If you think you deserve better, then you probably do

For many of us, we have a deep rooted belief that we don't deserve good things.

Whether it's a toxic relationship, a dead-end job, a one-sided friendship, etc., we don't walk away when we know we should, stand up for ourselves, or look for something better or more fulfilling. Even though, in the back of our minds, we know we deserve better, we still don't actually believe it. We let others treat us like we're disposable because that's how we view ourselves.

According to an article in Psychology Today, "Feeling undeserving comes from situations in your past that have influenced your outlook or 'inlook.' ... Feeling undeserving creates resistance to positive change."

But, as author Barrie Davenport says, "Low self-confidence isn't a life sentence. Self-confidence can be learned, practiced, and mastered, just like any other skill. Once you master it, everything in your life will change for the better."

So, how do you change this?

1. Recognize that you have self-esteem issues.

The first step is admitting that you feel undeserving. Sometimes, people don't even realize that they are letting others treat them badly. Like one of my favorite quotes says, "If you aren't being treated with love and respect, check your price tag. Maybe you've marked yourself down. It's you who tells people what you're worth. Get off the clearance rack and get behind the glass where they keep the valuables."

Peter Economy writes on Inc, "If you are constantly bashing yourself and saying you're not good enough, aren't attractive enough, aren't smart enough or athletic enough, and on and on, you are creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. ... The next time you hear that negativity in your head, switch it immediately to a positive affirmation and keep it up until it hits the caliber of a self-confidence boost."

2. Identify what made you start feeling undeserving in the first place.

Were you bullied in school? Were you told you weren't good enough? Did you have parents or teachers that didn't support you? Were you in a mentally or physically abusive relationship? It can be painful to look back on but, when you realize what made you start feeling this way, only then can you change it.

3. Have compassion for yourself.

Remind yourself, "Just because I was treated badly in the past, that doesn't mean I deserved it." The past is the past. Stop letting it control your future.

4. Take a realistic look at the lives of others you feel are more deserving than you.

"Ask yourself if they are truly innately more deserving of good things than you are. No one has any more value at the time of their birth than anyone else has," an article on WikiHow states. "In fact, a quick look at the news will reveal plenty of people who are materially successful even though they are well-known liars, cheaters, or thieves. If people who are clearly dishonorable can obtain happiness, there is no reason to think that you don't deserve your own happiness."

5. Talk to yourself as if you're talking to your best friend.

Would you ever talk to a loved one the way you talk to yourself? Then why do you talk to yourself that way?

6. Stay away from negativity.

Evaluate your inner circle. Get away from people who degrade you. Surround yourself with people who encourage you and make you feel happy. Cutting out people who put you down is not being selfish.

7. Fake it until you make it.

Smile at people. Make eye contact. Stand up straight. Even if you aren't feeling confident, act like you are and soon, you will begin to believe it too. According to an article on theskooloflife.com, "The mind can be tricked, and you can balance your life on that little hack. ... Even therapists use it all the time for patient’s suffering from depression. Though it might feel artificial and forced in the beginning, soon it will become more natural until you are happier and healthier."

Stop doubting yourself. Make a list of all the things you love about yourself and all the things you are good at. You are smarter than you think and the way you feel matters, no matter what anyone else may tell you. This is the only life you've got -- so trust yourself and look out for yourself once in a while.

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