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5 Unworthy Stories We Tell Ourselves

How do you define your self-worth?

Welcome to today’s episode of ‘School of Image’ Podcast by Tonya Leigh, where personal development meets style. A go-to podcast for women who desire to transform their self-image so that they can create mind-blowing results in their lives.

In this world where everyone seems to have an eye on you, you’re so conscious to do things perfectly that we tend to forget how to live and enjoy life itself. I resonate with this very much as I experienced it myself. 20 years ago, I’m just one of those ‘that girl’ who was trying to live her life according to what society want me to be.

Today, let’s break that cycle of unworthiness and join me in my upcoming 5-Day Challenge: Worthy Woman Workshop where you will understand your value, worth, and the possibilities and opportunities that lie when you stop setting yourself down. Promise, this will become the best challenge of your life!

But for now, find out how you can stop these 5 unworthy stories you probably telling yourself over and over again!

What You Will Discover with Self-Image Coach Tonya Leigh:

  • 0:10 - How to find your self-worth
  • 1:45 - Who is ‘that girl’
  • 3:49 - Reasons why you should join the 5-day challenge to become a worthy woman
  • 6:11 - Unworthy Story #1: I need to be perfect
  • 7:51 - Unworthy Story #2: I don’t deserve that
  • 9:46 - Unworthy Story #3: I need x to complete me
  • 11:43 - The importance of having the right mindset
  • 12:05 - Unworthy Story #4: That’s too big
  • 13:12 - Unworthy Story #5: Something is wrong with me


Connect with Self-Image Coach Tonya Leigh:

Episode Transcript:

I saw a quote recently. It's anonymous, but it suits today's podcast topic. The quote is: You don't find your worth in a man. You find your worth within yourself. And then you find a man who's worthy of you. Remember that. I'm just going to add it may not be a man. It's you finding worth, and anything outside of you, you're never going to find it because it's within you. So in this episode, we are going to look at five unworthy stories that we tell ourselves. Let's dive in.

Welcome to the School of Self-image, where personal development meets style. Here's your hostess, Master Life Coach, Tonya Leigh.

Hello, my gorgeous friends. I am so excited to be recording this particular episode. I love all of my episodes that I put out there, but this one specifically is one that I've been thinking about a lot. I feel like this is a big part of my work in the world. I love that I'm recording this particular episode in a place that has been the backdrop of the unfolding of my own worthy story. I am in Aspen, Colorado. This is a place that I've been coming to for almost two decades. It's a very special place in my heart. I typically come a few weeks every single year. I love to ski here, but I especially love the summers here, and for any of you all who have been to Aspen in the summer, you just know it's a very special and magical place, but Aspen means so much to me because I think about that girl who came here almost 20 years ago, and the stories that she had in her head about who she was.

I remember looking around at the houses back then and thinking to myself, "Wow. Who must these people be to have homes like this?"

It was so far outside of what was possible for me I could not even fathom living in one of these gorgeous homes. I remember walking into restaurants here and just holding my head down and shrinking and cowering because I had stories that everybody was so much better than me. They were prettier than me. They were more successful than me. They were more lovable than me, and all of those stories, all of those what I call unworthy stories held me back for so long because at the time, and I know a lot of you all can relate to this, but at the time I could not see them as just a story. They felt so true to me.

When I looked at another woman it just seemed true that she was so much better than me. I didn't understand at the time how that was just a thought in my brain, that whenever I would give attention to it, I would end up showing up in unworthy ways. I had a lot of unworthy behaviors, which then led to results to prove my unworthiness. Are you all with me? I must confess that I have on my teaching headset. I forgot to bring my podcast mic, so the audio may sound a little different. However, when I put this headset on, I go into teaching mode. I go on my little Tonya rants, so just prepare yourself.

So, anyway, back to stories of unworthiness. I see this play out so much in my client's lives. I watch how their unworthy stories show up and keep providing evidence for the very things that they don't want to experience. Here's what I know to be true. 100% money back guarantee. When you create the self-image of a worthy woman, a woman who knows her value, who knows her worth, you are going to be able to blow your mind with what's possible. You are going to stop settling. You are going to start expecting more of yourself. You are going to begin to attract opportunities to confirm your worth.

