How Low Self-Worthy sets you up for Toxic Relationships

How Low Self-Worthy sets you up for Toxic Relationships

When we feel unworthy, we have an unhealthy relationship with ourselves, making it more likely for us to have toxic relationships with other people. 

Toxic relationships leave us feeling like we are not good enough and that if we could just look prettier, communicate better, be better, or do better… that we’d be worthy of love and acceptance. 

Our relationship with ourselves is the foundation for our relationships with romantic partners and other people, so if we’re in a place of low or conditional self-worth, we won’t feel worthy just as we are. We treat ourselves poorly when we don’t feel that we are worthy of love, respect, and success. This sets us up to attract and be attracted to partners that make us feel like we have to prove our worth and earn their love. 

Even if you’re with someone who loves and accepts you for who you are, you might reject their love because you don’t feel worthy of it! This rejection of love could cause you to sabotage your own relationships in order to push them away so you can cozy up to your unworthiness again. How unhealthy is that?!

This relates to the concept in psychology called cognitive dissonance, which involves feeling uncomfortable when you’re faced with something that contradicts your beliefs. If you believe negative thoughts about yourself, you’ll feel comfortable in relationships that feed off negativity… and vice versa.

Are you tired of pushing away the love that’s offered to you or chasing love that’s just out of your reach?

Your mindset and what you believe about yourself are so essential for building and nurturing healthy relationships, both with yourself and with others. 

Think about your current relationships and your past relationships, as well as the dynamics you have felt most comfortable with. Have you felt more comfortable with a partner who treated you poorly than you were with somebody who treated you with respect and as though you were worthy and lovable?

If you’re feeling exhausted, overextended, unworthy, and not fully yourself in a relationship, I know how you feel. Take a deep breath. It’s time to work on connecting to your unconditional self-worth. This path to unshakable self-worth is the same path that will lead you to true love and acceptance. 

You are not the problem here. If you believe you’re the problem, you’ll keep changing in hopes that maybe you’ll be able to save the relationship and maybe they’ll treat you better. In reality, once you recognize that the relationship dynamic is toxic and is contributing to you feeling unworthy, you can make a more informed choice about whether or not you want to continue the relationship.

I invite you to compassionately offer yourself some comfort and challenge the idea that you should take what you can get. 

It may be hard to believe that you are unconditionally worthy, but it’s the truth of who you are. 

You are unconditionally worthy of receiving love, support, and affection. If you’re in a toxic relationship, one that doesn’t make you feel worthy, you deserve so much better. Don’t settle for being treated poorly. Don’t settle for a relationship where you don’t get your needs met. You may not feel ready to walk away just yet, which is okay, but let’s work together to start setting some healthy boundaries!

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 Self-Worth gets you out of Scarcity and into Abundance

How Self-Worth gets you out of Scarcity and into Abundance

Even when we go through a dark or difficult period of time, there’s always a springtime that follows.

Witnessing abundance in nature can be a powerful way to understand abundance in our own lives. There is an abundance of flowers and leaves and all the beautiful things in life and when you adopt an abundance mindset you will see abundance all around you. 

If you live in a scarcity mindset, you’re worried and scared, you feel like you have to prove yourself, and you don’t feel like there’s enough time, energy, money, etc. For a long time, I lived in a scarcity mindset and I didn’t know it. I felt like there wasn’t a loving partner out there for me. I was jealous of other Black women who were receiving acclaim in the mental health space because I felt like there might not be space for me to be successful in the space as well. I constantly felt like I didn’t have enough time and money. I was always rushing and pushing myself to try achieve the limited success that I thought was available to me. 

Does any of this resonate?

When we live in a scarcity mindset, we operate as if life is a zero-sum game. 

If I win, they lose. If they win, I lose. This makes it hard to celebrate the success of others because they feel like a threat to our success and it makes us feel guilty when we feel success because we worry that we might have taken someone else’s spot. How can we relax and enjoy the positive parts of our lives if we’re constantly living in fear? I invite you to release your belief in scarcity.

Low self-worth leads us to adopt a scarcity mindset. 

When we don’t think we are worthy, we feel like we can’t access abundance or success because of our unworthiness or we feel like we must prove our worth in order to be successful and experience abundance. We may even hold ourselves back, reject positive things, or engage in self-sabotage. What is your orientation to positive things happening in your life?

When we know we are worthy unconditionally, we are able to welcome abundance into our lives because we believe we are worthy of it. 

We’re no longer caught up in the anxious energy of trying to prove our worth and trying to compete and get the few spots at the top. When we know we are worthy, we’re able to own our gifts and strengths, knowing we are guided by our wisdom to pursue the life we most desire instead of being guided by fear. Then, we have trust in ourselves and we can relax into the good things in life. Sounds fabulous, right?

Adopting an abundance mindset and believing in my worthiness of abundance, knowing deeply that I am unconditionally worthy, powerfully transformed my financial status. I doubled my income in the short amount of time after I shifted my mindset to one that was grounded in abundance. This is just one example of a tangible change I experienced after this mindset shift.

Tip: Having a gratitude practice is a powerful way to attract abundance into your life. Write down several things you’re grateful for each day. The most important part of a gratitude practice is soaking in the feeling and the energy of being grateful. When you’re in this energetic state, that is when you’re aligned with abundance. If you’re someone who gets caught up in guilt or fear when you experience positive things in life, gratitude is the antidote!

Our world is drowning in scarcity. It’s all around us, but so is abundance. So, let’s choose abundance.

Although there are problematic systems and structures that limit access to wealth for poor communities and communities of color, abundance is our reality. The truth is that there is more than enough to go around. If we can adopt an abundance mindset as a society, it would be easier to spread wealth and abundance to those who need it.

Remember to keep seeking out positivity and to slow down and deeply connect with it. It might be challenging at first, but working on this connection will also strengthen your connection to your unconditional self-worth, leading you to attract all kinds of abundance into your life… because you deserve it as much as anyone else!

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 

Self-Compassion as a Doorway to Self-Worth

Self-Compassion as a Doorway to Self-Worth


For years, I was harsh and critical with myself when I made mistakes. I felt that mistakes made me unworthy.

I couldn’t tolerate failure. I thought I had high standards and was pushing myself to be better, but in reality, the harsh criticism was not a necessary part of my growth. In fact, it held me back in so many ways!

When we criticize ourselves, we create negative, unhealthy relationships with ourselves while creating negative and unsafe mental and emotional space within us. Even though we might think harsh self-criticism will make us perform better in life, it’s not sustainable… it’s really just holding us back. We end up doubting and not trusting ourselves, keeping us from the life we want.

If you tend to engage with self-criticism, has it really helped you?

If you’re going to allow yourself to dream big and to pursue those dreams, you’re going to have to let go of the self-criticism.

Self-criticism makes us feel unworthy of achieving our wildest dreams. It keeps us stuck!

What do you replace self-criticism with? I recommend being firm, yet compassionate with yourself. Wouldn’t you rather learn from a supportive, encouraging teacher that holds you accountable than a teacher who never accepts or acknowledges your hard work and your potential? 

Self-compassion is an important doorway to unconditional self-worth because it helps us release the self-criticism that holds us back and keeps us from feeling good about ourselves. Connecting with our unconditional self-worth is about healing and transforming our relationship with ourselves and self-compassion helps us do just that. 

Cultivating a supportive and encouraging relationship with ourselves gives us the foundation to move boldly into the world and confidently share our gifts and strengths (not to prove we’re good enough).

Three core components of self-compassion:

  1. Mindfulness – Sitting with your thoughts and being in the present moment without judgement or evaluation.
  2. Common Humanity – You’re not the only one feeling the way you do. You’re not alone. Your thoughts and feelings are normal responses to what you are feeling.
  3. Self-Kindness – Treating yourself the way you treat others… with kindness, support, encouragement, and responsibility. 

Think about how you can incorporate these core components of self-compassion in your own life. Perhaps you can start with one and add in the rest as you progress in this practice. See if this can help you connect to your unconditional self-worth and let me know how your experience goes!

Remember, you are worthy even when you make mistakes or don’t reach your goals. 

Sign up for the Unconditionally Worthy Course: www.unconditionallyworthy.com/course

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

Why Self-Worth is Essential for Healthy Boundaries

Why Self-Worth is Essential for Healthy Boundaries

There are many ways we can set boundaries in our lives.

We can create boundaries around our physical body, emotional experiences, possessions, time, you name it! 

My biggest struggles with boundaries have related to time. Before I connected to my unconditional self-worth, I didn’t protect my time. I gave it out left and right to anyone and everyone who asked for it, even strangers! Being a perfect, selfless friend was my strategy to prove my worthiness. This caused me to feel like I always had to be available to show up for everyone. The idea of setting boundaries around my time felt scary because I was afraid my friends wouldn’t want to be my friends anymore if I didn’t give my time to them, leaving me in an exhausting loop of always saying yes. Do you resonate?

