Women often struggle with feeling not good enough. They compare themselves to others, don’t say what they want, and tend to people-please. This is low self-esteem and low self worth in action. You can allow yourself space to make mistakes and be flawed when you have self confidence and self-acceptance. This can’t come from others it has to come from within.
You can read more about the way these challenges connect to interpersonal trauma in our last blog post. But even if you haven’t experienced interpersonal trauma, worthiness is a challenge for so many of us.
Here’s a classic example, you’re invited to some sort of celebration where there will be people you don’t know. You agonize over what to wear and wonder how on earth you’ll find things to talk about. You consider how long you need to stay before it would be rude to leave and think about feigning sick. This could be social anxiety, but for women, more than likely, it’s a self-worth issue.
If you feel Ways low self worth shows up for women
Do you see yourself reflected here?
People scrutinize women for every little thing they do. It's no wonder we second guess ourselves so often. Marketing and advertisements bombard us with messages of being thinner, prettier. They tell us we need to be a better mom or partner. And they target our desire for belonging and acceptance. It's possible that you were not taught to be confident in yourself or to value yourself. You could have experiences that contradicted the self worth instilled in you. Invalidating family or negative peer experiences also lead to low self-worth.
It all boils down to shame and rejection.
For acceptance, women shape themselves to what someone else wants. We do this to avoid being alone. And when real or perceived rejection happens, we say "it must be me" and "it's because I'm not enough". We don't accept anything less than perfection.
At Virago Wellness, a private therapy practice for women in Portland Maine, our counselors often hear this clients. They are perfectionists who are kind and accepting of flaws in others but not themselves. Their inner dragon lady rears its ugly head and they berate themselves for any type of social faux pas. They answer “whatever you want” when asked about plans for dinner. They force themselves fit the mold of what others want rather than risk the awful pain of rejection. And they feel unfit for human consumption if they make a social mistake.
You free yourself from this emotional burden when you learn unconditional acceptance of yourself.
Self-compassion creates space for growth and learning. You can accept feedback and handle constructive criticism. Conflict and disagreement become positive and helpful. You no longer feel awful and are more compassionate with yourself and others. You are not immune to shame or vulnerability. But because you know you are good enough you can handle these situations with grace.
Want to know more about how to make that happen?
Join us Thursday, 11/19 6:30 PM-8:30 PM for a workshop on Being Unapologetically You. This workshop gets women together to have real conversations about self worth. We will teach you how to improve self acceptance to go from self-doubt to confidence. Visit our website for more information. If you feel a more individualized approach would serve you best, contact us today about meeting with one of our counselors.