Your Feelings Count – The Self-Worth Challenge

Qw21tv1437046708Welcome back to The Self-Worth Challenge. Each week I am addressing a topic related to self-worth and I include a few questions at the end to help you consider how you value yourself and how to strengthen it further.

Although it will only take you five minutes or so the aim is that it will set you up to consider this aspect of your self over the coming week.

If you are new to the challenge you might want to start at the beginning and work your way through the series. The very first post is linked here.

Last week in the first instalment we looked at the importance of self-worth and we explored the fears and hopes related to it. This week we are moving on to valuing your feelings.

The start to valuing ourselves is to accept our emotions (and I mean all our emotions) as valid. How we feel at any point in time is an essential part of who we are. When we deny our feelings we deny an important part of ourselves and we lose valuable information that we can learn from.

The problem is that we are taught through life to judge our emotions. We classify some as good and some as bad. Which ones we classify into which group depends very much on our upbringing and the culture we live in.

How we feel at any point in time is an essential part of who we are Click To Tweet

We may learn to dismiss sadness as a weakness even though it is an essential part of the human experience. From it we grow and develop.

Similarly anger may be an emotion we ignore or even despise, despite its important role in our lives. It lets us know when a line has been crossed. It prepares us to stand up for ourselves. (There are, of course, certain reactions that come from feeling angry that are not helpful. However violence or rage normally come from unexpressed anger bursting out in an inappropriate time or in an inappropriate way).

The problem comes when we judge certain feelings that we have.

‘I shouldn’t feel like this’

‘Why do I feel like this? It’s not right’.

When we are busy denying a feeling it stops us using it as the tool that it is meant to be. If I felt angry for example, denying it might stop me acting when necessary or exploring the deeper reasons behind the situation and why it is causing such a strong response in me.

oO5qpr1437049103The more emotions we deny the less we feel able to be ourselves. It can begin to feel like we are wearing a mask, unable to show who we are. When we spend so much energy ignoring, denying or hiding our feelings we lose touch with ourselves and our strengths.

It is almost impossible to value ourselves when we reject key aspects of who we are.

There are no good or bad emotions. There is no right or wrong way to feel. They just are. They tell us something. When we stop judging certain feelings we are able to make use of them.

It is almost impossible to value ourselves when we reject key aspects of who we are. Click To Tweet

 

The Self-Worth Challenge Questions

So lets start this weeks questions about you. Many people find it helpful to jot down their ideas so that they can look back on them.

Most importantly really be aware of your first thoughts after each question. Don’t filter out anything for an answer you find more acceptable. There is no right and wrong or good or bad when exploring your inner world.

What emotions do you judge as good and which bad?

This is a very important question to answer for ourselves. Once we have identified what we deny (or are uncomfortable with) we can begin to watch out for these feelings, subtly allowing them into our lives bit by bit. We can begin to practise how to process them differently and be more true to ourselves. It could be anything. Some people learn to deny happiness or fun because they feel it is not for them.

When you find yourself in the future denying or ignoring a feeling you have, consider

How can I allow this feeling?

For example, someone who realises they deny anger might begin to notice that instead of getting angry they cry. From there they can begin to question if their tears are anger and what other approaches could be used to express that feeling.

Similarly, if someone realises that they ignore sadness then they can begin to spot the times they are sad. They might find that instead of allowing the sadness they become very busy sorting things until it appears to go away. From this knowledge that person could notice those times of intense activity and question what they might be feeling sad about.

If this is challenging then think about the people that you care about and how you would help them if roles were reversed by asking yourself….

How would you support a friend who was feeling the same as you?
Could you apply the same kindness to yourself?

 

The next topic on The Self-Worth Challenge: Your Are Unique

If you are excited by the prospect of this challenge please tell your friends. It is a great thing to do and be able to share.

I would be happy to know any aspect of this that you would like to share with me. I am aware that these journeys are often very personal, so if you would rather not it would still be great to know you are following along.  I will respond to all comments.

So what is next?

