What To Do When You Feel Unworthy

This post is about the times that you feel unworthy and what you can do to shift that.

My eleven-year-old nephew just came to visit for a week during his spring break. One night we were sitting at dinner and out of nowhere he said, “Ouch! Ooh, it hurts so bad!” I immediately asked him what was wrong; he told me he was having growing pains. I’d totally forgotten about growing pains!

If you have young kids, I’m sure you’re familiar with them, but if it’s been a long time since you had them yourself you, too, may have forgotten all about growing pains…and how good they can be!

So what do growing pains have to do with feeling worthy or not? I’m getting there.

A client of mine was just promoted after only a month of us working together. In her new position she has people reporting to her — an entire division of people reporting to her — and she’s nervous about it. On our last call together she said, “I’m not prepared to have this accountability! They’re going to find that out and then they’ll know that I’m a fraud.”

Have you ever experienced that same fear?

I know I have; just this week I was selected to give a TEDx talk. Despite the fact that I’ve been a public speaker since 1995, I was suddenly terrified. I mean, many of the people I admire most in this world have given TED talks or TEDx talks and I thought, “Who am I? I’m just a cowgirl from Colorado.” Then I started to really get in my head about it; I have epileptic seizures from a head injury I sustained as a teenager. One of the contributing factors to having a seizure is stress, so for a minute I worried, “Oh joy. I finally get a TEDx talk…what if I have a seizure in the midst of it? Now THAT will make my video stand out for sure.”

I stopped, breathed, and took the coaching that I’d given my client earlier that same day. Here it is:

The only reason we have those occasional, “I’m not ready,” or, “I’m not worthy,” conversations is because we’re pressing up against the box in which we’ve been living.

We’re having those conversations in out minds as a direct result of going through a state change like the caterpillar does while inside the chrysalis. If you don’t feel terrified on occasion; if you’re confronted with, “Can I do it?” or the “I’m not ready,” and the “I’m not worthy,” conversations in your head, then consider you’re not stretching yourself; you’re not growing.

Just like they are for my eleven-year-old nephew, growing pains are a good thing.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on your own growing pains — or lack thereof — and what actions you’ll take now.

Thanks for reading and watching!


  1. Cheryl:

    Thank you for the amazing coaching! This is just what I needed to hear this morning! You rock!

    • So thrilled it applied to you, Troy! Thank you for being here and contributing to the conversation!

  2. Like Troy just said…. just what I needed to hear!

    And it got clear for me that the physical pains I experience here and there and that I started attributing to age are, in fact, growing pains as well, even at 48.
    Most of the pains and injuries I have and am experiencing are related/caused by some emotional reaction to something I have not resolved within.
    It is becoming a science, explaining that the majority of our pains, injuries and ailments come from some very specific thought pattern straight out of our sets of beliefs, demeanor and deep routed negative emotions.

    When something comes up for me physically, I go to my new bible and look up where that new problem comes from at the emotional level….. it’s usually right on.

    Make it a great day

    • Wow, Olivier, that’s deep! I love that perspective. When you take that point-of-view, you can see that you create your own wellness or absence thereof. And we, each of us, creates our own happiness or unhappiness. Thanks for the contribution.

  3. This was great! I am now wondering what is next so I can feel growing pains.

    • Woo hoo, Linda! Keep us posted! Can’t wait to hear what you create!

  4. Cheryl,

    Great lesson!
    I’m going to have to keep pushing up against the walls of my box, until it grows to the size of the life I would like to have!

    • Love the analogy, Blair! Awesome! Thanks for being here.

  5. Great video!!
    I have a friend in my mastermind group who says, wow you sure can just wing it so well to get things done…. because you are a very right brain creative style…he says, i wish i could be more like that..So here I am hiring an organizer now to get me more …organized..The reason is unless i grow and bring on support in the areas that are not my forte, then i will always be limited by my gifts alone….To me its all about letting go and allowing others to support my greatness as i support theirs!!!

    As for you just being a “cowgirl from Colorado”???…please, give me a break….you are THE Hottest Smartest Cowgirl Coach Extraordiniaire from Colorado!!!!!….and so much more….TedX , buckle your seat belts…here she comes!!!!!

    • Love it, Lisa, “It’s all about letting go and allowing others to support my greatness as i support theirs.” Thanks for the words of wisdom and thank you for being here.

      Also, thank you so much for the acknowledgement!

  6. Clarification on isle Troy. As a result of my post on this thread, a few folks have asked me why I am feeling worthless. LOL! I was not speaking to my feelings of worthlessness – I was speaking to Cheryl’s brilliant ability to create distinctions in such a way that the information provided is so easy to digest and yummy going down!:) xoxo

    • It’s funny, Troy, how people jump in that way, huh? If you’re empowered by something, you’re empowered. How about just leaving it at that? 🙂

      On another note, so glad you’re finding the information here is helpful! Awesome!

  7. These are growing pains I so agree, every time I experience a rough time I grow a little more in knowledge and strength.

    • Hi Barbara! Welcome! You’re right on there; you do grow more in knowledge and strength each time!
      Thank you!

  8. I admit, I got stopped by the “unworthy” title, then my friend said I had to see this so I watched it. I’m sooooooooooooooo glad I did! Everyone feels like this on occasion — at least me and all my friends I talk to do.

    That feeling of “they’re going to find out I’m not good enough” runs deep for all of us. Thanks for bringing it into the light.

    • Welcome, Kaitlyn, and thank you for being here.
      So glad you got past the title and stayed for the value!

  9. I watched this and then made my husband watch this. His boss is feeling “unworthy” because of two people who criticize out of tons who applaud his work and his drive in a position very few wanted to take on.

    I don’t know anyone who doesn’t feel this way sometime in their life. In school because of comparisons. In work because of competition and drive. Then when one retires they REALLY begin to feel so unworthy they begin to dissolve. Problem is so many people feel this way it is like an unspoken disease.

    I appreciate what I hear from you every week because it is “Worthy” information. The last thing I want is anyone I know and love to feel this way and not discuss it.

    Thanks Cheryl…..Continue to Post so more of us can begin to Thrive!

    • You got it, Dee; I will continue to post every week!
      It is my mission to provide value for you and those in your life! So glad it’s workin’ for ya 🙂


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