Making Your Internal Space Safe

Making Your Internal Space Safe

Safe spaces were En Vogue about a decade ago and then they got a bad rap. People started saying that safe spaces were coddling millennials and Gen Z, making things unrealistic for them. Well, I still think there’s a place for safe spaces in this world because I think they are necessary for our mental health and well-being. My take is a little different than what you hear in popular media… 

I think the most important safe space is the one you create inside yourself.

Growing up, I was quite privileged when it came to safety. I didn’t grow up around violence or fighting, my neighborhoods and schools were safe, and I was generally free to roam and explore, which really supported my growth and development.

Yet, I didn’t always feel at ease because my internal space wasn’t truly safe. I was lonely as a kid, I thought there was something wrong with me, and I thought I needed to change myself in order to be accepted and worthy of love.

Although I did have a lot of safety in my life, I was also a little Black girl growing up in America which caused me to internalize a lot of feelings of unsafeness. Because I was constantly criticizing myself for my appearance and my actions, I could never cultivate that powerful inner space of safety. 

Take a moment to ponder these questions…

Does the space inside your mind feel unsafe?

Is the space inside your mind the space that tells you you’re not enough?

If the answers are yes, you’re not alone. For me, this continued into my twenties!

What is a safe space?

A safe space is a place where you feel calm, at ease, and secure. While we’re not always able to control the safety of our external environments, you can control the safety you feel within yourself. Having a healthy internal safe space means you’re there for yourself, you offer yourself comfort when you’re having a hard time, you support and encourage your big dreams and ideas, and you acknowledge your feelings without judgement.

When you have a safe internal space, you’re able to soothe and calm yourself down even when you’re experiencing a stressful or upsetting event. With all the chaos and heartbreaking tragedies going on in the world, you’re able to come back home to yourself and feel at ease without catastrophizing every thought and feeling. It’s so much easier to become grounded and process your thoughts and emotions in a healthy way.

How to Create an Internal Safe Space for Yourself:

  • Let go of self-criticism.
  • Be kind and compassionate to yourself.
  • Be accepting and non-judgmental of yourself.
  • Take care of your physical needs.
  • Connect with people who love and support you – they remind you that you are worthy and lovable.
  • Continue listening to Unconditionally Worthy as I’m always talking about ways to create safety within yourself!

Remember, you are worthy of peace, ease, safety, and security.

Ready to start creating a safe, healthy internal space for yourself? Sign up for my free e-book on 4 Practices to Connect to Your Unconditional Self-Worth. These practices help you to create a safe space within your mind. Sign up at: www.dradiagooden.com/freee-book

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How Trauma Impacts Our Self-Worth

How Trauma Impacts Our Self-Worth

In a world where a lot of people are talking about trauma, there are few people (and women of color) with a background in psychology, psychiatry, and behavioral neuroscience talking about the impact of trauma on self-worth. 

Dr. Candice Norcott, Ph.D. is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist at the University of Chicago in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience where she is an Assistant Professor, national consultant, and public speaker. Her work encompasses providing trauma-informed, reproductive health services to adolescent girls and young women, researching gender and trauma, and speaking internationally on issues related to trauma, gender, and race. 

Trauma disrupts your ability to trust and have confidence in yourself, discern what’s healthy and what’s unhealthy, and choose well for yourself. As a psychologist, Candice doesn’t have a concrete definition of trauma because trauma isn’t simple. It’s not black and white.

Generally, trauma can be thought of as “events or experiences that can completely overwhelm one’s ability to cope and adjust… Because of that, something that is traumatic to one person may not have any impact or little impact on somebody else, so it allows for diversity in experience.”

Trauma can be confusing and there are many aspects to conceptualizing the impact of it. Oftentimes, it stirs up so much within us that it requires a rebuilding and a rewriting of many of our narratives and belief systems, especially around self-worth. 

Common feelings surrounding trauma include helplessness, hopelessness, vulnerability, and lack of safety. Trauma impacts how we see ourselves and the world. 

After experiencing trauma, how do we accept the world as it is and free up space so that we can move about with agency and freedom again?  

“We don’t construct a fake story but we construct a real story together… When we accept the entirety of who we are and what we’ve experienced, we can see it for what it is and I think that there’s power in that, there’s realness in that,” Candice says. 

We may not be happier after working through trauma, but we do gain useful tools and skills that we didn’t have before. This added strength benefits the way we view ourselves. Owning your growth and what you’ve done to protect and advocate for yourself is very powerful. Oftentimes, people who have experienced trauma internalize feelings of low self-worth and shame and believe that it was their fault, they should have done something different, or that their trauma is a result of them not being worthy of love, respect, etc. 

Candice believes only you can put a value on your worth and your worth doesn’t change when you experience trauma.

Shame, trauma, and negative messages from society are obstacles we must work through on our journey to feeling worthy and safe, especially for women of color. This work is intentional, challenging, and painful, but most of all, this work is powerful and so, so worth it. 

The truth is, you don’t deserve the trauma you’ve experienced in your life. When you turn the corner to your recovery, having a strong foundation of self-worth will help you make healthy decisions, see clearly that you are not deserving of shame and trauma, and that your self-worth is untouchable by others. Candice says that trauma is just a thread of the tapestry that is your life. “How you weave it in is where you have autonomy and is where you have power.” You may feel stuck at times, but you just have to keep weaving.

What narratives have you held onto that aren’t serving you and your healing journey?

How do you want your trauma story to inspire the rest of your life?

Do you need help starting your recovery journey?

Remember, you deserve to recover, to reconnect, and to feel safe. You have everything you need within you to do those things. Talking and connecting is what’s going to encourage those wounds to heal. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us or to somebody you love and trust if you need help on your journey to recovery.

About Dr. Candice Norcott:

Candice Norcott, Ph.D. is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist at the University of Chicago in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience where she is an Assistant Professor, national consultant, and public speaker. A graduate of Brown University and the University of Connecticut, Dr. Norcott completed her pre- and post-doctoral work at Yale University’s Department of Psychiatry where her research focused on gender and trauma.

Dr. Norcott works as an Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago. In this role, her work encompasses providing trauma-informed, reproductive health services to adolescent girls and young women. She is also the Director of Graduate Medical Education Well-Being for the University of Chicago where she brings her trauma-informed approach to resident physician well-being.

Candice speaks internationally on issues related to trauma, gender and race. She was recently featured on the Lifetime docu-series “Surviving R. Kelly” and was a guest on Jada Pinkett Smith’s Red Table Talk as an expert discussing the impact of sexual abuse on girls and young women, and the intersection of race. Throughout her career, Dr. Norcott has been committed to trauma-informed and gender-responsive services for girls and women, minority advancement in psychology, and cultural responsiveness in the health field.

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To connect further with Dr. Candice Norcott:
Follow her on Instagram: www.instagram.com/DrNorcott 
Follow her on Twitter: www.twitter.com/DrNorcott 
Connect with her on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/drcandicenorcott 
Subscribe to her YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/channel/UCBllDCbagaDkLFRQSEls9gw 

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Framework for A Healthy Relationship with Yourself

Framework for A Healthy Relationship with Yourself

Sometimes, the most powerful act of self-care is to not do anything at all. Even when we have a lot to do, checking more things off the to-do list won’t always make us feel less stressed out.

This weekend, I didn’t do any work and I feel so proud of myself. It was the best thing I could have done for myself. In the past, I would have beat myself up for not working when there’s so much to do. Now, I put myself and my well-being first.

Of course, being my own boss gives me the opportunity to make a decision like that, but the same concept applies to you even if you don’t work for yourself. You can still examine your needs and take time to nurture yourself when you feel overwhelmed or tired. Sometimes, that looks like asking for help or requesting an extension.

Compassion and care in small (or large) doses is the essence of having a healthy relationship with yourself. Your relationship with yourself is the foundation for your life and every other relationship you have.

There are many factors that can impact your relationship with yourself, such as your relationship with your parents, your parent’s relationship with themselves, discrimination, and trauma.

We live in a world that’s judgmental, that communicates who’s acceptable and who’s not, and so often, these issues are internalized. However, this is your opportunity to give yourself grace and start developing a healthy relationship with yourself despite what you’ve experienced throughout your life and what’s going on in the world around you.

I truly hope we will get to a place where everyone is embraced as worthy on a personal, political, and social level.

We shouldn’t wait until society embraces us to embrace ourselves.

The truth of the matter is, we’ll never know when society will choose to embrace us, so why waste that precious time?

Regardless of what society is doing to or saying about our identity groups, it is so important for us to learn to radically care for and love ourselves.

