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You were born worthy.

However, were you raised knowing that?

Our family matters. The way in which we are raised strongly impacts the way we understand our worth. This dynamic provides the baseline for how we perceive ourselves in adulthood, how we allow ourselves to be loved, how we think others should treat us, and what we believe we can accomplish.

Our family matters.

The privileged amongst us are lavished with praise from the moment you arrive. You are reminded that you are beautiful, unique, intelligent and worthy just because you exist. Your achievements are celebrated, and you are encouraged not to merely sit in your challenges, but receive the support to overcome them. These seeds of love and positivity have allowed for your confidence and sense of worth to blossom. You believe you can do anything, be anything and conquer anything because of the way you were conditioned.

However for some of us, this may not be the case at all. Whether it is due to the complexity of the family structure, the circumstances you entered into this world, or the character of the ones raising you, you have had to fight to understand your worth. Some of you have been battling negative words from the womb. You were told, “you wouldn’t amount to anything”, “you were a mistake”, “nobody will love you”, or “you’d do great, if you’d only change X about you”. Perhaps on top of this, you’ve experienced a level of abuse that has made you question your purpose for being on this earth. To even entertain the thought of worthiness may seem so far fetched because everything that has happened to you reflects the complete opposite.

Most of us are situated somewhere between the spectrum of these realities. We can be built up by our families one day, and broken down the very next. Most family members are unaware of the true damage that they have done or continue to do. Quite often their interactions with you may have more to do with how they feel about themselves, than how they truly feel about you. It could be due to the way that they were raised, it may be one of their coping mechanisms, or it could simply be unaddressed insecurity.

Insecurities are greatly manifested through insults. The way in which someone criticizes you often reflects what they value the most or what they feel they are lacking. It is a stark reminder that they are human too, and that internal battles are no respecter of persons.

This is why it is essential for you to take ownership of your worth from now, regardless of how you were raised. If you have the privilege of raising children, be mindful of the words you say to them too. Be intentional about telling them that they were born worthy, and that no matter what they do, no matter the mistakes they have made, no matter the flaws they have – they are still worthy.

It is important to realize the difference between worth and confidence. Worthiness is our birthright, but confidence is to do with how we interact with our worthiness in accordance with our experiences. If we have a terrible day at work, it is not our worth that is impacted – it’s our confidence. If another person insults us, it is not our worth that is impacted – it’s our confidence.

The problem often is, the way in which others view us fluctuate from day to day. We have to have worthiness as our personal baseline. How we perceive ourselves directly relates to the kind of life we experience. If we feel that we are worthy, it will result in us becoming our best selves. When your sense of worth and confidence are aligned, you are operating at your optimum level. If others do not recognize your worth, you have to be more intentional about reminding yourself that you are indeed worthy of love, respect, joy, peace etc. You may have to say it out loud, or you may need to write it down, but it has to be a regular practice in order for you to believe it and feel it.

If you come from a family background that did not foster a positive environment, you may be the example that they have been waiting for to model unconditional worthiness.

By showing them that you love them and accepting them exactly as they are, you show them that they are worthy too. You may be used to provide healing that is decades deep. Depending on your situation, this may be best done from a distance, but it is the greatest way to negate the negativity that you may have experienced from them.

Our family matters.

And so does our worth.

Faith Cole

Faith Cole

Formerly known as “Faith Jegede”, the TED-talking, radio-hosting writer quit London for her American adventure back in 2013. New country, new husband, new career and new name - Faith Cole is passionate about extraordinary living, audacious faith and communication.


  • Gemm says:

    I love this post, super inspirational! Thanks for sharing!

  • maryam says:

    I come from a family that wasn’t really supportive but I don’t think they’re aware of it. As you said, it depends on out they perceive themselves. Every time I want to do something outside of our ” African norms” I’m always told to drop it cause it won’t lead anywhere. For a while I thought they were right, maybe my dreams are too big but Thank god I no longer feel that way. Loved this article Faith Xx

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