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What I have to offer is meaningless; who I am is worthless

Sometimes I’ve felt like my art is meaningless, and as the artist, I am worthless. But I learned a few things that helped change my perspective and revive my hope in what I do and who I am. Watch this video:

If you’ve ever felt like I have, I encourage you to take these Next Steps because no matter what I feel about how worthy you are, your perspective won’t change until you change it. So, answer these questions, and let’s pivot to a healthier belief about ourselves:

  1. What are some of the thoughts you have about why you are, or what you have to offer is, worthless?
  2. What is your standard of “worthiness”? In your mind right now, what would you have to do in order to become “worthy”? Perhaps another way to access this standard is to name someone who you believe is truly admirable, someone who’s worthy. What is it about them that’s worthy? Name three specific things that you use as a criteria for worthiness.
  3. Now, how do you see yourself living up to specific standards in your life? I gave the example in the video that while my art isn’t anywhere near as impactful as Michelangelo’s, my art does impact some people, it encourages and offers hope to some people. Even though I don’t live all the way up to the “top” of my standard of worthiness, I do have some credit in those categories. What credit can you give yourself in these standards of worthiness?
  4. One important distinction I make in the video is the difference between what can be improved and what needs to be accepted.
    A) What techniques, skills, or efforts could you improve?
    B) How can you be at peace with yourself in the meantime? For example, take one of your friends or someone in your life that you like. Would you tell them that you can’t love them until they rank higher on one of your “standards of worthiness”? No way. You accept them for who they are, as they are. Acceptance isn’t actually something that you earn. Acceptance a skill you can practice, so we are going to practice that here. For each of your standards of worthiness, write out, "I accept myself for where I am at [in this particular area]."
    C) Bonus: for each of your statements from (B), write out why you are noble and worthy in that area. Take the credit you gave yourself from #3 and encourage yourself in each category.

Should my art be abandoned because it doesn’t look like someone else’s? No way! Should your life be abandoned because it doesn’t look like someone else’s? No way!

You are worthy of acceptance and love as you are right now. I hope these questions helped you exercise that acceptance and love for yourself.

Hold Fast.

  1. I am worthless because I am not the best; I am worthless because I waste time and get things wrong
  2. I think people who are the greatest at what they do are worthy…Nancy Lublin at mental health NPO, Scott Harrison at water NPOs, Donald Miller at marketing, etc. These people are worthy because they are the best at something. They have true excellence. Also, if I examine that a little closer, I think they are worthy because they have (or at least I perceive they have) a lot of people who say they are worthy or admire them or their work. Probably it’s because they are better than me at something that I care about, so I feel worth less than them. So, maybe specifically, it’s people who are really good at data, inventing things, NPO stuff, marketing, persuasion. People who are really good at things that I care about. If they are better than me, I feel worth less. So excellence in an area that I care about is the standard I have of worthiness. If I had to name three in particular: 1) number of donors someone has at their NPO, 2) number of people they’re helping, 3) number of people who think they’re awesome. <-- wow, naming those specifically was really helpful / revealing.
  3. Okay credit I have in these categories…1) I had a team of 60-100 donors who helped launch me into HeartSupport. They believed that I / my passion / my cause was worthy of being funded. 2) I created a text app that helped 1,000 people get connected to support; I created the physical support wall back in 2018 that helped 280 people receive specific, handwritten encouragement; I’ve written encouragement on the forum to over 1,000 people. I have helped some! 3) Ha, this is such a silly one to self-evaluate – how many people think I’m awesome?! But specifically, my wife, my children, my family, my friends, my mentors – they think I’m awesome and worthy as I am.
  4. A) I can improve my inventing skills for sure, and the best way to do that is to continue to try and fail, to stay in the arena and TRY AGAIN (ha, hence my name); B) In the mean time, I can choose to accept myself for the effort that I’ve given, to accept the love and acceptance that others give me, to believe being in the courageous middle is more important than being perfect.
  • I accept myself for where I am with the number of donors who support me / HeartSupport. I accept the belief they have in me and our cause, I accept their acceptance of me and HS. And I honor their belief by choosing to believe that about myself – I am worthy!
  • I accept myself for where I am with the number of people that I have helped. I accept their appreciation as enough, I honor their courage and kindness towards me by choosing to accept myself – I am worthy! And I accept what I’ve given because I believe that others who choose to spend any part of their life impacting others are worthy. Any effort towards this end is worthy, and I accept the effort I give!
  • I accept myself for how many people think I’m awesome (hahaha, still so funny to write out). I accept the love from my wife, I accept the life from my children, I accept the love from my family and friends and mentors. I accept myself as I am, I accept that I am awesome, and totally worthy!!

