Self-Worth or Selfish?

Photo by Pinupzania

Something I see coming up over and over again for my coaching clients is a deep, and sometimes unconscious worry around whether truly feeling your own self-worth will somehow make you selfish…

Growing up female, most of us are bombarded with cultural messaging about the importance of putting other’s needs before our own, making others happy, looking after other people, being agreeable, nice, accommodating, being generally a good girl.

And while it’s not a bad thing to consider others and to want to make the people around you happy, it can absolutely become a problem when we start to buy into the illusion that our only worth lies in our value to other people, and our success at meeting their needs.

It can become a problem when we start to beat ourselves up every time we fail to live up to some impossible, unattainable standard of perfection – when we think we should be able to make everyone around us happy all of the time, and that our own needs don’t matter.

It can become a problem when we start to bury our own needs so deeply that we begin to have trouble even knowing what those needs might be, let alone feeling able to share them with a partner, lover, or friend.

And so for many women, there is a fear that if they were to truly feel their own innate self-worth, to tune into the glorious, radiant divinity of their true being, they would somehow morph into a selfish, callous person who cared nothing for anyone but themselves. That without the inner critical voice which drives them to try so hard to please those around them, they’d become a selfish, self-centered person.

No wonder it’s so difficult to admit how truly worthy and precious you are if you’re convinced doing so would make you into a horrible person!

It’s a basic premise of my coaching philosophy that every part of you, even your inner critical voice, actually has your best interests at heart. Even if it may not feel that way. Even if the efforts are misguided. We’re not here to judge that inner critic – if part of you thinks that you need constant self-judgement to be an acceptable person, then it’s rational to keep criticising.

But is that actually true?

Try a little thought experiment with me now.

I’d invite you to feel for the answers to these questions in your body, what feels true to you?

If you buy into the thought that your self worth depends on other people’s perception of you, how do you treat yourself? And how do you treat other people?

And then letting that go, and asking:

If you believe that all humans have innate worth, just by virtue of being alive, how do you treat yourself? And how do you treat other people?

The huge irony is that in my experience, when people are able to feel and accept their own innate worthiness, they see just as much worthiness in those around them. Far from becoming selfish or self-centered, they celebrate and love those around them from a place of truly wanting to share joy. Contrast this with trying to please others in a constant attempt to feel better about yourself.

Which feels more generous?

Photo by Pinupzania

Sometimes knowing something intellectually isn’t enough to create real change in your life, it’s one thing to think it’s okay to feel your own worth, another thing to feel it. If you’d like to chat about 1:1 online, gentle somatic coaching to fully step into your joy, power and pleasure in life I’d love to hear from you! Email me at and I’d be happy to arrange a free consultation to discuss whether coaching could support you in becoming your most radiant, empowered self.

Or you can book a free taster session here

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *