The desire to leave my day job was just a scary little spark back in August 2012…
On a walk in Melbourne, Australia, my close friend — the President of Hay House and this month’s Best Self cover boy — Reid Tracy said to me, “It’s not about your indispensability at work. It’s about your irreplaceability as a human.” Whoa. He was right. It’s about who I am, not what I do. I had been living in a long-running story that everyone loved me because of what I did for them, when in fact they all loved me for just being me!
That right there was a straight-up master class on business with soul and the soul of business. Not to mention worthiness!
I was the Event Director at Hay House for 12 years. It was my dream job until I began craving the opportunity to use my own personal experience and more of my gifts ¬in another capacity to help others. I wanted to be a coach, an author, a speaker, a teacher.
There was one problem: I had long been tied to the belief that I had to be “Super Woman” in order to “earn” my worth.
If I were working for myself, how worthy could I possibly be? Would my beloved friends in the Hay House family still love me if I no longer performed for them as I had done for so many years? Not to mention all the “what ifs” that came into my head. “What if I fall flat on my face?” “What if I end up without a job or a career?”
Buoyed by my underlying commitment to being indispensable, I developed excuses to stay in the job, and thus stay safe. “I can’t make a living only as an author, speaker, and coach,” I told myself. My beliefs, excuses, and commitments were holding me back.
It really took me some time to understand that I’m not loved for what I do. I’m truly loved — by both my family of friends at Hay House and the people I know outside of work — for who I am. To them, my worth is unconditional.
Reid has always been my greatest cheerleader and most trusted advisor, so when I finally told him I wanted to quit my job and he said, “I’ll tell you when you can quit,” I listened. “Stay here a little longer and use the time to build your platform,” he advised. “That way you’ll have a firm foundation under you when you leave.”
He was right. By “platform,” Reid meant working on my “side hustle” — building my coaching practice and online presence, publishing my book, getting some speaking engagements — to be solid enough to make it without the full-time job.
I spent over a year doing that while still working at Hay House, and I loved it. Clearly, my “side job” was what I was meant to do. During that time, I also focused on strengthening my self-worth.
It was only by becoming willing to be worthy of the life I wanted that I was able to finally go out into the world, on my own as me, full time.
In the interest of full disclosure, Reid had to give me a little push. “It’s time for you to go,” he said one day on the phone, not long after delivering the huge news that Hay House wanted to pick up my self-published book Jump… And Your Life Will Appear. My fears were still a bit in my way, even after I had created a strong enough platform for myself. In fact, the first thing I said to him was, “You’re firing me?!” Good thing my sense of worthiness was strong enough by then to say yes to fully immersing myself in coaching, writing, speaking, teaching — to serving from front and center instead of from backstage. Good thing I had the courage to jump!
It was time to raise my havingness level. In order to have more, we have to change our thinking, behaviors, and habits related to self-worth — little by little. As we do that, we can continue to increase our “worth threshold.” By that, I mean what we’ll allow ourselves to receive more and more.
Our self-worth beliefs — that we have always thought of as fact — will determine how much we let ourselves have. We can inch past our current threshold of what we’re willing to have by catching ourselves when we perpetuate patterns and behaviors of low self-worth.
Here are some strategies for increasing that worth threshold:
Listen for self-judgments, and replace them with nurturing self-talk. “I can’t believe I could be so stupid” becomes “I did the best I could. It’s safe to be imperfect. Nobody else is perfect either. I love myself anyway.”
When my critical voice starts to shout, I say, “Oh, here you are again. I’ve been expecting you, and I’m going to turn your volume down now.
We’re not doing that anymore.” When you practice nurturing, loving self-talk, you can more easily elicit compassion for yourself by talking to the small child within. How can you beat up on yourself if you’re relating to your young, vulnerable self? And in truth, the part of you that feels stupid really is that young, vulnerable child.
One of the best strategies to stop poor self-worth habits in their tracks is moment-to-moment awareness and mindfulness. Once you become mindful of behaviors and patterns that aren’t in keeping with the self-worth you desire, you can begin to catch yourself in the act. For example, the next time you put everyone else’s needs ahead of your own, you can stop and ask yourself what you want. The next time you tell yourself “I can’t,” you can say, “Wait a minute. Is it true that I can’t? What do I really want here? If I want this, what’s holding me back? What am I really afraid of? Can I talk myself down from my fears and still go after what I want?
Look Around You.
Your outer life is a reflection of the state of your inner self-worth. So look around. Does your environment reflect someone with the high self-worth you’re after? If not, how can you change your environment to be closer to what you deserve? Now, I’m aware that you may not necessarily be able to go out and buy a beautiful home tomorrow. You might need to do some real work on your self-worth before you could make that happen. But you can make small changes in the interim. It might be as simple as cleaning more often. Finally fix something you’ve let go for a long time. Spruce the place up in whatever ways you can. As your self-worth increases, so will your net worth.
Get yourself a “boasting buddy,” and share your successes without shame. It’s important to have people in your life who are happy for you when good things happen. We have a fear that others will feel jealous, but if they do, that’s their issue to resolve. Some people even try to bring us down when we experience something great. It’s their own lack of self-worth at play, though, so feel compassion for them, if you can.
Then, when you find yourself feeling jealous of others, remind yourself that if they can do it, so can you.
Their success is only an indication that it can be done. You aren’t excluded from that success unless you allow yourself to be.
Your Own Personal Cheerleader.
Besides a “boasting buddy,” ask that friend (or someone else) to be your personal cheerleader. Then, offer to reciprocate. In this role, you and your friend will give each other self-worth pep talks when you find that you’re getting down on yourselves. Give each other reality checks about self-judgments. Encourage each other to step past your fears and go for what you desire. Hold each other accountable for any action steps you set. Just make a rule that no negativity is allowed, and any pushing toward your goals should be gentle, not forceful.
Find a Community.
The main reason I started my coaching groups is so that everyone could cheer each other on with unconditional love and support. It has turned out to be more powerful than my wildest dreams. Everyone helps each other in unbelievable ways. We soothe one another during the hard times and pat each other on the back when something goes well. If you can find such a community, you’ll be amazed at the results. If you can’t find one, create one — either to meet in person or online. Once again, just have a rule in place that no negativity is allowed!
Yes, it takes work to get past the programming of our childhoods. But it isn’t a burden. It’s something to cherish and relish. As adults, we have a wonderful opportunity.
We can choose to base our identities on who we truly are inside — the personality, the essence we came into this life with.
This is who you were before you were imprinted with anybody else’s opinions — imperfect, human, thoroughly beautiful, and oh so worthy. Trust me: There’s so much more possible for you than you know! Self-worth is the key. Turn that key in the lock, and open the door. The life you most desire is waiting.
You may also enjoy Issue 12: Nancy Levin | #Worthy with Kristen Noel