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Calgary, AB / 587-437-3197 / jenna@simplynurtured.ca

2016 by Jenna Lessner 

  • Jenna Lessner, BSc, CHNC

6 Tips to Cultivating Self Worth

Updated: Feb 12


W O R T H // the sense of one's own value. A feeling that you are a good person who deserves to be treated with respect.

I feel like even the word “worth” used to make me cringed a little. And the saying “know your worth” has been thrown around like a ball. But without any true identity or ideas on HOW one was to do that. It seems like such a simple concept “know your worth”. And for the longest time, I wondered why I struggled with this concept for so long. Was I the only one? I felt like it was the equivalent of telling someone in a state of severe depression to just be happy… as if just knowing your worth was as simple as tying your shoe. In my experience, it has been a long and uphill battle to reach this point. To know wholeheartedly that I am infinitely worthy in body, mind, and spirit.


“Your outlook on life is a direct reflection on how much you like yourself.” - Lululemon

A little over a year ago, I attended a dinner party at a friend’s house and I met a woman who used to be a personal trainer. We had a wonderful conversation about health and nutrition. I confided in her the struggles of building a business. Her response was “Just get yourself in shape and the clients will come running to you.” Her remarks that evening cut me deep and left me so deep in shame that it took me a while to climb back out. I left that party in tears and let them fall as I drove home. I wanted so badly to tell her what I’ve been through. To tell her what my body has been through. To tell her what my body was capable of and that I appreciate it for what it does. To tell her that no matter how “out of shape” she thought my body was, it ran a marathon last month. To tell her that my body was strong. To tell her that the size and shape of my body was none of her business. To tell her that MY WORTH AS AN INDIVIDUAL OR AS A NUTRITION COACH WAS NOT DETERMINED BY THE SIZE AND SHAPE OF MY BODY. But I wasn’t there yet. Reflecting back at the moment now, I can see that she was only projecting back to me what I was already telling myself. I did not feel worthy and I was deep in self-judgement.

“Confidence isn’t what other people think about you -- it’s what you think about you.” - Henry Ammar

Knowing my worth has been my mission, if you will, for months or maybe even years. With everyone in the self-help world talking about it - maybe it was just all I heard because it was what I needed to hear. YOU ARE BORN WORTHY and somewhere along the way, with programming, with taking on beliefs that are not our own. We lose that sense. That knowing, that we, each and every one of us is infinitely worthy.

You cannot see worth, you cannot touch it, but boy can you ever feel it. As an Emotional Eating Coach, I would say this is one of the deepest issues that I see in my practice. A sense that one is not worthy. I see it over and over again. In Holistic Nutrition, we studied the effects that your thoughts and emotions have on various aspects of the body. Based on the Chakra system and the work of Louise Hay. If you’re unfamiliar, there are 7 main energetic fields along the body known as Chakras. Each Chakra is connected to specific organs, glands and bodily systems. And they are related to various health conditions when a Chakra is blocked or out of balance. Your worth lies in the third Chakra – the solar plexus. It houses most of your digestive tract. I work with a lot of digestive issues which correlates that I work with a lot of worthiness issues. Nutritionists have a common saying, “it all starts with the gut.” Almost any issue can be related back to digestion because it is how we get our nutrients to function. A disorder in another area of the body may in fact be a nutrient absorption and assimilation issue in the gut. In another sense, “it all starts with worth.”

I know what you’re thinking, but if I don’t feel worthy, how do I feel worthy…

Here’s your homework:

  1. Stop relying on other people to determine your worth. It is called SELF-worth because it comes from within. External measures of worth are not worth. Its validation.

  2. Affirm every single day, in a mirror, while looking yourself in the eye. I AM WORTHY. Own it say it out loud. Stand in a power pose if that helps – it will help. It will be uncomfortable at first but do it. Trust me.

  3. Make a list of all the things that make you special, unique and different. And then recognize, celebrate and love each part.

  4. Get curious. Where do your beliefs stem from? Hint: Most belief patterns are formed as children. Can you think of a specific time or incident in your childhood that you felt unworthy?

  5. Set boundaries. Knowing how you want to be treated and communicating that effectively is setting boundaries. Saying ‘no’ to something or someone can be the most freeing experience. To quote Brene Brown, “Choose discomfort over resentment.” That is it may be uncomfortable to tell someone ‘no’ but it will feel way better than resenting them afterwards.

  6. Be Gentle. Let go of the judgement that you need to feel worthy yesterday. Have faith that you are exactly where you need to be at this moment.