Is it true that a change of feeling is a change of destiny?
I have chosen to take off my surgeon hat today. I have chosen to get out of the closet today and touch on a topic that I am writing from my heart.
It is not about Gut health. Not about weight loss.None of that stuff that I studied in Uni. And spent more than a quarter of a decade practicing.
Today I want to talk to you straight from my heart.
I want to speak to you like another human. An ordinary human.A human that feels pain. That also has his insecurities. That has fear… yes! You heard me right.
And who does feel unworthy… sometimes!
As a surgeon, I could never believe that I would ever write all this in the public domain. But I do believe that regardless of whether it comes to wealth, health or fulfilling relationships…
Self-Worth is not about being Selfish
The concept of self-worth may be very closely related to self-image.
Because I specialise in the area of Bariatric (Weight Loss) surgery, I can see how self-image is so important to my clients. When an individual is struggling with being overweight, they struggle to face the mirror. Because the person who they see is a person who has failed many many diets.many many exercise programmes. Has broken many New Year resolutions.
This is what determines self-image. And a low self-image leads to a low sense of self-worth.
Many overweight individuals are just so self-conscious, that they can hardly see the beauty in themselves. They overlook their gifts and talents. And magnify their limitations. Why they are not worthy of health, wealth or anything else they may deeply desire.
Yes, I may be exaggerating somewhat, but these are the patterns I observe every day.
Unworthiness shows itself as fear of the unknown. Lack of discipline. Finding others to blame for one's poor results. Or just wallowing in self-pity. Not pushing yourself past the familiar. Asking why it hasn’t happened yet. Compulsively repeating the same thoughts, behaviours, and feelings – and garnering the same results and frustrations that have become comfortable.
So how do we shift the course of this thing called life?
I claim to be no guru. As humans, we have and will have our share of ‘sunshine’ and ‘the rainy days. What I share with you is in humility, with a heartfelt desire to be of service.
As one of my mentors says: “Worthiness is when we have an uncompromising desire to get beyond the old self in separation and become the new self, connected to a new personal reality” – Dr Joe Dispenza.
What I have personally learnt is that to receive anything in life – you MUST first become worthy of receiving it.
A state of self-worth is that elegant state, where there is calmness. A sense of knowing that everything is working out perfectly. Just the way it is meant to be.
Because regardless of whether you believe it or not, everything IS working out perfectly.
Before we can start working on developing our self-worth, we must first be at peace with the present. And that means letting go of the past – and all the unconscious thoughts, behaviours, and feelings that come with it.
This is a hard thing for many of us to do. We have been conditioned to think and act in a certain way. This is called Habits.
And this conditioning has been created by years and years of viewing your life through filters.
“Filters” – the lens through which we see our reality
All of our past thoughts, beliefs, behaviours and teachings can be clustered into a filter. A filter is a self-contained unit through which we see the world. Every decision, reaction and interpretation we have is coloured by our filters.”
Reference: The above is an excerpt from Dr Arun Dhir’s book, Your Mess has a Message.
Action as the basis of all change
In the acting–feeling–thinking feedback loop, action is the one area that we not only have the most direct control of but also have the greatest leveraging effect on the other two aspects: feelings and thoughts.
When we change our actions, our thoughts and feelings naturally start to align with our new behaviour. This happens because our brain likes to maintain congruency among our thoughts, feelings and actions.
Change one intentionally, and the other two begin to change too.
For example, if I don’t feel motivated to write but start writing anyway (action), I will discover after a few minutes of struggle that I’m starting to enjoy the process (feeling). I will remember that I love writing and think about how grateful I am for the opportunity to share my ideas with the world (emotions). This, in turn, makes continuing to write very easy. I develop positive momentum. Initially, I felt lazy, and my mind was generating excuses to justify not writing, but I took action anyway, and my emotions and my thoughts consequently improved.
This analogy could very similarly be applied to eating healthy and a discipline of exercise.
“Our action is controllable in a way that our feelings are not. The more control we develop over our actions, the more chance we have of producing a self we can be proud of.” - David K. Reynolds
Tool: Building self-worth through mindfulness meditation
Self-worth, in my opinion, is the capacity to cope well with life’s inevitable challenges and disasters and to meet the stressors and storms of life with adaptive and skilful responses. A knowing that you are still worthy of a good life. You deserve it.
The regular practice of mindfulness meditation can help us develop our self-worth.
Richard Davidson, one of the world’s leading mindfulness researchers, has articulated this relationship beautifully:
“One of the ways that we think about resilience is being able to recover quickly following adversity. Being able to let go of our negative emotions once they arise, to experience them but not ruminate on them. One of the ways in which meditation seems to be helpful is to enable us to be less sticky in our negative emotions, and there are certain changes in the brain that we have found to be associated with decreased stickiness. By stickiness, we’re referring to the tendency to ruminate on or stew in our negative emotions. When adversity happens, it’s appropriate and adaptive to experience whatever negative emotions may arise, but then to let them go when they’re no longer useful. Meditation can help to facilitate that.”
Helping You Discover, Empower & Prosper
Dr Arun Dhir | GI Surgeon, Health Reformist & Passionate Educator.
About Dr Arun:
Besides having a busy private practice at Melbourne Gastro Surgery – Centre for Weight Loss, Dr Arun is an active member of the ANZ Association of Gastro-Oesophageal surgeons (ANZGOSA), ANZ Society of Metabolic and Obesity Surgery (OSSANZ) and Australian College of Nutrition and Environmental Medicine (ACNEM).
Dr Arun is also a senior lecturer (University of Melbourne) and yoga and meditation teacher, with a strong interest in the mind-body-gut connection. He regularly writes and speaks about gut health, gut microbiome, obesity, gastrointestinal surgery and healing. Arun’s published works include Happy Gut Healthy Weight (Balboa Press 2018), Creating a New You – Health Journal (Metagenics 2019), and Your Mess Has a Message (2021).