EPISODE 80: Q&A – “How Do I Increase My Self-worth?”
This is a GREAT Monday question. Self-worth is something that billions of people struggle with and I say billions because nearly everyone I meet struggles with it in some way or another.
Many compare themselves to others in several areas of life and often they then come up “not good enough.”
People compare appearances, financial worth, social circles, careers, and achievements and then often they don’t measure up in comparison. And, this is a self-sabotaging trap because in many ways comparable in a huge cause of unhappiness.
In this episode I talk about:
I do my best to create episodes that will resonate with most people and I’m sure that if you really get honest with yourself, there is at least one area of your life areas where you struggle with self-acceptance.
When you accept yourself for who and what you are, life begins to transform.
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You're listening to episode number 80 of the Transform Your Life from the Inside Out podcast. This is a Monday Q&A episode and the question that I picked this week applies to so many of you. So that's obviously why I picked it. And the question that Mark sent in is, "How do I increase my self worth?" Stay tuned.
Hi, I'm Jim Fortin, and you're about to start transforming your life from the inside out with this podcast. I'm widely considered the leader in subconscious transformation and I've coached super achievers all around the world for over 25 years. Here, you're going to find no rah rah motivation and no hype. Because this podcast is a combination of brain science, transformational psychology, and ancient wisdom all rolled into one to take your life to levels you've never thought possible. If you're wanting a lot more in life, to feel better, to heal, to have peace of mind to feel powerful and alive, and to bring more abundance and prosperity into your life, then this podcast is for you. Because you're going to start learning how to master your mind and evolve your consciousness. And when you do that, anything you want then becomes possible for you. I'm glad you're here.
Your Worth Comes From Your Identity
Self worth. It's something that I see so many people struggle with. And I'm going to create a follow up episode to this one. I don't know when hopefully soon. Candidly, I'm on vacation this week. And you know what, I don't actually create an entire library of audios because many times when I pick my topics or questions that I want to pick, it's something that has to hit me in the moment and I have to have some inspiration about it. So I'm on vacation, I'll make this a little shorter. But I did want to do an extended version, like a part two of this particular episode on increasing self worth, and my own journey to self worth and fulfilling and having the self worth that I know that I am. Meaning that I know that I am worth, because I've had my own journey, which I'll share with you at some point and I really want to sit down and think about that episode.
So self worth. It's something that I see so many people struggle with. And I'd mentioned on another episode that if I took you to a really expensive buffet, and I said, "Hey, you know what, they've got amazing things over there, like lobster and King Crab legs and all that and go get what you want." Most people come back with a bologna sandwich. And that's also a matter of your worth. Because your worth comes from your identity and your identity is going to determine your wealth and your abundance in life. And if you don't have a lot of wealth and abundance, maybe it's that you don't value money, and that could be to. I want to go two places here. Maybe it's that, you know, you just don't value money. Or maybe it's that you do value it but you never bring it into your life and that's also a matter of self worth.
Also, where I work from is I think we all deserve abundance and prosperity, yet what a lot of people do is they use abundance and prosperity to define themselves. And for me abundance and prosperity is simply a tool so that I can make a bigger impact in the world. So I'm going to give you a couple of takeaways at the end of this episode, but I want to share some stuff with you first, but Mark's question was plain and simple, "How do I increase my self worth?" Now, I had never looked it up before but Merriam Webster, the dictionary said that self worth is a feeling that you are a good person who deserves to be treated with respect. And I find that kind of a hollow definition because what that would mean is if you're a good person and you help people and you know what you're just what we call a good person, well then you have worth, but a lot of people are really really really wonderful, loving very good people, but yet they still don't have self worth. Self worth is the what I call the core of our very selves. And I look at we'll go a couple of places here with this psychologically and then I guess what I'd say spiritually or cosmically. But the way that I look at it is that everyone on this planet is equal. There was a parable that was given to me one time, and it was a lot of years ago, that this executive, it was explained to me, in a really expensive Mercedes Benz. He pulls up to a stoplight, and he looks to his left and there's a homeless guy, and the guy in the Mercedes and the wealthy guy is snarling at the homeless guy. And the homeless guy is snarling at the guy in the Mercedes. They're both looking down on each other. And the question is, who is worth more? And the reality is they're both equal, just living out different life experiences.
