You're listening to the Fitness Matters podcast with Pahla B, and this is Episode 247, "Your Self-Worth.”
Welcome to the Fitness Matters Podcast, where every week we talk about the fitness matters that matter to you. I'm Pahla B, YouTuber, Certified Life and Weight Loss Coach, soon-to-be author, and your best middle-aged fitness friend. Are you ready to talk about the fitness mindset that matters to you? Me, too. Let's go!
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Well, hello, hello, hello, my friends. Yes, I'm singing to you. I always sing to you. Have I ever told you why? I feel like I've mentioned this maybe on the Q&A Friday, which by the way is changing, and by the time you even hear this, it will have already changed. Okay. Wow. I did not mean to talk about this at all, but here we go.
The Q&A Friday that I used to do on YouTube on most Fridays has moved to a Zoom thing. I'm experimenting with this for a while because I really, really like actually interacting with you. And with lives on Facebook or YouTube, I can only interact with you via the comments and/or emails and stuff like that. So when you are on my email list, you will be invited to an actual Zoom event, where you can be on camera, I can be on camera, we can talk actually with one another. The first one that I did, at this point, by the time you hear this, I'm recording it before I do the first live. But by the time you hear this, it will be after the first live on Zoom. So I don't know how it's going to go, but it is moved to Zoom, and it has also moved away from Fridays. I think it's semi-permanently going to be on Mondays. I really like Mondays anyway. Wow. That was a whole digression before we even got started.
But the reason that I sing to you is because when I was a kid, my mom used to sing to wake us up in the mornings. How sweet is that? Right? So then I of course did that with my kids because I loved it. It's one of my favorite childhood memories because we were not an especially musical family, but we did always have music. I love music, and music is some of my happiest childhood memories, like when my mom would clean the house and turn on Neil Diamond at full volume while she was vacuuming and dusting and stuff, and singing to us in the mornings and things like that.
So I love to sing. Plus also, you have probably heard me talk about this. I used to be a preschool teacher, and if you've ever been a preschool teacher or have been in preschool, you know that the most effective way to get a child's attention is to sing at them. So I love to sing. I can still sing you the days of the week, the months of the year, and the alphabet and numbers, and all kinds of fun, educational things. But mostly now, I just save it for singing hello to you.
You guys, none of that has anything to do with your self-worth. Do you want to talk about your self-worth? Good, because that's what we're talking about today. And I'm really excited to talk to you about this topic, as I'm excited to talk to you about every topic, but this one really specifically.
This is one of those topics that I find to be very foundational and something that we kind of don't really talk about. We talk about our self-worth sometimes a little bit vaguely, a little bit generically like, "Oh, my self-worth, I have a hard time with it or," or something like that. And what I really want to do for you today is give you some definitions for how I think about worth and self-worth – and yes, those are different – and how to actually improve your self-worth versus just noticing, "Oh, I have a hard time with my self-worth" or, "Oh, I know I shouldn't link my self-worth to the number on the scale," but also it's really hard not to because let's be honest. It's really hard not to.
So let me tell you how. Let me tell you how you can actually improve your self-worth and not link it to the number on the scale because of course, your self-worth has literally nothing to do with the number on the scale. And I know you know that intellectually, but do you know what your worth is, and what your self-worth is, and how to work with those? Maybe not. That's what we're talking about today.
So let me give you some definitions. Number one, your worth, your worthiness, let me actually say it that way because I think that brings it a little bit closer to home. When I talk about your worth, that kind of seems, well, honestly, the first thing that I thought of was more related to your worth in the world, like what you bring to the world. And the way that I actually want to think about your worth, your worthiness, is more embodied by that word “worthiness,” meaning your ability to have what you want, essentially, your ability to be here and take up space and be who you are.