Perhaps you struggle with emotional boundaries, always taking on other people’s feelings and taking responsibility for how other people feel. 

Maybe you struggle with physical boundaries, having trouble telling people the type of physical or sexual touch you are or are not comfortable with.

I encourage you to take a moment to think about where you struggle with boundaries. 

What types of boundaries have been difficult for you to establish and enforce?

What happens when you don’t set these boundaries?

How has that impacted your quality of life and your relationships?

Reasons why boundaries are important:

  • Boundaries keep us physically safe.
  • They keep us emotionally healthy and grounded.
  • They give us the freedom of choice.
  • When we don’t set boundaries, we end up being reactive to the world around us.
  • When we don’t set healthy boundaries, our physical, emotional, and mental energy ends up being spread out all over the place, reserving very little energy for ourselves, leaving us feeling overextended, exhausted, and resentful.

The connection between self-worth and boundaries

When we don’t feel worthy, it’s challenging to set boundaries because we don’t feel like we are worthy of saying no or protecting our time and energy or prioritizing our wants and needs. When we’re stuck in a place of low self-worth, we often feel like we should take what we can get. 

When we know we’re worthy unconditionally and that our worth doesn’t depend on what others think of us, it’s so much easier to set boundaries! We can then prioritize spending time with our friends when it works for us, saying no to talking or to attending gatherings when we need time for ourselves without fear of our friends being salty about it. When we know we’re unconditionally worthy, it’s easier to say no to a romantic or sexual interaction without fearing that rejection may mean we are unworthy or unlovable.

People won’t think you’re mean for taking time for yourself. They may get upset or not understand at first, heck, they may even throw a little tantrum, but that’s normal in the boundary-setting process. It’s important not to take this personally because taking time for oneself is a human necessity. Don’t give in and give yourself to them.

3 Strategies for setting healthy boundaries:

  • Identify and remember why you’re setting the boundary in the first place.
  • Remember that boundaries are healthy.
  • Enlist reliable support and accountability.

Remember, your self-worth does not come from you being the perfect, ever-available friend, family member, or lover. Boundaries are the foundation for healthy, loving relationships and enforcing them will help you improve your quality of life and your inner glow.

Resource: Register for my FREE “You are Worthy” Masterclass: www.unconditionallyworthy.com/masterclass

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 

The Key to Healthy Romantic Relationships: Believe You are Worthy

The Key to Healthy Romantic Relationships: Believe You are Worthy

In 2018, I was exploring on Bumble and came across a man who said he was interested in a woman who loves and cares about people…

I thought, how sweet for that to be his priority! So, I swiped right and sent him a message. He eventually asked if we could go on a date and at that point, I wanted to have a phone conversation before going on a date, as to not waste anyone’s time. A week later, we talked and it went well enough to where we went on a date shortly after. Jason remembered what kind of restaurants I liked so he made a reservation at one that neither of us have tried before. I thought that was really thoughtful. 

He was cute and the date was great! We talked about meaningful topics, I felt present and connected, and I wasn’t worried about whether Jason would like me or not. After the date, I didn’t hear from him for three days… not even a “hope you got home safely” text! Mind you, if this happened a few years prior, this silence would have left me incredibly anxious and worried about whether something went wrong.

Because I was grounded in unconditional self-worthiness, I was disappointed I didn’t hear from him, but I was able to accept that and let it go without internalizing it and criticizing myself. Though, that’s not where the story ends. Jason ended up calling me a few days later, and asked me on a second date! If I had been caught up about him not calling or texting me sooner, I may not have been as open to going on a second date, but I had done the work and was confident in our connection.

Reflecting on the early stages of our relationship, Jason showed up for me and our relationship progressed more and more over time. Our relationship was free of stress, desperation, and anxiety, which was what often characterized my prior relationships. Even though I was good at playing it cool, my past relationships were riddled with worry, uncertainty, and self-doubt. Who wants that?!

In past relationships, the question was, “Does he like me?” when it should have been, “Do I like him?”

With Jason, I was curious about whether I liked spending time with him and the answer was always yes! That’s what helped our relationships progress with ease, on top of him being thoughtful, consistent, and available. 

Today, our relationship continues to be easy and joyful. We have a great balance of interdependence because neither of us are struggling with low self-worth, neither of us are depending on the other person to fill an eternal void, we are our own complete humans, and we come together because we love each other. Despite any disagreements we may have, our relationship is stable. Cue the sigh of relief!

Knowing that I am unconditionally worthy helped me make two major shifts in my approach to relationships.