So, when we look at the world, we get into social constructs, you know, for example, the Queen of England, you're supposed to bow to her and all these kind of things. And that's all cultural nonsense that human beings get into. Because at the end of the day, she has to eat just like you and I do. And, you know, at the end of the day, if the Queen of England and I were to go hiking, and it's nice and hot outside, and it's just a queen and I, well guess what, we're both going to stink. I mean, we're human beings we smell if we go out and hike all day in the hot sun, and when we get back, we're all equal. But so many people actually learn and it's socialized for our parents and culture, we learn not to value ourselves.
Now, there is a theory and it's called self-worth theory. The self-worth theory posits that an individual's main priority in life is to find self acceptance, and that self-acceptance is also found through achievement. And so many people I see this all the time, they place their worth based upon something external in their life. And something else which I have a different position on, is in turn achievement is often found through competition with other people. And where I work from is I'm not a fan of competition. And what I mean by that is I'm in competition with no one. And I used to believe in competition. And in the book, The Science of Getting Rich, one of the principles is stop working from competition. Now we can have friendly competition, playing games or whatever, but in life, even in business, what I say to my students and people that are in coaching with me, is that I have no competition. And I'll even ask people, well, who do you think is my competition? You know, asked that question. And people will say, well, Tony Robbins and Brian Tracy and people like that. And, and that's actually not true because I have a different genre, a different marketplace. But I say no, I have no competition, because no one is me. There are things that other people can do that I can't do and there are things that I can do that other people can't do even if they have more air, quote, success in life or in the industry. So I don't place my self worth on externals and not even close to that. And the externals that a lot of people place their self worth, based upon are my appearance, am I as attractive as what other people are or what's deemed attractive? And so if they don't feel like they're as attractive as other people, then that affects their self worth, or if they're not attractive by social standards or whatever.
Another one, and I used to be here back in my 20s, I am not that person anymore at all. This day and age, I do have high financial net worth, but that determines none of my worth and none of my value as a human being. Because to me, when I look at people, the most important thing to me is that a person has an open heart. They just, they want to serve, they want to grow, they want to evolve and they are which we talked about earlier. They're just a good person. That's the most important thing to me. Because I know people that have a lot of money, and they are not what I would call good people. I mean, they're mean, they're ugly to other people, they're hateful, they're spiteful, they're vengeful, all these what I characterize it as counterproductive emotions, and definitely low frequency thought vibration.
People also place their value, their self worth on their social circles. I have a friend of mine I've known for a lot of years. And what's interesting on Instagram is, all of his posts are about, Hey, I'm here this week, and I'm there this week and I'm with this person and I'm with that person. And the people that he's with are all, some of them have some notoriety, some of them might be billionaires and etc. But this person is always saying, "Oh, I'm at so and so's house this week." And I really liked this person. This person is a really good person, but what this person is doing is compensating and they're actually finding self worth and value in their social circles.
I have no judgments on that because I can say that I used to be there at some point in my life. This day and age, not there at all because it doesn't matter who I know and who I don't know and who I know literally has no value on my worth, meaning people have notoriety. And I used to live in New York City and I used to coach. I mean I coached a lot of celebrities and work with a lot of celebrities, A-list celebrities. I see them on TV. And it doesn't matter who I know or who I don't know because it does not affect my intrinsic value. My intrinsic value is my value as a being on this planet. Whereas most people work from extrinsic value meaning value outside of themselves. Many people place their worth on their careers. And then so many people place their worth on externals and then they judge other people based upon those very same externals. The problem with that strategy, the reason it's a broken strategy is let's say that you place your worth on these externals like career that I just mentioned or achievements. Well, the reality is as long as you have the appearance, the net worth or social circles or career or achievements, as long as those are going your way, you have high self worth. But should those not go your way then what happens is, if you have your self worth tied to those things, your self worth goes down. So as a result of many people living through these external you know, circumstances, is many people do not feel worthy, because they're comparing themselves to other people.
