What's Maintaining Your Low Self Worth? – Caroline Ferguson, Mindset Trainer

What’s Maintaining Your Low Self Worth?

By Caroline Ferguson | Self worth

low self worthThere are plenty of remedies out there for repairing low self worth.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that many of them don’t work in the long term.

Why don’t they work?

Because to fix a problem, you need to deal with the CAUSE, rather than the end result. And feeling bad about yourself is a CONSEQUENCE, not a cause. It’s the end result of something else.

In my previous experience as a psychotherapist, and now, as a Mindset Trainer, I’ve found one consistent fact about human beings:

Everyone, no matter how confident and successful they might appear, has the occasional low self worth wobble.

It might show up as feeling like an imposter (as 70% of business leaders admit to feeling at times). Or questioning whether you’re really capable of achieving something. Or being concerned that someone might not like you.

It might be that you’re normally quite resilient but, sometimes, just for a little while, you feel not clever enough, or thin enough, or interesting enough, or lively enough, or attractive enough, or successful enough… or anything enough.

So where do these “I’m not good enough” moments come from?

The answer lies in our unconscious minds – and, more specifically, in the beliefs we’re hanging on to.

Some of these beliefs have their roots in old messages and stories absorbed during childhood and beyond. Others are much more current and immediate.

When something happens that triggers one of our PACES hotspots, our unconscious minds are prone to making DEMANDS. Most of the time, we’re not even aware that we’re doing it.

Typical unconscious demands might sound like:

  • I HAVE TO to do well…
  • You MUSTN’T ignore me…
  • I NEED TO know this will turn out OK…
  • It MUSTN’T be too difficult…
  • I HAVE TO do it my way…

When we make demands like these, there’s an unspoken “or else” that kicks in if we’re faced with not getting what we’re demanding.

  • “I have to do well – or else it means I’m rubbish.”
  • “You mustn’t ignore me – or else it means I’m boring.”
  • “I need to know this will turn out OK – or else I can’t cope and I’m weak.”
  • “It mustn’t be too difficult – or else I might fall apart.”
  • “I have to do it my way – or else it means I’m not good enough.”

Both the demand and the “or else” are irrational. After all, there’s no law of the universe that says you have to get what you’re demanding. And there’s no logical connection between not having your demand met and you being less than worthy. Looking at a couple of the examples above:

There could be a multitude of reasons why someone isn’t paying attention to you, none of which means that you’re boring.

Being obliged to work to someone else’s method – when you believe you have to do things your way – has no bearing on whether you’re good enough or not.

Our demands wind us up in more ways than just leading us to have low self worth.

Another consequence can be limiting our ability to bounce back from difficulty.

Also, if you have a tendency to think the worst, that can be another result of a heavy ‘demand’ habit.

So, if the tendency to make demands is unconscious (meaning we’re unaware), how do we stop ourselves from doing it?

The clue lies in the question. When something is unconscious, you can’t change it. But by tuning in to what’s going on in your mind, you become conscious of your thoughts and beliefs.

This awareness puts you back in the driving seat and gives you the ability to amend those unhelpful, irrational thoughts and beliefs into something more flexible, rational and helpful. The key, therefore, is to pay attention to your thoughts.

I’ve written before about the world’s most useful question: “What am I demanding?” Try using it here.

Next time you hear yourself being self-critical, or you experience feelings of low self worth, stop and ask yourself this question. “What am I demanding right now that I’m faced with not getting?”

At the very least, you’ll interrupt the demand in its tracks.

Better than that, you can choose to think something else instead. Something realistic and flexible and accepting. Something that doesn’t automatically come with low self worth as a consequence. Something like:

“I’d strongly prefer to do well but I accept that I might not. And if I don’t, that doesn’t mean I’m rubbish. It just means I’m human and fallible, like everyone else.”


If you know you were born for something bigger but your low self worth is getting in the way, contact me for a chat. The world needs you!


About the Author

Caroline is a Mindset Trainer and speaker who works with sensitive, high-potential leaders who know they were born for something more. She shows them how to beat mindset blocks and habits, such as limiting beliefs, low self worth and procrastination, that are preventing them from making a bigger impact.