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66 thoughts on “Your Feelings Count – The Self-Worth Challenge

  1. Great post! I am recovering from PND (Postnatal Depression) and will be trying some of these ideas and having a go at the challenge 😉 #PicknMix

    1. Hi Luce. Thank you for commenting. I am glad to hear that you are recovering now. Post Natal Depression is such a challenge on so many fronts. The upside of experiencing something like PND is that it can act as a springboard for more growth so that one day you look back and realise that life is better than ever. It is wonderful to work on self development and build your own sense of value in the world. Please let me know if you have any questions and I will do my best to answer them. Kirsten

    1. Thank you. It is a great thing to be able to build a strong sense of who we are and what value we bring to the world. Have a great weekend. Kirsten

  2. This is a very thought provoking piece. I, not to long ago, had counselling and took part in some CBT to try to do exactly this; accept the emotions and channel them differently. It did work, although there are still days I slip back, but its important to accept the times we forget to control ourselves. Thanks for sharing this #binkylinky
    Carly aka mummy recently posted…Why Do I Bother….going to the parkMy Profile

    1. Thank you Carly. Self kindness is very important and I cover much more on this in later weeks.

      When we slip back into old patterns it may be that there is more we need to learn or it maybe that it is a work in progress. Changing the way we think is a little like changing round where we keep the plates in the kitchen. To start with we keep going to the old kitchen cupboard and we have to remind ourselves that we have changed things. Then with time we get into the swing of it until we are tired or stressed and we find ourselves back opening the old plate cupboard again. that is all normal. We all go through a learning process and it is not always constant progress. Kirsten

  3. This is beautiful. I’m glad I’ve found these challenges. I’m going to go away and privately answer these questions now. I’ve always struggled with self-worth and am not very confident. This has come at the right time. xxx #picknmix
    Chloe recently posted…JAMM SCOOT REVIEWMy Profile

    1. Hi Chloe. I am so glad to hear that this has come at the right time for you. It is a wonderful thing to do. Let me know if you have any questions and I will do my best to point you in the right direction. Best of luck. Kirsten

    1. That is wonderful and really good for me to hear Emily. I want to write in a way that is accessible to people but it is much harder to gauge than working one to one with clients. Thanks for letting me know. Kirsten

  4. Brilliant as always Kirsten. Being told ‘not be silly’ and essentially repress our feelings is no good for anyone. My poor friend is on the verge of a nervous breakdown, and not getting any support from her husband or parents – her feelings are being denied and she’s made to feel that she is being silly. Really saddens me #SundayStars
    Mummy Tries recently posted…A Few Things You May or May Not Know about MeMy Profile

    1. That is so sad. We live in a culture that fears certain emotions and that causes so many problems. I hope your friend can learn to value her own feelings and then value herself. Thank you for adding your insights. It is much appreciated. Kirsten

    1. Hi Trista. I am glad this is thought provoking for you. That is the aim of the challenge. thanks for letting me know. Kirsten

  5. This is such a fabulous idea for a series of posts. I have suffered from depression since I was 20. I was terribly ill in my early 20’s because I was ashamed of all the emotions that I was feeling. I denied the all encompassing sadness that I was feeling and I tried to fill my life with anything that would take the pain away. This was destructive behaviour and in the end I hit rock bottom. I started recovering from my depression when I actually let myself be depressed. Accepting that I had an illness and that it was okay to feel depressed and low. Since then I have a much higher sense of self worth, I am not ashamed of my depression and the emotions that accompany it and I am much happier. Thank you for linking such a fabulous and important post to #SundaysStars. Hugs Mrs H xxxx
    Mrs H recently posted…Sunday Stars – 26/07/2015My Profile

    1. Hi Mrs H, It is so hard to do but in accepting your feelings as you know you allowed yourself to begin to work through them and stopped using all your energy on fighting them. I am so glad to hear that you are much happier. We learn so much about ourselves and the world in general through experiences like Depression. It can be a spring board for growth and understanding as you know. Thank you for sharing your experiences and insights. Kirsten

    1. Hi Lux. I am glad this rang true for you. When we value ourselves we treat all of our experience as significant so that we can learn and as you so rightly put it ‘heal’ thanks for your insightful comment.

    1. Hi Emma. You are right that it is easy to not notice how we treat ourselves. I find that it put a really good perspective on things to think about what we would say to a friend. It is amazing how it changes things and then how we can see that we don’t apply the same kindness to ourselves as to others. Thanks for commenting. Kirsten

    1. Hi Lady Nym, Asking ourselves this question does give us a clear perspective on how we are with ourselves. I am glad you found it helpful. thanks for reading and leaving a comment. It is much appreciated. Kirsten

  6. This is really important to talk about because so much of the rhetoric is about happiness, how to achieve it and pressure to keep it up at all times. Living in the moment and letting the range of emotions be with us in the present is critical. They will pass. I spent years swallowing emotions and still return to that frame sometimes, but now I am aware and that is half the battle won. Thanks for sharing. Mel xx #mummybloggers
    Melanie Greenhalgh recently posted…homehello Competition – The Cleaning Fairy has ArrivedMy Profile

    1. You are so right. the ‘happiness’ movement has the risk of denying the other emotions that are essential to our life experience. Denying feelings is where we start to experience problems. the do indeed pass although I do know it is sometimes easier said than done. Thanks so much for your insightful comment.