I know you've heard me say before in one of the episodes is, where I live by and when I got this it really changed my life when I came to not just understand it, but to know it is that I compare myself to no one. Now did I used to? Absolutely. Many years ago I used to say things like "Oh is my content is as good as somebody else's?", and "people are going to say that I'm not good enough," and "I don't do something well enough" or whatever. And at this point in my life, I literally zero percent. I don't care, because I know the impact that I'm making in the world. But the point that I wanted to illustrate here is where I work from is that no two people have the same karma. And I'm living my karma, and other people that are in the self-help personal development industry, or whatever you want to call it. They're living their karma. I'm doing what I do to fulfill my karma and my dharma. They're doing what they're doing to fulfill their karma and their dharma. So why would I ever compare myself to anyone, ever, when we have different karma? We're learning different lessons.
Now, I don't know how long you've been listening to the podcast but you've often heard me talk about in generally every second episode or so, my brother in law, the shaman, Don Xavier. People really don't understand shamanism. It is the oldest form of thought on the planet but they really don't understand and there are a lot of people that actually engage in learning shamanism and principles etc. and there are books on it. However, a real shaman which my brother in law is, somebody once told me that's worked with him for years, and I'll tie this to my self worth in a moment, they said, "If you told me that somebody like him existed, and if I hadn't met him and worked with him, I wouldn't believe it." Shamans have extraordinary powers and one of the powers is to infiltrate your dream time and your dreams and they can like negative shamans, which are black shamans, they work in the dark can actually very negatively affect people's dream time with nightmares and, and affect people in very significant ways. My brother-in-law Don Xavier only works in the light and he only works for healing. Many years ago we were doing ceremony somewhere here in the US and we went there for a couple of days. And in dream time that night, because see this day and age when I, there's an episode here on dream time, when I need answers for things and I'm not getting the answer myself I will text him and I'll say "Hey Don, I need an answer on X Y Z a business partner, healing or something. Can yes satellite me the answer? And I use the word satellite jokingly because what our code by that by saying that by satellite is meaning show me in dream time. And I remember we were on a journey many years ago, on a physical journey traveling, doing ceremony. And that night in dream time, let me just think through this as I share this, this dream that I had many years ago is probably 20 years ago. And in dream time, I remember the dream. I remember most of my dreams. And beyond that, dream time has multiple levels of dream time. We have ordinary dreams and we have dreams of power. This was a dream of power. And then there are also like doorways behind both those levels of dreams. But in this dream, I'm looking at him. And I'm not a screamer. No one that knows me can ever say they've ever heard me scream at anybody in anger. And in this dream, he's probably eight feet from me. And I am screaming at him. And I am like, "I hate you. I hate you, I hate you." And then what happens? For those of you that are old enough to remember the TV show back in the 60s and 70s I Dream of Jeannie, which was a genie that lived in the bottle, smoke would come out of the bottle and the genie would appear. Well, I'm screaming at him. "I hate you. I hate you. I hate you." And then poof, all the smoke comes up in between us. And when the smoke settles, he's gone. And I'm looking in the mirror. And when I think back about that many years ago, I'm like, wow. And I even said to myself, because dreams are metaphors, and I get my guidance in dream time and I said wow, what places in your life and to what degree do you have hate for yourself And you haven't even recognized it as that?
And I wanted to go into that, I can't do it in this episode, but I wanted to share with you where I learned that self-hate and where it came from. But I want to create a much more, I don't know the right word, I want to create an episode where I can share a lot more about my life, which with that hate, it also allowed me to let go of judgment of other people, fear of other people, what people think of me and all that kind of stuff. But again, I want to sit down with that episode and create that a little later and share a little more of my journey with you.
