In this week’s episode we focus on how to get wealthy in your own self-worth. First, understand the difference between self-esteem and self-worth. Then get ready to roll, ladies, as investment in yourself pays off.
Welcome to the Life Lnxx podcast, where we share how the past influences the current day so you can choose a future based on a true identity because we are not blending in.
I’m your host, Consuelo Crosby, and also the creator of this content. If you want to chat more about what we talk about on this show please reach out to me on whatever platform you enjoy on social media. We’re available @lifelnxx or on our website at TheLnxx.com, that’s L-N Double X. I’d love to engage with you more in these topics and hear more of what you have to say about them.
It’s Holy Week for me, being Catholic, and I love this time to contemplate if my mind is focused on goodness. If I am being good to myself. Am I being good to others? It’s a powerful time to reflect on struggles and victories, how they are viewed and how it feels to endure them. Even the little wins can bring so much joy and add to self-love.
Can Self-Worth Affect Identity?
And, that’s what we are talking about today. We are talking about the concept of self-value or self-worth and how we define that for ourselves. Or, do we? As you well know, during the school years, you were assessed by this standard template, leaving little room for individuality. Any kid in school being their true self was probably considered a trouble maker.
Society, also, tends to categorically define people and then rank your worth based on that. Beyond school, the years to learn adulting, especially that first job, can keep you locked into that sense of self-assessment. Am I good enough to get the job? Am I good enough to live at that apartment? Am I smart enough to get all the things I need going?
Is this sounding familiar? I think so. Did you take the time to pause, though, take yourself off the prescribed assessment and redefine your self-worth, on your own terms? I hope so.
But if not, no worries. That’s why we bring these ideas up so that you can bring yourself forward in the context of who you are. Embracing your true identity gives you the power to view yourself heroically and dismiss the belittling challenge from others.
First, let’s catch up on some fun. I hope you had a chance to discover Silvia Vasquez-Lavado, from last week’s episode, and to read the article on our website at TheLnxx.com. Isn’t she remarkable? I mean, beyond what she’s done athletically, in persevering the Seven Summits, to do this as a way of healing is a win-win.
Now, a quick update, in case you are still on Episode 34 or 35, Silvia is a gay, Peruvian woman who endured sexual violence as a child. The pain from this horrible experience drove her into some darkness, where she lost sight of who she was. Did not carry self-worth. Totally understandable, right?
Until the day she felt compelled to climb Mount Everest. It was her personal challenge to herself, to prove that her self-worth was more than how her past defined her.
What’s the Difference Between Self-Esteem and Self-Worth?
That is the power and also a sneak peek into today’s episode. This is the female power to go back and heal the child triumphantly and live the true narrative of who you were born to be. Because ladies, until that healing of that inner child is well on its way, you may have spun off onto a life you’re not supposed to be living. You’re not living your true self. You’re not living your life, ladies.
From that powerful point, let’s first define what we mean by self-value or self-worth, especially in the struggle of maintaining your true identity and diversity. This is the difference between knowing what self-esteem is and what self-worth is.
At some point in life, our identity gets challenged, culturally, physically, sexually, you name it. It’s going to get challenged. It’s usually early on and at an age that we are not prepared to understand it. Therefore, we can’t defend ourselves. So, the visceral response to that challenge becomes our reality. When really, it is only someone else’s opinion.
And yet, those experiences get carved into our little person’s minds so deep that they remain with us. They become so natural to us that we forget these are learned responses, rather than truth. We grow into that saved mindset and tend to believe that we are less “valuable”. What other people think of us, what other people offer their opinion, their unwanted opinion of us, somehow the brain picks up on it and turns it into truth.
We assign this to our culture, our physical traits, all the things. This infects how we view ourselves relative to others and this begins the walls squeezing in on us. That we are alone in this feeling and we don’t fit in. Our self-esteem begins to shrink.
What is Self-Worth?
Fortunately, self-esteem is based on opinion. How you view yourself has been formed by the influence of others and yes, maybe, your opinion of yourself, too. That opinion can be high or low at any given time. But, that is all it is, ladies. Opinion. It’s not fact.
And regardless of your self-esteem, which we all go through, on any given day we might have “Hey, I’m a badass chica” days and we might have other days of, “I’m not getting out of bed”. It’s okay. That will balance that back and forth. But, what will stay constant, what is in truth facts that you have self-worthiness. You are deserving of love.
Self-worth is the understanding that you deserve love and acceptance for the person you are; the person you are born to be. And that’s that inner core person. Not the person having a bad day. Regardless of any social construct or opinion, you are inherently a good person. You are someone who brings goodness to the world and those around you. You are enough.
The importance is that whether you have a low or high self-esteem on any given day, you still have immense self-worth and are valuable in this world.