The first shift that happened was that I was attracted to Jason, who was stable and emotionally available. When you feel like you’re unlovable, you’re more likely to be attracted to people who are emotionally unavailable or who confirm the belief that you are unlovable. This can lead to a somewhat false sense of accomplishment as you try to earn the love and affirmation of the person you’re interested in. Jason clearly said he wanted to go on a date, planned the date, then followed through on the date. Stable and emotionally available. 

I had to adjust to this stability and availability because I wasn’t used to it. I was surprised that Jason is the way he is. I shifted away from trying to achieve, fix, or prove that I was worthy and began to relax and enjoy the process. Sometimes, we have to adjust to the thing that we’ve wanted for so long because we’re used to experiencing something totally different.

The second shift that happened was being free from relationship anxiety, which allowed me to be present and engaged with Jason without putting pressure on him and the relationship. This freed up so much time and energy to put toward figuring out if Jason was the one for me. I could finally let things progress naturally and enjoy him and the process. 

Have you ever tried to achieve love with a partner? 

Have you felt anxious and like your worth depends on someone loving you?

Do you question your partner’s actions or words?

Problems arise when one or both partners believe they are unworthy. Unconditional self-worth is the foundation of healthy relationships, with both yourself and with your partner. 

Having a loving relationship with yourself provides a foundation for healthy relationships, but you don’t need to be perfectly healed and understanding of your worthiness before exploring a loving relationship. 

Healthy relationships can help us to see ourselves in a more positive light and you shouldn’t outsource this work to your partner. Do the inner work to build a loving and accepting relationship with yourself because that is what’s going to allow you to show up fully in your romantic relationships.

When we know we are worthy of love, we open ourselves to receiving love and we walk away from those who aren’t loving to us. We don’t put pressure on our partner or our relationships to fill the void of low self-worth.

If you’re struggling with your self-worth, no matter your relationship status, I invite you to join me in a practice that will connect you with your self-worth. 

It’s a practice of self-appreciation. You don’t need to be different than you are to be lovable. Society bombards us with messages that tell us we need to change or be different in order to fit in or be lovable, but I invite you to let go of these thoughts. Instead, focus on the things you like and appreciate about yourself. When you can tune into this appreciation, your confidence increases, you feel assured, and you know you are worthy just as you are. 

Take a moment to think about and connect with at least one thing that you like about yourself. If you’re struggling, ask a trusted friend and see what they appreciate about you. Take in that answer without denial. 

When growth happens without acknowledging and appreciating who and where we are in life, we’re left feeling insecure. Remember, being in touch with what we appreciate about ourselves helps us to connect to our unconditional self-worth and allows us to show up authentically and confidently in our relationships, which is SO attractive!

Resources

Register for my FREE “You are Worthy” Masterclass: www.unconditionallyworthy.com/masterclass

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

The Problem with Self-Esteem and Why You Should Focus on Self-Worth Instead

The Problem with Self-Esteem and Why You Should Focus on Self-Worth Instead

In this episode of The Unconditionally Worthy Podcast, I explain the difference between self-esteem and self-worth and why that’s an important and impactful distinction. I share my experience with high self-esteem and low self-worth so that you might be able to recognize if you’re facing some of the same challenges that duo causes. Then, I provide you with a powerful strategy you can use to practice connecting with your self-worth. 

With all of this societal focus on self-confidence and self-esteem, there’s not enough emphasis on the importance of focusing on how we actually feel about ourselves. Self-worth helps us to explore those deeper feelings. 

For me, I was super comfortable and confident in academics. I did well, so my self-esteem was high. Though, when I didn’t do well, I was crushed because I didn’t have that foundation of strong self-worth to support my sense of self. It was hard to move on from failure and mistakes because those moments made me feel unworthy of success and achievement. 

To get into graduate school, I needed to take the GRE test. As much as I prepared, when it came to test day, I was extremely anxious. All of my high-self esteem did not carry over to this moment, which was very distracting! Once I got my score, I did not have a good feeling about being able to get into grad school. I felt upset and like I needed to give up that goal. In a way, I felt like that score reflected who I was. Yikes!

One challenge with self-esteem is that when we accomplish something, we feel on top of the world… but this feeling never lasts because it’s not supported by the power of self-worth. So, you end up pursuing one accomplishment after another, like running on a treadmill with self-worth dangling in front of you, just barely out of your reach. It’s exhausting!

Another challenge is when we rely on our self-esteem, we end up in a toxic, conditional relationship with ourselves. We like ourselves when we’re succeeding, but when we’re struggling, we become harsh and self-critical. Who wants to be in a relationship like that?!