And then you look at your life, I want you to look at how you treat yourself. And when I look at people who treat other people badly, a lot of people get angry about that and different opinions and interpretations. And my thought is this: is in my observation that if someone's treating other people poorly, that's how they treat themselves. And for me, that requires compassion. What a lot of people do is like, you know, "Bob's a jerk, he treats Susan like really badly." And "he's mean, and he's this or that." Well, what I also know is that Bob also treats himself that same way. So that requires compassion. And I think that's where a lot of our learning and growing comes in is because I think a lot of our first natures are to say, "Wow, what a jerk. I don't want to be around that jerk." When compassion is really what's called for.
I mentioned this in another episode before is that it just popped in my head one day I standing in my office at home. And I had a little whiteboard behind one of my office doors, and I wrote this down and it stayed on that whiteboard for about 10 years. And honestly, I didn't see about for about nine years because I never really shut that door. But what I wrote on that whiteboard, and I want you to actually, I want you to survey your own life as I'm sharing this with you. But what I wrote on that whiteboard is that I treat myself like I perceive myself. I treat myself like I perceived myself. Now what I want you to look at is how do you treat yourself? Because something that I tell people is that if you're destroying yourself through any kind of practice or counterproductive behavior, what I tell people is we don't destroy what we love. And if you're in some way sabotaging or destroying yourself, physically, guess what? That is a matter of a lack of self love and self worth. And here's something else. So many people will say, and I get how slippery it can be, is well, because we're all told we have to love ourselves. We have to love ourself. And a lot of times we're like, well, what does that mean? I mean, how do I know? It's not like I've got a little meter, that I've got my little self-love meter, and it's got like 1-10 and Okay, I'm like on a 9.25. All right, I'm pretty good. I love myself! No, it's not like that. But really where I wanted to go on in another episode here with you guys and take you guys even deeper is what I've learned over the years in my own life is that self worth and self love comes from self acceptance.
We have to accept who we are. And there's a phrase that I use a lot. It's called the round room. It comes from here in Texas. We have Texas A&M University, and they're known as the Aggies and there's I mean Aggie jokes are very prevalent in Texas. But Aggie jokes are about Aggies being really stupid and ignorant and etc. And one of the jokes, I bought an Aggie book when I was like 10 years old and the joke was is, how do you drive an Aggie crazy? You drive an Aggie crazy by putting them in a round room and telling them to sit in the corner. They just go in circles and circles and circles. And so many people are in a round room and they don't even know it. So the interesting thing here is this is that so many people and maybe even you, they look for their self-worth from external validation. So it would it would go along these lines, oh, okay, I'm going to actually learn my worth by, because I don't have high self worth, and I don't feel good about myself, so what I'm going to do is I'm going to look for self-worth, from external validation meaning people out in the world. Now here's the conundrum and the round room, is that if you don't have a lot of self worth, and you put yourself out in the world, people read your body language, they read you your inflection, your tone, and then guess what? Because you don't have a lot of self worth, they don't value you. And then what you do is you put yourself out there and you're like, see, no one likes me. I'm not very valuable, when actually you're the one who telegraphed the message to them that you don't have self worth. They confirmed it. Now you even use external validation that say, "See, I told you, people just don't like me. I don't have a lot value," and then what you're creating, what you're engaged in, which a lot of you have heard before, is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Alright, so here I want to share so okay, the question is that Mark sent in is how to have high self worth? The interesting thing is that it's really so simple. It's really, really simple. And it's so simple that most people miss it. We humans love to make things really hard. Making money is like, so easy. It's falling off a log. Really, it's just universal principles. I've talked about it go back to episode number nine, "How people use the law of attraction to repel money." But it's so simple to make money and it's what most people struggle with. It's so simple, simple, simple, to have self worth, but so many people struggle with it because of the externals. And remember what I said just a minute ago, is if you find your self-value in the externals, that's a trap because remember what I said when all the externals, you know, it's like moving all the little leavers on some kind of musical equipment when they when all, the externals go up, you go up, when all the externals come down, you come down. And where I work from is that I'm worthy. It's as simple as that: I'm worthy. I mean, the fact that I'm on the planet means I'm worthy. And then when I look at it is how do you even put a value on? Let me just keep going here for a second. How do you even put a value then on whether I'm worthy? Because if I put my value like on externals, I live a really good financial life and I have a really good life, which if I'm comparing myself to other people, that puts me at the top of the worthy scale. But you know what, there are people who have a lot more financial abundance than I do, which makes me less worthy than them. So It's a trap. It's literally a no win game. If you're playing from anything outside of yourself and where I work from, is, I'm worthy. And that is enough. Wherever I am in any moment, I'm worthy. And I'm good enough at that moment.