Your worthiness is absolute. It's complete. It's a hundred percent. And here's why I know this: because you exist. I fundamentally believe this, and I encourage you to also. Just so you know, I'm not telling you this, like, "Oh, this is some factual truth I can prove with charts and graphs." I'm telling you that this is a belief that I have that makes the most sense to me. I'm going to explain it to you the way that it makes sense to me and encourage you to think about this and see whether or not you believe what I believe. You might not, and that's completely okay. And that means that your work may be slightly different than I am laying out for you here if you find that you do not believe this fundamental, foundational thing that I do.
Because if you don't believe that every single person on the planet is born worthy of their space here on the planet, I'm going to really encourage you to take a look at that. Why? Why do you think that is? Now I know, honestly, we kind of throw this out like, "Oh, that person's such a waste of space or such a waste of oxygen," or "That person is a bad person, a terrible person," that kind of thing. We grow up, for heaven's sakes, hearing about good guys and bad guys. And I want you to actually question that. For real, I want you to think about what that would mean to be unworthy, and why you think some people might be.
Here's how I have come to this for myself. Here's my foundational, fundamental belief. I want to believe that I am worthy of my space here on the planet. I want to believe that everybody that I already love is worthy of their space on the planet. Therefore, my logic tells me, that means that everybody must be worthy. Because if there's some randomness to it, like some people are worthy, some people are not, or some people because they do certain things, therefore become unworthy, that's troublesome for me. That's bothersome for me, personally. Because what if, for example, I don't actually know that rule? Or what if I somehow don't live up to that standard that frankly, we do not all agree upon? I know you know this.
You can look in the world and some people will tell you, "This is what makes you worthy or that's what makes you worthy. Or this is how you could be worthy, or this is how, frighteningly, you could be unworthy, simply by being who you are." That's bothersome for me. It's bothersome for me that anybody could be unworthy. Therefore, my fundamental, foundational belief is that you are worthy, that every single person on the planet is worthy, because they exist.
And let me be really clear here, that the word “worthy,” I am not using it to mean good. Think about that for a moment also. We very, very frequently equate worthiness with being good, like behaving good. I know that was grammatically incorrect. Go with me. Here's the thing about your behavior. Your behavior comes from your feelings, and your feelings come from your thoughts. And your thoughts, my friend, come from everywhere, everywhere, every single perception you have ever taken in, from the moment you were born, including all the perceptions of things that you had no control over seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, and I know there’s another – smelling.
Oh my gosh. Okay. I'm going to digress again, just really, really quickly. For whatever reason, I have a really hard time with the five senses. I know there are five of them. I almost always, when I am trying to list them like that, I almost always miss one, and it's different every time. And I crack myself up. I am a smart girl who just cannot list the five senses. It's actually a running joke that we have in the Get Your Goal group because I do frequently talk about this, about every perception you take in, and you take in perceptions from your five senses. So I frequently try to list the five senses quickly off the top of my head. For whatever reason, I cannot. So I make this joke frequently and still cannot seem to memorize the five senses.
In any event, every single perception you have ever taken in, including advertisements, billboards, things you were driving by, things you've seen at your friend's houses when you were a kid, like something somebody shouted at you from their car. So, so many perceptions that you have no control over, because frankly, you don't have control over anything outside of you. And until you recognize this work as being your work, you don't have any control of anything inside of you until you get taught this thing about how your thoughts create your feelings, and your feelings drive your actions. You didn't know this. Until you start practicing the skill of even recognizing your thoughts as thoughts, nobody ever teaches us this.
You have thoughts, automatic thoughts, that you don't have any control over. So therefore, trying to judge somebody by their behavior when they may or may not have ever been taught this skill of recognizing their thoughts as thoughts, and therefore shaping their feelings and their behavior, just doesn’t work. A person's behavior is frankly, driven by everything they've ever taken in, ever. And you and I both know, we've seen some terrible things. We've seen some unpleasantness. We've seen people behaving poorly from their, I'm not going to say poor thoughts, from their "bad" thoughts.