Have you experienced something similar?

Self-esteem vs. Self-worth

Self-esteem is based on our abilities, accomplishments, social position, and things we believe we can achieve. We can bolster self-esteem by learning new skills and improving our performance and it goes up and down based on how we’re doing in certain areas of our life. Self-esteem has a place in our lives, but it’s on the surface of how we see ourselves and what we do in the world. 

Unconditional self-worth is distinct from our abilities and accomplishments. If we never accomplish anything or never reach our goals, unconditional self-worth remains. It’s not about comparing ourselves to other people. You can’t have more or less of self-worth. Unconditional self-worth is the sense that you deserve to be alive, to be loved and cared for, and to take up space just because you’re human.

Tending to and strengthening your unconditional self-worth is making sure you are grounded and nourished where you need it most. That way, even in the winter months of your life when you can’t bear fruits, you still stand tall and strong, knowing you are worthy.

When I learned to connect to my unconditional self-worth, I no longer relied on my self-esteem to bolster my confidence. I was more resilient in the face of challenges and setbacks and I was able to focus more on who I wanted to be in the world, rather than what I wanted to do. I now have a foundation of self-assurance and calmness that was always missing on the rollercoaster of self-esteem.

Do I still get disappointed if something doesn’t go well? Yes, I’m human! Even though I feel disappointed, I don’t feel crushed by it because I do not feel my worth is dependent on me getting everything right. I have developed a loving and supporting relationship with myself no matter what is going on in my life… and you can too! 

“Right now, can you make an unconditional relationship with yourself – just at the height you are, the weight you are, with the intelligence that you have, and your current burden of pain – can you enter into an unconditional relationship with that?” – Pema Chödrön

When you have unconditional self-worth, you have the freedom to be.

We are human beings, not human doings.

The sense of presence and being alive comes from just being. Of course, you can’t stop doing things, but you can shift your focus from the outcome to the process. 

One way I connect to my unconditional self-worth is through meditation. The beauty of meditation is that you don’t have to do it right or be an expert at it, you just have to show up and be there. It’s about creating space to be in the present moment without effort, struggle, striving, or judgement. 

Let’s practice together!

Tune in to this episode at [19:20] to join me in a short mindfulness meditation practice.

Resources:

Insight Timer is a great app WITH thousands of free guided meditations if you’d like to further explore meditation: www.insighttimer.com

Blog Post: 5 Strategies to Tap into the Transformative Power of Meditation 

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

How Unconditional Self-Worth Helps Us Pursue the Life of Our Dreams

How Unconditional Self-Worth Helps Us Pursue the Life of Our Dreams

For most of my life, I wasn’t a dreamer. I didn’t envision my future or have huge goals for my life. I didn’t allow myself to dream because I was too scared of the vulnerability of dreaming and hoping for something when I didn’t feel worthy of it. I was scared of envisioning a life that wasn’t certain to happen. Can you relate?

I fully acknowledge that I’ve had some big accomplishments in life, like getting a PhD, but in my family, these accomplishments felt expected rather than impressive. My parents’ prior accomplishments made me feel like I needed to follow in their footsteps in order to be successful. So, I did that. I’m not mad that I strived for success in academia, I’m actually very grateful and glad that I did… but I was still playing small.

I didn’t take time to reflect and craft a vision for my life beyond the confines of the conventional. When my focus was on proving that I was worthy and filling the internal void I felt, I didn’t have the energy to consider what I really wanted for my life. I couldn’t tap into the courage that was necessary to take the leaps toward a more fulfilling life.

Low self-worth keeps us from dreaming…

Trying to prove our self-worth takes up a lot of much mental and emotional energy and keeps us stuck in a place where we’re living for the approval of others. This makes it difficult to have the space and energy for dreaming and imagining what might be possible for us. Following society’s scripts or other people’s dreams for our lives is extremely limiting and even if we know that doesn’t work for us, we may not have the courage to expand beyond those limits. 

Low self-worth also fosters harsh self-criticism. Even when we do consider what we want in life, we often shut those thoughts down with judgement and statements that we’d never accomplish what we hope for. 

If you’re feeling stuck in life and you’re not sure how to break free, consider whether low self-worth, trying to prove your worth, or any of the reasons I just talked about is what’s contributing to your feeling stuck. 

Unconditional self-worth supports us in envisioning a life for ourselves that’s beyond our wildest dreams!

