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Building your self-worth: The impact of trauma bonding

Updated: Aug 29, 2023

There are times when we feel a deep sense of inadequacy, and the common advice to "just love yourself" may not provide the confidence boost you're looking for. This feeling often stems from subconscious programming influenced by past experiences, especially trauma bonding, that shape our beliefs about ourselves and others. In this blog post, we'll explore the journey toward building self-worth and how to bridge the gap between feeling inadequate and recognizing our inherent value.

  1. Tracing Back to Early Memories: To begin the process of unraveling the roots of low self-worth, it's essential to identify our earliest memories of feeling inadequate. Typically, these memories form between the ages of six and seven. By visualizing our younger selves in these situations, we can cultivate compassion and a sense of safety.

  2. Giving Voice to Your Younger Self: Imagine giving your younger self a platform to express their truth. Unedited and raw, let them speak out about their feelings of inadequacy and the questions they have about their self-worth. This exercise provides an opportunity for suppressed emotions to surface, whether it's anger, sadness, or confusion.

  3. Meeting the Needs of Your Younger Self: After listening to your younger self, ask yourself, as the wise adult version, what that younger version needs to hear. What messages of acceptance, understanding, and love can you offer? Validate their innocence and acknowledge that their desire for love and acceptance is natural. Remind them that any feelings of inadequacy are not their fault.

  4. Holding Compassion for Your Younger Self: As your wise adult self, it's crucial to hold space for that vulnerable younger version within you. Recognize that this inner child still exists and craves love and care. Practice compassion toward this injured side of you, understanding that their longing for love directly connects to your self-worth as an adult. By nurturing and acknowledging this inner child, you pave the way for increased self-worth in your present self.

Loving yourself without relying solely on the validation of others is a complex journey, particularly for individuals who have experienced trauma bonding. By tracing back to early memories, giving voice to your younger self, meeting their emotional needs, and holding compassion for them, you can gradually bridge the gap between feeling inadequate and embracing your inherent worth. Remember, this process takes time, but with practice and self-compassion, you can experience a significant transformation in your self-worth and overall well-being.

Please share your feedback and experiences with this exercise, as your insights are valuable. If you need any further assistance, don't hesitate to reach out. Stay tuned for more empowering content on self-development and personal growth.

If you found this useful, please do me 2 favours. Please have a look at my free e-book here which can help you improve your relationship and heal trauma bonding. Second, please share with other people who you feel would benefit from this - because the more people supported, the better our community can survive and heal.

As always, if you ever want to connect and gain support - I'm here.

All my love, Dr Sarah


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