Anne O Boudreau

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Self-Worth: The Key to Sustainable Change

In her foundational book “A Human Mosaic: Heal, Renew & Develop Self-Worth,” author Anne Boudreau explores how self-worth determines our ability to thrive beyond trauma and overcome life’s challenges

In a world racked by violence, suicide, drug overdoses, bigotry, social-media fueled anger, and isolation and uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Anne Ockene Boudreau throws a lifeline to anyone who is struggling.

An inspirational author, coach, and successful executive, Anne devotes her life to helping others develop healthy self-worth. In her new book, “A Human Mosaic: Heal, Renew & Develop Self-Worth,” she reveals how self-worth is both the lens through which we view our lives and the basis for how we live.

“Every facet of who you are and how you live your life is filtered through your internal sense of self: how worthy you believe you are, the value you place on yourself as a human being,” she says. “How you feel about yourself is the lens by which you view everything in your life — so your lens needs to be sharp and clear.”

Self-worth is the foundational but often overlooked element in how we meet life’s challenges and the key to living a life of joy, fulfillment and inner peace, Anne says.

“Every relationship and interaction — your mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual health — is permeated by your belief about yourself,” she states.

Anne believes lack of self-worth is a root cause of many of our most vexing problems.

“The prevalence of low self-worth today is staggering and is manifested in the rise in hostility, bigotry, racism, bullying, irrational violence, drug overdoses, and suicides,” she says.

Surviving and Thriving Through Neuroplasticity

“A Human Mosaic” is based on Anne’s research into the core nature of self-worth, her own experience, and her interviews with 40 survivors of trauma. These include people who have lived through abuse — domestic, emotional, and sexual — drug addiction, devastating diagnoses, and the unexpected loss of loved ones.

Through her and their stories, she traces how self-worth determines how we face life’s challenges, and how it can be a wellspring of healing from past wounds and trauma. She offers practical tips for nurturing a healthy mind, body, heart, and outlook through the science of neuroplasticity, the brain’s ability to form new neural connections at any stage of life.

“You are capable of transcending trauma because you have a brain that wants to grow beyond that trauma,” she says.

“As we move forward in our journey to build self-worth, we actively use the science of neuroplasticity to create long lasting, sustainable change in our brain."

“This is what it means to retrain your brain. We let go of former negative patterns of thought and behavior, and by accepting them as past — and thereby, no longer a part of us — we can move forward and rebuild our inner self.”

Inner vs. Outer Worth

Anne defines self-worth as “the value you place on yourself, how you feel about yourself internally, or the ‘inside you,’ your innermost core being.” She distinguishes this from self-esteem, which she defines as the value we place on our talents, abilities, appearance, accomplishments, and wealth.

“A person can be proud of his or her achievements (self-esteem), and still feel a lack of internal fulfillment (self-worth),” she says.

This is why many highly educated and successful people — including politicians, celebrities, and business leaders — often feel unfulfilled despite their achievements, she says.

“Their extrinsic value is wrapped around what they do in the world — on external praise, accolades, achievement, production, orientation.”

Anne experienced this firsthand growing up. Her father was a CEO of a multibillion-dollar company who attended Yale, spoke seven languages, and reached “the pinnacle of success.”

“We hinged ourselves on the precipice of this hill, waiting for the next great feat to accomplish, so we could receive praise, so we could then translate that praise into our own language of ‘I'm valued because of what I did, not because of who I am.’”

As a child, Anne endured bullying that shattered her own sense of self-worth. Driven by messages that worth is based on performance, she went on to graduate from Northwestern University with a dual degree in English and writing, and she worked as director of marketing and communications for numerous global corporations. As she studied the nature of self-worth in healing, growth, and resilience, she came to understand its primary importance.

“Building your self-worth so that you can feel strong enough to be yourself, act on your beliefs and intentions, and meet the goals you set for yourself, is the most important mission of your life,” she says.

Anne can share insights on key topics including:

* How to overcome trauma.
* How to use your brain as the conduit and compass for sustainable personal change.
* Resonant leadership versus dissonant leadership.
* How the brain thrives on learning and shuts down when exposed to criticism, negativity, loneliness, and depression.
* Warped self-concept.
* Self-worth as the lifeline to those suffering from bullying, poor self-identity, and feelings of inadequacy.

“We are a complex composite of all of the experiences and relationships that have influenced us during our journey,” Anne writes. “Each event and interaction we experience contributes to the colorful, multifaceted, and brilliant mosaic that is our life.

“When you build positive self-worth, you will develop self-trust, self-respect, and self-love, which will resonate to others. And, then you can share your loving self with the world.”

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