feeling worthless

3 Truths to Remember When You’re Feeling Worthless

“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.”

When Henry David Thoreau came to this conclusion, I’m afraid he may have gotten it right. So many people are desperate in their marriages and in other relationships. They are suffering in silence with feelings of inadequacy and failure and don’t know what to do about it.

So how do you battle these lies of feeling worthless and begin to understand the truth that you are valuable? Here are 3 truths to remember when you’re feeling worthless.

1. You are valuable for who you are, not for what you do.

You were created exclusively by God and for God. And because of that, you are valuable. There were no flaws in your design and no errors in your construction. You are hand-made, custom-designed, and fully loaded by God; and because of that, you have immeasurable worth.

2. You have gifts, embrace them.

Every person has gifts or strengths. If you don’t know yours, I’d encourage you to ask five family members and friends this question, “In one or two words, what do you think is my single greatest strength?” They’ll all probably give you similar answers. Those answers identifying your area of giftedness will help you understand the truth that you are valuable and have a lot to offer your family and the world.

3. You weren’t meant to do this alone.

If you’re constantly putting on a front that you have it all together, other people will start to believe that you really do have it all together. So, I challenge you to be honest with trusted friends and family.  Share your struggles with them and let them help carry your burdens and encourage you. Because the truth is: you were never meant to do this alone.

We all struggle with feelings of worthlessness at one point or another in life. Instead of staying trapped in the mindset of thinking you have nothing to offer, remind yourself of these 3 important truths. If you feel that you’re in a season of struggling right now or if you’d like to encourage someone who is, feel free to leave a comment below.

Sound Off

Have you ever felt worthless?

Mark W. Merrill

Mark is the president of All Pro Dad and Family First , a national non-profit organization. He is also the voice of a daily radio program called The Family Minute.

  • CJ

    Being unemployed four times in the past 12 years – including currently for the past 4 months with no job prospects in sight – makes you feel about as worthless as a man, husband and father who longs and desires to provide for his family can feel.

    This failure to provide and failure to be valued as an employee affects your self-worth in every aspect of your life from who you are as a person, your marriage your relationships with family and friends.

    Yes, I know God says He loved me because the Bible tells me so, but when you continue to endure days and weeks on end of seeing your beloved wife be the breadwinner for 12 years (and it’s not a pride issue of her making so much in her career field – it’s more that I feel horrible she has to work when she longs to be at home with our kids and want her to be able to do that).

    So it is hard to truly believe in self-worth and value as a man when you lay your heart out daily to God with a Biblically validated desire of your heart to provide ad a man for your family and not have that request filled.

    • Scott

      I have really grown in my faith in the last year and have started praying a lot and listening for God’s response. When you are praying what is God saying? It doesn’t always seem true, but everything happens for a reason. When the time is right God will put you were he wants you but for now maybe he wants you home with the kids. I hope that you situation gets better, I will say a prayer for you. Remember that no matter what your family needs you as a father and husband and leader.

      • CJ

        Thanks, Scott. I’ve tried my best to keep my eyes fixated on God during this time. After four major bouts of unemployment over the past 12-plus years — including 3 times in the past 5 — a person’s soul really starts to get weary and you ask God over and over what exactly He is trying to tell you during these long periods in the wilderness.

    • BJ_Foster

      I’ve been there CJ. Continuing to pray for you and your family.

      • CJ

        Thanks, BJ. Trying my best to make it through what God is allowing me to go through in life at this moment day-to-day.

    • THEDIVINE

      CJ,
      God bless you! The first thing I want you to realize is the grace of God on your life. I can not say I know what you are passing through because I am not in your shoes, but I can say that for you to have passed through all you have and still standing-it is GRACE! I really appreciate God for you. Many did not pass through up to what you are and they are dead, lost their minds or nowhere to be found or cursed God!
      Having said that, I want you to know that …”joy always comes in the morning” Psalm 30:5. Night period differs in length of time for different individuals. Joy will come! I promise you by God that when the joy arrive, you will stand and we will all shout for joy and praise God for you.
      When David was in similar situation like yours in the wilderness, he did two things to prepare for his morning:
      1. He developed himself spiritually. It is believed that he wrote most of the psalms at this time. You need to develop your spiritual life, it must not atrophy because you need it when your joy comes. This because the fact that your joy has come does not mean battles will not be fought again, read his word, continue to pray and go to church.
      2. He developed himself physically. That was when he developed his ability to fight wars. This became useful for him when he became king. Take online courses, don’t loose communication with people in your field, do some little projects in your field. I don’t know you personally but I believe there is something to do while you are in this wilderness.
      I love you brother!

      • CJ

        Thank you. I have been trying my best to stay prayerful and in the Word daily. I believe me, I have spent a TON of time in both Psalms and in Job. I’ve been praying a lot about if I should change my career field because it obviously has not been very lucrative with four bouts of unemployment and very few jobs in that area — and the ones that I do get are very underpaid. I have been looking around and asking people about different career fields and new professions. Since I am still paying on student loans, I really don’t want to have to return to college (I already have four degrees, but there are a lot of people out there with college degrees who are also unemployed).

