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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.

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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

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Tommy Baker

Expert on human potential and reverse engineering success.

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

20 Invaluable Things Money Can’t Buy

20 Invaluable Things Money Can’t Buy

George Lorimer contends,

“It’s good to have money and all the things that money can buy, but it’s good, too, to check up once in a while and make sure that you haven’t lost the things money can’t buy.”

In reality, everyone likes money. It has enough power to determine happy or sad moments for some people. This happens partially because money can trigger your emotions. However, there are many invaluable things money can’t buy.

Money will allow you to experience the luxury of things like a Tesla, an estate, or first-class tickets to anywhere in the world. But, money cannot buy you everything. There are aspects of your life, yourself, relationships, and encounters that forever will be priceless.

So, what are 20 invaluable things money can’t buy?

1. Love

You must have seen this one coming because of how much it is preached throughout life.

Love is a genuine action with beautiful emotions that develops between people who know each other to an extent.

People fall in “love” for different reasons. Love is unconditional and keeps people in connection with each other.

Money may earn you attraction and attention, but love? Not at all.

2. True Friends

Everyone likes to have money because there’s almost no way to survive if we didn’t have a cent or two. And it’s only normal for people to associate themselves with people who are making efforts to make the money.

But sometimes, people are only attracted to what you have and what you can give; not who you are.

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It works just like love. When your money runs low, true friends should remain.

3. Family

We all know that family consists of a father, mother, and children, so let’s consider the individual elements.

A father is only a father as a result of the relationship between him and his child. Can money buy a relationship?

The same concept applies to the mother and child and if a relationship with a father cannot be bought, then neither can one with a mother nor child be bought.

Even if it’s an extended family, you still have to have a relationship with someone who connects you to the other person. It’s not rocket science.

4. Wisdom

Someone defined wisdom as “the mother of knowledge,” and how does one acquire knowledge? He or she receives it from experience.

So, if you cannot buy experience, then you cannot buy knowledge. And if you cannot buy both, then wisdom is definitely out of your league. You have to study, meet people and just experience life to earn it.

5. Happiness

In the words of Eleanor Roosevelt,

“Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.”

    Mrs. Roosevelt even acknowledges things money can’t buy. She emphasizes that money can’t buy happiness.

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    Despite all the money a person may have in the bank, he or she still may not have the happiness that we all crave and deserve. Money cannot afford happiness.

    6. Health

    Money can help us afford the best health care services, but health itself? Not exactly.

    We’ve seen millionaires and billionaires lose their lives to a range of diseases that all their money put together could not cure.

    The Dalai Lama said,

    “What surprises me most is ‘man’ because he sacrifices his health to make money then he sacrifices his money to recuperate his health.”

      So, besides the fact that it doesn’t buy us health, sometimes the pursuit of it takes good health away from us.

      7. Long life

      During birthdays, we wish people a long, prosperous and healthy life. Money would be the best gift to send to loved ones to buy these things.

      But since you can’t, you wish these individuals the best life has to offer. You may also give them fun and loving experiences without money.

      8. Time

      The universe has been impartial enough to give us all 24 hours to do whatever we want to. But nobody, with all his or her wealth, has been able to purchase an extra hour, not even a second.

      9. Respect

      They say it is reciprocal. In other words, you can only get respect when you give respect and the last time we checked, there was no money for respect.

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      So if you can’t give something in any currency, then you can’t receive it in any currency either.

      10. Character

      Character is the sum of a person’s attitude. Attitude has to do with the way you behave and although money can influence a person’s character, it cannot buy a good one.

      11. Confidence

      Any “confidence” built on money really isn’t confidence. It’s a shade of pride and usually ends in sheer show-off. That, dear friend, is not confidence. Confidence is a quality you build with time.

      12. Beauty

      There are countless beauty products in the market and all of them cost money. These beauty products can only enhance beauty by covering up blemishes and some go as far as altering some features of the body.

      But none has been able to change the natural beauty of anybody. If you consider surgery, then you are still altering the natural features, not changing it. You can’t buy good looks from your mother’s womb. It’s just not possible.

      13. Sense of Humor

      Some individuals are born with the gift to make others laugh. Most of the comedians around became wealthy as a result of their sense of humor.

      The humor did not come after the money. Nobody became funny overnight because of a swell in their bank account.

      14. Trust

      Why do you trust people? Because they’ve proved themselves to be trustworthy by character. Their character earned them that trust.

      15. Talent

      Talent is a natural skill that has to be discovered and honed. Just like beauty and every other thing that comes naturally, talent cannot be purchased.

      16. Purpose

      People attend conferences and seminars to help them discover their purpose in life. These conferences may be free or paid but the money did not buy them the purpose.

      They already had the purpose way before realizing that they needed to find it. Lots of poor people discovered their purpose and leveraged it to become rich. This goes on to illustrate that money can come as a result of finding purpose but it cannot get you the purpose.

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      17. Satisfaction

      If there’s one thing that money can never buy, it is satisfaction. Even if money finds a way to get any of the other items on this list, it can never afford satisfaction. Money increases our desire for more money. The more the money, the more the hunger.

      18. Empathy

      Never have we ever heard of a man who bought the ability to empathize and never would we ever because empathy is a feeling. Feelings cannot be bought.

      19. Peace

      Why do people employ sophisticated security systems? Because they want to have peace when they go to bed but even with all of that, peace has never been received in exchange for money. It comes as a result of a clear conscience and a good heart.

      Ironically, money may bring enemies which would end up disrupting your peace.

      20. A Good Name

      A proverb says “a good name is better than silver.” This is like comparing two different things: a name and silver (which could be referred to as money).

      What is a “name?” It is a form of identity and how is it received? Your way of life and character helps people to receive you.

      Conclusion

        Overall, these things are invaluable and confidently show that money can’t buy everything.

        While this is the case, money is necessary, so don’t quit your job just because it can’t buy you happiness. And do spend your money and time wisely.

        Also, go out of your way to make people happy. Their money can’t provide this needed emotion. Do not lose or mismanage your health trying to get money.

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        Featured photo credit: Yingchou Han via unsplash.com

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