I loved this exercise! What a spirit lifter!! Thanks @danjo!


1.) I have this endless thing within myself that I have been at war with most of my life. I grew up in a broken home where I was always in the shadows of my siblings and cousins. I faced racism against the color of my skin because my Grandmother didn’t like interracial relationships, Mexicans or African Americans. I felt like I was worthless because of the color of my skin. Later I felt worthless because of my disabilities. I felt worthless as a daughter, as a sister as a cousin as a granddaughter. I felt like I wasn’t good enough because I am slower at understanding. It takes me longer to learn. It takes me longer to understand. I often have to ask “What?” or have people explains things to me over and over and over. I know it’s annoying. It makes me feel like I am not reliable. I have passions in art but I know that it will take me longer to learn things. I know some things I will forget and have to relearn because that’s how my brain is. It’s a fight and a challenge to hold onto information. It makes me feel worthless. My slow pace causes me to compare myself to others. I see what I make and it feels like it isn’t as good as others so I feel embarrassed by it. Ashamed. I feel this way over all of myself. Even as a leader I feel like I don’t compare to so many others who are so much better at it. People who inspire me that I want to be more like. I feel like I don’t have the ability to follow their footsteps. I feel like my limitations take away my worth as a leader. As a person. As an influence. As a friend. I feel like the little I have is not worth much. I don’t have “things” - I have love. In my relationship I cannot work. And sometimes what I DO have doesn’t feel like it’s worth much. Because it feels like I need more.

2.) In my mind I feel like I am not worthy because I can’t work. For so many reasons that are so exhausting to go into. My partner knows this and supports me. He’s supportive in my passions and in the things I can do. But I hate that my body stops me from doing more. I feel like I am worthless because simple tasks are hard for me. Driving. Getting out of bed. Getting dressed. Keeping up with motivation. Staying functional without medication. I’m emotional. Im reliant. In a lot of ways. Makes me feel worthless. I don’t know how to be more social in friendships. I don’t always know how to be active outside of my safe space. Though I do try. But everything comes with an extreme need to put a lot of effort to try. Day to day things that should come easily are much harder for me and it makes me feel like I’m not good enough. I feel like I should be able to better do these things. It would make me feel more worthy of a person and like I didn’t waste space. People I find admirable that has been helping me change my outlook is Nate, Taylor, Casey and Dan. Seriously. My perspective and outlook has been slowly healing. Its a huge work in progress but there IS progress.

3.) I know that while I can’t do all the things I feel like I should be able to do, the things I do, do have an impact on others. My art, even if its not as good as someone elses still makes people around me happy. They still want to buy my art and have it around. My efforts around this community are noticed and appreciated because countless people have told me. I may feel like I’m worthless but people have told me I have made a difference in their day. My efforts in modding, helping and leading landed me a good job that I COULD do and was flexible with my health. So my time was not wasted and was recognized. I have a hard time seeing in myself what others see. But I’m trying.

4.) I have been trying to learn in my last 3 years what I need to work on and improve and what I need to accept and learn to be at peace with. Not defeat me. I actually was working on this with my therapist before I lost my insurance. Learning how to differentiate what I need to improve and what I need to accept even if others do not. I am trying to learn to listen to my body and my needs. To be more gracious with myself. Even if people do not understand it. I need to continue to work on my art and my passions without comparing myself to others. Embrace those who support me and love what I do. I need to keep working on better loving myself and what I do. Acknowledging the effort and work I put into things around me even if it isn’t what society wants from me. I need to better accept myself. My art. My health. Not let it defeat me.

This is hard Danjo. hrtCasersGame

I accept myself for where I am at with my growth in art. Because my art is good enough even if I still have areas to grow in.

