It’s a guarantee that the majority of you will, at some point in your life, question your worth in the world. For some, that question festers daily to the point that it becomes unbearable to live with.
Your ultimate resource of thought day in, day out, falls into something like the following:
I’m not smart enough
I hate my life
I’m going nowhere
I don’t fit in
I would be better off dead
What’s the point
I am always going to feel like this
I fucking know. Believe me, I’ve been there. Sometimes I still iterate those thoughts. However it is nowhere near what it was like and overall, life is great.
I’ve had to seriously put the effort in to make changes so that I am not kicking myself on a daily basis and I’m thankful that I took the time to do something about it.
If you are in the place of continuous self-pity, it’s fucking brutal. What’s worse, is that there seems to be no resolution and that you are destined to always feel like this.
The truth is, if you want to stop feeling like this then the road to getting yourself in a place where you feel good about yourself is difficult.
However, the alternative is far worse and a lot harder in reality as you become a prisoner in your own thoughts.
So let’s look at the root causes that deplete the ability of self-worth. This is an in-depth look what I feel are the true causes of feeling like shit and once we look at what might be getting in the way, we can look at what needs to be done in order to improve your life to the point where you are proud of what you have become.
There are many things that will cause you to lack self-worth and the problem is that they all have a knock-on effect. Letting slip a few things gets you into the mindset that it’s ok to let yourself go and before you know it, you are in a place you never thought was possible, wondering how your life got so bad.
The flip-side to this is that once you start addressing these, the effect compounds into the other areas and you quickly notice exactly what you are doing wrong and have a need to improve more areas as each day passes.
Whether you like it or not, this is one of the most important factors in how you feel. If you eat shit, you will feel like shit. Living on a sugar and energy drinks screws your entire ecosystem inside and affects how the brain functions. Without the correct nutrients, your mind shuts down and doesn’t function correctly. Your gut doesn’t function properly and you live each day with no energy or motivation because you haven’t got the right materials to allow your body to work.
Without a regular sleeping pattern, your body and mind do all sorts of crazy things. Staying up late will leave you to live each day feeling like crap. Those thoughts of self-loathing and overall outlook will be heightened to the point that you won’t see the point in doing anything… ever. It affects every one of your vital organs and is a major factor in things like heart disease and how the body self-regulates. Spend the next 30 days going to bed at a reasonable time and come back to me afterwards. I absolutely guarantee you will feel like a different person
We all have them. Whether it’s the need for a slight buzz with a few drinks each evening, to endlessly binging on Netflix and Facebook, to escaping the perils of daily life by using something harder. The truth is, they are all addictions. Just varying forms. If you can’t sit without doing something mentioned above, you are addicted. And they are all leading causes of depression in modern society.
NOT AIMING TOWARDS SOMETHING
Without something to aim for, you will soon be wondering what’s the point in waking up each day. From a pay rise at work to playing a particular piece on a piano, we all need to push ourselves towards something achievable that requires effort. Without this, your fucked (from an emotional stance at least).
We are who we spend time with. I used to hate this as I thought it sounded all corny and ‘hippyfied’. Once I started addressing it, however, I realised how true it actually is. People rub off on us and traits are infectious. Spend time with inspiring people or toxic will gravitate to how you are as a person. So be truthful with yourself in who is a part of your circle and don’t be afraid to make changes if you feel the need to remove bad eggs from your life. Lead by example and seek out the best for yourself and your family because you are bloody worth it. Not only that, if you have kids, they mimic you and those around you. Who you spend time with will define traits that you either love or despise.
If you want into your home and don’t feel comfortable, make it a priority to address it. We can all turn a house into a home if we put in the effort and you can do so without needing a load of cash. Make your home something you enjoy spending time in.
NOT LEAVING THE HOUSE
It’s important that you leave the house every day even if it’s just for a walk around the block. Your body and mind need it for varying reasons and finding every excuse not to do it won’t help in the slightest. If you have a family then go for a walk together. Make sure your partner knows the importance of getting out for a short space and commit to it daily.
By far one of the trickiest to address if there are underlying issues at play. Mainly as it’s not just your actions and thoughts at play here. This is where you need to get into the routine of conversation to highlight the importance of ironing out any problems together so that you can both learn and adapt. If you are in a relationship, it’s a pact to help each other develop and grow together. You simply can’t be selfish and attend to your own needs. There are two sides to every coin. Go out of your way to put right any issues at play by letting your partner know what you want to grow together and ask each other the best possible routes to take. Being on the same path is half the battle.
