Episode 35: Settled Worth

Join me this week as I share all things self-worth, including:

  • How I think about self-worth
  • How we can’t earn our worth (though I know we all try!!)
  • An exercise to uncover how to feel worthy (using what’s already in your life).

Settled Worth Exercise Steps: 

  1. Choose a life area where you don’t feel settled worth
  2. Compare it to a life area where you do feel settled worth (often: human relationships, money, work, or your body)
    1. Be so curious – why does it feel different for you?
  3. Investigate with curiosity and compassion
  4. Seek and compost the wisdom
  5. Be willing to sit with it until it shifts (and it will shift) 
  6. Then, move onto the next thread, and repeat

If you want to tap into your one-in-eight-billions perspective + creative contribution BEFORE your creative making sessions, click here to download my free Intuitive Creation Pre-Making Ritual.

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Let’s become a generation of creative women who are examples for the people in our lives of what it looks like to prioritize our work (AND recognize our impact).

x, Jen

Full episode transcript below:

Welcome to today's episode, Settled Worth. I think our work while we're here is to heal our beliefs around our worth. I don't know a single person who doesn't deep down believe they need to earn their worth, but the trap is we can never actually earn our worth, you know?

Because you can't ever do enough to feel worthy. Right? I bet you've tried and tried, and I know I have. So what do we do instead? The answer is not to try harder. Start a new project because this one will be the one that finally earns you the praise and attention that you desire, and deserve.  Or to find something external to measure your worth against. I feel like those are like the top three that a lot of us creative people go to. 

Rather,  I think what we are actually seeking is what I've come to think of as Settled Worth.  It's what it sounds like. You feel settled in your worth.  I happen to believe that you are inherently worthy, but I think that 'inherently' can be an intimidating metric to find for oneself.

Inherent is like infinite, which I can see could keep some people spinning out on how to measure it. And this is how my brain works too. So if that's you, I see you and I feel you. 

So instead, I recommend seeking a relationship  where you feel settled in your worth. Other words here might be established, comfortable, resolved. Just pick something that works for you if settled doesn't feel like it. But for me, settled is like I can just take a breath and I'm like settled in myself, right? Like it's settled business.    I don't need to keep  checking like, did I do it? Did I get it done? Is this done yet? To me, settled is just, it's done. I don't need to check on it again. I don't need to keep working at it. It's already there.

I guess it's settled to me means that it's taken care of so far, and I get to keep cultivating and nurturing the relationship, but it's not like I need to keep making up for lost ground, or I need to figure out how to make this right, like it's settled ground that I'm standing on and I get to keep building off of that.

That's what settled means for me. That's what feels good to me. And if settled doesn't feel that way for you, then I would encourage you to find a word that does feel that way for you.

Okay, that was a little bit of a tangent. So now I'm gonna tell you how to create settled worth for yourself. 

My guess is that there's at least one area of your life where you. I'm gonna use the word inherently here. You can use settled if that feels better for you, where you feel inherently worthy. And in my studies and a lot of thinking about this and reading and researching, to me there's four areas that most people fall into.

They are your human relationships, money work, or your body.  And I wanna point out here, just as a side note, that those four are all actually relationships. You're relating to them in certain ways. That's a topic for another day. But I just wanna point that out.  I think we feel like all of those are kind of outside of ourselves, maybe, maybe not the body one, but they're all relationships and the relationships are defined by how we're relating to them. I'm just gonna plant that seed and we'll come back to it in the future. 

So the first step to creating settled worth for yourself often involves identifying where you already feel worthy, and then comparing it to areas where you don't yet feel this settled worth. So you pick an area where you do have it, and you pick an area where you don't yet have it. , and then you compare them.

What's actually different about them? 

The reality is that you're relating to them differently. That's the relationship piece that I just mentioned. That little seed we planted, you're relating to them differently and that's why you're experiencing them differently. And so we wanna look at and unpack the old stories around why do you feel worthy in one? And why is your worth intact in one, but not in another? 

These old stories are often running your life on autopilot, and what's even  crazier is that they're not even true.  These are old stories- they may be inherited stories from your family, conditioning school, religion.

We get so much conditioning and information when we're young.  We're sponges and we just absorb it all, and we're working really hard to be taken care of, to be included, to impress our families and our parents. And so,  we're super impressionable, and so we create this like identity when we're young.

For most people, they don't realize that they have a lot of choice as to whether they keep that identity, or if they change it, or they make edits to it along the way, but that's not who you really are. That's like all of the things you've taken in and taken on. That's not you. That's the way that you've learned to show up and survive in this world.