Hopefully, this seems obvious but in this social climate, it may not be. Even with the needle moving towards positive body image, positive identity acceptance, there is still a loud challenge – even in our laws- that says one’s natural state of being is unacceptable. It’s ridiculous yet obviously happening and so, for whoever needs to hear this: You are valuable and necessary to the goodness of the world.
How Culture Can Threaten Self-Worth
Those bad hair days, or disastrous failure days – those are temporary. Those are not defining your self-worth. Days like that occur because of outside influences that you have little control over. You don’t wake up thinking, “You know what, I’m going to intentionally make a mess of my presentation today because of who I am.” And even if it wasn’t your best work, it’s already over. Temporary. You are still loved for who you are, who you were born to be, and if anything, you probably were not put on this planet for giving that sole presentation. That doesn’t define you and therefore, doesn’t define your self-worth.
Still, carrying low self-esteem can begin to undermine self-worth. The lines get blurred. There may be days we don’t feel lovable, even within our own home. We may be at odds with our partners, our spouses, our children.
It gets even more difficult to be raised in a diverse home that has practices different from the community and also different from the generation. So, there’s clashes between generations. There’s clashes between living your diversity inside the home and getting challenged by it outside the home. So, even in the safety of your own home you may feel the adversity of being different.
And in that feeling, we all have a tendency to run away from that which causes pain, that makes us feel unworthy. It’s totally understandable. But in doing so, we lose context of why the adversity occurs, why our own diversity brings challenges to our worthiness. Without true context, we tend to make up our own reasons for it. Again, we tend to be hardest on ourselves and think we are the problem.
Why Losing Identity Feeds the Loss of Self-Worth
Now in all of this, it’s so tempting to “fix” this feeling by adapting to the people around us. There is a social tendency to pick on or target differences in our communities. Children and more so, teenagers are vulnerable to this behavior because they’ve been in the shelter of hopefully a loving home. They step out the door and “bam”, anything that is different is going to get picked apart. It feels threatening at a time when all they’ve known is safety.
And don’t we all just want to feel safe. We don’t even know we are different until we step out the door and go, “Oh, I see. I see how it is.”
As you probably realize by now, it takes time to understand who you are, who you are willing to defend. By the time you learn this and begin to love yourself, you have to unwind all the opinions and misbeliefs of the past. Only then can you move forward in building high self-esteem and a constant belief of self-worth.
But, when diversity is added into this scenario, the targeting rises dramatically as does the vulnerability. But “adapting” or “blending in” to avoid this comes at a much higher cost. When diverse individuals choose to blend in rather than rise in their diversity, then the cultural heritage is lost. And when cultural heritage is lost, so are millennia of human knowledge and celebration. The stories are lost, from the immediate family history and personal stories to cultural stories of why things are done the way they’re done.
As an individual pushes away from their cultural heritage, they push away from their true identity, their true narrative and the role they play in continuing, passing on the knowledge. More intimately, an individual has subconsciously associated their identity with being unworthy of respect, of love, of self-worth.
This isn’t a moment of low self-esteem or a bad hair day that you can be dismissed. Instead, this is associating diversity with unworthiness. It’s a toxic association. One that people outside the community will make for you. So, don’t start on your own. Refrain from denying not only your own heritage and family and culture, but yourself.
How to Avoid Losing Self-Value
Ugh. This makes me tear up just to talk about it. I should’ve warned you early on, have shot a tequila. Because we know we see it all the time. We saw it in the Supreme Court Justice hearings. Ketanji Brown Jackson. God bless you, woman. I think a lot of people were sending you prayers. I hope you listen to this one day. We were praying for your strength. You saw it on big screen TV, how intentionally harsh people will go after identity, go after race, go after gender and try to break the person for their true identity.
I didn’t go through anything like that. That’s probably why I’m not Supreme Court worthy, but
I understand the challenge after living it and still being pressured to conform even now. I know many of you must be, too. Sometimes I get upset with the concept that people feel they have the right to pressure me, to tell you you’re inadequate for being true to myself. Are you kidding? And, other times, I get totally fatigued by keeping up the fight. You know what? I’m just going to go over here.
But then, I will get immersed by people who light up when they see me, or want to gather for goodness and I am quickly reminded of my self-worth. Even though the brain goes so quickly to the pain when hearing these things and start that visceral response, we can train it to dismiss all the chatter as just prattle, just babbling.
We have to get away from the toxicity in order to have time to learn the context of what was happening. Step away from it to feel validated for who we are in order to look back.
And, we must always look back, ladies, and understand just what was happening.
