Trust is a big word around the online entrepreneur water cooler. Those of us building businesses according to our own dreams take little leaps of faith almost every day:

  • We expose our minds and hearts in our daily blog posts.
  • We pour our creativity into our programs.
  • We put our energy into our clients to help lift them to new heights.
  • We spend hours, days – weeks even planning, creating, and strategizing for one-shot events or interactions.

All with no guaranteed return.

There’s no salary, no benefits plan, and no company retirement to fall back on. It’s succeed, fail, or putter along somewhere in the purgatory between.

Which is why so many of us solo-preneurs go through a major self-help kick at some point. After all, the only thing blocking you from your dream life is your own lack of confidence.

But undervaluing your worth isn’t unique to business owners.

Anyone who’s reached for something beyond their current circumstances or emotional experience has had to negotiate with their own perceived value, whether it was a conscious process or not.

Here’s how feeling less than worthy, lovable, and comfortable in your skin may show up in your life:

  • You’re a perfectionist. You hold yourself to an incredibly high standard and view your achievements as “expected”, not causes for celebration.
  • You’re controlling. You want ensured outcomes, believe you’re the only one who can deliver them, and push both yourself and others to extremes in an attempt to get the reassurances you crave.
  • You self-sabotage. You attract relationships that prove your fears – partners who disrespect you or bosses who misunderstand you. You do things that prevent you from feeling accepted and loved like pick fights, act out of character, or push good relationships away.
  • You’re independent. You’re super personable and have friends but keep your emotional distance and don’t ask for support or help.

Unfortunately when you’re in the grip of feeling unworthy – when you don’t know how to genuinely trust and like yourself – you rationalize these behaviors as normal and necessary.

You don’t know there are alternative ways to feel, behave, and interact.

Since you’re inherently flawed and not good enough, you unconsciously assume others know more or better. So you push yourself to achieve based on socially-sactioned standards for success. If you have a win, it’s no big deal; you’re just catching up and it’s no where close to enough.

Because you don’t trust yourself, you ask others for advise or defer to their opinions. You shift your boundaries in the hopes that they know what’s best, even fundamentally contradicting your own personal or religious beliefs.

Since you can’t figure it out what seems to come so easily to others, you ask them for their secrets. Then you dissect your interactions and willingly take the blame, so you can “fix” yourself to manipulate outcomes more to your liking next time.

Whether some or all of these ring a bell, pushing yourself harder to be and do better will never solve the underlying issue. It will only cement you deeper in feelings of insecurity and unworthiness.

The only way to loosen the grip of perfectionist control and isolating independence and self-sabotage is to learn how to love, trust, and value yourself.

Knowing your worth is your birthright and true state of being. It’s not something you have to earn or deserve based on merited action. It’s who you already are at your core.

So your work is to soften enough – to lower the barriers surrounding your vulnerability enough – to let that truth embody you.

Here are few tips to help:

  1. Ask yourself 5-10 times a day “how can I be more loving (accepting, forgiving, caring, kind) to myself today?” Listen for an answer. It may show up as a food craving, fun idea, yawn, or memory. The more consistently you ask, the better you’ll be at hearing the answer.
  1. Meditate daily. Dedicate quiet time to connect with your breath and witness how your mind and emotions ebb and flow. Carving out a few minutes for you ensures you become – and stay – your top priority.
  1. Do that thing you like to do. All of us have something we think we’re good at, so do it! If you’re a writer, write. If you’re a dancer, dance. If you’re an amazing organizer, organize. If you’re a great teen baseball coach, coach. The more you do what makes you feel good and like who you really are, the more you’ll appreciate and trust yourself, because you know you’re feeding you.
  1. Write down 3 successes each day – from eating fresh fruit to taking 5 deep breaths to saying no to the umpteenth request to bake brownies for your kids class. The more you recognize the little ways you look out for yourself, the easier it is to trust you’ve got your back on the big stuff.
  1. On that note, write out the big stuff. Make lists of your positive attributes, achievements, and talents. Start with 25, then 50, then 100, and so on. When you think you’ve listed them all, make sure you write five more. Stretch your memory to acknowledge and remember all the good you’ve done, been, and shared, instead of just the times you hurt, failed, or lost.

Once you gift yourself compassion, kindness, and love, you can begin to rebuild trust in yourself and finally make decisions based on what will enhance your worth and value, not challenge it. Then you’ll truly live in the “flow” and be moving towards your highest good.

Be free. Be brave. Be YOU.