Unconditional self-worth is the sense that you deserve to be alive, to be loved and cared for, and to take up space just because you’re human. When we connect to this, we can shift our focus from proving that we are worthy to focusing on envisioning and pursuing the life we most desire. At the core, it’s about our relationship with our Self.

When we know we are worthy unconditionally, we are kind, compassionate, trusting, and forgiving with ourselves. It’s in THIS environment that dreams are able to grow and flourish and that we are able to tap into the courage to dream. We then have a safe and healthy relationship with ourselves that makes it safe to be vulnerable with ourselves and to envision the life we most desire. 

Once I began to connect with my unconditional self-worth, something began to shift within me. I began envisioning small things and seeing them show up in my life. Then, I let myself dream bigger and bigger, tapping into bold and wild dreams! I suddenly realized that one of my dreams was to be an entrepreneur… and here I am, officially working for myself, full-time!

Own your wants and desires. It may feel risky, but that’s where the power lies. Tap into your unconditional self-worth and own this powerful shift! 

To start tapping into what you truly desire in life, reflect on these questions:

What would you dare to dream if you knew you were unconditionally worthy?

What would you stop doing if you already knew you were worthy?

What would you find the courage to do if you knew you were worthy unconditionally?

These are powerful questions that I want you to sit with and wrestle with. If you journal, write about the thoughts that come up for you without judging or analyzing them. If you meditate, give yourself space to meditate on these questions. 

Live these questions. You don’t need to have the answers immediately. Take your time and allow your internal wisdom to guide you to them as you go throughout your days. Be patient with yourself in this process because it’s truly an adjustment and a shift that you’re going through.

The world will be a better place when we can all show up fully. Knowing that we are worthy and knowing what we dream for ourselves helps us to do that.

Want to learn more practices to help you connect with your unconditional self-worth? Sign up for my free e-book on the topic: 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: http://www.dradiagooden.com

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

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

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

How Self-Forgiveness Freed me from Shame and it Can Free You Too

How Self-Forgiveness Freed me from Shame and it Can Free You Too

When we share our honest stories of dealing with shame and embarrassment, we feel less alone and we realize that these experiences don’t make us less worthy.

At the age of 24, I fell in love… and I fell hard. Looking back, it was merely a summer fling of infatuation but I really thought it was forever love. He lived in D.C. and I lived in Chicago, but we made it work… until the moment I felt that something was off with him. 

There was a shift from a feeling of warmth and connection between us to a cold and disconnected feeling that really confused me. I began to feel sick, but ignored it. I ignored the fact that something wasn’t right in the relationship and I ignored the feeling that something was wrong in my body. 

After I flew home from visiting him one weekend, I didn’t hear from him for about a week. I already had the worry that I was unlovable, but that really sent my anxiety over the edge. Eventually, I got into contact with him and he had nothing to say! He couldn’t give me an explanation, so I said, “I can’t be in a relationship with you like this. If I can’t talk to you, if we can’t be in contact for over a week, that’s not going to work for me. Either we’re going to talk about this, figure it out, and fix it… or this is not going to work.” Way to go, Adia! He decided he didn’t want to talk about it or fix it, so, that was it. It was over and I was heartbroken. 

When I finally went to the doctor to get checked out, I learned that I had herpes. This guy, who had just decided to end our relationship for no reason, had given me herpes… genital herpes! I fell apart right then and there. I thought my life was over, that I’d never have a relationship again, that I’d never have children, and that I had to give up on the life that I had hoped for.

This news and the heartbreak triggered a depressive episode for me. I lost weight, withdrew from friendships, and turned my anger on myself, spending the next several months trying to figure out what I had done wrong. Why hadn’t I protected myself from this? Why was this happening to me? I had the evidence to prove my belief that no one would love me. Except, that’s not the truth. 

I wish I could go back and comfort my younger self and let her know that she is still worthy, despite having an STD. I’d let her know that she’s still capable of living the life that she dreamed of. 

We withhold forgiveness from ourselves because we are hoping that the past could be different and that if we hadn’t made those mistakes, we wouldn’t be experiencing the pain that we’re experiencing in the present. The irony is that when we don’t forgive ourselves, we’re holding onto that pain! It’s mentally and emotionally exhausting to carry pain and shame with us, right?

Once I was able to forgive myself, leaving the shame and embarrassment in the past, I was able to move on unburdened. 

What exactly is self-forgiveness? How can I forgive myself?