“The struggle is inner: Chicano, Indio, American Indian, mojado, mexicano, immigrant Latino, Anglo in power, working-class Anglo, Black, Asian–our psyches resemble the border towns and are populated by the same people. The struggle has always been inner and is played out in outer terrains. Awareness of our situation must come before inner changes, which in turn come before changes in society. Nothing happens in the “real” world unless it first happens in the images in our heads.” – Gloria Anzaldua

I implore you to attend to your inner world and treat your relationship to yourself as a powerful vehicle for transformation. If we heal that, we’ll be better equipped to heal and transform the world.

Healthy Relationship With Self Framework
Healthy Relationship With Self Framework

How are you doing with each of these components?

Let this framework be a guide for you to understand how to have a healthy relationship with yourself. 

With this framework, I’m able to maintain my strong foundation of unconditional self-worth because each day, I enable myself to love, care, and accept myself regardless of whatever’s going on in my life.

Are you ready to dive in and build a healthy relationship with yourself? Sign up for Date Yourself: 4 Weeks to A Healthy Relationship with You! www.unconditionallyworthy.com/DateYourself

You can also sign up for my FREE Masterclass – 3 Secrets to Finally Feel Good Enough: www.unconditionallyworthy.com/youareenough

Sign up for my FREE Masterclass: www.unconditionallyworthy.com/youareenough

Stream & Download The Unconditionally Worthy Podcast NOW for FREE on Apple Podcast, Google, Stitcher, Pandora, and Spotify!

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Self-Worth as a Foundation for Effective Leadership

Self-Worth as a Foundation for Effective Leadership

Dr. Darren Pierre believes that everything begins with self-worth. Getting to the root of your unconditional worthiness opens doors for effective leadership, setting boundaries in relationships, and even having healthy finances. 

For many people, including Darren, building a strong foundation of self-worth begins with their parents. Oftentimes, we must unlearn the teachings, or the spiritual blueprint, of our parents that may have harmed our formation of our self-worth.

As leaders, parents have a responsibility to ground themselves in worthiness so that their child can observe that power and do the same.

In his book, The Invitation to Love, Darren explains that the way people show up for us oftentimes has very little to do with us. He also details his inspiration by the acronym P.A.I.N, which is simply Paying Attention Inward Now. When we go within and we recognize our unconditional worthiness, we can recognize when the pain or resistance we’re feeling is caused by other people’s ineffectiveness at showing up for us. It really becomes a pivotal moment to humanize them, understand their actions, and find forgiveness for your own sake.

So often, we invalidate our own harmful or painful experiences. Acknowledging and validating your experience is part of the healing process. It’s also important to contextualize that person’s harmful behavior in order to empathize with them, forgive everyone involved, and create boundaries that serve you moving forward.

“Peace is a process.” – Dr. Darren Pierre

Self-leadership is about the way in which we lead ourselves through life.

The way you view yourself and treat yourself impacts every aspect of your life, from your professional life to your family life and especially your Do you want to be an effective leader who can guide yourself through life’s obstacles? It starts with cultivating a mindset of unconditional self-worth.

Now more than ever before, we as a society are having more conversations about authenticity in leadership, spirituality in leadership, and emotional intelligence in leadership.

Emotionally Intelligent Leadership consists of 3 components:

Consciousness of Self – How am I self-aware of who I am and how I show up in spaces?

Consciousness of Others – How am I aware of other people’s circumstances and backgrounds?

Consciousness to Context – What is the context of these conversations?

Cultivating emotionally intelligent leadership helps you foster deeper connection in your relationships and engage in loving, constructive communication with yourself and with others.

When you don’t feel worthy, your vision is very focused on yourself and it’s hard to be emotionally intelligent… but when you know you’re worthy, you are freed up to be aware of and open to so many other things.

In our discussion, Darren notes a key concept here. Worthiness is connected to security. If we are grounded in our worthiness, we’ll feel more secure in ourselves and our environment. 

In terms of leadership, “insecure people can make ineffective managers and if you want to know if you’re ineffective as a manager or as a supervisor, which is a positional space of leadership, then look at the security of your foundation.”

Dr. Darren recommends 2 emotional intelligence strategies to implement in your self-worth journey:

  • Journal every day and ground yourself in the power of the words you affirm to be true.
  • Do a paradigm shift of how you consider apologies (both from others and to others).

Grounding yourself in unconditional self-worth is not selfish. It helps you lead other people and to model what it looks like to be emotionally intelligent, acknowledge vulnerabilities, and to empower your team. 

