Life Coach For Immigrants

• How to recognize if you have low self value?

Do you ever say to yourself: “Gosh I’m such a loser!”, “Why did I do that? I’m so stupid.”,  “I don’t deserve to be happy.” ? 

Are you having a hard time saying “no” and standing up to others? Setting boundaries?

Do you ever compare yourself to others?

Do you struggle building healthy relationships?

If you said yes to these questions, you might be suffering from low self value. Low self-value affects our relationships, sense of self-worth, how we navigate life, and how we express ourselves. 

There are many reasons why this could be happening:

  • unresolved trauma,
  • loneliness,
  • internalized shame,
  • expectations from parents or caregivers,
  • relationship changes like divorce or break up,
  • peer pressure from loved ones or friends. 

Think you might be suffering from low self-value? Listen to this episode. I share with you many different signs on how to recognize it. 

Episode # 18 – How to recognize if you have a low self value?

Hi everyone, I’ve taken a longer break from recording these podcasts. So hello again, if you listen to me regularly thank you so much for your patience. I have a sort of Russian revolution happening in my life right now, but I am happy to be here again recording and connecting with my fellow immigrants.

Today I am going to talk to you about low self value. This subject is really dear to my heart because I dealt with this problem for many many years of my life. I had low self esteem, and self value and what comes with that very low level of self confidence. I still have some areas I need to adjust my self value in, but today it is so much better than what it used to be. 

I remember being a young child receiving a compliment from my aunt who said after not seeing me for a very long time: Who is this beautiful girl? Inside my head was a voice: whom is she talking about? There was absolutely no way I could see myself as beautiful, or valuable or good. As far as I was concerned I was not beautiful, and not a good person. I was also not good enough for others to be kind and loving towards me. Today when I talk about this when I go back to Poland this perplexes some people. How could I not see my beauty or value? Maybe like you, I am a beautiful example of how our human brain interprets anything as it wants and just because the majority would agree to something if our belief within is opposite – it does not matter what others think or how they see us. It does not matter what they assume about us. So other people might have seen me as beautiful, but in my own eyes I was very ugly and definitely not good enough.  

Now, even though I just told you, that today it’s a completely different story and I am presenting this from a point of contrast – meaning in the past I had a low self value and today I can see it and act accordingly… I want to make it clear that self value, just like your self confidence and your self worth… they  fluctuate. It is not that one day we have none, then we change our mind and poof… from here on out we see ourselves as valuable because we exist and there is nothing we need to change to be more valuable and there is no one that can take it away from us. That we all of the sudden see ourselves through this lens and there is nothing that can change this. No, it’s not like that. It’s a process, right? It’s not that we all of the sudden see ourselves through this lens and there is nothing that can change this. Your self worth, self value, and self confidence will change. So if we had a scale with 0 being no self value and 10 being you understand that you are valuable, and you don’t doubt that.

 So when you were 20 you might have been at 10 – because maybe you moved to The States to study medicine and you felt you were on top of the world with all the amazing adventures and possibilities, and yes life was throwing all different kinds of challenges at you, since we immigrants know it is not easy to move to and live in another country but you were doing great and overcoming these challenges only strengthened your sense of self confidence and self value, but then you met  this really incredible guy and you fell in love with him. He was the love of your life, but after a few years he left you for someone else. And you completely fell apart. You didn’t know what went wrong so your only interpretation was: “Of course he left me. I wasn’t good enough for him.”

This belief is obviously gonna influence how you see yourself, right? So your self value in your own mind might drop from 10 to 5… and then let’s say it takes 5 years to find a new partner and during that time you think that there is definitely something really wrong with you and your self value will keep on dropping down. Right? So today, let’s say you are at 3… you used to be at 10 then at 5 and now you are at 3… but out of nowhere you meet this new amazing guy who looks at you like you are the most beautiful person on the planet and that changes so much how you see yourself, your self worth goes back up to 10.  

So this is what I mean: your self value, your self worth, your self confidence will fluctuate. But today I am gonna walk you through different signs of low self value so you can see if you might be suffering from it. You can self diagnose in a way. 

So first of all a person who has low self value is gonna be constantly criticizing herself or himself. You know how we all have this negative self talk in our heads? When your self value is low the volume of that voice is turned up high. As an immigrant you might be thinking:

I am not from here, I don’t know what to do. I can never do anything right. ( that one was in my head for many years after I moved here to United States from Poland) 

Here is another one: I am just a terrible person. I never get things right. No one wants to get to know me because everyone thinks I am a weirdo. ( I hear that one a lot from my immigrant coaching clients) Other people have it easy, but me? I will always be struggling. That’s just my luck. God keeps on punishing me. 

So that is the first thing. If we have low self value these kinds of thoughts will show up in our minds a lot.  Another thing that often happens is that we create in our head an imaginary character that we think we should be. We have this ideal and we “should” all over ourselves, because we also have an internal compulsion to strive towards that ideal. 