Self-forgiveness involves four components:

  1. Accepting what happened in the past – In order to forgive myself, I had to accept that I did get herpes, that I did make mistakes, and that I didn’t protect my boundaries.
  2. Acknowledging the hurt you felt because of what happened – I needed to let go of self-criticism and tune into the part of me that felt hurt, violated, and unworthy. I had to become compassionate with myself for what I went through so that I could heal.
  3. Identifying the wisdom you can draw (what you learned) from the experience – I learned that I needed to be more protective of my body and my safety. I learned to trust my intuition about when something was wrong in a relationship or with my body and address that instead of ignoring it.
  4. Telling yourself you forgive yourself and allowing yourself to move forward – For me, this looks like telling my 24-year-old self that I forgive her for not trusting herself. I tell her that I forgive her for not fully knowing how to protect herself. I forgive her for trying to prove her worthiness.

These are practices that can be returned to as often as needed. Self-forgiveness is a process that can sometimes be difficult and painful. I encourage you to take it slowly and be gentle and compassionate with yourself. 

Through self-forgiveness, I learned that even though I had contracted an STD and felt overwhelming shame, I was still worthy of love, forgiveness, and care. 

Sometimes, it is when we experience the worst that we connect with our unshakeable humanity. 

Let’s practice!

When you have some free time, sit down and reflect on where you may be holding onto things from your past that are keeping you from feeling worthy. Oftentimes, these feelings come from major mistakes, failures, or traumas that we’ve experienced, and they cause us to feel less than human. Once you’ve identified that scenario, walk through the four steps to self-forgiveness and return to them as often as you need to. Remember, be gentle with yourself.

You can be freed from whatever has happened in your past! If forgiveness allowed me to move on from herpes, it can help you move on from whatever is holding you back from your unconditional worthiness.

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

To connect further with me:
Visit my website: http://www.dradiagooden.com
Connect with me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/dradiagooden
Follow me on Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/dradiagooden
Connect with me on Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/adia-gooden-4b26751b

How I Overcame Years of Anxiety and You Can Too

How I Overcame Years of Anxiety and You Can Too

I have a lot of experience with anxiety at both a personal and professional level and I also know the power in overcoming anxiety and how liberating it can be. 

I was always on edge growing up, fearing failure and being left out. Everything mattered so intensely to me that my nervousness and tenseness started rubbing off on other people. 

In grad school, my anxiety started to manifest more prevalently in my life and it started to get in the way of me doing the things I wanted to do. I created a timeline for my life and my education that pushed me too hard, on top of feeling insecure in a new city. There was a combination of many factors that heightened my anxiety to a point that I started going to therapy. Thank goodness!

During therapy, we explored some of my experiences growing up and uncovered my belief that my parents were perfect. I had come to the conclusion that in order to be worthy and happy, I needed to be perfect too. I didn’t think I was worthy just as I was. I didn’t trust myself. I put my trust into productivity, achievement, and overworking myself, thinking those things would make me worthy of happiness. All this pressure boiled up into, you guessed it, anxiety.

What is Anxiety and How Does Anxiety Show Up in Our Lives?

Anxiety involves feeling worried, scared, or nervous about something negative that we anticipate happening in the future. Anxiety can show up in many different forms…

·      Racing, worrisome thoughts

·      Racing heart

·      Tension or pressure in your chest, neck, shoulders, or jaw

·      Difficulty breathing

·      Upset stomach

·      Headaches

It’s important to be aware of what you’re feeling in your body because sometimes we recognize the physical symptoms before we realize that we’ve been worrying about a particular thing.

Anxiety often shows up when we’re thinking about the worst possible outcome for a situation. Because our brain and body can’t tell the difference between a made-up scenario and reality, we feel the negative future we are anticipating is happening right now. Have you ever worried that you’re going to totally bomb an upcoming presentation? Do you notice that those thoughts tend to snowball into a vividly catastrophic event? Then, you may notice your body responding as if that’s actually happening to you. You may get sweaty, a knot in your stomach, etc.

The irony here is, when we get caught up in our fears and worries, we’re more likely to do poorly in our presentation because we’re distracted by the failure that might happen. We’re not able to show up and share our gifts and knowledge fully. 

We’ve probably all been there, no judgements… that’s just an example of how anxiety shows up.

Take a breath.

Sometimes anxiety is valuable and important. It can tell us something important and we should listen to that. The goal isn’t to never feel fear or anxiety, but we want to be able to distinguish between anxiety that is useful and anxiety that holds us back from what we want in life. 

When we are driven by anxiety, we start to live life to prove ourselves and our worth to others (and even to ourselves). We live to avoid risk and failure, which holds us back from showing up as our full selves in the world. We’re then not able to receive the full abundance that the world has for us. 