About Dr. Darren Pierre:

Dr. Darren Pierre is a lecturer in the Office of Global Engineering Leadership at the University of Maryland-College Park. Dr. Pierre’s teaching is focused on college student development, student affairs profession, and leadership within higher education. He has years of experience as a university administrator, a leader within the field of higher education, and a contributor to many entity groups affiliated with higher education. Dr. Pierre has authored journal articles, and in 2015, authored the book, The Invitation to Love: Recognizing the Gift Despite Pain, Fear, and Resistance. He has spoken nationally on the ideals of leadership, integrity, and authenticity.

To connect further with Dr. Darren Pierre:

Visit his website: www.darrenpierre.com 

Buy his book, The Invitation to Love: www.theinvitationtolove.com/purchase 

Follow him on Instagram: www.instagram.com/TheInvitationtoLove 

Follow him on Twitter: www.twitter.com/darren517 

Connect with him on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/darrenpierre

Email him: Darren@theinvitationtolove.com

Sign up for my FREE Masterclass: www.unconditionallyworthy.com/youareenough

Stream & Download The Unconditionally Worthy Podcast NOW for FREE on Apple Podcast, Google, Stitcher, Pandora, and Spotify!

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The Problem with Self-Criticism

The Problem with Self-Criticism

You don’t have to be perfect to be worthy of love, success, and happiness… but our inner critics tell us otherwise.

Self-criticism can start with a mistake and can spiral into a prediction that you’ll end up jobless, homeless, friendless, broke, or alone forever. Mental health professionals call that catastrophizing.

Though, many times, self-criticism isn’t that dramatic! It can also show up in small doses throughout your day or week.

So, I’m here to tell you the problem with self-criticism.

Regardless of how self-criticism shows up in your life, it’s discouraging! It often doesn’t inspire improvement, despite how much we like to think it does. It often causes procrastination and avoidance. Self-criticism makes us fall into a pattern of feeling like no matter how hard we try, we’re never going to be good enough. 

Think about the last time you criticized yourself. How did you feel about yourself after you criticized yourself?

Think about whether self-criticism truly helps you or hinders you. Does it inspire you to make better decisions, be more mindful, and stay organized and productive? Or does it push you into a loop of negativity, self-doubt, and procrastination? 

Let’s make a shift towards embracing our unconditional self-worth through self-compassion and common humanity. Common humanity helps us connect to the fact that we are human and as humans, we go through challenges and we experience difficult emotions not because we’re unworthy or something is wrong with us, but just because we are humans. 

Common humanity helps us to let go of negative thoughts and harmful self-criticism, while reminding us that it’s normal to be sad when we lose something or someone, to be upset about societal injustices, and to be frustrated when we make mistakes. Then, we’re able to calm down and offer ourselves kindness and compassion.

You’re not alone in experiencing failure, rejection, and loss. We all do. 

So, next time your inner critic feels the urge to shout at you, I encourage you to see how it feels to remind yourself of common humanity.

Want to learn more about how to build a healthy relationship with yourself? 

Sign up for my FREE Masterclass on You Are Enough: 3 Secrets to Finally Feel Good Enough www.unconditionallyworthy.com/youareenough 

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Leave a review and share this podcast or DM me on social media to let me know your thoughts on this topic!

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Self-Worth, Relationships and Sex

Self-Worth, Relationships and Sex

Have you ever felt caught in a mode of hustling or negotiating for your self-worth? Do you ever feel like no matter how much you give to others, especially your partner, it’s never enough?

Over the last two decades, Licensed Clinical Psychologist Dr. Alexandra H. Solomon has become one of today’s most trusted voices in the world of relationships and her work on Relational Self-Awareness has reached millions of people around the world. 

What is Relational Self-Awareness? Relational self-awareness is the idea that the healthiest foundation for intimate partnership is an ongoing, curious, and passionate relationship with the self.

Shame and blame can be detrimental to any kind of relationship, especially romantic relationships…

Shame might show up as something like: “I’m too broken… My trauma is too big… I’m not enough…”

Blame might show up as something like: “If you didn’t have that characteristic or issue, we wouldn’t be having this problem.”

But there’s no one to blame and there is no use in shaming yourself. 

When you start to take note of the patterns and the unique dance between you and your partner, or as Dr. Alexandra calls it, the Golden Equation of Love (“my stuff + your stuff = our stuff”), your relationship will grow to be much healthier, passionate, stable, and loving. 

