How to bolster your self worth

- A lesson from 5th Grade Tennis Camp

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If there is a lack of belief that I am a good person and that I am here to make change and add value to the world and over people’s lives. If I do not believe that I am capable then I am not going to try.
A funny thing happened on the way to tennis camp. I remember my mom making me take tennis lessons over the years. I was a super athlete for sure but my heart was in gymnastics, track and soccer NOT tennis. I went to lessons begrudgingly. I am sure I complained the whole car ride there. My attitude on the court was let’s just say…NOT stellar!
On the court it was not pretty. Here I was…this really athletic kid fumbling all over the place like her racquet had a big fat hole in it. I could not hit that dang ball to save my life and when I did…talk about air shots!! OMG! I was a hot mess out there for sure. It made me feel so frustrated and bad about myself. This of course contributed to all the angst around the lessons. In my 10 year old mind I had this belief that if I could not compete and excel in a sport then that made me a bad person. I felt bad and I measured my worthiness against this external thing. When the coach advised me I only heard criticism. I felt ashamed and my self worth sunk even more. So yes I hated going to lessons, my attitude stunk and lacked any improvement in my skills. I just didn’t want to be there.
Until this one hot day which I recall so vividly because it was a turning point for me as what I saw then as an athlete but what I now see as a human. I was just plain over it!! I was daydreaming out the window of the car thinking about how easy it was for me to run fast, jump high and tumble. I had this revelation. I showed up to my other sports feeling really good about myself. Confident. Inspired. I took action from that place and I did well. It dawned on me. I am a good person. Whether I run fast or suck at tennis, these things have nothing to do with one another. It was such a shift in my world. I was like, “oh wait a minute. If I feel good I can do good NOT I have to do good in order to feel good.”
I can’t say that I became a fantastic tennis payer from that day on. That was not the lesson in this story for me. What did happen? I changed my attitude big time. Dropped the BS story about my coach hating me and feeling so bad about myself. I decided to feel good in the car on the way to camp because I knew I was a kind and loving kid. I bounced onto the court from then on and had a lot more fun. I was able to listen to the coach without the shame and I did improve. I can hold my own on the court to this day and truly do enjoy it.
I tap back to this memory now because it’s so significant. As a female entrepreneur I can see how insidious it’s become…this comparison game, this constant need for external validation in order to feel worthy.
Show up in full alignment with your worth. Know that you are good and amazing and here to add value. When you feel that in your bones first you shine with confidence. You show up inspired and want to take bold action in the direction of your dreams and it happens with ease.
I also lean into this childhood lesson as a mom too. When I hear my 7-year old say that she feels like a bad person because she missed the shot on goal it sends a chill down my spine. I empathize with her!! I know exactly how she feels and we focus all the time on feeling good about ourselves because we are amazing human beings. Goal or no goal. Likes or not. Praise, trophies or NOT. Good, kind and loving is who we are and that anchors us in our worth.
When you constantly think about showing up a certain way to get people to like you, doing things to get approval, creating value based on what you think other people will want it’s a sure fire way to burn out and get lost in self judgement with your self worth in the crapper.  
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