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Having a lack of self-worth in my life, showed up in several ways.

I was afraid to make a mistake. I was embarrassed if I didn’t know how to do something. I was insecure around dominant people. I didn’t have a voice. I couldn’t say no because I didn’t want to hurt someone else’s feelings – even if mine suffered in the process.

Over time, I learned to overcome my challenges and this is how I evolved along the way.

Resilience

Subconsciously, I was always prepared for some type of emotional drama in my family. I become immune to it. I didn’t like when it happened, but I was used to it.  It was just another day. I accepted those circumstances as normal.

To this day, only one thing truly angers me and that is abuse. Otherwise, nothing bothers me. I have a high threshold for pain.

Problem Solving

As I have gotten older, I have become very capable of getting through a crisis. Personally, and professionally, people have always been drawn to me to help solve a problem, hear them out or steer them in the right direction. I had to find my own way out of negative situations and have learned to quickly assess situations and move on.

Fighting Spirit

Once I realized I was a victim to others’ controlling behaviours, I learned to fight back. It wasn’t a conscious decision, it just happened one day. I was manipulated to the point where enough was enough. I could not continue being exposed to that type of treatment and I became stronger than ever.  I stood up and started confronting those who were treating me badly.

Taking Control

I knew I couldn’t control those around me. But, I could control my response. I could control what I or my children were being exposed to.

A significant lesson at the time came from a fantastic book by leading psychotherapist

Dr. Susan Forward entitled Emotional Blackmail: When the People in Your Life Use Fear, Obligation, and Guilt to Manipulate You. It helped me to understand the thinking of manipulators and how to build the strength and learn the words to effectively respond. 

Building Boundaries

I am aware of what I will and will not accept. I set invisible boundaries to protect myself and my family. I will not participate in any type of relationship – with my family, with my friends or at work – where people are rude, condescending or abusive. I ended relationships, politely hung up the phone or simply walked away when it happened. I removed the barriers that were around me and within me.

Increased Self-Awareness and Personal Growth

This became a priority and it hasn’t stopped. I needed to understand what happened to me, why I felt the way I did and what I had to do to get stronger and be happier in my life. I am a life-long learner and I am at my best when I continue to grow.

Surround Yourself With Like-Minded People

Finally,  I carefully select situations and people who share my unbreakable values of treating others with dignity, respect, integrity and connection. We share a positive outlook on life and focus on finding the goodness in each of us. Together we grow and thrive and never have to fight to be authentic.

I strongly believe everyone matters and no one has the right to take that away. We all need to stand tall for who we are and what we believe in.

I invite you to learn from my experience. If you doubt your worth, if other people are tearing you down, take these steps:

  • Develop an immunity to other people’s drama. Don’t let it in.
  • Find your way out of negative situations
  • Confront those who treat you badly
  • Don’t respond to people who use guilt and fear to manipulate you
  • Remove yourself immediately from rude, condescending or abusive encounters
  • Embrace every opportunity to learn and further your personal growth
  • Surround yourself with supportive, positive like-minded people

You matter. Do not allow yourself or someone else tell you otherwise.