Examples of Cultural Impact on Self-Worth
For instance, in one of our early episodes, actually Episode 1, I spoke of my mother’s desire to have me conform into American standards after experiencing her sons getting physically assaulted for speaking Castellano. (She was so proud of her Castellano. She didn’t speak Spanish. She spoke Castellano)
My little brain could not understand why she, my beautiful mother, didn’t want to be who I was, who I was born to be. She didn’t think my nose was pretty, or that my athleticism was powerful. And these were attributes that one, I didn’t think was a problem and two, I was really proud of. So, getting questioned that young, that there’s something wrong with you, that’s why your brain will go to pain, over and over again.
And yet, she had named me Consuelo. So, she put me on the front line like I’m the infantry in the battles. My name alone makes me a target. Add dark skin and love for all things Peruvian and I was at that crossroads early on in life. Do I blend in to avoid the questioning and insistence that I should be someone else? Or, do I turn to myself for love, self-love, for who I am?
If you can’t tell, I turned towards Consuelo all my life. And I wonder if I hadn’t been the only one. If I hadn’t therefore been my mom’s ally to fight against the injustices that she faced, both within our own families and in the community as a whole, if I would have aligned so strongly to my own identity. Or, if I would have blended in. If I would’ve said, “Yeah, call me Connie”.
And that stuck with me for a very long time, how she was trying to change me. It actually took until I became a mother myself to understand. “Oh,, the things you will do to help your children stay safe; avoid pain and ridicule. They may not come out great, admittedly.
The things you say get lost in translation, so what the child hears is “I’m not good enough”, or “you don’t love me”.
How to Increase Self-Worth
How do we learn to change that association? How do we reframe it to live life large with our diversity forward? This is a really expansive question but still has a universal answer.
Just like one’s cultural heritage or diverse identity may negatively affect a sound self-worth, a robust self-worth, it may also greatly increase it. This isn’t an issue you handle alone. It’s better to step back into the comfort of a larger scheme, the embrace of full context where you most definitely fit in. This is where you come from and therefore, this is where you go for comfort.
For example, when you are feeling vulnerable in your diversity, pause a minute and take some steps backward in time. It could be within your own family or community or culture. Think about the amazing goodness that comes from it. The food, celebrations, faith, struggles, inventions, fashion… I could go on and on. When you think about others that are in a similar situation, there is room to discover joy in the diversity.
When you take yourself out of the spotlight, that it’s all about you, and you step off into the wings and are just watching this live performance play out. Yeah. You don’t have stage fright.
You’re not nervous. You’re not being self. self-conscience of what’s happening, you’re reveling in the joy of what you’re seeing.
We tend to be hardest on ourselves and that’s what disrupts really holding onto self-worth. We’re kinder to others. It’s just a phenomenon.
Your self-worthiness has skyrocketed. You still might have a bad hair day but your self-love is priceless, ladies. You are enough.
Show Us Your Coffee Moments!
So, let’s go, ladies. Stand up and shine with your diverse, true identity. Invest in yourself and honor who you come from. Put that all in the self-worth bank! Show us how it’s done. Bless us with the chance to show you love, to respect your worth and value your presence in your true identity.
Remember to tag Life Lnxx of your favorite cafecito moments. We love our cafecito and your recommendations for coffee experiences around the world. I hope you loved the ones that pop up on our IG Stories.
This week’s was admittedly epic! I finally visited Ayesha Curry’s flagship store and cafe, ‘Sweet July’, in Downtown Oakland. I went there for my cafecito fix over the weekend, after Palm Sunday mass, and walked out with a fabulous colored glass set and pitcher from Morocco. Yeah, you might walk in there for a cafecito, but you’re going to stay awhile. All of the products sold in the store are women owned, predominantly black women owned, sustainable and all luxurious. All the things. It’s so beautiful!
I also had a piece of her epic vegan Chocolate Pumpkin Bread Pudding. Oh, my lord. Oh, yes I did! Take a look on our IG Stories for the up close and personal shots, but I tell you, I forgot to take pics of my cafecito and goodie because I was in a moment. There is also an article on our website, at TheLnxx.com, about the store and her online store. Mother’s Day is coming up and all your friends are getting married. Just saying! There’s something there for everybody.
Tag us on Instagram or Twitter @LifeLnxx. L-I-F-E L-N-X-X. I have to stop spelling it out because listeners now are repeating it as Life L-N-X-X…. Life Lnxx! Take a look on our website at TheLnxx.com for each episode’s transcripts and the articles linked to what you’ve heard here today.
Really appreciate you sharing this podcast with your friends and leaving a review for us on Apple Podcasts. Give us some of your own ideas of what you’d love to hear by reaching out on our website or social media platforms @LifeLnxx.
Step into your truth, ladies. We love you! Ciao!