If you want me to help you and to show you exactly how I've transformed my self-image into a worthy woman, I want to invite you to join me for a special five day workshop called The Worthy Woman. If you have attended my workshops before you know that I over deliver. I've had women just in five days completely transform their lives from the challenges that I've done. And this one is going to be the best challenge I have ever done, guaranteed, because I know what is going to happen in your life when you really begin to see yourself as a worthy woman, and you start to show up in worthy ways. So if you want to join us and I highly recommend that you do, head over to Just an altogether worthy woman.

I cannot wait to see you in the workshop, but for today's episode, I want to talk about how to spot the unworthy stories that you may be telling yourself. There's five in particular that have continued to show up in my life. And they even love to rear their ugly heads these days. I just don't pay them attention. I don't give them the microphone. I just understand that that's coming from old wounds that I continuously work on healing.

So, unworthy story number one is I need to be perfect. If that is you, I want you to ask yourself why, and it's going to reveal your unworthiness. Why do you need to be perfect? Most people will say, "Because of what other people will think. I don't want people to judge me. I don't want to look bad. I don't want to look like a failure." And so our worth comes from the outside world. We try to manage everybody's thoughts and opinions of us in order to feel worthy. And for those of us who have done this, and I'm raising my hand, we know how exhausting it is. I want you to think about when you have this desire, this need to be perfect because it is being driven from a lack of self-worth and insecurity. I want you to notice how it feels and then how you show up. And what I can tell you is that when you are striving to be perfect, you don't show up in the fullness of who you are, which is the best part of you when you are being the fullness of who you are.

And the other thing that you don't do is you don't put yourself out there. You don't take risk. You don't really go after your dreams. You like to pretend that you do by hiding and doing little things that people won't see if you fell or not, but you're not exposing yourself. You're not putting yourself out there. And so the result is that you don't create what you want, and you continuously prove that you're unworthy. Unworthy stories lead to unworthy behaviors, which then lead to results to prove your unworthiness back to yourself.

Unworthy story number two is I don't deserve that. Huh. How many of you have said that to yourself? I don't deserve this joy. I don't deserve this happiness. I don't deserve this outfit. I don't deserve this relationship. Why would we ever think that we don't deserve something? And the only thing that comes to mind is that you don't think you're worthy. That is the only reason why you would push something away is that you don't think you are worthy of it, but what I want you all to see is that is just a sentence in your mind. It's just a thought. It is not true, but notice when you think it and you believe it, how it affects your state of being and how you take action, or inaction to push away things that you don't think you're deserving of, and you prove to yourself over and over again how true that is. You push it away, and then you're like, "See, I told you I don't deserve it."

In the book called The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks, he talks about upper limits. When I think of an upper limit, this is the limit that you allow yourself to get to before you start to push things away and self-sabotage. I see that as a reflection of your self-image, but I also know part of your self-image is your worthiness, how worthy you think you are. Listen, we're all completely worthy. We don't have to do anything to prove that, but we all have thoughts about our worth that will either attract things to prove how worthy we are, or will push them away. And so when I think about not deserving something, I think about the limitation and the self-image that someone has that pushes the opportunities, and the very things that they want away. And at the root of it, at the root of it, is this feeling of unworthiness.

The next unworthy story that we tell ourselves is I need X to complete me. X could be a person. X could be an achievement. X could be any kind of outside event, but whenever I've said this to myself it's because I have put more faith and worth into that outside thing than I have in myself. And so I need that thing in order to see myself as worthy. A great example for me is thinking back to my marriage. I was married to a physician.

I had placed so much worth in him and very little in myself, and so that creates the perfect atmosphere for a very dysfunctional relationship. It makes one desperate. It makes one a little crazy, a little possessive because you think that that person is the source of your worth, if you don't have that person then you are not complete.

