our way out of the issue.

Harvard psychologist Susan David talks about the need for emotional agility, which is a skill that can be trained, defined as:

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“An individual’s ability to experience their thoughts and emotions and events in a way that doesn’t drive them in negative ways, but instead encourages them to reveal the best of themselves.”[4]

Consider what you’re feeling now as an opportunity to practice this skill.

11. Breathe, Play, Lighten Up, Help Others

When you’re emotionally contracted, you also tend to be physically tense. Body language tends to be less open, shoulder slump forward. It’s easy to tighten up and even enter fight or flight.

We often forget we possess the number one tool to release overwhelm and get back to the center—our breath. By engaging in a breathing practice—taking some much-needed deep inhales or box breathing—you can manufacture a state of clarity and peace.

Another tool when you’re feeling worthless is to help someone else. It sounds crazy, right? We must focus on ourselves. We must fix the issue and do so now.

Oddly enough, by taking the focus off ourselves, we find healing. It doesn’t have to be anything grand—but encouraging an old friend, a random act of kindness, or dropping off snacks for a person on the street pays dividends.

All of these can create what psychologists call the “giver’s high,” and shift your perspective.[5]

What if Feeling Worthless Led to Your Next Growth Cycle?

There is nothing wrong with the way you feel. Judging our emotions is like running into the rainstorm with anger and demanding the sun come out—in other words, a total waste of energy.

Instead, use this time wisely. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, even if it seems far away. Often, it is much closer than you think. Use these reminders and practical ways to shift perspective to create some much-needed breathing room.

Be kind to yourself. Minimize the chatter of the inner critic. Unplug from the negativity and chaos of the world and make small steps in the right direction. As you do, celebrate tiny progress along the way while remembering you are worthy and you have plenty of proof to show yourself that.

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As time passes, you’ll wake up and back in a thriving state. You’ll wonder what took you so long to get over this feeling and be equipped with a new perspective and empathy.

More to Remind You About Your Self Worth

Featured photo credit: Joshua Rawson-Harris via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Harvard Business Review: Everyone Suffers from Impostor Syndrome
[2] Psychology Today: The 90 Second Rule
[3] Washington Post: In Michael Phelps documentary, Olympians share how system pushed them into mental health issues
[4] Harvard Business Review: Emotional Agility
[5] Scientific American: How to be Happy by Giving to Others

More by this author

Tommy Baker

Expert on human potential and reverse engineering success.

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Last Updated on November 30, 2021

Confused About Life? Try These 4 Things to Find Clarity

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Confused About Life? Try These 4 Things to Find Clarity

Life is a mystery. We all know that. There are parts where the light at the end of the tunnel is clearly visible, but there are also parts where feel extremely confused about life.

It’s pretty normal to go through these highs and lows. Everyone experiences them, yet only a few speak up about it. So, if you’ve been feeling lost in the maze of life recently, don’t worry, because you’re not alone.

Luckily, since a lot of people have already gone through this before you, the key to unlocking this grave matter has been found!

Why Have I Become So Confused About Life?

Life is like an amusement part. Sometimes, you try a ride that will take you up to the sky. Other times, it brings you back to the ground. If you feel like life is a bumpy ride most days, you are probably questioning why you have become so confused about life.

So what’s going on? Why do you feel this way?

One of the major reasons why you may feel like this is because you don’t have time to enjoy your passions.

If you’re passionate about your career, that’s amazing. However, it may not be an outlet where you can exercise your creativity. If you’re too busy with your job and other daily routines, you’ll eventually feel like you’re stuck in a rut.

Aside from that, you may have also become detached from your purpose. It’s hard to see where you want yourself to end up in the future if you have a shallow idea of what your motivations are.

Third, you may feel confused about life because you’re alone. Even though you’re always with people, there may be a lack of substantial and genuine support around you. Building vital connections with other people is a must.

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Finally, you may be facing cognitive overload. This affects people of all ages. You may have so much stuff on your plate that you feel overloaded and feel out of control. Because of this, you need to find time to offload your current load.

How to Overcome Confusion and Find Joy in Life

You don’t have to be making any more bad decisions due to your confusion. Instead, try out 4 simple things to find clarity.

These things will pull you out of the swamp of confusion and place you on clear, dry land.

“Good. Be confused. Confusion is where inspiration comes from.” –– Robyn Mundell

1. Don’t Panic

When most people feel mental fog starts creeping in, they panic. While it’s human nature to get anxious about feeling like you’re not in control of your life, remember that this is just temporary.

Do not run away from the situation. This temporary solution will only make your problem worse. Instead, reassure yourself that you can get through this. Try to think of a hard situation you have handled before and remember how you powered through it.

It’s absolutely normal to feel like you’re making wrong decisions about your life, but when you fill your mind with negative thoughts, you will begin questioning your ability to overcome challenges. You may even become irrational and make wrong decisions.

As much as you can, be conscious about the way you talk to yourself when you are feeling lost or when you make wrong decisions. By practicing positive self-talk despite your confusion, you can feel more control of your life.

2. Discover Your Direction in a Confused Life

The first of the three things you need to sort is your life’s direction.

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We all are living this life with a deep purpose. There’s a reason why we’re here. Whether you believe in a religion or not, every scientific and religious belief tells us the same thing.

No matter how small or big your life’s purpose is, everything you do in life is connected to it. So, if you can figure it out and follow the right path deliberately, your feelings of being confused about life will be diminished. You will know that every step you take is meaningful because it’s leading you to where you’re supposed to be.