Through relational self-awareness, Dr. Alexandra is inviting people just like you into that perspective and providing tools for how to return to that perspective when you lose hold of it.

What if my partner and I get into an argument or disagreement? Dr. Alexandra recommends this strategy for resolving conflict: Next time you’re having a conflict with your partner, stop and walk away from each other, sit down, and write down the story of the conflict from the perspective of a neutral third party who loves you both very much.

This practice forces the mind and heart into a more compassionate, relational stance, thus improving relationship satisfaction.

Behind every complaint or irritating frustration is an unmet need. 

When you have a healthy relationship with yourself and you know how to self-soothe and be there for yourself, it’s much easier to have your needs met. When your needs aren’t met, try doing some self-reflection, identify your needs, and lovingly communicate them to yourself and your partner. Trust me, mountains will be moved when this becomes a habitual practice!

Remember, you don’t need a relationship or a ring to affirm you or to prove your self-worth.

The self-worth journey is all about learning a different way of being with yourself. It’s not something you check off your to-do list, it’s a continual journey of navigating your life. 

To have a healthy relationship with yourself means that when you encounter challenging situations, you don’t expect perfection from yourself. Instead, you give yourself grace and figure out how to prepare or gather your resources so you can support yourself through this difficult time. We’re humans. Humans have difficulties sometimes and we have the power to accommodate for that.

It’s time to take your sexy back, ladies!

The significance of self-worth gets multiplied when we start talking about sex and sexuality. Dr. Alexandra emphasizes the importance of establishing boundaries, becoming aware of your needs, and identifying whether or not you feel safe and satisfied during sexual interactions. If you know what makes you feel good and can communicate that, the rewards are profound. That may sound obvious to you, but our culture has done a great job of making women feel like they should be passive during sex and shouldn’t explore and talk about their sexual desires. 

Have you explored your body and your worthiness lately? What might be blocking your pleasure? 

If we are hustling for worthiness during sexual intimacy, we’re focused on performing. When we’re performing, we’re not able to focus on the pleasure and connection between ourselves and our partner.

Through mindfulness, exploration of the self, and stepping out into your self-worth journey, I know you can reach the most mind-blowing, life-altering, self-affirming bliss you’ve ever experienced in a romantic relationship. Just remember, it all starts with the self.

About Dr. Alexandra H. Solomon:

Over the last two decades, Dr. Alexandra H. Solomon has become one of today’s most trusted voices in the world of relationships, and her work on Relational Self-Awareness has reached millions of people around the world. Dr. Solomon is a licensed clinical psychologist at The Family Institute at Northwestern University, and she is on faculty in the School of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University where she teaches the internationally renowned course, Building Loving and Lasting Relationships: Marriage 101. In addition to writing articles and chapters for leading academic journals and books in the field of marriage and family, she is the author of two bestselling books, Loving Bravely and Taking Sexy Back. Dr. Solomon regularly presents to diverse groups that include the United States Military Academy at West Point and Microsoft, and she is frequently asked to talk about relationships with media outlets like The Today Show, O Magazine, The Atlantic, Vogue, and Scientific American.

To learn more, visit: www.dralexandrasolomon.com/about 

To connect further with Dr. Alexandra Solomon:

Visit her website: www.dralexandrasolomon.com

Follow her on Instagram: www.instagram.com/dr.alexandra.solomon

Take the Which Date Night Are You? quiz here:  www.dradiagooden.com/datenightquiz  & share your results with me by sharing them on social media and tagging me!

Stream & Download The Unconditionally Worthy Podcast NOW for FREE on Apple Podcast, Google, Stitcher, Pandora, and Spotify!

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The Pathway to Unconditional Self-Worth

The Pathway to Unconditional Self-Worth

Your relationship with yourself influences the rest of your life.

A lot has happened since the last episode of Unconditionally Worthy… I got married, had the wedding of my dreams, and went on a beautiful honeymoon! We all know how chaotic weddings can be, especially during a pandemic, but what helped me to be present during my wedding and truly enjoy it was that I was grounded in my worthiness. 

The pathway to unconditional self-worth is right in front of you.

Oftentimes, people don’t know where to start or how to start their journey to unconditional self-worth. Are you one of those people? If so, you’re in the right place!

This episode is all about uncovering the pathway to feeling unconditionally worthy. 