Somebody's behavior is not the sum total of who they are. It is a reaction, frankly, to automatic thoughts and automatic feelings. So when we judge somebody's worth or worthiness from their behavior, I don't think that's a clear picture, which is why I don't think your worth or your worthiness has anything to do with your behavior. I think it has to do, frankly, with your existence. That is the only standard, the only barrier of entry here. You exist, therefore you are worthy. And then, from there, you get to behave however you behave.
Again, this is a foundational belief of mine, I encourage you to take a look at your thoughts that are creating your feelings that are driving your actions, so that your actions can be in alignment with who you'd like to be, who you'd like to show up as in the world.
And you do have some direction over that, not entire control. You guys, you have 60,000 automatic thoughts a day. Are you ever going to get "control" (I used heavy air quotes on that one, "control") over all of them? No way. But you will have the direction of them when you are paying attention to them. Okay?
So foundational, fundamental belief, your worth, your worthiness is 100% because you exist. You are worthy of being here. Your behavior, your actions, don't have anything to do with your worthiness. However, we think, all of us, that our self-worth has a lot to do with our behaviors. Your self-worth, let me define this one really quickly, is basically your thoughts about your worthiness. And boy oh boy, do we have a lot of thoughts about our worthiness.
Speaking of your thoughts and how they have come to you from a variety of sources from every perception you have ever had, ever, do you know how many times you were told "No," or "That's bad" or "Don't be naughty,"? Maybe not naughty. Naughty is actually a word I use that I don't think I grew up with. I'm pretty sure I heard the word bad when I was a kid, from lots of sources, not just my parents, but I mean teachers and neighbors. Bad just used to be a word that people would throw around, whereas now, as a parent and as an adult, I prefer naughty, partly because it's just funny. It's just kind of a funny word. But also, because I think it's a little bit softer, a little bit gentler. And because I think, to me, it describes behavior instead of the essence of a person.
In any event, we have lots of automatic thoughts about our worth that tell us that we are not worthy. This is why your self-worth doesn't feel a hundred percent. It doesn't feel complete. It doesn't feel like you have lots of it. It probably feels like you have very low self-worth, like you have perhaps even very low self-esteem. Those two things aren't exactly the same, but sometimes we throw those words around as though they are the same. I'm not going to split hairs on this podcast. Maybe at some point in the future, I'll pull those apart. For right now, you can use either word you want.
But here's the thing about your thoughts, about your worth. They're very frequent and they're almost always automatic until we find them and direct them on purpose and think intentional things about our worth. So you are operating from these automatic thoughts, and because of all of the messages that we get from society, truly everything you've ever, ever heard from the moment you were born or perceived in any way, generally speaking, seen or heard, is that your worth is related to your value, meaning money or houses or cars or things or jobs or a good marriage or a good family, or your physical being, being a good weight, looking good, being pretty, being smart. It sometimes also depends on who you grew up with and where your skills and talents maybe fell naturally. If you were a really good-looking child, your worthiness, according to other people, probably came from your looks. If you were a little bit more like me and not so good-looking, but smart enough, my worthiness, I thought, came from my smarts, came from my ability to be clever.
We all, again, all of us – I'm not exempting myself; I'm not exempting you – get this message that things outside of us that we can accomplish somehow create our self-worth. We think that doing something, chasing something, looking at a number on the scale, driving a certain car, living in a certain kind of house, having a certain kind of relationship, we think that that will improve our self-worth.
My friends, nothing could be further from the truth. You know, perhaps, that achieving a number on the scale or a certain amount of money in the bank or a particular kind of relationship or looking a certain way does absolutely nothing to create some kind of automatic thought for you that makes you feel worthy.
