mind Archives - The Self-Worth Experiment

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How to overcome your fears (without having to find the courage)
Feb 26

How to overcome your fears (without having to find the courage)

By Dr Berni Sewell | Overcome your fears

For years, I have wanted nothing more but to leave my day job behind. And earn a living doing what I love, by helping and supporting others, providing healing and information so they can improve their life.

But somehow, it never happens.

Because all my attempts are half-hearted and whenever I do see progress, I self-sabotage. Simply because I am scared.

I fear the consequences of leaving a job that pays well, even if it is boring and I am not passionate about it. I worry that I will fail if I give my own venture an actual, serious try and that would mean game (and hopes) over.

So, an unsurmountable wall of fear always towered between me and my dreams. And I believed that the reason why I could not overcome my fears was that I lacked the courage.

Sure, I tried. But fear was always stronger. I am just not a courageous person. End of story.

But then, out of the blue (and with some equine help), I discovered a way out of my courage conundrum.

Or should I say…a way around it.

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Life is what you make of it - a eulogy
Feb 06

What to do when life is suffering – a eulogy

By Dr Berni Sewell | Discover your happiness

I had big plans for the beginning of 2022:

Launch this year’s round of the BREAK FREE from Low Self-Worth online course. Create a thriving new Facebook page for The Self-Worth Experiment. And start work on a new online course to teach people who suffer with fear and anxiety practical techniques of how to find peace and calm.

And then my Grandma died. And I found myself travelling to Austria for the funeral instead…

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How to stop worrying what other people think of you
Nov 29

How to stop worrying what other people think of you

By Dr Berni Sewell | Heal your self-worth

People often ask me how I can be so vulnerable and disclose so many of my struggles, issues and anxieties on my blog and in my emails.

“Aren’t you worried what other people will think of you?”, they ask.

“Won’t people believe you are cuckoo when you talk so openly about your many problems and the battles that go on in your head?”

“Aren’t you scared your employer will read what you write and think less of you?”

“What if your friends and family find out about your problems with anxiety and low self-worth and judge you for it?”

All valid considerations of course.

And a few years ago, I would have shared these concerns. In fact, I would not have admitted my struggles at all. Not to my friends or colleagues, not to anybody. And certainly not publicly on the internet for everybody to see.

Because I would have been terrified of the inevitable judgement.

So, what changed? Why doesn’t it bother me any longer now? Well, let me tell you…

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How to conquer your fears in 3 wacky steps
Oct 11

3 surprising steps to conquer your fears

By Dr Berni Sewell | Overcome your fears

How many things in life have you missed out on because you were too scared? And how many chances have you not taken because of fear?

My whole life, fear stopped me from doing so many amazing things that I would have enjoyed, that would have enriched my life.

I could never travel because I was terrified of trains and planes. And I was anxious of going places I had never been before, of the risks, traps and threats that awaited me at my unknown destination.

I couldn’t drive a car. Because I was horrified I might stall the car at the crossroads and everybody would think I was an incompetent imbecile. I was worried I may accidentally hit someone, or be hit myself and get hurt.

I couldn’t even go to the movies. Because I was so scared about what the other people would think of me if I had to get up in the middle of the film to use the toilet.

And when I faced the decision whether I should move to the UK from Austria, where I grew up, fear completely paralysed me. My thoughts and worries were spiralling out of control. Endless scenarios played in my mind about the potential disastrous consequences of my choices. A relentless barrage of “What ifs” kept me up at night.

And I could just not make a decision.

I knew the offer I had to start a fully-funded PhD studentship was an excellent opportunity I would not get in Austria. But my fear wouldn’t even let me consider it.

And at this point, I had to find a way to conquer my fears. Or else I would miss out on what transpired to be a life-changing experience.

And, as it turned out, there are only 3 slightly wacky (but very powerful) steps we need to take to stop fear from stopping us.

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How to feel good about yourself (without even trying)
Aug 06

How to feel good about yourself (without even trying)

By Dr Berni Sewell | Heal your self-worth

How long have you been trying to feel good about yourself? How long have you struggled to be more, become “a better version of you”? So, you can feel worthy of other people’s love and acceptance. And your own.

