” Our life Is what our thoughts make it.” – Marcus Aurelius


iStock_000010145635XSmallUnconditional self worth has been bantered about to mean such things as feeling important, valuable and infinitely worthwhile as a person. To hear it and say it is one thing.  Actually feeling it in the core of your being can be something entirely different. For better or worse, our thoughts greatly influence how we see ourselves, for better or worse.

Regardless, for many, ruminating about past misgivings, future foreboding and/or present trepidations can tie us in psychological knots.  The results are stagnation or feeling stuck doing the same old, same old that further sinks us into an  emotion quagmire of quicksand.


However, if thoughts can reinforce an old, worn out self defeating concept, they can also help us break through to a more enriched, affirming image of ourselves. The first step in changing any self defeating thoughts is to become aware of patterns that trigger such thoughts.  Regrets for past mistakes are one such source. What is often forgotten is that memories of mistakes made in the past can be jumping off points in learning new ways of thinking and behaving in the present.  Reframing your thinking can result in solutions that have positive consequences  which in turn results in affirming oneself.

Chronic worrying about a possible negative outcome in an unknown future can be emotionally paralyzing. Again, being aware of the source of such negative ways of thinking can lead to challenging such thoughts and consciously replacing them with positive ones. The likelihood of things going wrong are slim and if they do go wrong, there is always some alternate solution that can lead to a positive sense of self.

Holding yourself back daily for fear of making others upset, angry or rejecting can be emotionally paralyzing. Daily comparing yourself unfavorably to others slowly eats away at your personhood.  Consistently replacing the negative self talk with positive self talk  reinforces an appropriate, realistic and affirmed sense of self. This will not happen automatically.  It can happen only with a persistent commitment to achieving unconditional self worth no matter what the barriers are through resistance.


Questions or suggestions can be directed to Ray Shocki PhD, LCSW, LMFT at lifesourcecenter@aol.com.