Feeling Worthy Over 40 And Practicing Self Care
Have you ever received a compliment from a loved one, colleague, or even a stranger and immediately felt uncomfortable or undeserving? So you start qualifying the compliment or even negating it? “Your hair looks amazing,” your friend says, “It needs a cut so badly!”, you say. Does that sound like you? The truth is many women struggle with feelings of unworthiness on varying levels. Sure it can be as simple as not being able to receive a compliment with a simple, “thank you” but it also materializes in other ways. Some subtle and some not. Ways you might not even notice or be aware of. Do you eat the burnt piece of toast or eat off the chipped plate so nobody else has to? All of these little “unworthy” moments can add up and eat away at our overall health and happiness.
Self-Doubt Is Toxic
The problem with not feeling worthy is how depleted you might not even realize you are. It’s like a mental bank account where you consistently make withdrawals but the deposits are lean. Team Busbee recently went on a wellness retreat at Miraval Resort and Spa in Tucson, AZ. The intentions were to meet as a group (for the first time!) and strategize on business initiatives in an environment that focuses on being mindful, enhancing your mental potential, and self-care.
Getting away for a trip like this seemed indulgent! We had schedules to rearrange, and family members and friends we relied on to help with our kids and/or pets while we were away …as they say it takes a village. But, Erin felt we were all worthy of making this time for each other and ourselves. There were classes, activities, and spa treatments…all bringing the focus back to ourselves. And it was incredibly special! When you fill your own bucket, you have more to give those around you.
You ARE Worthy
We want to share a story about one of our team members. She started to pack for this exciting retreat and felt self-doubt creeping in. What should she wear? Will they like her? Would the other women be more confident, thinner, prettier, smarter, more accomplished, wittier? Would they be more worthy of this trip? Here we are coaching and encouraging women to feel and look their best – to love themselves more but was she a fraud for questioning if she was “enough”. Truth be told, she was struggling to look in the mirror to even like herself, let alone feel confident.
The pressure she felt to present herself in a certain likable way, was mounting. These are uncomfortable feelings to lean into. But she did. She packed her bag, chin up, got on a plane, and you’ll never believe what happened. She met 6 other women with many of the same fears who struggled with similar thoughts. So, we aired our feelings of unworthiness, and slowly but surely the worthiness crept in, then it stayed awhile, and now we’re working to make sure it stays so we can count on it. It’s a journey.
Practicing Self Care
The truth is, it’s difficult to rid yourself of self-doubt permanently. It can surprisingly find a way into your mindset even when you least expect it. But knowing that is half the battle. Telling that annoying voice inside your head to take a hike is easier when you identify how damaging it can be and arm yourself with the tools to combat it.
Ways To Combat Feelings Of Unworthiness
- Ask for help
- Trust yourself
- Accept without guilt or shame
- Give credibility to your feelings (good, bad or ugly)
- Express your feelings and needs effectively and clearly
- Treat yourself with kindness and compassion
- Talk to yourself the same way you’d speak to someone you LOVE
Keeping It Real
We wanted to share a few personal stories from our team…times we felt unworthy and how we are overcoming these negative feelings. Maybe if we expose our tender vulnerabilities, you’ll feel inspired to keep it real too!
As women, we tend to doubt our self-worth. It’s not our fault…I blame society. But maybe that’s just my cynical 26-year-old brain talking? I’ve felt unworthy many times in my life, but my unworthiness usually shows up in the form of self-doubt. Did I really deserve that praise? Why is my husband being so nice to me after I lost my cool this morning? Do I really deserve to treat myself to a spa day? Believe it or not, I don’t have it all figured out. I know, I’m sure you’re shocked that the 20-something hasn’t figured it out… ;)Luckily, I have surrounded myself with women who seem to have a better grasp on feeling worthy.
Erin has told me many times that I’m going to be WAY ahead of the game when I’m actually a 40+ woman because I’m learning valuable information by being a part of this business. And she doesn’t just mean that my killer pro-aging skincare routine will have me looking 10 years younger when I’m 40…I’ve learned some really amazing life lessons from working with Erin (and our incredible team) over the past 5 years too. All of the women on our team inspire and encourage me to accept myself and feel worthy in many situations where I would normally partake in a seriously mean (and petty) mental conversation with myself. By the way, we’ve talked about the importance of female friendships and whom you spend your time with in this post that’s a must-read after this one!
One exercise I’ve started using over the past two months to deal with some of my feelings of unworthiness is journaling.
I literally write for a living so the fact that I just now started writing as a way to help me understand and get past my negativity is a little crazy. How did I not think about this before?! Sometimes journaling can be hard to just get started, so I recommend finding a jumping-off point. I’ve been using a practice called “The Work of Byron Katie”. It’s essentially a writing practice that takes your negative thoughts, makes you examine them, and then reframes them. There are easy-to-follow instructions (and questions to ask yourself) on the site.
