Negative Self Worth

Negative Self-Worth

A negative sense of worth is often fueled by a belief that one is not worthy of love and belonging. It is characterized by an inordinate amount of shame. The individual believes that there is something about me that if others were to see, I would be rejected. This negative belief prevents a person from being their authentic self. Instead, they live their life as who they are “supposed to be.” This results in the individual not being seen, and life-giving connection becomes difficult. There are many things that contribute to this negative belief in self. Often there is a history of experiencing heartbreak, of being excluded and of feeling disconnected. Some contributing factors include: physical, sexual, or emotional abuse, emotional or physical neglect, bullying and teasing, a success driven environment, and divorce, death, or other experiences leading to a sense of abandonment.

How Can One Develop a Better Sense-Worth?

We see ourselves based on our interpretation of past experiences. When one is plagued by negative self beliefs, evidence contradicting these beliefs does not register. One may be cognitively aware of what is true, but on an emotional level the negative belief overpowers.

Facing our past is important, but often people avoid facing the pain of their lives because it feels overwhelming to them.  An approach is needed to fully face the truth while keeping enough emotional space so as not to be overwhelmed. Techniques such as EMDR, Hypnotic Regression, and EFT are often very effective in working with this issue.

A willingness to be vulnerable is key to growth. People that feel worthy work at being ok with their imperfections. They develop courage to tell their story. They embrace their pain fully without a need to dull it. They work at letting go of who they are supposed to be and become comfortable with being authentic.

Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life… Therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated. Thus, everyone’s task is as unique as is his specific opportunity to implement it.

Viktor Frankl

Depression and Bipolar

Depression is characterized by persistent sadness and a sense of feeling worthless, hopeless,  and helpless. In the words of Elizabeth Wurtzel “A human being can survive almost anything, as long as she sees the end in sight. But depression is so insidious… it’s impossible to see the end.”


In simple terms, anxiety is a tendency to lean into the future.  It is categorized by worry and/or fear. It robs us of the experience of enjoying the present.  Although some may have a more anxious constitution, anxiety often has its roots in the past.  It makes sense.

Trauma and PTSD

When a person’s reaction to a situation is more intense than warranted, it is possible that they are reacting to a past traumatic experience.  Trauma therapy makes it possible to break the connection so one may respond to these triggering events rather than react.