Feeling Worthless: Why You Feel Like You’re Unworthy, And How To Beat It
Feelings of worthlessness are common in people of all ages and all demographics. If you feel like you’re unworthy, like you don’t belong or don’t deserve something in your life, you are not alone. These feelings can affect people at all stages of life.
This article will delve into some of the reasons behind feeling worthless, and what you can do to beat it. While these feelings aren’t uncommon, they are challenging, and can even be debilitating at times. Acknowledging the way you feel and seeking help is the first step to getting your confidence back. Because you are valuable, no matter what!
Remember, the best way to cope with a challenging time in your life is to get help. Talk to a professional therapist whenever you think you might need counseling. There is no such thing as a problem that’s too big, or too small, to seek help.
Feeling Worthless And Depression
According to the APA, “feelings of guilt or worthlessness” is one of the most common symptoms of depression. Someone who is going through depression may experience feeling worthless as their most prominent symptom. This can be challenging, because those feelings can encourage the individual not to get help, or can even lead someone to think they “deserve” the way they feel.
If you have a history of depression, it’s important to seek counseling. Feeling unworthy could be a sign of a severe depressive episode. Letting those feelings escalate can be crushing to your self-esteem, and make it difficult to through day-to-day tasks. In other words, feelings of worthlessness and depression can become a vicious cycle that is difficult to break. The best thing you can do is to recognize that these feelings are not your fault, and seek the help of a professional counselor as soon as possible.
While feeling worthless is often associated with depression, it is not necessarily the cause. Feelings of worthlessness can strike in people who have never experienced depression. There are plenty of external stresses and challenges that can lead someone to feel worthless. The bottom line is: it’s never your fault!
Pressure To Succeed
The pressure to succeed is something we all face, particularly in our late teens and twenties. The stress of feeling like you need to succeed can hurt your self-esteem, make you feel like you’re not doing enough, and cause a lot of guilt.
Young people are faced with so many challenges: to get an education, to have a successful career, to find the perfect relationship, and start a family. And while it is practically impossible to do all those things at once, many people feel like they’re not succeeding if they’re not achieving everything they can. That’s one reason that people in their twenties can feel so lost.
Remember, everyone’s path through life looks different, and success doesn’t have to look a certain way. No one can do everything at once! Still, the pressure to succeed can lead a lot of people to feel worthless or guilty, regardless of where they are in life.
Feeling Unworthy In A Relationship
Have you ever felt like you don’t deserve your partner or spouse?
While it’s great to look at your partner in a positive light, feelings of guilt or worthlessness in a relationship can be really damaging. Perceiving your partner as “too good for you” or “better than you” is a sign of negative self-esteem, and not constructive to a positive relationship.
If you think your partner or spouse is encouraging your feelings of worthlessness, you should seek professional counseling. Statements like “you’re lucky I’m with you” or “you don’t deserve me” are often manipulative tactics, and can be a sign of low self-esteem in your partner or even an abusive relationship.
Big Changes Or Major Life Events
Major milestones and events in your life can also lead to feelings of worthlessness. Big changes challenge your perception and can cause you to view yourself differently.
Even events that are generally seen as positive, like a graduation, a big move, or a wedding, can lead you to doubt your self-worth. You may be wondering how you can adjust to this new stage in your life, feeling like you can’t live up to other people’s standards, or even like you can’t meet your own expectations.
All those feelings are common, and in most cases, will pass over time. To maintain your self-esteem through big changes and life events, it can help to talk to people who are going through the change with you or have had similar experiences. Opening up about the way you feel is a great way to boost your confidence and remind yourself that you’re not going through this alone.
How To Beat Feelings Of Worthlessness And Boost Self-Esteem
Feeling worthless is never easy. It can seem like a very lonely struggle, and at times can even impact your day-to-day life. And while many people struggle with those feelings, getting over them can be a bigger challenge for some. Recovering your self-worth takes time, patience, and positive change.
The best thing you can do when coping with feelings of worthlessness or guilt is to talk to a therapist. Professional counseling is an amazing tool on the road to self-healing. That said, there are also some changes you can make yourself to help beat those negative feelings.
Here are a few methods for recovering your confidence and boosting your self-esteem:
- Pay Attention To Your Feelings
Registering and understanding your feelings is a big step toward overcoming them. Guilt, doubt, and other negative feelings of self-worth generally won’t go away when you ignore them. Instead, pay attention to when those lows hit, and consider what’s going on in your life at the time.
You might be feeling unworthy as a result of some external stress, or because of internal turmoil like a struggle with depression. Understanding what’s causing your emotions can help you to recognize them as just that: emotions. Feeling unworthy is a natural reaction to other stresses in your life, and acknowledging that it is an important step toward treating it.
- Look Back
If you’re struggling with self-doubt now, it might not be the first time. Try looking back on other points in your life when you felt this way. What was happening in your life then? Could the same stresses be causing your feelings now?
Going off that, it can also help to look back on the times in your life when you felt most confident. Remember, you are still the same person now that you were then—you still have just as much to feel grateful for and proud of. Focusing on the high points in your life can help you to recover feelings of hope and confidence.
- Get Some Exercise
Physical exercise is just as important to your mental health as it is to your physical health. Exercise can give you a rush of endorphins, boost your mood, and provide a sense of accomplishment.
