How Self-Worth Empowered Me

Laura Lifshitz

By Laura Lifshitz | Jan 16th, 2018

One of the biggest issues I see, with women especially, is a lack of self-worth. The lack of self-worth is almost a disease of sorts. Like a disease, it is pervasive and impacts every area of a woman’s life.

It affects her dating and love life. It affects her friendships. Her career. Her health.

This deficiency of self-worth just eats away at the core of her life until eventually, she’s sitting around saying things, like:

How come I always have such bad luck?

Why was this dating partner a jerk, like all the others?

I always seem to meet these backstabbers.

I can’t be friends with other women.

I can never get ahead.

Why am I never good enough?

Amongst a whole plethora of self-doubting questions and statements.

When you doubt that you are capable, you make choices that affirm this doubt because essentially, you’ve bought into this belief that you just can’t do anything right.

For a long time, I felt this way. I had experienced some really tough early life experiences and because of them, I had decided that I was not worthwhile or whole. That I was damaged and incomplete. For many years, I figured I needed something or someone to make me complete. To fill the empty gas tank of worth that I had inside of me. It impacted everything.

I often chose the wrong dating partners. I chose the wrong husband. I constantly felt that no matter how high my achievement whether it was a spot on a television show or my college graduation, that still…I wasn’t “full.” I was running on half a tank or sometimes, an empty tank of worth.

It wasn’t unusual for me to struggle with setting boundaries with people. I put up with a lot of abuse from men in particular, because this abuse affirmed my belief that I had bought into, that I wasn’t good enough.

Yet, I wasn’t defeated. Despite the half-tank of worth, I pursued my college degree again after taking time off from school. And before that, I auditioned for musicals and did voice-over work and stand-up. Despite the self-doubt, there was a quiet voice that said, “You can do this. You deserve better. You are worthwhile.” The problem was, the voice was just too quiet. So even as I progressed, I still didn’t make a good choice when it came to my marriage in particular.

When I met him, I thought I had been through the worst experiences of my life, and figured this was it.

Here was my happy ending!

Cue fairytale princess gear and a white horse and knight.

Until, screech… my happy ending took a turn for the worst.

Having a child, getting a divorce and becoming a single parent have been my biggest challenges to date, but they are the sole reason I started to fill that “tank of worth.”

READ ALSO: 3 Actions to Allow Yourself to Feel Worthy and Exceptional

It didn’t happen overnight and it’s still a work in progress, but I am pretty full…of worth.

I had to teach myself.

Every time I thought I couldn’t handle another thing, I did anyway. Losing a home. Losing a job. Losing a partner. Becoming an almost full-time single parent.

I did it.

With each small victory whether it was moving myself to a new place or going four weeks straight with my daughter and no visits to the other parent, I saw that I was so capable.

That the former thoughts I had bought into were utter bullsh*t.

The reality was believing I wasn’t worthy was convenient. I didn’t have to push myself or my dating partners to be better. I could settle with the wrong person and not be lonely. I could write it off as though I weren’t capable of success.

Just the simple fact of realizing how worthy you are changes everything for the better.

Yet all this time, I always have been. Like Dorothy, I’ve always been home. Always been able. Always been worthy. I just stopped looking to other people or things to affirm this and instead, I looked right at life. Right at the actions I had handled.

Right at me.

It changed everything.

It’s kept me waiting for a kind, available, loving and respectful guy, instead of slumming it out with some jerk.

It’s kept me going during a long bout of unemployment in which financially, I was crushed.

It’s kept me going during a tough divorce.

It has empowered me to take over my life and direct the ship as I want. To take feedback from my choices and grow. To work hard to be a better person, worker, friend and mom.

Just the simple fact of realizing how worthy you are changes everything for the better. Maybe you don’t even realize how unworthy you feel.

But take a look at the people in your life:

Are they people you admire?

Do they have self-worth?

Do they honor you and support you in a positive manner?

Do they work hard to better themselves?

The answers should all be yes. Your immediate world should be a beacon of hope and positivity because the rest of the world that I will call “Life” is hard enough. Why make it harder?

So, do that exercise. Ask yourself:

Do I really expect enough of myself? Do I believe I am capable?

If the answer is no, it’s time for you to get to work.

Laura Lifshitz

Laura Lifshitz

Laura Lifshitz is a writer, comedienne, a former MTV VJ and Columbia University grad. Find her work in the NYTimes, Worthy, and other sites. Visit her at


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