Print this Page

Overcoming Not Feeling Worthy

“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you,
then you become Real.”

“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit. “Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”

“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?” “It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept.

Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

– by Margery Williams, from The Velveteen Rabbit
Sent in by a site visitor, 2/3/08

If you find yourself identifying with adult traits of dysfunction, the most important thing for you to know is: YOU AREN’T A “BAD” PERSON BECAUSE YOU CAN IDENTIFY WITH IT.

On the contrary, you are an incredible person with the ability and desire to look at yourself objectively and the willingness to make a few adjustments so that you can be happier, stronger, and more balanced. So remember:

“Not BAD, but wonderfully aware – and getting better all the time!”

Awareness is a beautiful thing – and it’s what we do with it that will define our (adult) experiences here, right?!

Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely.
-Karen Kaiser Clark

Not Feeling “Real/Entitled”

It seems there are many COH in our support group who, as adults, don’t feel “entitled” to, or know how to go about getting, the real-life things that seem to us SHOULD come with adulthood like marriage, traditional experiences, a family of our own, career success, financial abundance, etc.

For we COH who feel this way, why don’t we feel “real?”

Why do our thoughts speak to us with the message that we are unworthy and undeserving of those things?

The article below presents a commonsense idea about why someone would develop core feelings of unworthiness. If you accept what the author is saying, then perhaps we can change our feelings of unworthiness by changing our definition of “worth” for ourselves. If we have a real sense of worth and sense of value for ourselves…maybe that’s the first step in feeling…”real?”
Why not give it a try?


The Need To Feel Worthy
By Kimberly Fulcher

I believe the need to feel worthy is the most predominantly debilitating requirement in today’s society. It is also the desire that is least often addressed or satisfied.

Let me start by saying:
You are perfect just as you are. I’d like to say that one more time.
You are perfect, just as you are.

Are you able to accept that statement, or do you resist it?
Does it bring tears to your eyes?

That’s not uncommon. I’ve met very few women who had full faith in their own worthiness. Those who have possessed that self-assurance had done so only after much soul searching and self-care.

Every situation you’ve lived through has made you the person you are today, and **there is purpose to your experience.***

While it’s true there is room for improvement in all of our lives, the most damaging thoughts you can buy into are those that tell you that you’re broken and must fix yourself. That’s just not true. You are not broken and, while we can all benefit from self-improvement and self-care, there is nothing about you that needs to be fixed.

It’s probable you encountered conditional acceptance as a child. I’ve never encountered anyone who didn’t. You could have had these experiences at home, at school, or within your community. As you matured, you learned that you would be accepted if you followed the rules of those you sought acceptance from. At home, you may have been required to follow your parents’ rules. At school, your teacher had a list of expectations for your behavior, and your classmates likely had rules of their own.

When you were accepted by the people in each of these environments, you learned that you were okay. Each time you experienced rejection or were punished, you learned that a part of you was not acceptable. This process taught you that you were only conditionally worthy.

Were you ever told that you were a bad girl? Each time you heard those words, your feeling of worthiness was diminished. Were you ever told that you weren’t special enough to be part of a group, such as the popular crowd at school? Again, each rejection reduced your sense of worthiness.

If you received enough of these messages throughout your life, which is quite common, your belief in your deservingness likely needs to be improved upon.

I have seen so many individuals struggle with deeply held questions related to their personal value. These individuals, driven to prove their worth, have pursued success at any cost—amassing substantial material wealth, achieving high social stature, and excelling in specialized skills, only to find that nothing they accomplish fills the empty hole in their spirit. Ultimately, these individuals sought an external source to tell them that they were okay. Yet, no matter how much external validation they received, they weren’t able to accept acknowledgement because they didn’t personally believe in their own value.

I want more than that for you!

You can take control of your feelings of worth and increase your sense of personal value.


Stop the negative self talk! Whenever you catch yourself putting yourself down STOP immediately. Don’t think about it too much, just STOP it! And don’t accept it from other people either. Don’t say “yea, you’re right I am bla bla” Disagree! Redirect the focus back to the problem and off the value judgment. If you can’t disagree at least

-Sent in by a visitor, 2/7/08


How do you currently define your worth?

Is it based on someone else’s “conditions?”

How would you like to re-define your sense of worth for yourself?

Since you may judge yourself harshly and/or think you are of little
value, it might help to try thinking about how you would determine
the worth of a hypothetical friend or small child.