So when I say we “should” all over ourselves this is what it sounds like:

  • I should be speaking better English.
  • I should not have an accent, people don’t like it. 
  • I should know this! I should be smarter and know what I am talking about. ( this is a common thought when we immigrants are in a group of Americans who are talking about something like a movie or a song or a tv program that was around back in the day and they all know exactly what they are talking about since they’ve since it because they’ve grown up here, but we have no idea what they are talking about, since we grew up somewhere else… but we think we should know it).

Here is another one:

  • I should be making more money, so my family would be proud of me. 
  • I should be nicer to other people, I am always so frank. American women are so polite I should be more like them. 
  • I should be better at my job, I am an immigrant. Everyone here thinks I am different, if they were firing people they would fire me first.  
  • I should be a better daughter or better son. I should be going to see my parents more often. 
  • I should be a nicer mom, I criticize my children way too much. 

You know what’s fascinating? In my practice this happens with every single client. I will ask them to list some positive qualities they possess and it will be difficult for them to come up with even just a few… but when I ask: What should you be like? That’s easy. Because our brains love to point out our shortcomings. And as a result we exaggerate our shortcomings and weaknesses. It’s kind of like we are not seeing a balanced version of ourselves. Other people see us differently. They see the complexity. The good and the bad.  But we only see the negative in ourselves. And we also undervalue ourselves and our achievements. We don’t see our own efforts and what we’ve accomplished. So you might be a doctor living in California originally from Lithuania. You came to the US as a young girl, you’ve felt like an outcast, a weirdo, but you are very smart and with hard work, determination and dedication you finished one of the best medical schools in The US. You are very successful now. But it’s never enough. Because even though you have overcome many struggles your brain simply doesn’t see it. It’s like you know you’ve done it. But it does not really mean anything. There is always more to be accomplished. Whatever you’ve done it’s never good enough, no matter how hard you try, and what you do. That is a very typical dynamic inside of our brains when we have a low self value. On top of that we compare ourselves with others, but often we immigrants are not comparing ourselves to the people who started like us, we don’t compare ourselves to our friends from the country of origin… Oh no that would be too easy! If you live in the US you most likely compare yourselves to Americans. Right? We look around and we think we should be as successful. It’s like we delete the whole immigrant element in our journey. And as we compare, we see where we are lacking. We think we should be as successful as established. And unfortunately we do not take in consideration who we are, because we do not see ourselves clearly. We don’t see our  limitations. So we set that bar really high, so high, that we can not reach it. Because we are setting it, for that imaginary version of ourselves, that we think we should be. How cruel. Do you see how cruel that is? To completely dismiss your achievements, your strength and your weaknesses and to give yourself a goal that you for sure are not gonna be able to achieve. And you know what? We do this often. So it could be that you have been ambitious, trying to achieve something, but you keep on failing. It’s like you read motivational books, and watch some really good youtube videos. You want to be motivated and a high achiever, but when you set the goal, you are not realistic, and you end up failing and then you make it mean that of course there is something seriously wrong with you. Since everyone else once they set a goal they just easily accomplish it. Everyone else has an easy time being really committed. They don’t struggle. You struggle, because somehow you have a defect. So you really tend to generalize. That’s another sign that you might be dealing with low self worth. You generalize like this. Everyone has a strong will and I am always failing, because I am weak.  So much fun, oh we are so much fun!

Now, with all of this you will most likely feel a lot of shame. Isn’t that something? On top of this let’s throw in some shame because deep inside you feel embarrassed to be yourself. And if someone else says something not very nice about you it’s gonna really really bother you. So even though you are an expert at criticizing yourself if someone else criticizes you – not good. The words will cut right deep into your soul. You won’t know why exactly, but you will feel so hurt. It will be so hard not to start crying. And then when you finally will be alone, you will be thinking about this a lot! How unfair that they said these things. Or that they don’t understand you. And you know what? If this is really going on and you have a lot of shame inside of you and you feel like you are being constantly criticized, it’s gonna be hard to be social, right?

You will not want to be around people. And sometimes you might feel really anxious. Your hands might shake, maybe your whole body is shaking if you are around other people…  If this is happening to you, then you for sure would have even a stronger tendency to withdraw. You would not want to meet other people.  You will say NO to different kinds of activities. Right? Your friends might be inviting you to join them for something, but you will always say: “NO, thanks, not this time.” You will have a low motivation to act. You will not be showing any initiative. Your life step by step will be getting smaller and smaller, because you will be focused on keeping yourself safe and comfortable. Which is very normal, right? That makes sense. But unfortunately with that comes lower comfort of life. Life becomes smaller. Your circle of friends becomes smaller. You do less. You don’t push yourself outside of your comfort zone because it is hard enough to live in the zone you are in. 

