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Feeling Worthless? 28 Causes, Signs & Daily Habits to Change Your Mind & Life

Are you feeling worthless? It’s normal to get stuck in a rut sometimes, but s? you shouldn’t allow yourself to dwell there. Make some changes! 

Feeling Worthless

Feeling worthless. Hmm. Well, it isn’t difficult to dissect it. Worth-less. The question you should stop to ask yourself when you say something like “less” is “what is more?” If you are feeling worthless, then examine what it is that is worth more than you feel.

What exactly is it that you don’t have enough of? If it is self-worth, then figure out what it is that you define yourself by.

But the truth is, we all get stuck in a rut sometimes. The key is not to stay there. [Read: How to stop being sad – 34 steps to alter your sad state of mind]

What is worthlessness?

When we feel worthless, we feel like we’re not good enough and that we have nothing to offer. We’re surplus to requirements, or so we think.

This type of feeling can happen for many reasons, and for the most part, it comes and goes. But, for some people, feeling worthless can be a sign of a deeper problem. For instance, a person who is struggling with depression will probably go through periods of feeling worthless.

When you feel worthless, you often feel stuck because you aren’t sure how to change the situation you’re in. The good news is that there is a lot you can do about it, mainly because this isn’t rooted in truth. This is a perspective, a state of mind. [Read: How to help someone up when they’re feeling down]

That can be changed. It takes work, but it doesn’t have to stick around.

Many studies have taken a closer look into depression to understand why depressed people feel the way they do. One theory is that depressed people cannot re-register negative emotions when they experience them. As such, it leads to a constant cycle of negativity that drags them further down. Cue feeling worthless. [Read: Why we need to breakdown the stigma of mental illness]

The causes of feeling worthless

What causes one person to feel worthless could be different from what makes another person feel that way. However, there are some elements that are more common than others.

1. Childhood trauma

If a person has gone through childhood trauma of any kind, it can easily lead to feelings of worthlessness as they grow. These types of situations can deeply affect a person throughout their lives and it’s important to seek professional help and overcome the issue.

2. Seeing negative events as your fault

If you always see negative things as being your fault, you’re probably going to notice that you feel worthless a lot. The truth is that these things aren’t your fault, at least not all of them. So, if you blame yourself for everything, you’re going to drag yourself down pretty quickly. [Read: Is your negative thinking ruining your life?]

3. Past criticism

If someone has been criticized heavily in the past, it can easily affect their self-esteem beyond that point. Constantly replaying this criticism can lead to feeling worthless because you start to believe what you were told.

4. Difficulty handling stress

If you find it hard to handle stressful situations, that’s a recipe for depression. You’ll always feel overwhelmed and as though you can’t cope. The truth is, you simply need to learn some stress management techniques.

Everyone feels stressed from time to time, but not being able to handle life’s ups and downs will cause you to feel less than yourself. [Read: How to reduce stress – 17 fastest hacks to a calmer and happier life]

5. Comparisons

Constantly comparing yourself to other people will, in the end, cause you to feel far less than everyone around you. What you need to remember is that most people inflate their experiences in life, usually to make others feel worse. Blame social media for this!

Questions to ask yourself if you’re feeling worthless

If you’re finding yourself feeling worthless, it’s important to remember that it’s a state of mind. For sure, it feels very strong, but it’s something you can overcome with mental strength and time.

When you find yourself in this type of situation, ask yourself these questions to try and push yourself out of the negative cycle. [Read: 30 touching ways to make someone feel better and help a sad friend]

1. Is it really about me?

2. Do I focus on what I have or what I’m missing?

3. Are these thoughts bringing me closer to what I want from life?

4. What will it take to love myself?

5. Can I just let it go?

6. Is now a good time to forgive?

These questions will kick-start your mind into understanding that what you’re experiencing isn’t real. You’re not worthless. You’re worth a lot.

By unpicking the situation, you can start to dig yourself out of the rut you’ve found yourself in. [Read: How to feel better about yourself – 20 small steps for big results]

Things to remember if you’re feeling worthless

Apart from asking yourself specific questions to start unpicking your feelings, it’s always a good idea to have some affirmations to hand. These are statements you tell yourself to push forward toward negativity, and away from negativity.

So, the next time you’re feeling worthless, remember these points.

1. High growth equals high vulnerability – what you’re going through now is a natural part of growth.

2. You’re exactly where you need to be.

3. Zoom out to recognize how far you’ve come. [Read: Small ways to deal with big changes in your life]

4. This feeling is temporary.

5. Even the most successful people feel this way.

6. There’s so much that is working – shift your perspective to see things you have.

7. Contrast creates perspective – stay open to new insights instead of striving to be positive 24/7.

Feeling worthless? Here’s what can help

Many of us feel less than at points during our lives like when things don’t go our way, we didn’t accomplish the goals we set out, or we generally aren’t who we want or had hoped to be. But, if your feelings of worthlessness are perpetuating and long-standing, then it might warrant a step back.

Examine why you aren’t happy with who you are or where you are in life.

You can wake each day with one small accomplishment that makes you feel successful. Each success gives you the boost you need to attempt the next, and so on. One day you rise and realize life is what you want. [Read: 16 steps to feel better about transform your life]

1. Identify the problem

Why are you feeling this way? This might seem like an easy question to answer, but for some of us, it can be the most difficult question. Sometimes we just feel this way, for no apparent reason.

But think long and hard about this, because there is a reason you are feeling this way. [Read: The daily habits that will help when you feel worthless]

2. Dig a little deeper

Okay, so you’re upset because you didn’t get that job? Alright, now dig a little deeper. Was it really the job that you were excited about? Or was it the fact that people would call you “successful?” [Read: 20 habits of incredibly happy people]

3. Make your bed

It sounds stupid, right? If you wake every morning and the first thing you do is make your bed, then by the time you complete your first cup of coffee, you are already ahead of the game. You have something in your pocket to make you feel successful for the rest of the day.