I spent years overworking myself, pushing past the point of exhaustion, and being mean and critical to myself while striving for academic excellence. Yet, when I succeeded in passing my dissertation defense, I still didn’t feel worthy, self-assured, or content! 

It’s frustrating! When you do everything you can to feel successful and accomplished, then still find yourself needing more, it can feel defeating. What I learned along my journey was that the answer, the peace I was looking for, wasn’t going to be found outside of myself or in another accomplishment. The peace was going to be found within myself and through my relationship with myself.

So, that’s where you start. The way to unconditional self-worth is through a healthy, supportive, loving relationship with yourself. It’s the foundation of our lives! Start focusing more on yourself.

What do you actually need in your life to feel good? What feels authentic and aligned for you?

The way you view yourself and treat yourself impacts every aspect of your life, from your professional life to your family life and especially your love life! If you nurture your relationship with yourself, being kind, encouraging, and uplifting, you will find more contentment. Life won’t feel like a competition or a continuous loop of harsh criticism. You’ll begin to honor your boundaries, your needs, and your true talent, which is so empowering.

How does self-criticism impact you? Does it truly motivate you? If it does, how sustainable is it?

We don’t need harsh criticism to feel successful. To be good friends with ourselves is to have a good, soothing life. When we take the steps to care for ourselves and love ourselves, we remind ourselves of who we really are and how worthy we are.

What is your relationship with yourself like? Would you allow other people to treat you the way you treat yourself?

The first step to building a strong, loving relationship with yourself is to be radically honest.

So, I challenge you to do some self-inquiry and reflect on the questions I’ve posed above.

I also created a fun little quiz to help you connect with yourself and start on the pathway towards unconditional self-worth. 

Take the Which Date Night Are You? quiz here: www.dradiagooden.com/datenightquiz & share your results with me by sharing them on social media and tagging me!

Plus, stay tuned for my new course that’s launching at the end of September! The course is dedicated to getting you started on this journey to self-worth through building a healthy relationship with yourself.

Stream & Download The Unconditionally Worthy Podcast NOW for FREE on Apple Podcast, Google, Stitcher, Pandora, and Spotify!

To connect further with me:

Visit my website: www.dradiagooden.com 

Connect with me on Facebook: www.facebook.com/dradiagooden 

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How to Stop Playing the Victim be the Hero of Your Life

How to Stop Playing the Victim be the Hero of Your Life

There were times in my life where I played victim and times where I felt empowered to make things happen. There were times where I felt like things were happening to me and times where I tried to control everything just to calm my anxiety. Can you relate? 

Succumbing to a victim mentality is exhausting! Sometimes life throws so many challenges and obstacles at us, it’s hard to keep our chin up and remain the hero of our own life. When so much is going wrong or not going the way you expected, do you blame yourself? Do you blame others? Do you let the urge to complain consume the happiness and positivity in your life? 

Complaining and blaming truly doesn’t change anything. At the core of it all is our relationship to our self-worth. During the times I felt like the world was punishing me, deep down, I didn’t have a healthy mindset around my self-worth. I didn’t feel worthy of success, love, happiness, or peace. “If I had just been better, maybe my relationship would have worked out. If I had just been wiser, I could have been more prepared to navigate my career/education.” Have you ever found yourself thinking these kinds of thoughts?

I don’t want to diminish your hardships because I know we all experience hurt, trauma, and unfortunate events. I’m not saying other people don’t contribute to your hardships, but I do know that when we keep blaming ourselves or others for our circumstances, we end up feeling stuck and like there’s nothing we can do to change our lives. The reality is, we almost always have choices we can make to improve our situation. 

Do you find yourself resisting suggestions or resisting the options you have to improve your life? If you hold onto the idea that there is nothing you can do to change your life, you may be caught up in the victim mentality. 

The good news is, there are ways to get out of the victim mentality. Explore whether playing the victim has genuinely benefited your life or not. Identify the feelings and thoughts you have about yourself that have allowed you to settle in the victim mindset. Do you feel or fear that you’re not worthy of anything better? Are you punishing yourself for past mistakes, challenges, or failures? Do you feel like you deserve these hardships? Is that really how you want to live your life?

Make yourself the hero of your life.

When you’re the hero of your life, you acknowledge the challenges in life and the impact of trauma without focusing on blaming other people or institutions for your pain. Do not allow these experiences to take away your innate power or agency. 