Quotes sent in to help with this trait:

Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.
(George Bernard Shaw)

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.
(Dr. Seuss)

Think you can’t change the world?
Too late, you already have. It was changed for the better the minute you were born. There are more people than you can imagine who will never be the same because they came in contact with you, if only for a fleeting moment.
(Gail Purcell Elliott)

So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half- asleep, even when they’re busy doing things they think are important. This is because they’re chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.
(Morrie Schwartz)

Accepting what others see as your strengths is crucial to your continued growth. Compliments are a gift. They are an opportunity for you and another person to connect in a powerful, positive way. How did you handle the last compliment directed at you? Did you accept it?
(Rhonda Britten)

Permanent link to this article:

  • Gigi4emma

    I didn’t know there was a sight for “us”.  This is incredible.  I hope to be able to use this sight.  As the 46 year old daughter of a hoarder I live a life of constant frustration with my mother.  It makes me mad and angry that I don’t have a “home” to go home to ever.  My husband sits in the car if we are in the neighborhood and I have to run in to the bathroom or do something there very quickly.  The smell is horrid. My mother began hoarding a little bit when my parents divorced. But mostly the house was just messy where we couldn’t have company over.  But it kicked in high gear when I was on the way out to live at college my freshman year.  It’s gotten worse every since.  I am an only child.  Now she comes to stay at my house and hoards things here to.  She has piles every where.  She pays rent to 5 storage sheds, has a storage shed in her back yard and garage.  All are full of stuff.  Is there any thing that can be done to change this behavior? 

    • Mary

      Gigi,  I am a 45 year old female who grew up with a hoarding mother…I have spent my whole life acting and trying to develope a decent home for myself of which I did…my mom died in 2007….she was burned in an outdoor fire that she set trying to clean her yards but she would not part with anything in that house…I was and still am very angry at her.  I inherited a shack that took 2 years to clean out and live here on the property now attempting to renovate it….I guess I feel like I have to change it into what I always wanted this place to be…my upbringing was very chaotic and filled with fights over stuff in that house..I always spent time away from here…they didn’t have running water here until 1974 (home was built in 1962) and I grew up pumping water from a well and using an outhouse…I know that my mother was mentally ill and it affected my entire life…I know EXACTLY what you mean when you said your angry because you didn’t have a home to go home to..unfortuately mom had to die before I could get her house cleaned out.  She slept on the couch in a small space in a house that was filled to the ceiling with crap…she could not throw anything away.  she fought all of us over cleaning it up…she was very intelligent and self educated and eccentric…she drove us all crazy but I still miss her…I have issues with feelings of entitlement and guilt about owning nice things…I often dont feel “good enough” and hide my feelings of shame with perfectionism and dominate behaviors.  I am educated and appear on the outside to be successful in a world that has no idea what I went thru to get here….I refuse to live like she did..I hope my post helped you…PS when I broght momma up to live with me just before she died she was very resisitant to the clean and tidy room we’d prepared for her..she would go on shopping sprees and fill up her trunk and closet with shit…there was always something terribly wrong and hidden and it could never be fixed…now I’m having to fix myself to get it all straight…you have to focus on yourself and not them or the behavior.

  • Maricella

    I’m not a daughter of a hoarder, but I can relate to this article 100%. Ever since I can remember, the whole 19 years I’ve lived, I have always felt unworthy. When someone offers me a ride home, I always have to pay (I usually overpay). When someone takes me out to lunch, I have to pay. If someone wants to hang out and offers to pay for something, I have to pay. If I am given compliments, I can never take them. If a guy is nice to me, I don’t feel I deserve him. For anything and everything I can never feel worthy of people or things. I’ve always wondered why it is, and after reading this I understand why. 

    When I was a little girl, I was bullied and teased a lot. Girls would walk up to me and tell me I was ugly, I was too skinny, too fat, I had ugly-dark skin, my nose was too big, I had fat fingers, I was a nerd, I was too smart, I acted and dressed like I was “white” (little did they know I am half-white). Pretty much every little characteristic that made me, me, was picked apart. It happened all through elementary school to high school, until I was left with no self-esteem, no self-confidence. To this day I feel worthless and it’s something I am trying to overcome. 

    People may think I should’ve let all the put downs go already, but when one is told these things over and over, it gives them no choice but to believe them. If anyone tells me I am “pretty,” I don’t believe it- I think they’re just trying to make me feel better. A few years ago I gained an eating disorder from being told I was fat, and when people tell me I am “skinny,” I don’t believe it. I truly hate compliments because they make me feel worse. People don’t know that words CAN truly hurt and affect someone in the long run. I’m sure all those children and family members didn’t mean to hurt me, I have forgiven them, all I want is to gain self-worthy because without it, no one can truly love another being.  

    So, I want to thank the author of both the story and the article for “getting” to me. I want to change and I am willing to give it a try. I know that saying and doing are different things, but 13ish years is too long to live in misery and I am ready to start a change. 

    Thank you. <3 


    • AmiiA

      I am sorry this happened to you. I hope you find your way to understanding that you are so deserving and worthy, despite all that bad experiences you had already. xx