  7. First of all I want to thank you for sharing your amazing words with my readers through #mummyandus each week, I feel honoured that you link up with me. Secondly what a great piece I really felt exactly what you were saying. I looked at selfishness as such a bad way to be, I gave and gave and did’t realise it was OK to take care of me. It is amazing when we really look deeper into who we are what we can discover.
    Mackenzie Glanville recently posted…sick children #mummy & usMy Profile

    1. Hi Mackenzie. It really is a balancing act but we do better when we value ourselves and it is contagious. Knowing you are of value, considering your feelings is good for everyone around you. Selfishness is about disregarding others and it is different from self value. I am glad that the post has helped you reflect on yourself. Your kind words are really appreciated. I was unsure about this series of posts but it has been received really well). I will be on your great linky next week!

  8. Great post! Most of the time, when I’m busy dealing with family, I forgot to discern my feelings and even recognize my self-worth. Defintely worth reading…. Thanks for sharing! #mummymondays

    1. Hi Cheryl. It is tough when we are so swamped with family life to stop and consider ourselves. It is however a great thing to do for yourself and your family. Self worth is contagious as I discussed in part 1. Thanks for sharing. Kirsten

  9. Another great post! I am guilty of not allowing myself to feel hurt/let down by people. I suppose I feel that by doing so you give the other person power over you. I know on a rational level if is a normal feeling but since when does knowing the difference about being rational/irrational make any difference to the human psyche!
    I love the questions about how you would treat a friend who felt the same. If a friend came to me and said they felt hurt by someone’s actions I would never dream of telling them to “stop being silly” or “grow up” which is what I tell myself when I feel this way.
    Thanks for the tips on how to change this mind set! Sorry about the essay lol
    Thanks for linking up to #AnythingGoes
    Debbie
    http://www.myrandommusings.blogspot.com
    Random Musings recently posted…Anything Goes Linky Week 7My Profile

    1. Loving your essay Debbie. You are so right, logic doesn’t impact feelings yet we try to control our feelings with logic. ‘I shouldn’t feel like this” etc. Emotions are always on the move as long as we let ourselves experience them. It is only when we stop them that they stay with us. In a way we give people less control over us if we allow the feelings to be there and then move on. It is easier said than done though I know. It hurts to be hurt. thank you so much for sharing your experiences. I am glad it was useful for you. Kirsten

    1. Thank you so much Kelly. I am glad that it is good timing for you. Valuing ourselves is the foundation of our lives and it is always useful to revisit it and see what we can learn. I address the being kind to oneself issue from many different angles over the coming weeks. Thanks for commenting and letting me know your thoughts. Kirsten

    1. That is wonderful Sophie. It is good to take some time and spend it on ourselves. with understanding comes growth and change. thanks for letting me know. I am very excited about the coming weeks as I have some good stuff to cover. Kirsten

  10. These are such deep things to explore in ourselves. It’s taken me years to come to a happier place with myself and if your post can help someone gain back even a year more than I had, then it’s a great thing. The sooner, the better it is to learn to value yourself. Thank you so much for sharing your post at the #AnythingGoes Link Party.
    Sandy Sandmeyer recently posted…Crazy Beautiful GiveawayMy Profile

    1. Hi sandy. You are right, it is such a worthwhile thing to do. We benefit from valuing ourselves in ways we cannot see beforehand. Life is a constant journey of self discovery which is at one exciting and scary. Thanks for hosting your linky. Kirsten

  11. I love this challenge and last week the first part really helped me see what’s holding me back and it’s my own negativity and thoughts. I lost all my self worth and confidence when I lived on my own, then I met my hubby but felt I didn’t deserve him, and now I have my son and I do everything for him and the family and never consider myself. I’m really hoping this challenge is going to help me see that I am still important. Positivity really helps. I definitely need to be more kinder to myself. #twinklytuesday
    The L’s Mum recently posted…5 Things I am going to do to combat my toddlers fussy eatingMy Profile