Also since you have a tendency to focus on what’s negative in your life, you are not that much fun to be around, like seriously, let’s admit this, yeah? And that in itself pushes people away. They stop inviting you. And since you have a tendency to say No to their invitations, they also might feel like you are rejecting them. Yes, I know it’s a long list.  

I am almost done, but there is one more sign that will clearly show you if you have a low self worth. If you are gonna have a really hard time establishing clear boundaries with other people. Saying “no”,  standing up for yourself. You are gonna feel powerless, not assertive, right? And you will feel resentful often. And you will keep on building evidence that people can’t be trusted. And that the smaller the circle of friends the better. And year after year, time after time, you will feel more and more lonely.  

Yeah that’s how it unfolds, so listen, my immigrant friends if this really got you thinking, if you are  like: You are describing me. This is about me.  I want you to know that I understand. This was really easy for me to write about because I am pretty much writing about what was going on within me for most of my life. This is why I have a special place in my heart for all of you who struggle with low self worth and low self confidence.  I know what it feels like. I know it really really well and I am on the other side of it and let me tell you friends, it’s so much better. It’s so much better when you know who you are. And people can not just sway you left or right and you are not in this constant people pleasing mode. And you don’t feel bad for standing up for yourself and just saying: “Hey you know what? Not this time. I don’t want to do that.” Or when you have a need or a want you just say it. You don’t think 20 times about it. You don’t have dramas in your head imagining things, you just say what you want. You express it outloud. That’s very freeing. It’s beautiful. And you know very well what you want. Like, what you want. Not what other people want for you. What are their ideas… no. You know what you want for you. And you have a specific plan of accomplishing it and giving it to yourself. And you also have this deep inner strength because you know that it does not matter what happens, doesn’t matter how life shifts and changes, you are gonna have your own back. Meaning, you are not gonna be attacking yourself for being a human being for having negative qualities. You are just gonna be okay. Okay with it all. Yes, someone will be criticizing you? You will agree with them. Because don’t hold that impossible standard for yourself.  You own it all. The good and the bad.  It’s a beautiful place to be with my friends and I want to help you create this for you. 

So this is why I have created a course, it’s a bootcamp. It’s a self confidence boot camp. To help you overcome this low spot.  I know it is not easy to live like this. It’s actually, really hard. And you know what? This is what I know today. It’s unnecessary. You do not have to be living like this. You do not have to be wishing that you were different. That you were like others, smart, beautiful, skinny, perfect in every way…  It’s them always perfect, and us never feeling like we fit or that we are enough. None of that is necessary, seriously. I am on a mission to end this whole dialog. This black and whiteness. I am on a mission to finish this whole BS, this not enoughness. And especially us immigrants. Seriously. It’s so hard to do what we did, to move to a different country, to start your life over in a completely different environment. I feel like we really deserve this. We really deserve to see our strength because we have so much strength within us. This course I created is for women only, I am sorry guys. All the men I am really sorry but I work with women only. So if you are a female and you know that you could use some help developing inner strength, or seeing the strength that you already have… right? Cause if you are an immigrant you have the strength already… this is a matter of you seeing it, and also developing and creating some other skills. I want you to really consider checking my bootcamp out.  I will post a link in the description of this show. In this bootcamp I teach how to develop the self confidence you wish you had. How to develop self trust, so that you can actually respect yourself. How to look at your current thoughts about who you are and how to change it. And how to consciously feel and process any emotion, so that you really feel in charge of yourself, no matter what someone says to you or what they do. 

As a result you are gonna know yourself way better and you are gonna feel stronger. And no one will ever, ever take that away from you. The skills I teach are for life. And you know what? They come really handy when you go through your own version of the Russian revolution. Like I am going through it right now. When something unexpected happens and your world changes completely within minutes. And you have all different kinds of emotions to deal with sadness and grief and heartbreak. You know what? If you know how to handle yourself on regular days, these skills will be priceless when something really difficult happens. You want to have these skills for life. You seriously want to have them. If you care about yourself, you do want to have these skills, they make the biggest difference.  This is life changing stuff and I am so happy and so proud that it;s there for you and I can help you shift out of this low spot where I’ve been dwelling for so long. Cause I really wish I had this, that’s why I’ve created this. I wish I had someone who would’ve been saying to me the words I am saying to you. Who would’ve said: “Hey, I can help you!” Back in 2005, back in 2011 when I was going through a deep identity crisis because I thought that my life should be different. All of it should be different. I wish I had these skills. My goodness, my life would’ve been so much different back then. All of it would’ve been so much different. Okay, see how excited I get about this? Because it makes such a big difference and I believe in this with every single cell of my body. Please share this episode with your fellow immigrants. And if you found it valuable please also rate it. Your support means a lot to me. Alright my loves. Have a great day and I will talk to you next time.