Awakening Out of the Stress Cycle: Detaching Self-Worth from Performance

Published on

Unlock stress from your life by disentangling self-worth from performance. Learn how to break this cycle, and experience a newfound sense of freedom to fully accept and appreciate who you are in any given moment.

The False Equation: Self-Worth Equals Performance

Quoto: We can celebrate our success, our performance, even our capabilities — free of any story that it makes us a better person who is more worthy than others.

Lessons learned early in life lead most of us to equate our talents and accomplishments with how “good” we are — a measure of our personal value. This gets reinforced over time with every compliment and critique.

It also leads to wanting, even needing the approval of others, and for them to see us in a positive light.

We try to make sure we don’t fail because we don’t want to lose respect. And this places an out of proportion pressure on our need to succeed.

All of this generates stress which impacts not only us, but those around us.

If we pay attention to this, we can free ourselves from this cycle by disconnecting our personal value from our performance. And doing so allows us to be far more relaxed and at ease with ourselves, dramatically reducing our stress levels.

The Impact of Self-Induced Pressure on Our Lives

When we are identified with our performance or achievements, we wrongly believe that the quality of our work carries more meaning than simply being about the quality of the work itself.

The additional meaning —the belief that our success determines how worthy we are — is what generates all that unnecessary pressure we experience. That self-induced pressure can cause us to behave in ways that stress our friends, family members, and co-workers, causing them to destabilize and show up at less than their best.

The irony here is that we think we need to succeed and not fail because we believe that it will mean something about us; but making those around us stressed-out and miserable will certainly give us what we don’t want — to be judged and viewed negatively. That’s a lose-lose proposition.


Judging Ourselves vs. Self-Reflection

Quoto: We need to raise  our self-awareness enough to stop assigning meaningto situations whereno meaning existsor belongs.

Worse, so many people beat themselves up for not being perfect or not good enough at something. Creatives do this a lot. Parents often engage in this, thinking that every screw-up by their children is a reflection on themselves.

That’s not to say it’s not wise to do some self-reflection, but beating ourselves up isn’t helpful. We don’t actually learn well from beatings. A more open, caring and compassionate approach facilitates learning. But just for all of us.

Raising Self-Awareness: Removing Meaning from Success and Failure

We need to raise our self-awareness enough to stop applying meaning to situations where no meaning exists or belongs.

When we let go of defining ourselves by our successes and failures, we free ourselves to allow any success or failure to be an outcome of whatever work and circumstances were involved.

We can celebrate our successes, our performance, even our capabilities without any story that it makes us better people who are more worthy.

We can make wiser decisions and learn from the experiences where we succeed and don’t succeed without making it about our worth.

Taking Inspiration from Consciousness Teachers

A person once went up to renowned consciousness teacher, Eckhart Tolle, after one of his events and said, “Wow, that talk was incredible!”

Eckhart smiled and nodded his head, saying, “Yes, I thought so too!”.

I so loved this. Eckhart didn’t make the compliment about himself in any way. He simply shared in the delight that he, too, felt the work was exceptional.

Heading: Celebrate Your Success

You’ve demonstrated excellence and success in at least some area of your life. Enjoy that. Appreciate it. Celebrate your good works. And in a relaxed way, strive to improve in whatever areas you feel inclined to do so.

And know this: from the day you were born, you were inherently worthy, and that has never changed.


Would you like to be more present, feel more alive and connected, with a greater sense of inner peace?

It's my mission to support people in living and leading with greater ease, wisdom, and inner peace. To feel more deeply connected with those around them.

If you'd like to tap into your deeper insight and practical wisdom to live and lead more consciously, feel free to reach out at bodhi@bodhijeffreys.com to set up a time to connect.

To see what others have to say about the work we do together, please check out the testimonials here. I look forward to connecting.


Follow Bodhi on Social Media

There's a lot more content available here on the site and on these social media platforms.

🔥 Get Bodhi's latest Insights and Tips

🔔 Subscribe to the Bodhi Jeffreys YouTube Channel

👔 Connect at LinkedIn

➡️ Connect on Facebook

📷 Connect on Instagram

⚡️ Follow on TikTok


Recent testimonials

  • Bodhi has exceptional wisdom and practical knowledge, always applied with a gentle heart.

    Monique Martineau Mindfulness Mentor & Wellness Coach Fenton, California

    Bodhi has exceptional wisdom and practical knowledge, always applied with a gentle heart. I learned ways of "being" that allow me to enjoy my life, heal my pain, and be peaceful during heated circumstances.I highly recommend Bodhi as a teacher of teachers.

  • What Bodhi does almost makes traditional coaching obsolete.

    Calvin Correli President & CEO, Creator of Simplero New York, New York

    I have used many coaches over the years, but Bodhi is one that I return to because he is simply in a class of his own. My experience has been that a lot of coaches can help you get to your goals faster, only to have you realize that those goals didn't actually fulfill you or give you what you thought they would. What Bodhi does, is help me heal and clear out those things that prevent me from going where I truly need and want to go, in the simplest possible way. What Bodhi does almost makes traditional coaching obsolete.

  • Bodhi also has the greatest sense of humor and we laugh a lot during sessions!

    Dorthe Schorn Staff & Training Manager Hamburg, Germany

    Bodhi is an endless energy field of inspiration, purpose, clarity, truth, authenticity, compassion, joy, love and inner peace. The way he embodies and shares his profound wisdom of awakening is powerful and grounded, while gentle, light and constantly evolving. Bodhi is not only a teacher in the best possible sense of the word but a healer and “wise man” who can support you in tackling any personal or professional challenges.

    One of his greatest talents is meeting you exactly where you’re at, and then gently guiding you from there. Bodhi also has the greatest sense of humor and we laugh a lot during sessions! Working with him is a precious adventure and it has a tremendous impact on the way I show up and experience my working and private life.

  • Bodhi always leaves me feeling more empowered, more joyful, more truly accepting...

    Helle Laursen Leading Mentor Coach and CEO, Nordic Center for Mindful Self-Compassion Silkeborg, Denmark

    Working with Bodhi repeatedly over several years, I am constantly filled with deep gratitude after each session. Bodhi always leaves me feeling more empowered, more joyful, more truly accepting all parts of what I am, and with more energy to face life. Being a mentor coach myself, I have learned from Bodhi's amazing ability to give further depth to any issue within coaching. He is more than just a great coach, he is embodied wisdom, ready to share and give more meaning and depth to all matters I bring up. Bodhi takes coaching to a new level: it is healing, very practical, and supports my commitment to live my life from compassion and awareness.

  • I have become a better leader, a better boss, a better husband and a better father.

    Christopher McAuliffe, Master Certified Coach President & CEO, Accomplishment Coaching Coach Training Company San Diego, California

    Bodhi’s support goes beyond my stated projects and goals. Since working with him I have become a better leader, a better boss, a better husband and a better father. Bodhi is what coaching is all about. It seems like magic sometimes how he is able to hone in and focus on the exact thing that brings me more power, or more clarity, or returns my calm and centered focus. If you want to become a better version of yourself or to fulfill on what you think you can create – I recommend working with Bodhi.

Back to top