*This is extracted from my latest newsletter, to get content like this in your inbox and my free e-book on identifying limiting self-beliefs, subscribe here.*
Recently I re-took the 16 personalities test (Myers Briggs) and discovered that I’m still an INFJ advocate. Reading through the description, it couldn’t be more true. My advocate side is what pulls me to do the work I do, but my past experience drives it.
For those who don’t know my story, I struggled with anorexia in my teens (briefly relapsing at uni in my early 20s). At that time, I couldn’t see my worth at all, I was blinded by self-hate and mental illness. I had a voice telling me I should disappear, that I didn’t deserve love or nourishment. You could think of it like an inner critic on steroids, but unlike our self-doubt which typically tries to keep us ‘safe’, this voice wanted to bring me harm.
During my recovery and with the support of therapy, I learnt to challenge this voice. I found tools and techniques that helped me eradicate my eating disorder and discover my worth. These same tools and techniques can be applied to other experiences too, helping to clarify your worth, build self-belief and be heard.
I’m amazed at what a difference recognising my worth has had in all areas of my life and when I think back to past Kat and what she went through, all I can think is: if I can do it, so can you. Everyone’s situation is unique of course, and I think professional support like counselling can be integral, but if I can share anything to help others struggling with their worth, then I want to.
This month there were two high-profile anorexia-related deaths in the media, Nikki Grahame and Sushini Phillips and it brought my purpose into sharp focus. Currently I volunteer with eating disorder charity Beat as a peer befriender, mentoring young people living with eating disorders. And this month I decided to fundraise for them too – since Covid, they’ve seen a 300% increase in demand for their services and they need funding to meet demand.
I’m challenging myself to come up with and share 100 self-worth tips – my way of passing on what I know to hopefully help someone else, even if only in a small way. Here’s my Just Giving page if you want to read more or sponsor me.
I’ve honestly never felt more connected to my why. Self-worth isn’t just about mental health or my particular experience with an eating disorder. I see how it impacts us, how not recognising it and valuing holds us back, and I see how powerful it can be when we honour it.
I don’t think we all need a grand ‘purpose’ behind everything we do, but having some idea of your why can be helpful when things feel tough. So I’ll leave you with a couple of prompts to help you think about your why:
- Why did you start doing what you’re doing?
- Who are you speaking to when you communicate your message?
- Is any part of your work helping a past version of yourself?
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