Self-worth, what is it? Self-worth is elusive, just when you think you have it, you realize you don’t. When I moved here 4 years ago, my self-worth took a nosedive. My very loose plan was to move to Vancouver, get some work experience with David Granirer at Stand Up For Mental Health and spend some time working on my own creative endeavors. Start a video blog, a written blog, and do hours and hours of comedy writing and performance. No pressure.

girl sitting on mountain top with stunning view
First week in Vancouver, late August 2015

Very quickly my life got unmanageable. Nothing panned out as I had planned it in my head. I managed to connect with David and his organization a couple of times. I barely went to see any live comedy shows or even write any comedy of my own. The blog writing and video blogging I managed in the first few weeks quickly ground to a halt and then like a dollop of feces, slipped off a proverbial mountain into the murky depths of Vancouver’s deep winter ocean.

View of downtown Vancouver from the mountains
Lonely in the city

Isolating in my tiny basement studio in East Vancouver. I went out on my bike in the rain, only, to stock up on junk food and do the odd recovery meeting, which kept that one shred of me in that game called ‘LIFE.’ I watched multiple seasons of Sparticus in a matter of days, and other less memorable seasons danced passed my dull eyes as the autum (fall) months turned to winter.

Man reading newspaper in front of colourful painted wall
My antique bike parked outside a meeting

WHAT WAS HAPPENING?

First of all, I had unrealistic expectations which could not be met, not by me or my outside world. My perfectionism would lead me to spend hours and hours creating a funny video (in my opinion) or a well-written blog and then I would put it out there to the world… expectant. I would feel ok about myself for a couple of hours tops, then nothing. A void.

Comedy show tonight
Outside looking in

My creative output would get a ‘like’ from roughly 5 people, maybe garner a comment or a LOL and then it vanished into obscurity in a vast current of content, sucked into a vacuum and then forgotten. Deflated I would try again, each time it got harder. Harder to face the perceived rejection, harder to pour my soul into another blog, harder to ask for stage time in a room I didn’t want to play. I hung my self-worth completely and utterly on external validation and all the time, internally, I ripped myself to shreds. The validation could, and never would, fill that ever-expanding hole I dug inside myself.

Clever homeless sign- self-worth
humorous but sad homeless persons sign

One of my early blogs Lifting depression by lifting the skirts. HERE

One of my early vlogs How to build confidence in a new city. Here

PUT THE ‘SELF’ BACK IN SELF-WORTH

The true measure of self-worth doesn’t come from outside of us, it is internal. Hence, the ‘self’ in self-worth. I am responsible for validating myself, not just once, but again and again. All those months I spent attaching my self-worth onto external validation. I made myself mentally unwell, I beat myself up and sank into a despondent depression. I measured myself against others and always fell short by miles and miles. It was impossible. Even when I did get validation it was never enough. “More, more, more, then I will feel better.” But I didn’t feel better. I felt terrible. The worse I felt, the harder it became to create material, all the joy sucked out of it. The fear pinched me off from he source of love and then froze me into inaction.

Lizzie Allan stands next to an inspirational quote- self-worth
2015

In conclusion, that period of time provided a wonderful learning experience for me. To a greater or lesser degree, I have always hung my self-worth on the purpose I serve with my existence. Being alone in Vancouver, I didn’t have a community to vibe with and so this habit was highlighted painfully back to me.

I still fall into that trap from time to time, pinning self-worth on what I create. But, when I feel that uncomfortable icky feeling I have learned to let go of that need for validation and carry on regardless. It’s all an illusion anyway. Every day I write a blog and maybe a handful of people read it. I am okay with that because I am worthy of love and acceptance no matter what. We all are. I’ve done a lot of personal work on my old beliefs and I have found a measure of freedom from this backward way of finding worth. I’m writing theses blog for myself these days, if you love them then that’s a bonus. I just love creating.

I love this article on The Importance of Self Worth. HERE

Lots of Love,

Lizzie xxxx 😉

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