Self worth

One of the gifts we get from a yoga practice is time to focus on the breath, to be present in the now. Carrying that focus through the rest of the day, and applying it to the larger picture of our lives, can be a challenge. We all have that voice in our heads, the inner monologue patched together from old criticisms and praise, hopes and fears, confidence and doubt. Too often that voice whispers or screams very much not in the present. It focuses on a future in which we are more fit, more financially flush, more accomplished – more something. And tucked away in all of this is an insinuation that we are somehow lacking, somehow less than, in the now.

Certainly a commitment to increasing fitness, advancing a career, or learning a new skill is a fine thing, Less so the subtle message that real life begins, or real happiness is achieved, when you reach some ideal. The takeaway that you are, in your imperfect perfection, unworthy exactly as you are.

Researcher Brene Brown identifies this lurking sense of inadequacy as shame, which she defines as a fear of disconnection from others. From years of interview research asking people about their lives, Brown found this fear of disconnect to be a universal thread running through the stories. And the root of this fear to stem from the incredible vulnerability we each face in allowing ourselves to be seen for exactly who we are and reveal hidden aspects for which we could be judged unworthy of connection.

If someone you loved ever admitted to you he felt unworthy of connection, imagine the distress you would feel at such suffering, the lengths to which you’d go to provide reassurance and enveloping love. Listen to that voice in your own head. Do you hear kindness? Would you ever speak to your friend, your partner, your child with the attitude you show yourself? Compassion starts with you – you are inherently loveable and worthy. Remember that today. 

For more from Brene Brown, see