My anxiety finally subsided when I started to dismantle the conditions I placed on my self-worth. When I connected to my unconditional self-worth and began to see myself as worthy regardless of my achievements, the pressure decreased.

This has freed me up to energetically pursue a life that I desire, to build a loving relationship, and to form more mutual, balanced friendships.

Connecting to your unconditional self-worth is about healing and transforming your relationship with your true self, releasing self-criticism and the belief that something is wrong with you. 

Trust in yourself. 

Know that even though you are going through something challenging, you can be resilient in the face of these challenges. Trusting yourself can look like listening to your gut or intuition and being confident that you are making the right decisions for yourself. Listening to when you are feeling energized and paying attention to when your body and emotions are telling you otherwise.

What might be underlying your anxiety? What is the fear that drives your anxiety?

It’s helpful to understand that the fears underlying our anxiety are often connected to challenging experiences we’ve had in our past. When I feel anxious, I feel and connect to the 12-year-old Adia that worried she was unlovable and feared rejection. 

The trick is to respond with love and comfort, rather than judgement and resistance. When I feel the pull of anxiety I offer myself compassion and reassurance, which soothes me and calms me. Call on the wise and compassionate part of yourself that you use to comfort others and offer that compassion and kindness to yourself. I encourage you to explore what this looks like for you.

Return to this practice often and you will grow closer and closer to your powerful, unconditional self-worth.

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

To connect further with me:
Visit my website: http://www.dradiagooden.com
Connect with me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/dradiagooden
Follow me on Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/dradiagooden
Connect with me on Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/adia-gooden-4b26751b

How Low Self-Worth Leads to Imposter Syndrome and a Powerful Strategy to Overcome Both

How Low Self-Worth Leads to Imposter Syndrome and a Powerful Strategy to Overcome Both

Everyone has something important to share with the world…

But imposter syndrome can get in the way of fully showing up. At the core of imposter syndrome is feeling unworthy of success and feeling like you don’t have a place at the table, in the classroom, on your job, or in relationships. This often leaves us feeling like we don’t have anything to offer or feeling like we are not good enough. 

When we feel low self worth, we are more likely to feel unworthy at work and at school and unworthy of love, life, and success. We question ourselves and our achievements and we feel like imposters. All of this contributes to the anxiety, procrastination, overworking, and perfectionism that often come along with imposter syndrome. It can be a never ending cycle.

Imposter syndrome shows up in many different ways… 

In my personal experience, I overworked myself. I tried to be perfect in order to prove that I was good enough and worthy of my accomplishments. I would stay up later than I needed to and pushed myself to turn in every assignment on time. I felt I needed to prove I was good enough on the merit of my academic achievements. Now I can see that perfect achievement would never make me feel worthy or release me from imposter syndrome. 

When you struggle with imposter syndrome, you may also find it hard to start projects. Or, you may struggle to do the work in front of you, because you don’t feel worthy or smart enough to do a good job. 

You may have trouble recognizing your gifts, or shrink yourself and hide your talents. When we struggle with imposter syndrome and low self-worth, we also miss out on the joy of engaging with our strengths and talents and showing up fully. And, the world misses out on the important gifts we have to share. You deserve to tap into your gifts and share them because the world will be a better place when you do that.

What would you find the courage to do if you knew you were worthy? 

Think about what life would feel like and be like if you showed up courageously in the world.

To start showing up courageously,

Identify your strengths

I want you to reflect on and identify your strengths. Take some time to think about it. Often, our strengths are things that come easily to us and that we do naturally without even thinking. You may be creative, a great listener, or you may be a great problem solver. 

Once you’ve identified your strengths, 

Consider how you would like to share them in the world. 

How do you want to share your gifts at your job, at school, on your teams and in your community? How do you want to show up in these spaces? Do you want to be a listening ear for people? Do you want to help people solve problems? Write this down because having a list will help you during the times you feel like an impostor. 

This is a list you can return to when you’re feeling nervous, or you are wondering if you belong in a space. 

Return to this list!

When you feel like you need to be perfect or have all the right answers, or you need to get everything right, return to this list. Often when we’re nervous, it’s because we are focused on not wanting to make a mistake. Instead, you can focus on how you want to bring your strengths to play.

CALL TO ACTION
Check out my course on overcoming imposter syndrome: https://insighttimer.com/meditation-courses/course_dr-adia-gooden-imposter-syndrome

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

To connect further with me:
Visit my website: http://www.dradiagooden.com
Connect with me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/dradiagooden
Follow me on Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/dradiagooden
Connect with me on Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/adia-gooden-4b26751b