Something just popped in my mind here. Like I said, these are not scripted. I remember many years ago, one of my clients in New York City. The very first day that I'm with him, his cell phone rings, and this was back in the late 90s, and I heard the whole conversation it was he and I could hear through the receiver. You know, you can hear people on the phone a lot of times, and this is back when we had flip phones. And it was he and the President of the United States talking about what they were doing for Thanksgiving. And I told a friend of mine later, I'm like, I'm out of my league. I don't belong around these kind of people. And my friend said to me, he said, "You're not out of your league" because this guy chased me. He wanted me to teach him something, some advanced influence skills. And my friend said, "You're not out of your league because if you were out of your league, you wouldn't be there in the first place." And so I look at that metaphor that I'm on the planet, and I'm worthy. Whatever I am, whoever I am, whatever other people think about me what other people don't think about me, I'm worthy.
And you know then I look also is about self worth is nothing more than ego. And we learn it but it's this ego we learn about the bag of skin you walk around in which is a cosmic being. And you know, I look at it this way, a metaphor here is for those that firmly hold the idea of heaven as an example. Does that mean that you'll value yourself when you go to heaven? And you'll be good enough when you get to heaven, but you're not good enough here? And then I started wondering, well do people in heaven go to therapy? I mean, do they have psycho therapist in heaven and people that are in heaven do they have low self esteem and they need to go to therapy and all this kind of stuff because they're not worthy? My whole point is this. You're worthy. Whoever you are, wherever you are, how tall you are, how short you are, how thin you are, how you know over your ideal weight, whatever your sexual orientation is your whatever your nationality, you're worthy, you're good enough as you are right now.
When you get your mind around that, that's very liberating that you're good enough as you are right now. Because if you stop comparing yourself to all the externals, then guess what? You're automatically worthy. I mean, if you were dropped off on a deserted island, like Tom Hanks years ago in the movie, Castaway. I mean, jeez, that you think Tom Hanks walked up and down the beach and said, you know, am I worthy today? Am I worthy? No, he is what he is because there's nothing to compare to. We do learn a lack of self-worth as children. I remember many years ago and it's probably the last time I ate a McDonald's literally. It's about 25 years ago when I lived in New York City, I can't even remember but I was in McDonald's. I don't know why because I don't eat McDonald's food that I know of, in decades. But there was this lady in front of me. And she had a beautiful, really, really beautiful little six year old, 5,6,7 years old, little girl. And as the mother and daughter are standing in front of me the daughter's asking for something, and the mother looks down at her and what she said to her little girl was devastating to me, meaning metaphorical was like devastating that parents talk to their kids like that. And she said, "You know what, you're more trouble than you're worth." That's literally what she said, "You're more trouble than you're worth." And I was just I was aghast. My thought was because we learned to become who we are before the age of nine. unconsciously. I was sitting there I was like, Oh, my, what? I'm even fumbling through this as I'm telling you these was so incredulous to me. I'm like, what has she just taught her daughter about herself? And being it you know, being a hypnotist for many years, I saw so much of this and maybe some of this applies to you is that you're in your 30s and 40s and 50s and you don't feel good enough. Things that are said to us as children, they stick even if we don't remember they stick unconsciously. And I'm like, wow, maybe it had no effect. But what if that imprint, which is what we call it, what if that imprint sticks with her for a lifetime, and she goes through her lifetime, wanting to be in a relationship or marriage or kids or whatever, and she holds at an unconscious level that I am more trouble than I'm worth. Then what she could possibly do is subjugate herself and deny herself and live a life literally of "Okay, I'm not worth that much. And I don't want to put anybody out I don't want to trouble anybody tell you what, just put me last and put me at the bottom of the barrel," and she could live her entire life like that. Now again, I don't know the end result of that and I don't know what the imprint was, but that's how we learn it.
