Feeling worthless is an emotion that creeps into our lives, and it would be as real as the cloth you wear. We are bound to experience “highs and lows” moments in our lives. There are days when it seems nothing works, and it looks like you have lost all your motivation and desire. Days where the only desire you have is the desire to quit and your confidence is nowhere to be found. All these are said to characterize the feeling of worthlessness.
If it is any consolation, you are not the only one experiencing this. It is pretty standard for every adult or youth experiencing some growth to experience this. Growth in any aspect of your life comes along with some feeling of vulnerability. However, the fact that you feel vulnerable, less confident, and worthless says nothing about what you are capable of.
The Harvard Business Review conducted a survey where several CEOs were interviewed. This survey revealed that most of them have, at one point, felt the “imposter syndrome.” They questioned their capabilities and worth at some point in their lives. It is essential to keep at the back of your mind that you are not alone. Many people have gone through this, and the good news is, they came out of it refined.
Notwithstanding, one needs to be careful during this phase. The more you stay in that state of feeling worthless, the more drive, desire, and clarity you begin to lose. Feeling worthless typically happens to all and sundry, but staying in that zone becomes a decision.
Below are 12 things to know that can cheer you up when you are feeling worthless. Hopefully, they will help you come out of this state with more momentum and clarity:
See also: How To Stop Worrying
12. Every period of growth comes with vulnerabilities
The very fact that you took the time to read through this article shows that you are interested in your personal and professional development. Every aspect of growth demands dealing with entangled emotions, which leaves you vulnerable.
Growth signifies that you are leaving your comfort zone, which is the beginning of your vulnerability. The feeling of worthlessness should remind you that you are in a period of growth and should not give in to your weaknesses.
11. What you are going through is necessary
One of the grandest mix-ups in psychology is that people’s mood changes for the worse when they feel bad. Unlike what a lot of people believe, negative emotions are equally as healthy as positive ones. Where the harm is done or caused is our reaction to such negative emotions. Emotions are pretty much a normal part of us, and it is what makes us human. Depending on how you channel your emotion, a feeling of worthlessness can trigger more growth or a hindrance in your path.
10. The phase is not permanent
A state of worthlessness typically comes alongside emotional turbulence that can overwhelm us. This can leave us in a state of disorientation, without confidence and losing the desire to do anything. This is why you should remember that emotions come and goes. They are just like a weather condition; they can be random and spontaneous.
It will be disastrous to let a brief moment define who you are. Just as it can rain today and be sunny the next day, so is the feeling of worthlessness. Never forget that you are going through a phase, and it is temporary. Jill Bolte Taylor, a brain scientist, argued that emotions last much shorter than we give them credit for. According to Jill, the chemical process of emotions do not last up to 2 minutes. Knowing it is temporary doesn’t mean you should fight that state. Accept it, but do not let it define you; let it take its natural course and pass.
9. Some of the world’s most famous individuals experience their “low” moments
When you look beyond the achievements and feats of others, you will realize that they felt worthless at some point during their personal and career growth. We all struggle, but what differentiates us is how we come out of that struggle.
Olympics athletes such as Micheal Phelps and Bode Miller were in a state of depression for months after the Olympics. These two men are some of the most successful sportsmen in the world. Indeed, you must think they have it figured all out, but they felt worthless at some point too.
These are high profile achievers in the world of sport who are admired and respected by hundreds of millions worldwide. Yet, at some point, they struggled with that feeling of worthlessness. This shows how inevitable that situation can get.
Read also: 6 Ways Celebrities Infleunce Teenagers
8. A lot of things are still working your way
Just in case you have forgotten, people die every day. People with ambitions, hopes, and dreams left the earth without getting the chance to achieve them. You could be complaining about an empty bank account and how your business is struggling. What you forget is that problem you are lamenting about is the problem many people wish they have.
People who aren’t complaining about a struggling business because they have none to start with; probably still depending on their parents for their basic needs. Feeling worthless, only tricks your mind into thinking about all the possible ways life has been unkind to you.
You could be triggered by the things you see on social media that you give too many thoughts to. This could make you probe yourself and wonder how slow you are in achieving the goals you set down for yourself. How about focusing on the positive things still present in your life? You could try focusing on things you can feel grateful for and allow your perspective to shift to the bright side. Feeling worthless is a norm; staying in that feeling is a decision only you can make.
7. Contrasting circumstances helps to give you a perspective
Today’s culture emphasizes constant positivity, finding our best selves, or seeing the best in every circumstance. As idealistic as this is, it is far from realistic. Experiencing a different moment in a life riddled with overwhelming emotions and self-conflict opens up our minds to a new perspective.
With the contrast life presents to you in this worthless state, you get to probe within, with better questions and seek better answers. We reach out for help, establish deeper rapports, and become more sympathetic to others’ struggles.