    1. This is such a wonderful thing to read because I can hear that you already know deep down your importance, you just need to ensure that you are connecting with it and acting on that. Beginning to consider yourself is a journey. It starts be understanding and then moves onto small changes in the way you think and then behave. Taking this time to consider yourself is a great step towards that.
      You are so right self kindness is really important and we will look into that over the next weeks from many angles. I am glad this series has come at a good time for you. Thank you for sharing your life experiences. Kirsten

  12. It’s so important to accept how we feel and face up to them. Our feelings e.g. pain tells us something about where we are at; and we get the most of them by engaging with them. Our emotions are definitely there for a reason and dismissing them is not a wise move. Good challenge. So much to learn when we engage with life on this level. #MyFavouritePost
    Adventures of a Novice Mum recently posted…Silent Sunday 21My Profile

    1. I ma really struck by your comment. ‘So much to learn when we engage with life on this level’ is so true. When we allow ourselves to really engage with our inner world there is so much we can learn and benefit from. Thank you for your insightful comment. Kirsten

    1. Hi Lisa, Thank you for letting me know you will be following along. The aim is to get people thinking on a very personal level about where they are emotionally with regards to self worth and pose some questions and challenges to help develop it. Likewise I am looking forward to reading your post on Turning off busy brains. Kirsten

  13. I am in recovery from PTSD and have been working on my self-worth since 2004. When I first started therapy (FYI, my therapist is awesome!) I couldn’t cry over anything. I was conditioned from a small child not to. While I still hate to cry in front of others, I have relaxed a lot around my kids and have learned to accept that crying is a part of natural human emotions. I even wrote a blog post on what having PTSD has taught me about myself. Thanks so much for sharing!

    1. Hi Michelle, That is wonderful to hear. You have come a long way on your journey. It is not an easy process but well worth it in the long run. It opens us up to ourselves and then more often than not we begin to surprise ourselves with what we discover we can do. Thank you so much sharing sharing your experience of learning to value yourself. Kirsten

      1. You’re welcome. Talking about my PTSD is a new thing for me. Most of my friends and family don’t know I have it (or don’t want to know) because having any sort of mental illness is associated with shame. I’m getting over that now though and am hoping to inspire others to be more open about their struggles because we all have struggles. If we keep them bottled up though for too long, eventually, the damn will break. I learned that the hard way.
        Michelle recently posted…38 of My Rockin’ Random StatsMy Profile

        1. I so agree Michelle. The more people are open about their struggles the more it will be okay. It is tough when those around us don’t understand though. There is no shame around mental health issues and so many people experience them in the world that it is laughable how they are still treated. Kirsten

    1. Hi Zena, Sadness is tough to feel but such an important part of life. As long as we allow ourselves to feel it then it does change with time. It is when we try to stop it or redirect it that problems occur. You are so right being okay with yourself feeling sad is very important. Thanks for sharing. Kirsten

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words Jacqueline. I am glad you found it up lifting. In a way with self worth we look at what brings us down so we can build ourselves up to be all we can be. Thanks for leaving your comment. It is much appreciated. Kirsten

    1. I am so glad you found this and it was at the right time for you. It is a great topic and well worth exploring. Thanks for letting me know. Kirsten

  14. I’m loving these posts! They’re exactly what I need to read at the moment. With my personality disorder flaring my self esteem has dropped massively. Keep trying to practice self care and mindfulness but can be difficult at times. Thanks for linking up with us on the #bigfatlinky hope to see you there this week

    1. Hi Martyn. I am glad these are proving useful to you. It can be tough to hang onto self esteem when we are facing challenges but it is always great to really challenge ourselves to consider how we value ourselves and how w can improve it. hoping this stabilise soon. Thanks for sharing. Kirsten

  15. Kirsten, it is so wonderful that you are sharing your knowledge and experience through your blog to help others. I love this summer idea you have but I’m going to head back to your first post which I missed and start there before I move onto this one! Thanks so much for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday
    Lisa (mummascribbles) recently posted…My captured moment – loveMy Profile

    1. Hi Marissa, the need to take our own advice applies to us all at times. the good thing is that it is our advice. We have it within us we just need to apply it to ourselves as well as other people. I am glad you found it helpful. thanks for commenting. Kirsten

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