It was very wise and brilliant and clever of you to do it. But at some point, and it may be now, maybe you've been feeling it for a while, it might be in the future. It doesn't feel like it's serving you anymore, but you feel like you can't get it out of gear. It's like, why can't this shift? Why can't I seem to get this to move?

That's a really good signal that these old stories are - sometimes I talk about,  I think I talked about it on a recent episode actually, um,  when a snake sheds an old skin, it's already too tight for them.  And it's uncomfortable and they have to work really hard to get it off, to shed it.

And I think that's true with old stories. They don't fit anymore and we don't really realize it until it's too small, it's not serving us anymore, it's holding us back, it's not aligned with what our, our values. And  that's when we do the work is when we realize, it because it's so uncomfortable.

All that to say those stories are running on autopilot. Those old stories that you picked up when you were little.   And they're not true. They're not who you are. There's a lot more to unpack there.  I'm gonna leave that there too. We can come back and revisit that another day, but  I wanted to share that with you to add some background to why - if you're like me a few years ago, I was like, why can't I seem to get this figured out?  Why am I stuck in this gear? And I was so frustrated with myself and blaming myself for it. And so I'm sharing that because I want you to know why it's happening. And there's nothing wrong with you. It's part of  our brain's oldest survival network. And so for you to have the context that it's not you. It's part of what you developed to survive in this world, and that you can make changes to it when you feel ready and when you want to.

 One of my most favorite poems ever is Wild Geese by Mary Oliver. I love it so much. I share it at least once a week on a call. I get choked up every time I read it, and if I were ever to tattoo something on my forehead, it would be this stanza: 

" You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves."

Every time I read that it, it hits me. I think it's what I needed to hear. I think a lot of us needed to hear it and need to hear it, and I think we can borrow wisdom from that stanza, from Mary Oliver's just immense wisdom. Like what a brilliant mind. We were so lucky to have her and all of her work.

 What I wanna offer here is the question,  what life areas does the soft animal of your body already feel worthy, already feel settled worth in? Where does it feel like settled ground and  asking yourself that and receiving the answers. Again, I say this a lot, you don't have to think really hard about it.

It's just like a check-in with yourself, in your body, and what does it offer you? And then begin to unpick the knot of what is different about the life area that feels settled versus the areas that don't yet feel settled?  When I say settled, I mean that settled worth.

 The truth is that you are inherently worthy, but you have some old stories, maybe some old contracts even, that are jamming you up. There's nothing wrong with you. You are not broken. It's just a sign that there's some unpacking and reorganizing being called for.  

 The good news is this, if you have this wiring in one area of your life, and to me there's four areas: human relationships, money, work, your body. Then you can see that existing wiring as a template. Remove the barriers one by one and copy and paste that  templated wiring onto an area of your life where you'd like to feel settled worth.

I always think of the work as a big knot.  And 'the work' is to just tug on one strand at a time. Investigate it with curiosity and compassion. Compost the wisdom, because it always holds wisdom, we don't wanna get rid of these things. We want to nurture them because often they were lacking in nurturance.

We want to gain the wisdom. Those are some hard won lessons. You don't wanna get rid of those.  And then eventually it will cease to feel meaningful to you and it will just kind of fall away. That's the work. And then you move on to the next thread and you repeat it. With care and attention these knots will unravel and you'll feel freed up to create new definitions that are meaningful to you with your agency intact.

This is the work I do every week with clients and it works. Everyone I've worked with has transformed their relationship with themselves. I've been doing this work for almost three years now, and it is so, so neat and a major privilege to witness it.

We can go deeper, and I'm gonna leave you here with a  deeper nuance that you can explore if it's interesting to you,  if it serves you,  or maybe you wanna come back to it in the future. 

Let's say that you feel this settled worth in your relationship with your dog or your cat. You receive their unconditional love, but you don't yet feel it with other humans. It's different, right? 

Maybe you want to feel more unconditionally loving towards other humans and you can compare and contrast against the way that you relate to your dog and the unconditional love you feel with your dog, and you don't feel that unconditional loving sense towards other humans. The process would be the same that I just shared.

 The first step is to be so curious about why it feels different for you. Investigate with curiosity and compassion. Seek and compost the wisdom, and be willing to sit with it until it shifts, and it will shift. It will. And then you move on to the next thread, and you repeat, just tug on it, investigate it. Curiosity, compassion. Seek the wisdom, sit with it and  it will shift. And then you go to the next one. You just repeat it. 

I would recommend this week choosing one life area and working through this process. I'm gonna share the steps in the show notes for you so you have them, and that's what I have for you this week.

I am so glad that you are here and that we get to walk our paths together. See you next time. Same time, same place. Bye for now.


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