Assuming the role of the hero means that you take responsibility for your life and you don’t give that responsibility, that power, to anyone else. This can be scary because sometimes it feels safer to blame others for what’s happening, but when you don’t take responsibility for yourself, you miss out on the life that you most desire. When you’re the hero, you’re in the driver’s seat. You have the ability to decide where to go and what music to play on the way! Every decision you make is a chance to align with your values and take another step closer to achieving your goals, meaning you can start RIGHT NOW.

Once you open your eyes to your power and your heroic energy, your options become more clear to see. When you’re the hero of your own story, you won’t be as reactive to life’s challenges and setbacks. Instead, you envision the life you want for yourself, face challenges head on, and courageously pursue your vision, asking for help and support along the way.

Being the hero can look like setting healthy boundaries in your relationships, deciding to look for a new job because your current workplace is toxic, or just incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your diet. 

What is one thing you can take responsibility for right now? Identify that as well as 2-3 action steps you can take in the next week to start making a change in your life. Notice what it feels like to connect to and own your power and to embody the hero within you.

Remember, you are worthy of the life you have envisioned for yourself and the world will be a better place once you’re the hero.

Start your journey to unconditional self-worth with my free e-book: https://view.flodesk.com/pages/5f0480e1ba80b7002606b16b

Stream & Download The Unconditionally Worthy Podcast NOW for FREE on Apple Podcast, Google, Stitcher, Pandora, and Spotify!

To connect further with me:

Visit my website: www.dradiagooden.com 

Connect with me on Facebook: www.facebook.com/dradiagooden 

Follow me on Instagram: www.instagram.com/dradiagooden 

Connect with me on Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/adia-gooden-4b26751b 

Email me: dradia@dradiagooden.com

Stop Holding Yourself Back & Start Believing in Yourself

Stop Holding Yourself Back & Start Believing in Yourself

When you feel unworthy, it’s pretty much impossible to live life to the fullest. 

Low self-worth keeps us from shining our light and sharing our gifts with the world. 

My time as a dancer has taught me that in order to perform full out, meaning putting your all into your movement without holding back, you must practice full out. You can’t expect your body to go full out in your performance if you’ve never done that during practice, right? I believe this also applies to anything else in life. 

Just like in dance, something transformative happens when you put your all into something. Too often we hold ourselves back, afraid of getting onto the metaphorical dancefloor, afraid of judgement from others, and afraid of failing or looking stupid. 

Do you stay in the safety zone of life? Do you hold yourself back from pursuing your dreams or taking risks? Are you afraid of being vulnerable or being criticized?

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” ― Marianne Williamson

We are born to be brilliant and to let ourselves shine. When we do that, beautiful things happen.

How are you holding yourself back in life? Here are a few examples you might resonate with…

  • You see your dream job listed, but you don’t apply for it because you’re not sure if you’re ready or if you’re qualified, even though you’ve been in the industry for a while.
  • Procrastination! You have a big presentation or project that you put off because it makes you anxious and you feel like you have to do it perfectly. You’re worried about the criticism of others, so you wait until the last day possible to get it done.
  • Going out drinking or getting high the night before a big interview, leaving you not as sharp or as calm as you could be.
  • Knowing you have great ideas for a project but you don’t take the lead or share your ideas because you’re worried about the judgement you’ll receive if things don’t go well.
  • Knowing where you want to go in life and what your strengths are, but you hold them back and hide them because you’re scared of vulnerability or you’re worried you’re not good enough. 

2 Ways Self-Sabotage Hold Us Back in Life

When we feel unworthy, we’re much more likely to hold ourselves back in life. When we feel unworthy, we can’t see our gifts and strengths because we’re too caught up in self-judgement and self-criticism. If we don’t know our gifts, we’re less likely to shine and share them with others.

Another way low self-worth holds us back is we don’t feel like we’re worthy of success and love. We don’t feel like we should experience success, so we keep ourselves from it. This relates to imposter syndrome, which causes us to feel like a fake or like we don’t truly deserve success, despite our accomplishments and our innate worthiness. 

Have you had trouble identifying your strengths and talents? Have you felt like an imposter, causing you to hide and play small?

Operating from a place of lack causes us to feel resentful, burned out, and frustrated in our giving to the world. In contrast, when operating from a place of unconditional worthiness, what we give is not about proving our worth, it’s about showing up and giving from a place of abundance and power. 

When you allow yourself to go full out… yes, sometimes you fall or make mistakes, but your mistakes are not meant to keep you from showing up and trying again. You can get back up and keep going. Don’t let the fear of falling keep you from dancing. Life is so much better when you go full out! When you go full out, you get to experience the bliss and the power of your strengths and talents.

