The common view in our culture is that we need to fix ourselves by repeating affirmations, changing our thoughts, and trying to accept ourselves unconditionally. These strategies may help for a while, but they’re often a temporary
solution…because they don’t get to the core of the problem.
As long as we identify ourselves by these self-defeating thoughts, we will suffer…which leads us to the fundamental spiritual question posed by the ancient masters: Who am I?
I invite you to explore this question, and here are nine loving ways to do so. Why would you go on believing a false identity when the truth of yourself, which is completely free, is right here to be realized and lived?
1. Notice when the thoughts appear.
Thoughts of inadequacy say something like, “I’m a loser, I’ll fail, I’m unlovable.” Or there’s a mindset of negativity about yourself, others, and the world. Feel into how these thoughts limit you. When they appear, do your best to simply notice them without judgment. Just this is revolutionary because
now you have a choice: believe what they tell you and live according to their limits or consider endless possibilities beyond these limiting ideas.
2. Be wise about where your attention goes.
Remember that what you pay attention to is what grows. The more you think self-critical thoughts, the more they solidify into your personal identity. Thoughts can be present, but you don’t have to get involved in what they’re telling you. So lose interest in them. Instead,
• Breathe deeply and track the movements of the inhale
and the exhale;
• Focus on what you’re experiencing through your five senses;
• Go do something that brings you joy and delight.
3. Be willing to let go.
Letting go of the identity of unworthiness is like saying goodbye to a friendship that you know isn’t working anymore. It might take some time, but be very willing to feel open in your mind and body, make space for new ways of being in the world, and see people and situations through the eyes of love and
not fear and need.
4. Know the truth.
Not one inadequate thought can possibly describe who you are. These beliefs are false descriptions that the mind comes up with, but who is the “you”
they’re describing? You, who you really are, are way too glorious to be defined by any thought. You are unlimited, whole, free, and infinitely loving. And something in you has a sneaking suspicion that this is the truth. Know and live this truth. The world is waiting for you.
5. Don’t let your feelings guide
If you believe you’re unworthy, you’re bound to feel hurt, disappointed, and sad. As you probably know, these feelings weigh you down. Instead of following them, commit to moving beyond limitation. Stand up and feel your feet on the ground. Take a couple of breaths into your belly. Feel confident in your body as you take a few steps. Go out there and
live the totality of what is true for you.
6. Be compassionate with yourself.
Believing the identity of feeling damaged or inadequate separates you from your own experience.
Rejecting the feelings that arise within only strengthens self-hate. End the fight by being very kind toward your own thoughts and feelings. Just welcome them from a place of friendly neutrality as if they were clouds floating in the sky. No charge, no drama. This is the most loving way to be with yourself.
7. Be here now—and not locked into the past.
Sometimes negative self-identities form because we internalize how people treated us when we were young. If you leave your mind unchecked, it will keep repeating this painful story forever.
Shift your attention away from the mind and step fully into presence, the aliveness of your being that has never been touched by brokenness or insecurity. Breathe in the aliveness, as this is the true medicine for the division and negativity you feel.
8. Act as if.
Take one situation or interaction, and approach it as if you felt whole, confident, and enthusiastic. How does it feel in your body? What thoughts would you be thinking? Embody this intelligent way of being in your own direct experience.
9. Rinse and repeat.
Don’t expect to eliminate all thoughts of unworthiness. Instead, commit to meeting them with loving presence. Notice them, acknowledge them, then turn away from them while you stay rooted in the fullness of unlimited potential. Do this every time the thoughts arise, and eventually they will
Over and over, choose presence and not your thoughts—in the name of freedom, happiness, and love. 🧡