It may not be a person. It may be a job. It might be a role that you've been playing. And you think that that outside thing that you've been doing is the source of your worth, but what I want to tell you all, worth is just something you get to decide, and if you place your worth in outside things, you are forever going to be a slave to the world in order to feel worthy. And that's no way to live because then you don't show up in authentic ways. You show up in ways to try to get what you want so that you feel worthy.

When it comes to worth the way I like to think about it is number one, I'm just worthy. I love to know that I am just worthy as I am right now. And knowing that and feeling that inspires me to show up in ways to continuously prove that to myself, that I'm just a worthy individual. I'm a worthy human. I don't need anything outside of me to create my sense of worth. It is something that I just have. And then I get to show up in ways to exhibit and express that. Okay?

So let's look at unworthy story number four. That's too big. Here's what I mean. One of the ways that you can sort of peek into your self-worth is to look at what you allow yourself to have and the goals that you allow yourself to go after. Those will show you how worthy you think you are because if you were 100% worthy and you knew that to your core, which you are by the way, but you really knew it, and your worth wasn't dependent on what people thought of you outside things think about what you would allow yourself to go after. Think about the goals that you would set for yourself, but here's what a lot of you are doing. You have big things that you want, and because you don't think you're worthy of them, you don't even allow yourself to want them. You immediately go to that's too big, that's too much, settle down. Therefore, continuously proving your unworthiness back to yourself.

So let's look at the final unworthy story that we tell ourselves, and listen y’all, there are a lot of unworthy stories, but these are the big ones that I have identified for myself. Unworthy story number five is a huge one, so big, and that is something is wrong with me. This is the story of shame. This is the story of not enoughness. And I want you to notice how when you think this, how do you show up? I want you to just pay attention to yourself. For those of you who suffer with this story when you think about it how does it feel, and how do you show up in your life? And just notice how you continuously prove yourself true

For years, this was a big one for me. I had a belief that I wasn't good enough, something was wrong with me. And so anything could happen. And the way I would filter something from the outside world was it's my fault. I'm not good enough. Something's wrong with me. It could be that it just started raining, and people around me were expecting a sunny day.

I would figure out a way to take responsibility for it and to somehow make it my fault because I thought something was wrong with me. And this has taken a lot of work and a lot of unraveling, but what I can tell you today, I do not have this story any longer.

Now it doesn't mean that I don't sometimes have shame. It doesn't mean that I don't sometimes feel like I've done something wrong, but I don't interpret it into something is wrong with me. I interpret it now as I'm just a human being. In fact, I had something happen in my business this week that could have sent me spiraling into a shame spiral, and a lot of unworthiness, but it's just a testament of how powerful this work is. So something happened and my brain was like, "You did something wrong." It was actually something that one of my teammates did and she felt horrible about it. I didn't want her to spin into shame and unworthiness, but it was just one big mistake.

I acknowledge, hey, listen, we're human. I acknowledge that we're not always going to get it right. I had to really work on my brain around it, but the one thing I didn't do is I didn't go to something is wrong with me, which Holy Mother of the sweet baby Jesus, it's a miracle that that is not where my brain went, but I've just wired my brain for something totally different now. And so when I look at the results of my life, it is a reflection of all of this work that I've done around my self-image and my worth, because worth and self-image go hand in hand. And what I want to offer you is that this is the greatest work you will ever do. This work on your self-image and worth impacts everything in your life.

And so, again, I would love for you to come and join us for The Worthy Woman five day workshop. It's going to blow your mind. I've got some good stuff that I am planning for this five day workshop. You can go to Get signed up. And I will see you at this workshop because a woman who knows her worth the world will mirror it back to her. So as you begin to unravel your own unworthy stories and you commit to owning your self-worth, I promise you, magic is going to happen. Have a gorgeous week, everyone, and I will see you in next week's episode. Cheers.

Hey, have you grabbed your free copy of the School of Self-Image Manifesto? If not, what in the world? Head over to and get a copy that teaches you how to think and show up in the areas of mindset, style, and surroundings, so that you can transform your self-image.

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