And for how long have you felt ashamed of yourself, disappointed in yourself because you still feel worthless? Because no matter what you try, which path you walk, how much effort you put into it, you always fail.

And even if you know, theoretically, that you ARE worth personified, it seems impossible to find your true worth in your heart. You repeat the affirmation, but it’s empty words without meaning. It’s not your reality, it doesn’t ring true. Deep down, you just cannot believe it.

Your mind keeps insisting that your only chance to ever have any worth is to work hard and sacrifice yourself to the relentless pursuit of ever more accomplishments and possessions. To be a success.
But you are never good enough.

And you try to fight it. You battle against the whispers that emanate from deep within your mind. You cling on to hope.

But the voices inside your head are getting louder, more overwhelming, undefeatable: You are worthless.

And everything else you try to tell yourself is just a pipe dream. There is nothing out there for you. Because you deserve nothing. You are nothing. And, sometimes, you hate yourself for it.

But you know what? This will sound weird but being NOTHING is exactly what you need to feel good about yourself. Let me explain…

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How to stop being bullied by your own mind
Jul 20

What to do when you are bullied by your own mind

By Dr Berni Sewell | Transform your life

I don’t know about you, but my mind never encouraged me to live up to my full potential. It didn’t cheer me on when I tried to embark on a new journey.

And it never supported me when I wanted to pursue my dream life.

Instead, it erected barriers.

It hit me over the head with every fear it got its hands on. It struck me down with doubt, destroyed my self-belief, stole my courage. And handcuffed me to my oh-so-safe, but fruitless, comfort zone.

Toxic self-talk was all I ever heard:

“You want to change things? That sounds far too risky for us.”
“You want to be happier? Don’t you think that’s too big a demand for a loser like you?”
“You want to help other people improve their lives? That’s cute. But who would ever listen to you? Or buy anything you offer? You’d just get on people’s nerves.”
“You want to be an energy healer? Don’t kid yourself. You will never be special enough.”
“Sure, other people live their dreams. But you just don’t have what it takes. Just be happy with what you have and stay where you are.”

My mind spat me in the face with relentless degradation. Stopping me in my tracks with destructive criticism and doomsday prophecies of certain failure. Because, apparently, that was the only outcome imaginable whenever I started something new or tried to move forward in life.

AI was being bullied by my own mind. And it had to change.

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How to break the worthlessness habit (even if you failed in the past)
May 28

How to break the worthlessness habit (even if you failed in the past)

By Dr Berni Sewell | Heal your self-worth

Do me a favour.

Cross your arms in front of your chest. Done? How does it feel?

Natural? Comfortable? Safe? Normal?

Now cross your arms the other way. Whichever arm was on top before goes underneath and the other way around. Give it a go.

If you are anything like me, you’ll struggle to even figure out how to do it. Do it anyway. For the (self-worth) experiment’s sake.

How does this feel now?

It feels wrong, right? Awkward, unnatural and weird. And you yearn to stop and revert to the way you’re used to. The nice, safe, comfy way.

That’s because your mind, when given half a chance, will try to maintain the status quo. It will encourage you to stick with common practice. Do things the usual way. Even if it’s against common sense.

Just think about a dessert buffet. When confronted with the choice between a selection of mouth-watering cakes and fruit salad, we will almost certainly pick the cake. Even though we know the fruit salad is healthier.

While common sense warns that we’ll regret eating the cake, common practice still makes us scoff it. It’s habit. What we’ve always done and always will do. Even if we beat ourselves up for it afterwards because we know it harms our body.

And we do this for one simple reason…

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How to meditate effectively (even if your mind won't shut up)
Aug 02

How to meditate effectively (even if your mind won’t shut up)

By Dr Berni Sewell | Transform your life

I am often asked why my tips on overcoming low self-worth and anxiety never seem to include meditation.