Yep, this is the penultimate causes of most arguments due to the lack of it primarily. If your household finances are not in order, look at what you can do to improve them. I’ll be putting together a full guide on this over the coming weeks as there are things that most households can do with a bit of determination. However, start with looking at what you are spending money on unnecessarily and use that money to pay off debts.
Look, I get it. Going for that run or getting to the gym is a lot of hard work. However, the hardest part is building up a routine. Once you commit to doing it regularly (at least 5 times per week), then it becomes harder to not do it. Our health is detrimental to how we feel and you simply can’t argue with that. Oh and don’t give me that crap of not having enough time. You can get yourself into reasonable fitness with just 30 minutes per day and I guarantee you waste more than that doing unnecessary shit.
We have all told lies at some point in our lives. Sometimes it’s to make people feel better. Other times it’s to cover up the mistakes we have made. The smaller ones lead to larger ones though and the more you do it, you more you will feel like shit because no one likes a liar. So when you do it, you lose respect for yourself that is hard to get back.
This is a carry-on from dishonesty but with it, I’m talking about being honest with ourselves. We all say things we don’t mean and doing so, like lying, puts our heads into a bad train of thought. Be honest with your words. If someone says something you disagree with, be open about it. You don’t need to do it aggressively and when you start talking openly like this, you will notice a huge shift into how people see you. Trust me on this one.
So those are some of the major factors that I notice that made me feel like shit every day. Knowing this is half the battle as we can take actions to improve on them.
So what can be done to start feeling better in ourselves?
There are no quick fixes when it comes to feeling good about yourself. That said, once you start making slight changes, the knock-on effect takes place and you start making further changes to doing what’s needed to live with a sense of purpose.
Here are some things you can start with alongside what was mentioned in the list above
ANALYSE WHAT IS MAKING YOU UNHAPPY
This is the kicker as it involves you being completely honest with yourself and what areas of your life you aren’t happy with. It’s important here to understand they WHY with every element and whether or not it is in your control to fix. Then you can look at the HOW and begin making changes accordingly. So, be honest and list absolutely EVERYTHING
COMMIT TO GOING TO BED THE SAME TIME EVERY NIGHT
Believe me, this will make a huge difference in how you feel each day. It will be difficult at first as your body becomes used to the pattern. Stick with it. Make sure you spend the hour before not looking at any electronic devices such as your phone, laptop or TV. Doing this step will dramatically increase your ability to change the other areas in your life.
REPLACE ADDICTIONS WITH HOBBIES
Instead of endlessly scrolling through social media, use the time to learn something or develop a new skill. Our minds crave learning and the feeling of ongoing accomplishment is astonishing. Start taking pride in how you spend your time.
JOIN A CLUB
Always wanted to start jiujitsu or become good at tennis? Join a club and start doing it. It will allow you to hone in on something while you meet other people in the same situation. Don’t know what to join? Spend each week going to two or three different clubs and do this for a month. You will quickly see what you like and don’t. This will get you into the mindset of facing any fear of social anxiety and it will give you something to share when in conversation with your friends and family.
START MONITORING YOUR SPENDING DAILY
Knowing where your money goes will allow you to be more conscious of the shit you buy that you don’t need. When we feel down and low, we look to find hits of serotonin wherever we can and buying pointless crap is a way of getting just that. But the feelings don’t last. Moreover, once you start studying your finances every day and logging what comes in each month and planning months ahead, you’ll know the severity of the situation at hand and do what is needed to sort it out.
ANALYSE YOUR CIRCLE OF INFLUENCE
This can be a tough one to bear but believe me when I say it is absolutely necessary. Make a list of everyone you spend time with and how you think they affect you on a personal level including mood and actions around others. How do you react to them? Spend more time with those that have a positive impact on you and less time with those that don’t. If you feel like you don’t have a circle of influence, either doing the following or joining groups will help you grow it tenfold.
ORGANISE GROUP ACTIVITIES IN YOUR AREA
Enjoy walking, doing things with the kids, running… whatever. Organise a group activity with others that share the same interests. Involve those that you know and invite people you don’t by posting in groups and forums. You will quickly realise the potential for your mental health after doing this a couple of times.
