Feeling valueless? Well don’t. A Case Study

Feeling valueless? Well don’t. A Case Study

Here are the facts, if you don’t get feeling valueless under control and learn how to value yourself, you will fail. Feeling valueless will continue to affect you into the future, as it has in the past. Negatively impacting your personal life, your business, and your career. So it’s really important you get it fixed. Valuing yourself improves every area of your life and the results you get in powerful ways.

Why Not Valuing Herself Set Rachel Up To Fail In Business: Case Study


Rachel had always wanted to run her own business. She had a natural flair for business and helping others succeed. But when opportunities arose to go into business for herself in partnership with people she knew, each time a pattern of failure had emerged. When it came to working through differences of opinion around the direction the business needed to go in order to continue to grow, Rachel repeatedly felt blocked and overridden by her business partner, and couldn’t stand her ground. She froze when it came to negotiating and working through differences of opinion. Instead she eventually just walked away from both business opportunities, feeling angry, resentful and taken advantage of.

Having spent most of her life shaping herself according to other people’s wants and needs, any situation that required negotiation and conflict resolution skills triggered stress and anxiety. After her second business partnership failed, a friend suggested Rachel do a mindfulness program to help her deal better with stress and conflict, and get some new self insights. But attempting mindfulness exercises increased her feelings of anger with herself and brought up feelings of low self worth and failure, triggering implicit memories from her childhood.

People try and work on themselves having to struggle with patterns of behaviour that sit in their implicit memory system. Memories of threat, stored implicitly, often come up first. Implicit memories operate outside of conscious awareness and drive subconscious beliefs and repetitive, default behaviours. Operating outside of conscious awareness, these memories cannot be visualized or reflected upon.

Rachel realised she needed a one-on-one relationship to talk about the issues directly affecting her. When we looked at what was triggering her, it turned out Rachel was still reacting to childhood experiences of being controlled and put down. Something she hadn’t been aware of. Now in her early 40s, Rachel still felt valueless and insubstantial inside. Feelings that stemmed from her childhood.

Common Reasons For Not Valuing Yourself

Early adversity in your home life growing up has huge impacts on your sense of value as a person, and your self esteem. Common examples of early adversity include:

  • Parental depression, anxiety or substance abuse.
  • Physical or emotional abuse or trauma.
  • Prolonged feelings of not being understood.
  • Repetitive devaluing experiences such as ridiculing, bullying, shaming or stonewalling.

Rachel had grown up in a family that was judgmental and critical. Her siblings would make fun of her and exclude her because she thought differently to them. Her parents were strict and controlling and openly favoured the youngest child, who could do whatever they liked. Rachel felt alone and alienated in her family growing up. As if she didn’t have a right to just be herself. She had always felt that her family just didn’t get her. This shaped how she viewed other people and her expectations around how they would treat her.

Feeling Valueless Influences How Other People Treat You

Not being listened to, validated or taken seriously growing up leads to subconscious expectations that you’ll encounter the same experiences in the outside world. Particularly when you’ve been repeatedly criticized, bullied or ignored for disagreeing with or questioning your family’s view on things. You end up defaulting to flight or freeze and sometimes fight responses that are security and safety based. This becomes your inner blueprint for how you do relationships and react to conflict.

Not expecting to be listened to and valued plays out in a variety of ways. When you don’t value yourself you can sit in meetings with managers and peers and put forward an idea that is dismissed or ignored. People just talk over you. Minutes later, someone else who’s confident and values themselves says the exact same thing, but in a different way, and everyone thinks it’s a great idea and takes it on board. This was happening to Rachel in her business partnerships, mirroring exactly what had happened to her growing up.

Rachel also found that over time her partner, who she had thought was different to her family, started talking to her in the same dismissive way as her family whenever he got annoyed with her. Each time this happened, all of her feelings of vulnerability and low self worth bubbled up to the surface, which then made things even worse.

3 Ways To Stop Feeling Valueless And Thrive

Valuing yourself 3 ways to stop feeling valueless and thrive


1. Work With Someone Who Can Help You Become More Self Aware

You can’t change what you don’t even know is there. To change deeply ingrained negative beliefs about yourself you first need to become more self-aware around why you feel valueless. The most powerful and effective way to do this is to find some who’s qualified to help you remember, think, and talk about your life in safety. Powerful constructive conversations with a therapist or coach creates new neural pathways in your brain and brings about the self-understanding required to be able to reflect, rather than react. You’re then able to identify what’s triggering you and why.

Reflection is a conscious process. It’s not something that we do automatically.

2. Commit To Valuing Yourself

When you’ve identified and understood the negative beliefs and scripts that have been making you feel valueless, you’re able to change the way you think about yourself. You’re in a position to commit to the process of valuing yourself. When you love and respect yourself, people pick up on this and treat you the same way. You’re able to express what you really feel and think, regardless of whether someone agrees with you or not.

