Most of us grow up learning to define our worth by how we look, by our achievements, and by the approval we get for our looks or achievements. This is a hard way to live because you have to constantly make sure that you are living up to some standard that society has set, and at any moment you can be plunged into low self-esteem by disapproval, rejection, and failure. By making your worth dependent on others and outcomes, you are constantly insecure.
Often, I will ask a client why they are not taking responsibility for themselves, and the answer is often, "I'm not worth it." They want someone else to make them feel like they are worthy of love.
What if you changed your mind about what your worth is? What if, instead of defining yourself externally, you decided to define yourself by your internal intrinsic qualities - your kindness, your compassion, your caring, your desire to learn, your willingness to make effort toward what you want to accomplish rather than just valuing the accomplishment itself?
If you believed that you are intrinsically worthy, instead of constantly trying to prove your worth, you would be very motivated to take loving action in your own behalf and to express your intrinsic lovingness with others. You would take delight in learning and in making effort toward expressing your passion and purpose.
There is a very negative circle that gets set up when you define yourself externally and need success and others' approval to feel that you are okay. The very act of making outcomes and others' approval responsible for your sense of worth is a form of self-abandonment that says to your inner child, "You are not okay. You have to prove, over and over, that you are okay by succeeding and by getting approval." This creates constant anxiety and insecurity - the opposite of what you feel when you value yourself.
There is a very positive circle that evolves as you embrace the incredible wonderfulness of your essence and become a loving parent to your beautiful, magnificent inner child. When BEING LOVING, rather than gaining success and approval, becomes your HIGHEST PRIORITY, you will take loving action with yourself and others. The more you behave lovingly toward yourself and others, the better you feel, and the better you feel, the more motivated you are to learn and make effort toward being all you can be. Your achievements become an expression of who you are rather than an attempt to prove your worth.
The wounded self believes that you have to judge yourself to have control over getting yourself to do the things you "should" do - work hard, study, clean the house, practice something, etc. But judging yourself is unloving to yourself - another form of self-abandonment - and sets up that negative circle of anxiety over having to prove your worth. Doing this actually hinders you becoming all you can be.
I want to suggest that you try an experiment. Try practicing making loving action toward yourself and others uppermost in your mind. It's okay if you don't know the loving action - just ask your Guidance or do the best you can. When your intent is to be loving, you will eventually figure out what that means. Of course, loving action toward others does NOT mean caretaking them. Loving action toward others is never about giving yourself up. Giving yourself up is not loving to yourself and is therefore not loving action.
Each time you take loving action - by what you say to yourself and others and how you treat yourself and others - notice how you feel inside. If you feel happy and full inside, then you know that the action you took was loving. If you feel bad inside - empty, anxious, angry, depressed, guilty - then you know that there is some way you are abandoning yourself.
If you make being loving rather than getting love your highest priority, you will find yourself feeling deeply lovable and worthy.