That doesn’t mean you need to run a marathon or even join a gym—just a little physical activity every day can make all the difference. If you don’t like lifting weights, no worries. Consider jogging, biking, swimming, climbing, or even just walking. The more you exercise, the easier it will be—and that can help you to feel more confident over time.
- Practice Mindfulness
“Mindfulness” can mean something different for everyone. In general, though, it means taking a step back to consider your own thoughts and feelings at the moment. Mindfulness can help you to break the cycle of self-doubt, and encourage you to look forward to growth and a more positive future.
There are plenty of ways to practice mindfulness. Meditation, journaling, and relaxation can all help. Whatever method you use, the key is to “step out” of your present state of mind and try to see the bigger picture. In the long term, practicing mindfulness can help you to remember that these feelings are only temporary.
- Focus On The Little Things
The big picture can feel overwhelming. You may start to question whether you are achieving enough, whether you can be considered “successful,” if you have everything you want in life, etc.
When you’re feeling unworthy, it can help to focus on the little things instead of the big picture. Take each day one step at a time. Set small, achievable goals for yourself, and take pride in reaching them. Staying in the present and focusing on small, manageable things can help you to enjoy every day, instead of worrying over bigger accomplishments.
You Are Valuable
Whatever is causing you to feel worthless, it’s important to remember that every person has value, no matter what. In your career, relationships, and personal life, you do matter.
Feelings of guilt, self-doubt, and sadness can make it hard to stay motivated and accomplish what you want in life. But they are temporary. With professional counseling and small changes to your daily routine, it is totally possible to recover your confidence and remember your self-worth.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What it feels like to be worthless?
Feeling worthless or experiencing feelings of worthlessness is painful. That said, no matter how strongly you are experiencing feelings of worthlessness, no one is actually worthless. Feeling worthless is a potential symptom of depression, and for some individuals, other symptoms of depression may pair with feelings of worthlessness. Other symptoms of Depression include but are not limited to feelings of hopelessness, fatigue, changes in appetite, sleeping too much or too little, low energy, and persistent sadness. If you notice the symptoms of Depression in yourself, it is important to reach out to a medical or mental health professional who can provide you with an assessment. Note that there are different kinds of depressive disorders and mood disorders and that they are all experienced differently. Sometimes, when a person feels worthless, they may also feel anxious or feel hopeless. Feeling worthless very often pairs with feelings of inadequacy and may even stem from feelings of inadequacy. If you are experiencing feelings of worthlessness for any reason, whether or not you know the cause, seeing a mental health professional can help. If you feel worthless or hopeless, it is not something you have to take on the weight of alone, and it is possible to overcome or combat feelings of worthlessness, no matter how prevalent these feelings are right now.
What is it called when someone makes you feel worthless?
If someone tells you that you are worthless, it is abusive behavior. It is common for people who are emotionally abusive toward others to attack a person’s sense of self, self-esteem, and/or self-worth. A person may also make you feel worthless, feel anxious, or feel hopeless in covert ways as opposed to saying it outright. If there’s someone in your life who makes you feel as though you “never do anything right,” someone who blames all of the problems in a connection on you or tells you that they wouldn’t act the way they did “if you were different,” or if there’s someone who makes you feel less than, unintelligent, or incapable, it is indicative of a toxic person or connection.
What is a worthless person?
There is no such thing as a worthless person. Feelings of inadequacy might make a person feel worthless or less than others, but it doesn’t mean that they truly are. If you’re struggling with feelings of worthlessness, talking to a mental health provider can help.
What to do when your spouse makes you feel worthless?
If your partner or spouse makes you feel worthless, something needs to change. First, identify what they do that makes you feel worthless. Do they belittle your intelligence and ability? Do they make you feel anxious and as though you have to walk on eggshells? Do they make you feel wrong or inferior? If a partner or spouse is making you feel worthless without realizing it, having a conversation and possibly attending couples counseling can help. That said if they are directly calling you worthless, belittling your intelligence, telling you that the relationship would be better if you were different if their behavior continues after you bring it up, if they make excuses for the continuation of their behavior, or if you feel that this relationship is unhealthy for you in any other way, it is time to call it off.
What can make me happy again?
Struggling with feeling unhappy may have a number of causes or contributors. If you can determine what is making you unhappy, it may be beneficial to do so, but there are times when a person will not be able to pinpoint what’s making them unhappy. Seeking help is advantageous both for those who can pinpoint what’s contributing to their feelings and those who cannot. Seeing a mental health professional can help you work toward improving the way that you feel. Rather than a quick fix, this is typically a process, but it is very much so worth it. Working with a mental health provider can help you find feelings of worthiness rather than worthlessness as well as coping skills, confidence, ways to reframe your thoughts when you feel anxious, worthless, or hopeless, how to nurture yourself when you are experiencing painful feelings like feelings of inadequacy or worthlessness, and other ways to enhance your life. You will have a safe space to talk about how you feel in counseling or therapy, and if you are currently feeling unhappy, seeing a mental health professional can be a true game-changer. Don’t hesitate to reach out to a provider, whether that is in person or online.
What does it mean to feel unworthy?
What causes feeling unworthy?
How do you know if you're unworthy?
What does unworthiness feel like?
How do I stop feeling unworthy?
Can worthlessness lead to depression?
What are ways to help you accept yourself?
What are some self-care tips to make you feel worthy?
What is imposter syndrome?
How can one live a happy and worthy life?
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