How to Detach Your Self-Worth From Achievements

What areas of life do you look to for “okayness” or validation? Do you feel like if you could just be more successful or have more money, you’d be happy? Do you feel like if you could just find your soulmate partner, you’d be happy? Do you feel like if you could just lose X pounds, you’d be happy?

Where in your life do you feel like “when I have that…THEN I’ll be good” or “until I have that, something is wrong with me or I’m not good enough”?

You don’t have a success, money, relationship or body problem. Nothing is wrong with you. You just have a mind conditioned to seek worth outside of itself and it’s latched onto that specific area.

Think about the area of life that flows most easily for you. How do you make decisions in that area? What does it feel like? I’m guessing you don’t worry much and just trust what feels right for you. You’re connected to the power and answers within you. The only reason you don’t feel this way in all areas of life is because there’s emotions “blocking” the trust and natural intuitive flow.

In this blog, I’m sharing how you can begin detaching your self-worth from achievements. 

This is the ultimate freedom because when you’re no longer driven completely by chasing worth, your actions can come from the deeper, more wise, intuitive part of you.

What It Looks Like When Your Self-Worth Is Dependent On External Achievements

For me, this has showed up in a few different ways. 

For example, when I taught barre, I was constantly worried if I did good enough and had a hard time staying present while teaching. My mood after class was dependent on how much praise I got. If I didn’t get immediate validation, I’d spiral into feeling bad and thinking I wasn’t good enough.

Another area this has showed up for me was in business. In the past, when I wouldn’t sign a client or be achieving certain revenue numbers, I’d feel super discouraged, disappointed and defeated. I felt like something was wrong with me and just kept trying harder to achieve more to make this feeling go away. The achievements only gave me very short lived excitement and then I was back to chasing more and feeling like I wasn’t enough until I got there. It was exhausting.

Other common areas this can show up is having your mood/sanity/worth dependent on your weight/body, the behavior of your kids, your relationship status or how much validation you get from a partner, etc.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could feel at peace no matter what was going on outside of you? 

If you didn’t have to wait for the client, the weight loss, the partner, the success, the fame, etc to feel aligned and happy now?

What if you could feel whole, at peace and deeply worthy right now as you are?

This isn’t about giving up on and never having any of your desires. You just no longer NEED them for happiness now. 

How To Detach Your Self-Worth From Achievements

1. Awareness

Start becoming aware when your sense of self-worth plummets based on something that happened (or didn’t happen). Become aware of the urge to react to or repress those feelings. Become aware of your habitual tendencies and the ways you seek to fill your worth using things outside of you.

How to put this into practice:

  • Practice becoming aware when you have feelings of low self-worth arising (practice catching the emotional charges) and locating them in the body
  • Practice becoming aware of the tendency to react or repress and stay stuck in the story and redirect your awareness/attention into the body where you feel the feeling/stuck energy

2. Release emotions stuck in the body

When you feel “lack” of self-worth coming up (it can feel like discomfort, anxiety, queasiness, unworthiness, shame, helplessness, etc), FEEL it. Stay with it. Get curious. Experience it fully without reacting, repressing or staying stuck in the story in your mind. 

FEEL the feeling instead of trying to FILL the feeling up by chasing more achievements. It’s very uncomfortable at first but the more you do this, the more you realize that the feeling will transmute itself when you stay present with it, allow it and actually feel it.

How to put this into practice:

  • Don’t obey the mind when it tries to fill the perceived holes of not good enough. FEEL and process those feelings then flow from there.
  • Ask yourself: Is this coming from clean, clear intuition or reaction/urge/seeking validation/approval/people pleasing?
    • If it’s not coming from intuition, stop and feel the energy that’s blocked/stuck/heavy/tense until you can’t feel it anymore and then see what happens from there.
  • If you feel thirsty/graspy, stop and feel the feeling in the body that feels thirsty/graspy until you can’t feel it anymore and then see what happens from there. When you see that you're grasping or clinging to anything, make friends with it. Look into it. Get to know it completely. It will let go of itself and you’ll return to an embodied awareness of your wholeness. What flows from there will always be more intuitively guided and more effective. 

3. Follow Your Intuition

Once the feeling has transmuted, you will no longer feel “less than”, like you need to go grasping for an achievement to make you feel better.

You’ll feel whole and from there, you will be able to act in alignment with your inner wisdom. What unfolds when you’re living from your intuition instead of emotional reaction is always far more easeful, magical and joyful.

How to put this into practice: 

  • Practice waiting to take action until it feels like a green light (like a clear, clean, calm, open knowing).
  • Practice doing what feels fun instead of what the mind thinks it has to do to fill its lackful feelings.
  • Ask yourself: 
    • Does this feel aligned to do now? 
    • Is this flowing or am I forcing? 
    • What does my intuition want to do now?
    • Would I want to do this even if I got no praise/validation/outcome?

The Experiment That Deeply Changed My Life

About a year ago, I got to a point where I could no longer have my sanity, mood and happiness dependent on external achievements.

The emotional roller coaster and ups and downs of feeling good enough then not good enough, feeling like a success then a failure, feeling manically excited then deeply disappointed was soooo exhausting.

I knew there had to be a path to freedom because I’d done it before with my relationship with food. Several years ago, I went from worrying about food 24/7 to feeling completely free and at peace and I haven’t worried about food in years.

I started questioning...

  • What will happen if I REALLY follow my heart and intuition vs of what I’m "supposed to" do?
  • What will happen if I REALLY feel every emotion without reacting or repressing?
  • What will happen if I REALLY surrender and allow life to unfold instead of forcing and trying to “make things happen”?
  • What will happen if I REALLY just do what feels joyful and aligned for me?

I “dove off the inner peace deep end” and REALLY let alignment be my number 1 priority.

Part of me was terrified…what if my life completely falls apart? But a deeper part of me knew it was safe and would liberate me beyond my imagination.

Why NOT see what happens? And if not now, then when?

My intuition was right. This "experiment" did liberate me beyond imagination.

I feel more at peace, happy and free than ever before. My alignment and self-worth is no longer dictated by what's going on around me (the ultimate freedom). I'm sooooo much more present and able to enjoy each moment (I'm at the airport right now and my flight was delayed 2 hours and I'm completely at peace and enjoying the moment as it is). My life also just keeps getting better and better, far beyond what my mind could have predicted or controlled.

What area of life do you worry most about? And what if you could feel completely free and at peace in that area?

What might change if you really put your alignment first for 6 entire weeks?

You can always go back to how you were living before. But what if this changes everything? What if you get to feel more free, joyful and aligned than ever before? And what if life starts flowing even more magically?

This is why I created But First, Alignment.

It’s a 6 week course for you to experiment (with support and with others who are doing it too) to see what it could look like to allow more joy, flow and alignment in your life.

Are you willing to find out?

Whatever area of life it is for you, more inner peace and freedom IS available. And this is the most joyful, effective path I’ve found to create it.

Click here to learn more and sign up for But First, Alignment.

Listen to The Magnetically You Podcast:

Listen to this episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or by pressing play above. 


Follow me on instagram @madison.arnholt

Free intuition meditation

Explore ways to work with me

Free 14 day Ritual Queen Trial (meditation app)

Pin it for later:

7 Days Of Alignment: Free Guide

7 simple daily practicesĀ to cultivate more alignment, inner peace and presence, starting today.


50% Complete

7 Days Of Alignment

Submit YourĀ Name & Email BelowĀ To Download Instantly