Your thoughts create your feelings of worthiness. Nothing that you do or accomplish or weigh or look like will ever create a feeling of worthiness for you. Things don't create feelings. Your thoughts create feelings. This is why, if you haven't experienced this yourself, you've certainly heard about the poor little rich girl or something like that, where somebody gets everything they thought they wanted, and then they still feel lousy. And they're like, "How come I still feel terrible?" Here's why. You feel whatever your thoughts create. And your thoughts, unless you are examining them and working on them intentionally, they're all going to be automatic. They're all going to come from everything you have ever perceived in your life before now.
Things outside of you do not create a feeling of worthiness. And, even more ironically, chasing after things can, I'm going to say exacerbate, feelings of unworthiness. Let’s say, for example, that you would like to lose weight to allegedly improve your self-worth so that you can feel better about yourself. So every day, you're following the 5-0 Method, which is my free weight loss information resource that has everything you could possibly need to know about losing weight over 50 (The 5-0 Method https://pahlabfitness.com/programs/the-5-0-method/). There's a link in the description box or the show notes, wherever you're listening.
The thing about the 5-0 Method is that one of the things I offer you is that weighing yourself every day offers you an opportunity every day to think about what that number means to you, what the number is, or what your brain rather is creating. If every day you are simply hearing your thoughts about, "This sucks. I can't believe this. I'm going up. I'm going down. I'm not losing weight. This is hard. This is difficult. I can't lose weight. I'm never going to be thin enough. I'm always going to be fat. I'm always going to have trouble with this. This is beyond me, blah, blah, blah." Frankly, those thoughts are automatic. Those are everything you have ever heard from anybody else in the world that are just rattling around in your brain. They're not truthful. They have nothing to do with you or your self-worth. Those are just thoughts from perceptions that you have taken in.
But those thoughts can feel really lousy. While you are chasing after this thing that you think is going to help you feel better about yourself, you could be inadvertently feeling even worse from that onslaught of automatic thoughts that tell you that you are not good enough, that you will never be good enough, that this is difficult, that this is beyond you. There’s an irony of feeling worse when you are trying to feel better, and really, neither one of these things is actually going to make you feel better in and of themselves, because things don't make you feel things. Your thoughts make you feel things.
So, oh my gosh, what's the answer here? In my opinion, we all have this serious disconnect between your actual worth, which is 100% absolutely complete, and your self-worth, which is your collection of thoughts about your worthiness. And the things that we do to try and chase after this feeling of self-worth aren't getting us any closer, and in fact, could be making us feel worse. I mean, holy moly, what do we do here?
You know what we do? Well, if this is not your first rodeo, if this is not your first podcast, you might know what I'm about to say next. You find your thoughts. You decide if they're helpful. This is the point where I'm going to refer you to Episode 89, Mind Management (Ep. 089 Mind Management https://getyourgoal.com/podcasts/89-mind-management/), where I talk all about how to find your thoughts, how to recognize them as thoughts, and how to label them as either helpful or unhelpful.
And I'm further going to direct you to Episode 9, where we talk about Facts Vs. Opinions (Ep. 009 Facts Vs. Opinions https://getyourgoal.com/podcasts/9-facts-opinions/). This episode, the Facts versus Opinion episode, is old enough that I used to not use the word thoughts all the time. I was still kind of forming my own opinions about this thought work and how it works and mindset and all those kinds of things. And so, the lexicon of how I used to talk about things has changed a little bit over the last two years or so.
In any event, opinions and thoughts are very interchangeable. You do not think in facts; you just don't. We all think we do, and it's wrong. It's not a fact that we think in facts. It's actually a fact that we think in opinions. We think in thoughts. Finding your thoughts about your worthiness is the solution here, recognizing that they are thoughts. They are opinions that you hold about yourself that A) are not true, B) are changeable, and C) again, coming back to A), truly not true.