I accept myself for where I am with my physical and mental health needs because they do not define me or take away my worth.

I accept myself for where I am with my relationships because they love me as I am. Even with my limitations

I accept myself for where I am with my abilities and skills because I am learning and growing even if I am going at a slower place. It still matters.

I accept myself for where I am with my efforts of helping others. Like Nate said I accept their appreciation is enough. They see value in me and the things that I do. They love me.

I accept myself for where I am with my family relationships. I may not have connections with my blood family but I have built my own family with good people.

I accept myself for where I am in my mental health. Some days are harder than others and that’s okay because I am working on it and doing the best I can.

Hard exercise. I feel good doing it, though. It’s necessary.

Thanks for making these exercise for us. It truly and sincerely helps.

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1. What are some of the thoughts you have about why you are, or what you have to offer is, worthless?

“I’m worthless because I always fail at some point.” / “I’m worthless because I’m not constant in what I do.” / “I’m worthless because I don’t manage my time well, because I’m not productive enough, because I tend to do nothing rather than even trying.” / “I’m worthless because I’m not strong nor determined enough, because I give up too easily even for the things that matters to me.” / “I’m worthless because I’m sick, struggling and unable to do anything right.” / “I’m worthless because I’m not good, kind, talented, patient, healthy, smart, brave enough.” / “I’m worthless because I can’t work.” / “I’m worthless because I have too many failures.” / “I’m worthless because nothing good can come from me”.

2. What is your standard of “worthiness”?

Three things I would need to become “worthy”:

  • Being constant and commited in everything I do, whether it’s small or not. To actually FINISH the things that I start - huge struggle. Especially when it’s about creativity/hobbies. I have too many of them and can’t seem to keep a regular schedule/progress in those so in the end I produce almost nothing concrete. To me finishing things => being productive => being worthy.
  • Being able to work or volunteer right now. Doing something that has, at least, a small and positive impact for others. To me adding some positivity in this world => being worthy.
  • Being healthy. I feel awful to write this, 'cause I’ll never perceive someone else this way. Yet I judge myself through this standard almost constantly. To me being healthy => having the capacity to do what I want/what is needed/using correctly the time that has been given to me => being worthy. (again about being productive tho)

3. What credit can you give yourself in these standards of worthiness?

In regards of finishing things
If I look at the past few years, I made some progress. In learning to accept that I tend to have 20 ideas for 1 project that is really initiated. The fact that I actually see my progress in some areas/skills improved. That sometimes I even share it. Also that I have now a list of things that are actually done. It’s not a lot but it’s still something. I may not be able to finish all the things/make my ideas concrete all the time, I’m not progressing at the rhythm I’d like (really far from it lol), but I can still be proud of myself for trying, as this is the very first step for just… progressing.

In regards of working/volunteering/having an impact
I accepted that I will never be able to work as a firefighter because of my health. Also that I had to give up on some of my passions for the same reason: dancing and running. I already took some steps in the past to be able to do something that I find meaningful - social work and volunteering. I just lack of possibilities right now, due to some circumstances that has been piling up, and it makes me feel worthless. But even if I can’t work right now, I can still support others and share some love, also to use the resources that are available for that. I can still write. I can still reach out and send loving or supportive messages. I can still try to do it creatively. I can’t work right now, but I can still do that kind of thing:

Which are coloring pages from Danjo and the community that I colored for my neighbours, to cheer them up during quarantine, with a little note in each enveloppe. There’s 50 of them. I don’t know if it had an impact. If it made them smile at all, as it was sent anonymously. But at least I did it despite the fears/judging thoughts that I had about myself all along the process. I want to believe that not doing anything is worse than just trying.

In regards of health
Whether it’s physical or mental health, I have to admit that I’m trying my best. And sometimes trying our best is enough. I haven’t been trying all the time in my life. Sometimes I want to give up so badly. This thought comes and go. But I’m still here. I have started to reframe some of the things I can do while facing the things I can’t do. I try to judge myself with more compassion. I’m trying to enjoy and embrace the moments when I’m not productive at all/doing nothing “useful”/when I feel like I just waste my time.