The Best Strategy for Overcoming Self-Sabotage

Focus on your intention instead of perfection. Focus on the process instead of the outcome. Focusing too much on the goal or performing perfectly causes us to feel overly anxious, making it more likely for us to self-sabotage. Get clear on your intention and how you want to show up. 

Is your intention to inspire people, to educate people, to learn something, to share your ideas, to help others connect? This can be applied to anything! A date, a presentation, a job interview, trying a new hobby or recipe, etc. When you do this, you’re able to be present, to relax, and to enjoy yourself in the process.

Identify one area of your life where you’ve been holding yourself back and where you’ve noticed yourself sabotaging your success. Identify 1-2 intentions and commit to going full out. Then, see what happens! Take note of the feedback you receive. My guess is that the experience is going to feel better and you’ll receive even better feedback. 

Remember, the world is a better place when you’re living full out.

Send me a DM or an email about your experience, I’d love to hear about it!

Stream & Download The Unconditionally Worthy Podcast NOW for FREE on Apple Podcast, Google, Stitcher, Pandora, and Spotify!

To connect further with me:

Visit my website: www.dradiagooden.com 

Connect with me on Facebook: www.facebook.com/dradiagooden 

Follow me on Instagram: www.instagram.com/dradiagooden 

Connect with me on Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/adia-gooden-4b26751b Email me: dradia@dradiagooden.com

You Are Worthy of Joy

You Are Worthy of Joy

How can you start to expand your capacity for joy? What are the fears underlying you allowing joy into your life? 

The truth is… I used to complain a lot. Fortunately, I’ve evolved to a place where I don’t feel the need to complain much anymore, but having reflected upon my past as a complainer, I’ve realized that all of the complaining I did was a sign that I had a limited capacity for joy. I felt more comfortable having something to complain about than having something to be joyful about. Ironic isn’t it!

Even though I’ve always been a generally happy person, I didn’t feel comfortable fully expressing joy. In fact, I felt more able to connect with others through complaints and mutual suffering. As they say, misery loves company… but who wants company that’s constantly miserable?!

Do you tend to complain about things? Is your default to find something wrong or negative about a situation? Do you have trouble leaning into the joyful parts of life? Take a moment to check in with those answers without judgement. The first step to increasing the joy in your life is recognizing the amount that you complain or focus on the negatives. 

It wasn’t until I connected with the fact that I am unconditionally worthy of joy that I truly expanded my capacity to feel joy in all its glory. 

When I didn’t feel worthy of love, joy, and success, I felt like I had to make life’s joyous moments smaller by complaining about them. Knowing I was unconditionally worthy opened me up to receiving more joy because I finally felt like I deserved it! What a beautiful place to be!

In order to expand your capacity for joy, you must first start by believing you are worthy of joy. You must also understand what your relationship to joy is.

How do you respond to joy in your life? How do you relate to joy when it shows up? Do you embrace joy and let yourself soak it in or do you start worrying and picking the joy apart into smaller, less enjoyable pieces?

You might find that you have relationships that are built upon complaints. You might find that as you expand your capacity for joy, those relationships are no longer working for you because there isn’t space in that relationship for your joy. There may be loss in this process, but it’s well worth the exploration.

2 Strategies That Will Help You Expand Your Capacity for Joy:

  1. Affirm that you are worthy of joy – It’s not something you should earn, fight for, or prove that you are worthy of. Joy is a human right. Allow yourself to experience joy in large and small moments.
  2. Intentionally lean into the moments of your life that are joyful – Whether that be taking the first bite of your favorite dessert and allowing yourself to indulge in the taste, smell, and texture of it or shifting more of your focus onto the relaxing part of Sundays rather than worrying about the week ahead. Let yourself exist in that joy with presence and gratitude. 

Life is so much better when we allow ourselves to enjoy it. Take these strategies, implement them into your life over the next few weeks, and watch your capacity for joy expand!

Stream & Download The Unconditionally Worthy Podcast NOW for FREE on Apple Podcast, Google, Stitcher, Pandora, and Spotify!

To connect further with me:

Visit my website: www.dradiagooden.com 

Connect with me on Facebook: www.facebook.com/dradiagooden 

Follow me on Instagram: www.instagram.com/dradiagooden 

Connect with me on Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/adia-gooden-4b26751b