In a world of being inspired by the end results of goalgetters, we forget to acknowledge a critical part of the process. Before goals are even pinned to the vision board, we first need to find the courage to believe, “I can do this!”
Whether it is a goal as grand as starting your own business or as precious as trying to get into a new routine, it all begins with trusting who we are.
I’ve had my fair share of having an idea in mind, over-thinking my abilities, and selling myself short when it comes to setting goals for myself. In some cases, I’ve avoided setting goals altogether due to the crippling fear of failure.
Self-worth and goal setting has a more intimate relationship than people recognize, especially if we are used to operating from a place of not believing we are good enough in other areas of our lives.
When we think about setting goals, there are so many amazing resources that walk us through what makes for effective goals and how to gracefully execute plans towards meeting them. But knowing that we are good enough to even set goals to begin with? A much more difficult and personal task that requires self-awareness, self-compassion, time, patience, and intentionality.
We’ve all heard of SMART goals, right? Goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely? Surprise! We cannot actually set attainable and realistic goals if we have a negatively skewed concept of ourselves.
I’m sure we have all heard the quote that insists that we should not be our own barriers in life, but at its core, that comes from a place of not believing that we are good enough. When we truly believe that we are worthy and whole, it empowers us to discard the idea that we are not capable of the goals we set forth.
As a therapist, I’ve had clients say, “I know I have to learn to love myself, but how do I do that?” and I can’t help but laugh every time because how beautiful would it be to have a fail-proof, step-by-step guide that tells us exactly how to love ourselves?! If something like that existed and worked every time, I may not have a career.
Self-worth and self-love are journeys that we navigate for our entire lives. It is mindful and small and can be a micro personal goal among goal setting. It is the inherent belief that we are good enough and are deserving of the things we have and want in life.
Barriers to self-worth
There seems to be a subconscious assumption that if we operate from genuine self-love, that we are free from ever experiencing self-doubt, which is not only unrealistic but adds unnecessary pressure of perfection.
Negative self-talk is such a natural response for so many of us, we are not even aware we are doing it. It is as simple as making a mistake and outwardly or inwardly stating, “Wow, that was stupid of me.”
Keep in mind that the way you speak to yourself matters. It may be the most critical piece of reinforcing self-worth and self-validation. Regardless of where you are in the process of setting or achieving goals, you deserve compassion at every step.
If we know this, then why do we continue to do this? I have a theory that people believe that by being their own worst critic, it somehow keeps them more accountable to meet their goals. The truth is, you can still achieve the goals you set and be kind to yourself while doing so.
Here are some tips to practice self-validation:
- Eliminate self-judgment by recognizing when you are being overly critical of yourself.
- Reframe negative self-talk and instead ask yourself, “what is the best thing that can happen?”
- Have patience for the process and stop attaching yourself to the outcome.
- Embrace both your areas of growth and your strengths. It is okay to want to improve and be able to give yourself credit at the same time!
- Acknowledge your thoughts and feelings, take the space necessary to accept it, affirm the experience as valid, and let it go.
Affirmations for self-validation & self-worth
Although the process ahead for self-validation may be long and vulnerable, here are some affirmations to support you along the way.
I personally like to start my day off by setting an intention and following it up with a written affirmation in my planner. However you choose to practice these, I hope that it will become more than just a mantra, but slowly become ingrained as truth within your spirit.
- I believe in myself and my abilities
- I am capable of anything, not everything
- I deserve good things
- I can do hard things
- My best effort is enough
- I am allowed to be a work-in-progress and a masterpiece all at once
- There is nothing inherently wrong with me
You got this!
Humans are resilient and often persist through self-doubt to create and achieve their goals, but that does not mean there is no potential for growth. While practicing self-validation, we have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
By no means do you have to wait until you fully love yourself in order to set goals either. Sometimes it is enough to recognize how it is negatively impacting you and making the decision to move forward with more faith in yourself.
I hope that you can feel a little lighter and more confident in your abilities with all of your present and future goals. Self-validation and knowing you are worthy is a conscious practice, so be sure to continue to extend kindness to yourselves during this journey ahead!