3. Learn How To Set Boundaries

Personal boundary setting is an excellent way to value and take care of yourself. Boundaries give you effective strategies to handle people and situations where you’re feeling invaded, manipulated, or overwhelmed. Boundaries: When to Say Yes How To Say No To Take Control Of Your Life by Cloud and Townsend is one of the best reads on this.

Valuing yourself is essential to success in your personal life and career. It’s about releasing the negative and critical views about yourself that you’ve absorbed from other people growing up that don’t even belong to you. But just doing positive affirmations or CBT alone won’t shift low self value if your subconscious beliefs and behaviours aren’t first identified and understood. Seeking out positive, transformative relationships and experiences and then backing yourself is the key to no longer feeling valueless.

Our self feeling in this world depends entirely on what we back ourselves to be and do. William James

All names and identifying features in this article have been changed for privacy purposes.

© Copyright Janelle Legge | 2016

Surviving The Times Of Our Lives: Life’s Valuable Lessons

Surviving The Times Of Our Lives: Life’s Valuable Lessons

The key to surviving the times of our lives is being able to learn from life’s valuable lessons. Whether it’s having to deal with life-changing events, being plunged into a dark night of the soul, or riding through those stages in life where everyone else seems to have it all together and you’re left wondering why you feel like you’ve hit an invisible brick wall. Your sense of purpose, direction and exuberance for life missing, nowhere to be seen.

These times can be painful and confusing if you don’t know how to move through them with self-awareness.

How Amber Found A New Lease On Life By Looking Inward, Not Outward
[A Case Study]

Amber* (not her real name) had a great job and was married with one child. On the outside everything looked good. She had ticked off just about every goal she’d set for herself. In her 20s she travelled the world and in her 30s met her husband and focused on building an impressive career. Amber loved being a Mum. Yet as she started to approach her late 40s, she started to feel empty inside and lonely in her marriage. Having achieved most of the things she had wanted in life, she couldn’t work out why she felt so flat. Things that used to excite and inspire her had lost their appeal. She felt directionless and nothing ever seemed to be enough.

Amber had become so fused with her negative, lacklustre feelings she couldn’t see a way forward. It felt like these feelings would last for her entire life. When you’re feeling flat, anxious or depressed your brain starts to normalise things after a while. It becomes your reality. You get stuck in a closed thinking loop.

You can’t solve a problem from your current level of awareness. You need to get fresh insights and guidance.

The Turning Point

What brought things to a head for Amber was the big gap left in her social life when some of her closest friends moved overseas. Making her more aware of how down and empty she felt. Things started to change when Amber realised she couldn’t sort this out on her own and came to see me to get some insights into what was going on and some practical strategies to fix it.

It was time for Amber to develop a more intimate relationship with herself rather than relying on excitement and other people in order to experience vitality and aliveness. Being constantly busy turned out to be a subconscious strategy for not having to deal with painful issues from her past. Always having friends around had helped fill an inner void.

The Solution

When it comes to our personal growth, at certain times in our lives we get presented with opportunities to become more self-aware. Amber chose to learn from her pain rather than have to deal with these issues further down the track. She finally understood what was making her feel unhappy and unfulfilled regardless of what she did or achieved. It was about learning to become more comfortable and relaxed inside herself by focusing inward instead of always looking outward. This included committing to self-nurturing routines. Prioritising emotional nourishment rather than constantly looking for external stimulation and distractions.

If you’ve hit a crisis point or don’t know why you’re feeling empty, hopeless or powerless inside, it’s actually an important turning point if you decide to learn from it. But when you don’t, the lessons and patterns keep turning up until you do. You’ll just keep repeating the same old patterns that everyone else can see, except you.

5 Steps To Surviving The Painful Times Of Our Lives

5 Steps to surviving the painful times of our lives

  1. Acknowledge you need help and support. It’s a sign of strength, not weakness. Don’t isolate yourself.
  2. Talk to someone to get new insights into what you’re going through and practical steps to deal with it.
  3. Accept the choices you’ve made to date. Owning your choices will re-empower you.
  4. Learn how to connect with your centre and be able to just sit with yourself and where you’re at in non-judgement and self-empathy.
  5. Establish regular daily and weekly routines that nourish and support you physically, emotionally and spiritually.


We all have to deal with different stages in life. For some, the best time in life is in high school. For late bloomers, it’s breaking out of high school, academia, and stereotypes we are supposed to live up to that life really begins. Life is a series of cycles that sometimes involve unexpected twists and turns. No one escapes this. It’s part of being human. It’s about staying focused on the unique journey that you’re on and choosing to learn from life’s valuable lessons along the way. That’s what makes you stronger, wiser and more enriched inside.

* All identifying features have been removed from this case study.


Enjoy this article? Please spread the word!