        I appreciate your reply and have more good days than bad, but the enemy loves to sneak up on you and things snowball when you least expect it. What gets me the most is that ALL of my friends are the main provider for their families and my poor wife (she is a nurse so she makes a good wage) has had to be our family’s provider for 12 years now and it just hurts me to the core that she has to be away from our home and kids so much during that time when her heart longs to be at home and my heart longs for her to be at home and me providing for my family (which I truly believe is Biblical). We have both spent years and years praying together and individually about this to no avail, so it just really strikes me at the core of my manhood and who God has made me.

        • THEDIVINE

          You are great man! Not many men are as strong as you! Keep holding on. I am happy you are reading Job. You won’t believe it, I have what I am passing through too and infact I have just cried- I mean shed tears because of it. I hold on to these words at this time and I want to share them with you:
          1. Job 14:14 I will wait on Him till my Change come. When God acts on my behalf, it will cover for all the time I have lost. After all He is sovereign!
          2. Isaiah 40:31. I will wait, it might not be easy, I will wait. He will exchange His strength with my strength so I will even wait in His strength.
          You have a great wife. All the other men you feel have achieved a lot will want to trade all they have for a wife like yours, I know this because I have a great wife too.
          I can assure you, miracles are around you.
          I love you my brother. Be encouraged and find someone to encourage in this situation. I believe I just did!

  • Lars Londot

    I have definitely felt worthless. I find that when I can’t get things done or things that I can’t do are my most vulnerable moments.

  • Leif Olandese

    This website has such wonderful information not just for fathers/parents, but for anyone to whom a child may look. Thank you ALL PRO DAD!

  • Albert

    CJ, I can’t say I understand or know what your going through. But I can encourage you my brother to continue to put your Faith, Hope, and Trust in the Lord. I have been working for the same Co. for 33 yrs…. but It has been only because of the grace of God I am still here working and nothing I have done or deserve. I have felt let down by God in years past because of higher positions and promotions I didn’t get when I wanted them… but after layoff after layoffs, all those positions I wanted were let go and my current job was saved. Now I see how God was taking care of me all this time and protecting me from what I thought was best for me and my family in making more money. You and I don’t understand what God has for us down the road in life, but He knows and wants the best for you and your family. Just like Job was tested in his faith in all that he went through, God might be testing you to see how strong your faith is in Him and not in yourself. I do understand in some ways what your saying, I too am a husband and father. Your family is looking to you to be strong and courageous for them in leading them as a loving man of God. I will be praying for you my brother CJ. God bless you and your family….
    Psalm 52:8 But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God. I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever. Matthew Henry’s Commentary 52:6-9 Those wretchedly deceive themselves, who think to support themselves in power and wealth without God. The wicked man trusted in the abundance of his riches; he thought his wickedness would help him to keep his wealth. Right or wrong, he would get what he could, and keep what he had, and ruin any one that stood in his way; this he thought would strengthen him; but see what it comes to! Those who by faith and love dwell in the house of God, shall be like green olive-trees there. And that we may be as green olive-trees, we must live a life of faith and holy confidence in God and his grace. It adds much to the beauty of our profession, and to fruitfulness in every grace, to be much in praising God; and we never can want matter for praise. His name alone can be our refuge and strong tower. It is very good for us to wait on that saving name; there is nothing better to calm and quiet our spirits, when disturbed, and to keep us in the way of duty, when tempted to use any crooked courses for our relief, than to hope, and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord. None ever followed his guidance but it ended well.

    • CJ

      Thank you!

  • David Cawlfield

    I’ve struggled most of my life with feelings of inadequacy. When I was younger I truly felt I wasn’t good enough for people or God. It deive me into a life of secrecy and addictions. I was the guy who people thought had it all together until ine day Fod told me that enough was enough and drove me to a place of repentance and reconciliation. He brought me to a community of men who I could be accountable to. Its kept me sober for almost 4 years. I still struggle with thoae feeling but now I can share them with other men. Praise God!

  • Katiso Moholei

    I was recently told by my wife that i am slow, i dont get things done. She knows our current situation financialy but because she has rich friends with rich husbands she wants to fall in same level as them. Thats when i started to feel worthless and less of a man, believe me when i tell you i cant get it up, my mind is messed up i dont what to do where to begin. I need to claim back them confident man i used to be.

  • mxprivateer

    My wife and oldest (adopted) daughter do a wonderful job of making me feel completely inadequate and unnecessary on a near-daily basis. If it weren’t for my two little ones, I would have left a long time ago.

    • BJ_Foster

      I’m so sorry. Prayed for you this morning. Keep enjoying those two little ones.

      • mxprivateer

        Thank you. That truly means a lot to me.

  • Grant

    I think one of my biggest problems is feeling that I can do it alone; and when I realize I can’t, I give up. I’ve tried to endure a divorce and life altering surgery within the last two years…and I feel like I can’t dig myself out from under this incredible amount of weight I’ve buried myself in. I’m 43 and feel like I should be starting over, but at the same time, fear I’m too old for that. I can’t seem to get my motivation back that I once had; even though it feels like a lifetime ago.

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Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What do you think makes you valuable?”

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