So to Mark's question, there's a couple of ways. One would be subconscious reprogramming. There is an episode on that. I think it's episode number five or six when I talk about subconscious reprogramming. I would say go listen to that episode. On top of that, one of my transformational coaches many years ago, and I don't know how old this book is, it's not that old, maybe 5, 6, 7 years ago is told this, and I said, "Do you recommend a book for people?" Because I had a client who had low self worth and I'm like, do you recommend a book? And she said, "Absolutely," which is actually the book is subconscious reprogramming and a different format, but the book is "Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It." I don't know the author, but it's like an Indian name like Kemal or something like that. Or you can actually get online and just google and search for self-hypnosis, self-love, and see what comes up because there are tons of websites out there and tons and tons of hypnotist who do have audios on just I mean, there's one site that I know that probably is 300 different titles that I've mentioned here in the podcast before. But the reality and the truth is this: you can always change who you are. And if you don't have high self worth, you've learned that. You've learned that at some point in your past, like perhaps the little girl at McDonald's, or your parents were talking down you as a kid and parents say things to us that really really are damaging for a lifetime and they don't mean to do it. They don't, they're doing the best they can, you know, with what they have in any given moment when they're parents. But they will say things to us that will imprint when we're kids and will affect our lifetime.
So, where I work from, which I said a little earlier, is that I'm okay. I'm okay with who I am just as I am. And nothing outside of myself can give me any value. I'm not broken. I don't need to be fixed. I'm not a bad person, even though somebody- I don't read the reviews and I askyou guys for reviews for social proof so that I can help more people- but one of the reviews, a long while back, somebody said I was a bad person and I got a chuckle out of that. But I'm not, as best I know and define a bad person, I'm not a bad person. I just work from where I am. This is who I am. And, you know, like it, don't like it. Take it, leave it, it's entirely up to you.
I remember I want to share a story with you and I want to share the bigger part of the story with you at a little later time. I was with Don Xavier and we were at Chichén Itzá and we were in Mexico and this was 1996. And we used to do ceremonies the day before and the day after the spring equinox. And when I say ceremony for your understanding and context, maybe you just want to call it like a meditation. But we do ceremonies. We've done them in power spots all over the world: Ularu, Palenque, Chaco Canyon, Haleakala, Machu Picchu, Isla sel Sol, Giza inside the Great Pyramid, Teotihuacán, and other places on the planet. And I was in Don Xavier's hotel room, there were several of us and he is the most loving, loving, loving and compassionate person. I've never seen him angry, hurtful, spiteful, nothing except just pure love with people in kindness and gentle with his words. And we were talking about, I don't, I have to sit down and really think through this, but I knew how it applied to me which I'll share on another episode. But he was talking about acceptance of ourselves. And like I said, there were probably four or five people in the room. And he said something that was just, I don't know the word for it. But he looked at me and our eyes connected and he said very gently, "Just be." And I share that with you. Just be. And that means just be who you are, just be what you are. Just be you. So that's your transformational takeaway is just be.
Okay. So as I said, I will do a at some point a follow up to this episode and I'll share some stories of my life that have brought me to a place where I can be at peace. I'm good enough as I am. And I just be. Alrighty, the next episode coming up on Wednesday is, the title of that episode is, it's going to be about identity. You hear me talking about identity a lot. And you hear me saying that if you don't have something in your life, it's because you don't have it on the inside. You don't have it in your self-image. So the next episode is going to be about self image and identity. And the title of that episode is, "You cannot outperform yourself." Alright, and by the way, I'm just, this is contextual. It's Christmas week coming up next week for those of you that celebrate Christmas or the holidays or Hanukkah or nothing. It doesn't matter. Just be joyful, be peaceful. Enjoy your time with your family if you're with your family, travel safe, and I will catch you over on the next episode. Take care. Bye bye.
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