This new perspective triggered by this contrast sharpens your mind to develop an idea or a solution. Your mind opens up to novel insights instead of placing negative labels on ourselves. Contrast helps the mind become more curious with our emotions, and this helps us become more compassionate.
6. Emotional flexibility is a superpower
Because negative emotions, such as a feeling of worthlessness, are inevitable, you may want to distract yourself from such emotions in order to avoid them. You might want to engage in addictive hobbies such as binge-watching Netflix, spending time on social media, exercises, or reading motivational books.
Susan David, a Harvard psychologist, talks about the need for your emotions to be agile, stating it is a skill that can be acquired. Emotional flexibility or agility is the ability to process your negative emotions and thoughts in a way that doesn’t drive you negatively. Instead, it only motivates you to bring out the best in yourself. Every “low” moment should be regarded and seen as an opportunity to practice this skill.
5. Lighten up and breathe
You could get tense when you are having a low moment. Your body language becomes closed off, and you are very prone to extreme reactions to even the lightest impulses. We often forget that we can relieve this tension and get some alleviation by inhaling and exhaling. Sometimes, you need to take a moment and breathe it out. You could practice breathing exercises like deep inhales & exhales and box breathing. With these, you can induce your atmosphere of clarity and serenity.
Aside from breathing, you also need to lighten up and take the focus off yourself. When you are in a state of worthlessness, you can quell this feeling by reaching out to others and helping them. Healing may begin when you shift the focus to others, and helping others doesn’t mean carrying out a significant charity gesture. It can just be a simple act of kindness. Carrying out activities like that can improve your mood and shift your perspective.
4. You are in a plateau
A plateau is a point where everything seems to be working against you, and nothing seems to play out the way you want it to. It is a common phase encountered during personal growth, and though it doesn’t feel right, it is necessary. What matters most is our ability to handle this phase. It doesn’t help to interpret it as something far worse than it is.
This phase makes you look like you have reached an all-time low, and you are back to square one. This mostly happens if you encounter any failure that knocks you off balance. It would be best if you remembered that things would pick up soon and play out your way.
3. Zoom out
Often, when we are in this terrible place, we seem cut off from the rest of the world. It is almost as if we can’t see what’s beyond, and then the idea of quitting becomes tempting, even relieving idea. Seth Godin, Bestselling Author, and marketing guru, call this the “dip.” Scott Belsky refers to this as the “messy middle.” These are just labels, but the concept is the same.
Every high moment is eventually followed by a low moment. Those who are into forex trading will have a good grasp of this. Every low, valley, or plateau in your life is also followed up by another high moment and so on. There are ups and downs in life, and last-minute surprises we never bargained for are part of this ordeal.
This is when you zoom out of your current low or plateau. Don’t limit your mind to your current state; broaden your horizons. As time passes, you’ll wake up and back in a thriving state. You’ll wonder what took you so long to get over this feeling as you get equipped with a new perspective and empathy. This helps you recognize your growth better and gives you the needed insight and motivation to forge ahead.
2. Investigate within
Your mind is a complex space with several folders on different aspects of your life. In these folders, we can probe the truth about ourselves, which includes what we have achieved. Some of these achievements, unknown to you, amazes and are admired by someone else out there. You also get to see that you opted for consistency even when quitting seemed more appealing.
If you do not have such a facility in your mind, it is not beyond your power to create one. However, you do not need this to realize the truth about yourself. Mentally take yourself beyond your current circumstances and dig within.
1. See it as an opportunity to learn
Learn to be positive and see the good in everything. That current feeling of worthlessness might be the perfect moment for you to learn how to stay positive when things are seeming otherwise. Attracting pity from others is the worst thing you can do to yourself. It helps to attract envy and let people wish they can swap places with you. Let them look up to you and ask you how you handle your “low” moments.
Use this opportunity to work on yourself instead of seeing it as the end of your life or the end of the world. There is a saying that the finest gold passes through the hottest furnace. Do not focus on the circumstances or your problems; instead, focus on the beautiful results that lie ahead. When you find yourself in a state such as this, make good use of your time and be productive with it. There is always a silver lining on the horizon and a light at the end of the tunnel.
Your bright future seems far away from your current standpoint, but it is closer to you than you think. Also, do not be harsh or hard on yourself; silence the critic’s noise within you. Extract yourself from any negative surroundings in your mind as well as the external chaos around you. Move towards the right direction one step at a time.
Please do not make the mistake of rushing your progress; let it take its natural course. As you make progress, make a mental note to celebrate these small victories later. This restores the feeling of being worthy, and you have sufficient evidence to prove it to yourself. Before you know it, you will find yourself not just back but thriving. You may wonder why this phase took as long as it did, and you will be equipped with new perspectives and insights.
You can also check 7 Important Things To Remember When You Are Feeling Worthless