A theory introduced decades ago by a naval officer by the name of McGraven, each small step you make creates big change. The easiest place to start is by starting your day making a difference to keep you wanting more. [Read: 20 habits of incredibly happy people]

4. Find a silver lining in every negative comment

It is easy to hear things differently than they are said when you feel worthless. The next time someone says something to you that you feel sounds degrading or worthless, find the silver lining in it.

There is likely to be a lesson in the next negative thing you hear. Perhaps your negativity enables your feelings of worthlessness.

So, stop hearing messages as only negative, and even if they are, challenge yourself to do better next time instead of letting constructive criticism beat you down. [Read: Backhanded compliment – how to react kindly or give back in kind]

5. Set small, attainable goals for yourself

If you want to stop feeling worthless, then give yourself a break. Instead of feeling like you must have the corner office by the age of twenty-five, make smaller attainable goals that you reach every day.

Whether at work or in your personal life, stop looking for the big cash in or payday and be happy with the smaller victories that get you where you want eventually.

Sure, it might not be as quickly as you want. But give yourself a little breathing room, and you might find that it isn’t always about the joy of the end of the destination but the smaller things that make you happy along the way. [Read: How to start over and win – keys to claiming your second chance]

6. Stop being your worst critic

If you tend to beat yourself up, that isn’t helping you at all. It is not only okay to make mistakes, it is essential to learning where you want to be in life and how to get there.

Stop being harder on yourself than others are on you and expecting perfection when it isn’t possible. Look at the good things you offer instead of focusing on all your mistakes or misgivings.

7. Start eliminating the people in your life who keep you down

Take a good look at the people you surround yourself with. Do they foster your good feelings or do they pull you down? By continuing to be around them, you attract negativity.

Find people who look on the bright side and are there to point out your positives instead of knocking your not-so-greats. There will always be someone available to make you feel worthless, that is just life.

But, why not surround yourself with people who can’t see what gifts you have? Look for those who help you shine instead of squashing your light. [Read: The biggest signs to watch out for in toxic friends]

8. Let go of the past

So you screwed up a few times in your past. News flash, we all have. There isn’t a person walking on this earth who hasn’t made ample mistakes in the past. Whatever you did before this moment has nothing to do with what you do going forward.

The most enlightening thing in life is when you realize that not just each new day, but each new moment, you have the potential to start anew and to make the best of the rest of your life. Like a continual do-over, you have the power to change your life from the inside out. [Read: How to let go of your past and be excited by your future]

9. Do one thing every day that makes you feel good about yourself

Doing one small act of kindness a day helps push away your feelings of worthlessness.

Little boosts of good feelings are released when we perform acts of kindness. These endorphins help to change your outlook not just on life, but on yourself. It truly just takes one small favor for someone else to alter your entire day, and if you do them continually, it changes your life overall. [Read: 20 positive ways to create a chain of goodwill]

10. Decide who you are, and decide for yourself

When we feel worthless, it is because we look for others to tell us who we are. That is a road to emptiness. You have to know who and what you are on the inside instead of letting others define you for you.

Stop listening to the incoming messages that cloud your self-perception and start to take stock of who you really are, what you believe, and the goodness in your heart.

If you care enough to feel worthless, then you are someone who is concerned with who you are. That is half the battle. [Read: How to be your own hero and take control of life]

11. Start a gratitude journal

So, now that you know why you are feeling worthless, you need to begin to heal. A good way to do this is by appreciating the wonderful things that are going right in my life. Keeping a gratitude journal is an excellent way of doing this.

You don’t need to write in this every single day like a regular journal, even if you just write in it when you feel worthless, like you do right now. Eventually, you will have a notebook full of fantastic reasons to be happy. [Read: How to make happiness your default state]

12. Set a time limit on your sadness

Give yourself 24 hours to feel this way, and then tell yourself you need to stop feeling sorry for yourself and pull it together.

13. Talk to someone qualified to help

Seeking help from a therapist or counselor is a great idea if you feel this way and can’t shift it. If you need help to feel better, don’t be afraid to reach out and get help. There is no shame in taking care of your mental health.

14. Head outside into nature

Being surrounded by nature is the best way to feel better. Here, you can reconnect with your true self and recharge your energy. Try it and see how much better you feel.

Go for a hike, a walk, or even just go sit in the park. [Read: How to be chill and learn to live a happier life as a result]

15. Force yourself to love who you are

It sounds easier said than done, we get it. But you can force your mind to change gears. Instead of thinking of your bad parts, force yourself to think of the good things instead. But don’t just think about them, look at yourself in the mirror and say them to yourself.

It sounds absolutely insane, and like it would never work, but trust us, it works wonders.

16. Spend time with animals

It is seriously impossible to feel worthless when your furry friends shower you with love and wet kisses. Seriously. Go to your local animal shelter or a friend’s house and just hang out with some four-legged friends for an afternoon. [Read: 20 positive ways to embrace life in the now]

This feeling won’t last forever

If you take our advice and put the wheels of change in motion, you won’t feel worthless for long. While you might not notice a major change overnight, celebrate each small win on the way to feeling much better about yourself.

You’re not worthless. Trust us, you’re far from worthless. You’re wonderful and you need to start believing it.

[Read: This is how to find yourself again when life has knocked you down]

It might not happen overnight, but if you take steps to alter your life, one day you will wake up and realize that feeling worthless has gone away and has been replaced by joy.

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Vinod Srinivas Serai
Vin Serai
Vin Serai is the founder of LovePanky.com, and has delved deep into the working of love and relationships for almost two decades. Having dipped his feet in almo...