After all, it calms the mind, balances your emotions, deepens your breathing and helps to control stress, fear and negativity. During meditation, you connect with your authentic Self. Transcend your limitations and struggles. Enjoy the infinite peace, love, bliss and worth that dwell deep within your blessed soul.

And I know that. I tried.

When I first started to transform my life back in 2005, I believed a regular, healthy meditation practice was an indispensable part of my journey out of fear, emotional turmoil and worthlessness. Many times I sat down on my meditation cushion. Closed my eyes. Focused on my breath with high hopes and expectations.

But it always went a bit like this…

Me: “OK, breathe in. And out. No thinking now.”
Mind: “Shall we have fish and chips for dinner?”
Me: “Argh! Be quiet!”
Mind: “Oops! No more thinking…my back aches. That was another thought, wasn’t it? So sorry!”
Me: “Don’t worry about it. It’s ok. Just be silent now please”.
Mind: “Oh God! I have to give a presentation at work tomorrow. I think I’ll be sick.”
“Me: “Would you just shut up!”
Mind: “Don’t be so mean! I‘m trying my best here. I’m just not good enough. I will never get better. It’s hopeless.”
Me: “You know what, just forget about it! I can’t even meditate. I hate myself. What is wrong with me?!”

It was counterproductive, to say the least. Every time I attempted meditation, I abandoned it prematurely, feeling ever more anxious and upset. Despairing over my obvious inability to create a happier life.

I believed I wasn’t disciplined enough. Too weak and pathetic. Incompetent.

When, in fact, I misunderstood meditation altogether.

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How to rediscover joy in everyday life
Jun 08

How to rediscover joy in everyday life

By Dr Berni Sewell | Discover your happiness

Joy is the Holy Grail of feelings. We all strive to be joyful, yearn to find joy in our lives.

But, if you are honest, when did you last feel really joyful? When did you last “jump for joy”? When was the last time your heart was bursting with love, happiness and the sheer joy of being alive?

For most of us it’s so long ago, we can’t even remember. Maybe in early childhood, when life was less complicated and serious. Before our struggles and responsibilities beat all the joy out of us. Before too much suffering, rejection, abuse, neglect sucked it from our injured hearts.

And yet, we never stop searching for it. We sense that it should be a natural part of our Being. Its complete absence from our life bothers us, causes us pain, distress and anxiety.

What are we doing wrong?!

We listen to celebrities and gurus tell us about what joy feels like. Describe how they rediscovered it and how “you can do it too”. Every day our minds are flooded with TV commercials implying that we can find joy if we buy a trendy perfume, a fast car or certain brand of dish soap.

And we try. We buy. But still, joy eludes us. A new exercise regime, meditation practice or purchase may give us pleasure for a while, but it never lasts.

And we start to think: “Maybe I’m not good enough? Maybe I just don’t deserve joy in my life? Maybe joy is only for people who are better than me, more spiritually inclined. Who cope better with the trials and tribulations of life?”

But it has nothing to do with your deservedness, your societal status, scent or level of enlightenment (or lack thereof).

In fact, there are only 3 simple (yet tragic) reasons why joy is absent from your life.

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What's your purpose in life (and why it matters much less than you think)
Apr 11

What’s your purpose in life (and why it matters much less than you think)?

By Dr Berni Sewell | Discover your happiness

Yesterday I had an astonishing realisation while I watched my cats sleeping on the sofa.

They were snoozing away peacefully. Blissfully content to spend the majority of their days chilling, relaxing and dozing without a care in the world.

And it occurred to me that our perspectives of life are entirely different. While cats nap all day (only interrupted by eating, casual strolls around the garden, stalking the occasional bird and, from time to time, defending their estate against foreign intruders), us humans are constantly on the go.

We rush around, stressed, anxious and breathless. Hustling, slaving, burning ourselves out. Sacrificing our emotional, mental and physical health so we can achieve, accomplish and contribute to society. So we have purpose and our life means something.

We believe that purpose is a prerequisite for happiness. But observing my cats in their slumber, I realised that they were perfectly happy. Without the need to find purpose in their lives.

So why is purpose so important for us?

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