MAKE A LIST OF HOME IMPROVEMENTS
This can be anything from decorating the bathroom to simply adding a few plants around the house and putting up some pictures. Tidy up the place and start getting rid of the shit you don’t use. You want to feel at home the moment you walk through the door so do what is necessary to feel at ease in your own space.
If you have fallen into the path of telling lies to those around you… STOP! If you are in conversation with someone and you disagree with what they are saying, let them know. You can do so without being offensive or abusive. People appreciate honesty over the long run and your self-respect depends on it.
STOP DOING THINGS YOU WILL LATER REGRET
It’s really that simple!
BE OPEN WITH OTHERS
Don’t be afraid to be you. We often hide behind our own bullshit at times when the reality is that we benefit from just being ourselves and owning it. If it’s daunting, start small and build on that. We all have to start somewhere so let it be with the next person you engage with and go from there.
TELL SOMEONE WHY YOU LOVE THEM
We all need to feel loved. Instead of just saying ‘I love you’, go into detail and tell them why. Phone up someone you care for and tell them. Yes, of course, you’ll feel weird as fuck doing it. However, it will allow you to connect with them on a deeper level and they will cherish that moment for the rest of their lives.
ATTEND TO FAMILY CONCERNS AND BUILD ON THE GOOD
As I said earlier, the relationships we hold need working on constantly. So put in the effort and start working on ironing out the problems and growing on the bond that got you together in the first place. Open up the conversation and highlight that you want to understand how to progress and go from there.
GET IN SHAPE
Stop making up excuses and start getting into the routine of getting yourself in shape. The key here is to not push yourself to the point that you put yourself off doing anything. If you haven’t done any exercise in forever, set yourself the goal of doing something in particular rather than a goal of running 10k. Simply start by setting yourself the task of running as far as you can for 5 days straight. The key here is routine rather than duration or distance.
ADDRESS YOUR WORKLIFE
If something isn’t right at work, analyse the true WHY and see if it’s in your control. The key here is honesty. You might think your boss is a wanker when the reality is that you aren’t doing what you need to be doing in the first place. If your boss is a wanker, set time aside to develop your CV and start applying for jobs. Or if you feel confident that you are underpaid, have the conversation with your boss. If they say no, then ask what results you need to deliver over the next 12 months to achieve the rise you are asking for. Nothing will change unless you start having the conversation or making the changes necessary.
WORK ON YOUR LYMPHATIC SYSTEM
This is the liquid that runs through your body to regulate the body by removing the toxins within your body and fighting infections. But here’s the thing: it won’t do it on its own. It’s essentially a thick liquid that moves around your nodes when you do certain activities and you need to be hydrated for it to work effectively.
WRITE DOWN ALL THE THINGS YOU HAVE REGRETTED OR FEEL BAD ABOUT
We’ve all done some crap in the past that we aren’t fond of. Although we can’t change the past, we can look at ways to put things right. So make a list of EVERYTHING that makes you feel ashamed when you think about it and make a counter-list of what you can do in order to put things right.
LIST YOUR FEARS
Make a true list of everything that you are afraid of from talking to people through to heights, public speaking etc. Some will be and some small. Some will coincide with one another. The key here is once you have a list, start building a list of actions and sub-actions to make in order to face your fears. Start small and build yourself up.
FIND A MENTOR / COACH
The beauty of working with someone who specialises in growth is that they help you realise what it is you want, how to get it and accountability and motivation to do something about it on a regular basis. There is nothing wrong with investing in your future self.
Improvement is infectious and the better you become, the more people want to be around you and learn from you. You new lust for life rubs off onto those around you and you will notice that they will want to improve their lives also. It’s a strange narrative that is wonderful to watch.
Be the inspiration for others to improve and watch the world around you grow.
I know some of you reading this will be calling the bullshit card and that’s OK.
The reality is that it boils down to two options:
Take action… or don’t.
People tend to get offended when it’s a linear choice as it highlights clearly that how we feel is down to our own ability to be responsible for our own outcomes. There are those that will do something about it, and those that will blame everything and everyone for their problems.
The real question is, which one are you?
If you are sceptical about all this, let me ask you this:
What have you got to lose?
If you are calling bullshit on this, then why not prove me wrong. Do what I’ve outlined and show me it doesn’t work.
I’ll be waiting to hear the results x