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Last Updated on November 26, 2020

11 Things to Remember When You’re Feeling Worthless

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.

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

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Tommy Baker

Expert on human potential and reverse engineering success.

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Last Updated on January 14, 2021

I Hate My Life: 10 Things You Can Do Now to Stop Hating Life

I Hate My Life: 10 Things You Can Do Now to Stop Hating Life

Hating life is a bit of a misnomer it seems: in the media, in education, in every aspect of our lives, we’re shown visions of a perfect world, one where everyone is happy and life is a decades-long dream. Unfortunately, it isn’t.

Life can and is hard and tough and painful at times. I have first-hand experience of this: Years ago, I was a recent university graduate, unemployed and aimless. All of this was having a knock-on effect on my social and mental wellbeing—I wasn’t sleeping. I wasn’t seeing my friends as often. I was snappy to family members and I could barely drag myself out of bed in the morning…

That doesn’t mean it can’t change.

Life goes through ebbs and flows all the time and the key to getting through it all without cutting off your social circle and eating your local grocery store out of Ben & Jerry’s, is to cultivate some techniques and methods of going through life with some stability and grace. It’s not a guarantee against life’s hardships but, take the steps you want to use and you won’t hate life.

If you want to stop hating your life and start falling in love with it, take these steps:

1. Get Plenty of Sleep

Seriously, you’re obviously going to be grouchy and more inclined towards the more miserable side, if you’re not getting your recommended seven or more hours of sleep a night.

Start checking in how much you sleep and then start making steps to go to bed earlier and sleep for longer. It might cure every problem but at least you’ll be well-rested and less likely to nap throughout the day. If you’re having trouble getting to sleep, try these 10 Best Natural Sleep Aids to Help You Feel Rested

2. Eat Healthily

I have had a real issue with eating healthily for years and it wasn’t until I was hospitalised a few years ago (for a condition unrelated to my eating for the sake of disclosure), that I really started to look at what I ate and how I viewed my body.

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I’m absolutely an advocate of body positivity and loving your body at any size and while I haven’t lost any huge amount of weight, eating a hell of a lot healthier improved my mood and made me feel better.

In short, it’s absolutely okay to have a pizza and a soda as a treat, but just have something healthier tomorrow.

Here’re some inspirations for you: How to Find a Healthy Eating Plan That Actually Works for You

3. Write It All Down

Sometimes the best thing you can do is let it all out. Keeping things that are making you hate life all bottled up is neither helpful to getting out of that cycle nor healthy for your overall wellbeing.

Grab yourself a notebook, a journal, a diary, a bit of paper, whatever, and just start writing down how you feel. As soon as you’ve done that, start thinking about what you could do in theory to stop this from happening or to stop you from feeling like this.

4. Get Some Fresh Air

It’s underrated and we all take it for granted, but really, getting out of your home and going for a walk can be really beneficial. It gets you outside in the (hopefully) sunshine and getting to see the whole of life as you walk around can be really grounding and calming.

Believe me, if you’re stuck inside mulling over on the bad things of your life, grab a pair of sneakers and go for a walk. Plus, it’s free. Can’t say better than that, can you?

5. Get Some Exercise

This is practically a Part II of the previous step, but as someone who used to look at the gym as something people did when they were feeling particularly masochistic, I can actually say I enjoy it now.

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You don’t even have to subscribe to a fancy gym—go for a run around the block with your headphones in or lift some heavy boxes to build up muscle tone.

Bonus: Doing all that heavy lifting of boxes or incorporating exercise into chores will make your house cleaner and look even more awesome, as well as making you look and feel better.

6. Treat Yourself

Hating your life can be exhausting, and I mean that literally. It drains the energy from you until all you want to do is lie in bed with a pint of ice cream and the last five seasons of a TV show on Netflix.

Therefore, a good thing to keep your spirits up can be to treat yourself.

Life is too short, after all, to deny yourself some treats. Go see that movie that looks awesome in the cinema, grab a gelato with a friend, paint your nails, whatever makes you happy, do it. You deserve it.

Here’re more ideas to inspire you: 30 Ways To Treat Yourself No Matter What

7. Cut out Those Negative Triggers

Chances are that if you hate life, something is setting off those triggers in your head. Until you’re able to deal with them without turning all misanthropic, the best thing might be just to get rid of all of those negative triggers.

If you’re suffering from what AllGroanUp refer to as “Obsessive Comparison Disorder” (i.e. obsessively checking out the lifestyles of all your “successful” friends), then stop using Facebook and Twitter as much.

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Social media can be a fantastic way to connect, but it can be also be a toxic environment for neuroses and comparisons to breed.

Trust me, I know. If it sets you off, cut it out.

Here’s How to Quit Social Media for a Happier and More Focused Life.

8. Dance

Yes you can dance. No, really, you can. It doesn’t matter if you’re not some breakdancing dynamo or ballroom extraordinaire, everyone can dance. It’s programmed into the human race, the ultimate expression of emotion.

Dance like no one’s watching, dance like you don’t care. Tap your feet, sway your hips, go as mad or as wild as you want to to your favourite songs. Nothing quite shakes the cobwebs off than losing yourself in rhythm and dance to a song you love.

9. Get Organized

A great way to start moving forward and looking at what you can change in your life to make it better, is to get organized.

Spend a weekend going through your home and clearing the unnecessary stuff out of it. Get rid of the stuff you don’t need or don’t want anymore and start to give everything a space.

It doesn’t have to look like it’s stepped off the pages of Good Housekeeping, but clearing a lot of space and making sure that your home has a bit of harmony can do wonders for your mental wellbeing.

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10. Pay It Forward

Life is a mystery and it can be a minefield to get through. Sometimes you stumble, sometimes you fall. The important part is to pick yourself back up and keep walking forward.

Paying it forward is simply helping others. Charity is something that is often thrown around as an accessory to human behavior—how many celebrities have you read about who have done something heinous, but are defended by the phrase “but [they] do charity work”?

Go volunteer! If you think you’re at breaking point, go help other people.

People in the world out there will be going through the same things that you are going through; and while you might not run into someone who’s going through the exact same circumstances, you will be helping people who need help.

Helping out a soup kitchen, or at a church bake sale, or at a homeless shelter or wherever needs help, can make a huge difference to the lives of those individuals involved. And believe me, it’ll do a hell of a lot for your state of mind .

A great idol of mine, Audrey Hepburn, once stated that we have two hands: one for helping ourselves, and one for helping others. That’s a fantastic sentiment and one I think will help people who hate their live.

If you go and help other people, you’re having such a positive ripple effect on the world that some of it will come back to you one way or another, and it will get better.

More Positive Vibes to Motivate You

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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