Here's why I wanted you to understand that foundational, fundamental belief that I have, that I encourage you to have also, that you are 100% worthy. When you actually foundationally and fundamentally believe that every single person on the planet is worthy, it will give you a little bit of lever underneath any of your thoughts about your own self-worth, about your worthiness. When you hear something like, "Oh, I don't deserve this," or "Oh, I need to do something to feel better about myself," you'll recognize that as not just unhelpful for feeling better, but as foundationally, fundamentally untrue. It will be so much easier to recognize that as a thought that is not helping you feel better, that is not getting you where you want to go, that could be in fact, slowing you down from getting your goal, whatever your goal is, because it's just not true.
This has that ring of value to it, not just worthiness. But when you label something as unhelpful, sometimes there's that feeling of, "Yeah, it's not helpful, but it still feels true." When you recognize something as untrue, as false, as something that you can dismiss as a lie or untrue, it feels a little different, doesn't it? It feels like you can actually just close the door on that. “Unhelpful” sometimes feels a little bit more pervasive. Unhelpful thoughts come back around, and you kind of have to maybe work through them again, really recognize them again. "Okay. This is a thought. This is unhelpful. This is slowing me down from getting me where I want to go." Whereas when you hear something that you know is untrue, it's like, "No. That's not true." Boom. Done. This is why it's so important to really foundationally, fundamentally believe that your worthiness is absolute, that everybody's worth on this planet is a hundred percent. It's complete. You exist, therefore you are worthy.
And if you don't foundationally, fundamentally believe that, again, I'm going to encourage you to really turn that around in your mind. Really think about where your foundational, fundamental beliefs lie. And wherever that is, again, I'm not telling you you have to believe what I believe. I'm encouraging you to believe what I believe, because then the second part about your self-worth will fall in line with it.
If you believe something differently, fundamentally and foundationally, then I'm going to encourage you to still look at this conundrum of worthiness versus self-worth, your collection of thoughts about your personal worthiness, and see where you can merge those two. The thing that will make you feel better, that will make you recognize your worth, that will make you feel worthy, is your thoughts, not your stuff, not what you do, not the number on the scale, the amount of money in your bank account, the kinds of relationships you have, what your face looks like, none of those things. And some of them don't sound like they're outside of you. I know, your face. But your face really isn't inside of you either, though. It's on you.
None of those outward expressions, let's say that, have anything to do with your worthiness. Your feeling of worthiness comes from your thoughts. So, my friends, recognize your thoughts. Find them. Here's where they're going to show up. You know where you can find thoughts about your worthiness? When you step on the scale, or when you look at your bank account, or when you walk into your house, or when you look at the relationships in your life, your job, your clothes, your face, your body. When you are looking, and by that, I mean not necessarily with your eyeballs, but when thinking about your life, you have thoughts about your worthiness.
And almost all of them contain the word “enough.” "I don't make enough money. I'm not pretty enough. I'm not thin enough. I'm not happy enough." When you start listening for that word “enough,” recognize it for what it is. Enoughness is related to how you feel about your worth. You, if you hear those kinds of thoughts, do not think you are worthy enough. That's worth recognizing, and that's worth knowing if you believe the foundational, fundamental belief that you and every other person on the planet is 100% worthy. Any of those “enough” thoughts are not true and are definitely not helpful for feeling worthy.
My friends, this was a lot. There were fewer left turns than normal. I'm kind of excited about that, I'll be honest. That was a little bit more on the nose than I sometimes am. And hopefully, that made it even more helpful than I sometimes am. I want you to know, I believe absolutely, without even one sliver of doubt, that you are 100% worthy.
I hope that this podcast gave you enough information, enough that you can take a look at your beliefs around your worth and your thoughts about your worth so that you can connect your 100% worthiness with the thoughts that you have about your worthiness. Thank you so much for listening. I'll talk to you again soon.
If you are getting a lot out of the Fitness Matters podcast, and you're ready to take it to the next level, you are going to love the Get Your Goal coaching and accountability group. We take all the theory and knowledge here on the podcast and actually apply it in real life on your real weight loss and fitness goals. It's hands-on, it's fun, and it works. Find out more at pahlsbfitness.com/get-your-goal, and let's Get Your Goal.