Another option is to Google “feeling unworthy writing prompts” …there are SO many options out there (for all topics). All you have to do is pick one and start writing! It won’t be an immediate “fix”, but it could help you understand where your feelings are coming from…and that’s a start!
This past May, my husband and I celebrated our 27th wedding anniversary. We are high school sweethearts, so we have been together for most of our lives. We used a diamond from my grandma for my engagement ring, as we didn’t have much money when we first got married. Recently I lost that diamond from my wedding ring. It was devastating. My husband said that he always wanted to invest in me and upgrade my ring, and now that we are in a better financial situation, he felt this was the time to do so.
The very next day, miraculously, I found my diamond laying on my carpet!! I excitedly told my husband, “Now we don’t need to spend that money on a new ring.” He looked at me and said that he absolutely still wanted to buy me a new ring. My husband is my biggest cheerleader and insisted we move forward with creating a ring…I am very thankful for him. But… this was a moment I really struggled with. Feeling worthy to accept such an expensive gift was difficult for me. Since I had found my diamond, I felt like I didn’t “deserve” anything else.
I know that I cannot be the only woman that has ever been in this position or experienced this “unworthiness” I was feeling. It’s so easy to feed into that negative narrative in our heads. But it’s important to break that negative cycle and start speaking the positive truth to ourselves. We each bring unique gifts to those around us and that is worth celebrating!
You can read more about Joy’s sweet journey to creating her new wedding ring, here.
My feelings of unworthiness are derived from thinking I don’t need to slow down, focus on myself, or ask for help. I feel like if I can keep everyone else around me happy, and keep all the balls in the air, then I will just naturally BE happy. But there is no “me” in that, really. Sure, I’m thrilled (beyond thrilled!!) when my family and friends are thriving and feeling good. But when they aren’t, I take on that pain, sadness, and discomfort as if it’s happening to me. That’s next-level empathy. And it can be debilitating. So, I try to tell myself I am worthy of happiness for me, even if those I love are struggling. It’s OK to focus on my own happiness and self-care by doing what makes me happy. I can’t ignore my own personal self-care.
Supporting and being there for others doesn’t mean I have to be absorbed in negative feelings. I have been trying to meditate (this did not come naturally) for…wait for it…one minute a day. That’s it. That was my goal, and you know what? It helps. That quiet time just for me in my own head where I focus on being positive and grateful is pretty amazing. I might even up the ante to 2 minutes…baby steps. If mediation is new to you and you’re not sure where to start, this site is perfect for beginners and offers free guidance and prompts.
Is unworthiness something you struggle with?
Please share your story with us in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you and we can all benefit from each other’s experiences. If this post resonated with you and you wish to share it with a friend, please do so by clicking on the buttons below. If you haven’t already, be sure to sign up for our newsletter here where we share exclusive content and resources. Thanks for reading!
5 thoughts on “We Need to Talk About…Feeling Worthy Over 40 And Practicing Self Care”
I so needed to read this! Thank you for sharing your stories.
You’re welcome, Bee! We’re glad you found it helpful. -Team Busbee
It’s been a rough year. My husband has had medical issues that leave me the primary driver in our household. Each of my high school teens have had their own drama over deadlines and mental health challenges. I myself have gone into early menopause in the meantime, with literally every symptom. I am so grateful for the overall stability of my family, we are safe, we are fed, our home is secure. Keeping everyone else supported and trying to keep myself afloat even when I wished someone else would come and rescue me has been the hard part. At my annual physical, I shared a bit of my overall struggle and I know they are not a therapist, but I wish there was a bit more empathy. The main response has been suck it up and keep going, also “you need to lose weight.” I understand that feeling that I can’t relax and enjoy myself if anyone in my family is suffering; it also makes it very hard to share my own struggles because I don’t want to add to theirs. I don’t have any real solutions right now, things have to keep moving forward. I am inspired to journal and try tp pour out some of my negative thoughts about myself. I have to also mention I have a kind sister in-law that brought me a little bouquet and a note that said I was a good wife and mother – I burst into tears. It’s hard to feel successful when you face daily failures, but she was right. I am a good wife and a good mother.
Thank you so much, Maureen, for sharing your story with me. I’m so sorry this year has been so tough on you… What a truly amazing, perseverant wife and mom you have been. I hope you fully take in and own the notes your sister-in-law gave you. Our bodies truly do know how to force us to stop and rest when we push too hard for too long. I think your plan of journaling is a perfect start. I encourage you also to find someone to talk to that you can trust. You deserve to take care of YOU. Sending you the biggest virtual hug! ~Erin xo
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