How Good Can You Stand It?

06/18/2014 12:31 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

What is your current level of self-esteem? Is it helping or hindering you in moving you closer to your goals and dreams?

People often use the words "high" or "low" to describe their current level of self-esteem and self-worth. We use the words as a way of describing where we're at without really knowing much about these important contributors to living a happy, productive and fulfilling life. Assess your knowledge of self-esteem and self-worth by asking yourself the following:

  • What do these words -- self-esteem, self-worth and worthiness -- really mean?
  • What are the differences between them?
  • What is actually being measured?
  • What unit of measure is used?
  • How are you measuring it?
  • At what level of self esteem/self-worth did you start?
  • How did you do to get to your current level?
  • Can you repeat the process to lift yourself even higher?
  • What steps are involved in raising your self-esteem/self-worth?
  • What is possible, how high (or low) can you go?

The truth is, most of us have very little understanding of self-esteem or self-worth. The odds are very low that you received any formal instruction on self-esteem/self-worth. Our parents, educators, mentors did the best they could at having us feel good about ourselves. But based upon how high they held their own esteem and self worth, did they really know much about it themselves? Probably not!

Even if you had great parents, "knowing" about your self-esteem and self-worth is only the first step in experiencing any benefit from it. For that you have to go from high to low and back to high a few times before you might get a glimpse of what is possible.

We only notice when we're down.

Our first awareness of self-esteem and self-worth comes when we experience being "low" because things aren't working in our life. We feel troubled, lethargic, and confused as to what to do next. We struggle and seem to be working harder than a lot of people with fewer results. We know that "life should be better than this."

Not knowing where we are at, how we got there and what to do about it, drags us down into fatigue and depression. A low grade of "hopelessness" forms just below the surface of our mind. We know the way out is "up," but how do we rise? How do we overcome the things that are pulling us down in a way that won't have us just end up back where we were before.

All these questions and more puzzled me as I struggled myself with both low self-esteem and even lower self-worth. By the age of 27 I was delivering talks and seminars on various aspects of how to enrich our lives using self-help principles and techniques. I had more tools and techniques than most, but working to "raise my self-esteem" wasn't making any difference that I could see.

Secretly I suspected that the self-help principles of the day might be doing more harm than good. Nothing I read provided me with the answers to these many questions. In truth, I felt most of the writing in this area largely missed the mark.

The whole idea of self-esteem/self-worth doesn't go far enough. We need a clearer way to visualize what the process of a higher and lower self-esteem/self-worth actually looks like so we can empower ourselves to improve.

Today evidence is everywhere. In spite of self-help sections of book stores full of books on empowerment, one has only to look at people lined up to get their morning coffee to see that many of us are barely hanging on to the self esteem we have. We must be missing something.

What is Worthiness?

Take a piece of paper. Draw a cycle up and down across the page representing the ups and downs we experience throughout our lifetime. Through the cycle at the middle point line draw a straight line. Near the top of the page write How Good Can I Stand It?

In the lower zone, below the line, write: How Bad Will I Let It Get? (How bad will I let it get before I turn the corner and start to head back up, or do I do nothing and keep going until I "hit bottom?")

Along the mid point line write: My Worthiness Setpoint.

This line represents how much happiness, prosperity and expansiveness you can tolerate, in your work, your relationships and your world in general. Raise this line higher up into "How Good Can I Stand It?" and you will be constantly facing the challenges of more and more joy, success and fulfillment. Allow your worthiness setpoint to fall and you are facing a life filled with more and more of less and less.


With fresh understanding and awareness you can recognize sooner when you've turned and are heading down, away from what we really want. You'll be able to change direction and head back up into a higher level of achievement, ease and satisfaction than you have never reached before.

I define worthiness as:

"An empowered way of being, where our accumulated resistance to success, love and happiness, is no longer in control."

Find this empowering place within yourself, and you will move beyond "going out and getting" in life to a place where you will begin to attract more of what you want. You will be able to open and allow more good things to come towards you, and even more importantly you will be able to "allow" yourself to "receive" them when they do.

Understanding worthiness is a whole new way to help you move forward, towards your goals and purpose, much faster and with less effort and struggle.

Learn more at