To be honest, finding the direction of your life isn’t the easiest thing. It is a long journey, to say the least. However, if one stays consistently motivated to get an answer, the answer will present itself.

Your life’s direction isn’t written in a secret book, nor is it enclosed in a buried treasure box. It’s closer to you than anything else in this world. The answer that you need is right inside you. That is why it’s so hard to get it out. Since it’s always been inside you, you have to struggle with your own self to bring it out.

But once again, the key is saved because millions before you have already experienced this journey. They succeeded, and so can you.

How To Bring Your Life’s Meaning to the Surface

To find the solution to your confusing life, all you have to do is interrogate yourself. Ask yourself the following questions, test your memory, listen to your intuition, and let clarity find its way to you.

1. What Do You Enjoy the Most in Life?

Currently, nothing is life might seem enjoyable, but look back. There are always certain things that your heart is in deeply. Make a list of the things that you have enjoyed the most in your life. It could be something as small as a 5-minute meditation session or a whole other state that you lived in.

2. What Do You Hate to Do in Life?

Just like some things come naturally to you, some you just naturally cannot enjoy, no matter how hard you try. You don’t necessarily have to be bad at these tasks, but you just don’t like doing them. These are definitely the things that are pulling you away from your life’s true direction.

3. What Are Your Goals?

Based on the things that you enjoy or don’t, you need to come up with some goals. You don’t know your life’s direction very clearly at this point. Hence, your goals don’t have to enforce a certain aim. Just think of the things you’d love to achieve in the longer run. Make a list of SMART goals with all of this knowledge in mind.

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4. Is Your Current Lifestyle Allowing You to Reach Your Goals?

Sit down with your list of goals. It’s time to contemplate. With an open mind, think about everything in your life that is helping you achieve your defined goals. Simultaneously, make a list of things that are pushing you away from them. You already know that whatever is diverging your path needs to be avoided.

5. What Can You Control to Fulfill Your Dreams?

Of the goals that you have, which ones can you achieve by changing parts of your life? Change things that are in your control if they help you reach your aims, dreams, and mental peace.

For things that seem to be out of your control, just accept them[1]. This is a huge factor that causes confusion. Don’t struggle to change everything around you. Some things are out of your hands, and maybe it’s better that way.

3. Figure out Your Ideal Career

The next dilemma that makes your life confusing is regarding career choices. Of course, your well-being depends majorly on your source of income. Now, not only does everyone want a career that makes them wealthy, but they also want to enjoy it.

People who are looking for a stable job, especially fresh graduates, are ones who experience this confusion in the worst possible way. However, some people who already have a well-paid job may also be unhappy with their career choice.

Steps to Shortlist a Career Option

There is a very simple, step-by-step process to help you figure out which career will be your ideal route. Keep in mind that more money doesn’t guarantee mental peace, and, similarly, a job that you enjoy may not pay as much as you want.

1. List Your Skills and Qualifications

Start with self-evaluation. There are two parts to this. The first is your qualifications, and the other is your skill set.

Your qualifications are everything you’ve studied or learned. Include your educational background, majors, subjects, short courses, online seminars, and everything else that you’ve learned over the years.

Next, you have your skills. Everything you’ve learned may not have translated into practicality. The things that you learned to do or know how to do from experimenting or experience all classify as your skills. Include every minute detail, even if it is something like making delicious pancakes.

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The next step is to figure out which careers can use your skills[2]. So if you’re a great cook, you can teach it to other people, work in a restaurant, write a cookbook, etc.

2. Take an Online Career Test

It’s all right if you’re having a hard time putting 2 and 2 together. Matching your skills to a career may be hard for you. That is why there are so many online tests that help you put your finger on it.

You can search online to get access to hundreds of quick tests that ask you a few questions. Based on your answers, they give you some options that you can consider. Look for the ones that jump out immediately, not necessarily the ones at the top of the list. If you feel good about one suggestion, follow that idea further.

3. Look Through Job Options That Require Your Skills

In today’s digital world, searching for jobs is way easier. You don’t have to go door-to-door and ask businesses what they require. Instead, look at the job descriptions that most businesses have posted on their websites. You should follow their social media, too.

If you know of some online job portals, be sure to sign up. Look through the different job postings to figure out where your skills can come in handy. You are highly likely to find a suitable job in this way.

4. Avoid Emotional Attachment If You’re Not Ready

The last thing that may be causing confusion in your life is vagueness in terms of emotional commitments. Should you be romantically involved with someone? Is it time to get married? Should you stay single for a while?

Some signs indicate your unpreparedness for a commitment. If you’re experiencing the opposite, you can go ahead and settle down with a person that you love.

Here are some signs that you may not be ready for emotional commitment. If you identify with any of these, take some time to explore your own goals and direction before offering dedication to another human.

  • You can’t compromise, and things always have to be your way.
  • You can’t spend too much time with the same person because you get bored.
  • Sharing your personal space, time, and things is a big no for you.
  • Your shoulders are already burdened with one too many responsibilities related to career, family, education, etc.
  • Career-wise, you’re not where you want to be, and your attention and focus are on your career goals with no time for distractions.
  • You went through a bad breakup or heartbreak recently.

Final Thoughts

Life is complicated, and confusion is a natural result of that. Fortunately, moments of confusion, if worked through properly, often lead us to higher levels of clarity about our direction and purpose. Take the time to identify why you are confused about life and tackle them to get back on your desired path.

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More Tips for Finding Clarity in Life

Featured photo credit: Joshua Rawson-Harris via unsplash.com

Reference

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