4. A) What techniques, skills, or efforts could you improve?

My personal organization. It’s a struggle to me. Because of depression waves especially, it’s hard to find the right balance between being too organized or taking actions depending on how I feel at the moment. I still didn’t find the right way to do that but can keep working on it.

I can definitely work on my skills (in terms of learning specific techniques) in almost every activity I enjoy. My mind makes me want to aim perfection as a goal, but it’s not realistic. Reviewing my own standards is a way to better myself. I can still try to work on enjoying the process and seeing it as the actual destination. Giving myself some grace. Allowing myself to try and fail. Then try again. Enjoying more the process of learning rather than even trying to achieve something. I love the philosophy behind sand mandalas tradition, and I’d like to let myself inspired by this kind of perspective.

Comparision circle can be a trap as well when it’s about creativity. It’s hard not to fall in it, not to be tempted to give up on everything if I’m not “as good as this artist, or this artist” that I admire. I’m mostly inspired by others artworks, but sometimes automatic thoughts make me feel instantly worthless. For me, a way to fight against that is on both side of: 1/ focusing on just enjoying people’s art, the beauty of it and 2/ not throwing away what I’ve done.

It’s a side work, but I still have to improve the amount of time I dedicate to self-care. I tend to skip sleeping, eating or just daily life if I’m focused on something and/or if I’m too depressed. My physicality and mental health impacts my capacity to do what I want and, by extent, to see myself as worthy. So I have to put some efforts again just to maintain this foundation.

B) For each of your standards of worthiness, write out, "I accept myself for where I am at [in this particular area]."

I accept myself for where I am with my health and physical capacities. I accept that there are things I can do, and things I can’t do because of this.
I accept myself for where I am with my work/life situation.
I accept myself for where I am with my capacity to help others/being supportive and, more generally, to be productive.
I accept myself for where I am with my skills and limits in areas that are important to me: drawing, photography, music, exercising.

Couldn’t do the bonus as I already tried in question 3, but it’s already a step. This exercise is a huge aaargh!(hughuo#&zhg to my mind, but really helpful to take some time to reflect on all of this. :face_with_monocle:

Thanks. :heart:

  1. I have a habit of placing my worth in what people think of me, and how they treat me. Being from an abusive home, and having spent my entire life being bullied through school, I believe I am worthless. Anything worthwhile is treated with respect, so if not even my own family can love me and treat me right, surely my worth is near to nothing?
  2. I am able to see worth in EVERYONE other than myself a lot of them time. My standard of being “worthy” is that you are breathing. Yet, when it comes to myself… If I don’t have the perfect body, I don’t have a talent mastered or people aren’t responding to me/treating me right, I don’t have the same worth as everyone else. I wouldn’t say that any one person I know is more worth than anyone else, but someone I think is truly admirable is Taylor. She puts so much heart into everything she does, she’s so beautiful and she’s always there to help anyone who’s struggling. However, to name the things that my head labels as “worthy” would be; the strength to look at the positives in even the worst case scenario, being able to do something well (i.e. Sing/draw) and the willingness to help people in need.
  3. Although I don’t have the ability to do anything that society considers a “talent” I am able to to help and support people in their times of need. I am able to find information quickly for people that may not be able to do so themselves. Although I often feel like I’m a bad friend, I am loyal and will fight to the death for the people I care about.
  4. An easy answer to this first question is piano… I’ve recently started learning to play and so that skill is needing constant improvement. I could work on putting more effort into my recovery. Although I am reaching out, and asking for the help, I could be better at receiving the advice and putting it into action. Something I would also like to work on getting better at prayer and meditation. Although I take the time I have walking to work to talk with God, I need to be more committed to doing it everyday, including the days I don’t have that walk, and meditating in the times I feel stressed or overwhelmed.
  • I accept myself for where I am at in my recovery right now. The fact I am able to even reach out is a big step from where I was nearly 2 years ago.

  • I accept where I’m at with my physical health and appearance. Although I don’t look the way society expects me to look, I am working towards being where I want MYSELF to be, rather than trying to be what is deemed “perfect” by others.

  • I accept where I am in life right now. Although not everything is going the way I would like, I accept the love that’s given to me by the people of this community, and the new friends I have made this past year. I accept the progress I am making, and even the smallest of steps I have to make in order to keep moving forward and getting better.

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