Self-worth, what is it actually? Self-worth as defined by the dictionary is simply “The opinion you have of yourself and the value you place on yourself“
So, self-worth is how you value yourself it’s a belief that comes from within. It’s an intrinsic value we feel toward ourselves, self-worth doesn’t come from external factors. Take a moment and think about that. How do you measure your self-worth?
Many of us have a low sense of worth and that can be problematic for many reasons. It’s nearly impossible to find happiness in your life if you believe that you aren’t worth much. Constantly living with a low sense of worth will create negativity and chaos in your world.
In this article I would like to discuss some ways you can build your self-worth and feelings of worthiness.
There are two areas we need to focus on to build up our feelings of worthiness, self-belief and self-acceptance. I use to have a very low self-esteem because of my feelings of unworthiness toward myself, it affected all areas of my life negatively. Only when I started believing in myself and accepting my flaws did I see a difference in my overall feelings of self.
It didn’t happen fast, it took time. Self-worth is something that requires a lot of work, but with the right attitude and consistent change anyone can raise their sense of worth. Lets get into the two main areas I believe can help you raise your intrinsic value perception.
Self-belief is simply your confidence in your own abilities and judgement. Not having a strong belief in yourself can hold you back, it can let opportunities slip by because of your lack of confidence in yourself. Its the fear of failure that really holds us back. We all have fear of failure to a certain degree. Fear can be healthy but it can also be crippling if you let it win every-time.
When we don’t believe in ourselves it affects our feelings of self-worth because we feel that we aren’t good enough or strong enough to take on certain challenges in our lives.
When you cultivate your self-belief you build confidence in your abilities you can stare fear right in the face. Think about a big challenge that you were scared of taking on. If you took up this challenge and conquered it how did you feel afterward? Was the fear of failure present before you took on this challenge? If so how did you manage to deal with your fear?
Conquering challenges and overcoming fear can’t be done without positive self-belief, it is vital in cultivating a more positive view of our self-worth.
You can learn to believe in yourself, just like you can learn to have massive self-doubt. We are all born equal we come into this world with no expectations. It’s what we learn along the way that shapes and defines us to become the people that we are.
If you find that you have massive self-doubt just remember that somewhere in your life you learned that self-doubt. It could be that others didn’t believe in you so you took that on and made it your own. You might of learned your self doubt from a parent who didn’t believe in you or a teacher that said you weren’t smart.
Just like you have learned your self-doubt you can learn to have self-belief. It’s just going to take some reprogramming work from your side. Throw in some positive affirmations and we’re ready to go.
The quickest way to develop self-doubt is by setting unrealistic goals. You won’t achieve unrealistic goals and that will lead to feelings of failure and more self-doubt. We want to avoid this possible scenario at all costs.
Set small realistic and obtainable goals for yourself. The smaller the better. A daily goal I set for myself is to meditate every morning as soon as I wake up. Its easy enough for me to do everyday. I wake up, I do my mindful meditation and I carry on with my day.
Just that one goal leaves me feeling accomplished and worthy. How about a goal of writing in a journal everyday or drinking 5 glasses of water before 8pm. By setting these small attainable goals and achieving them regularly you will slowly strengthen your belief in yourself.
Over time your self-belief will grow stronger and in turn your goals will get bigger. This can have a massive snowball effect on your well being. Slow and steady wins the race.
When you reach some of the goals you have set for yourself make sure you celebrate them. Something I fall victim to often is that I achieve my goals and end up setting more without allowing myself to celebrate the accomplished ones first.
If you do that you end up grinding through all your goals not realizing that you should be patting yourself on the back for completing them. If you don’t recognize your wins you will damage your self-belief. So take time and spoil yourself when you complete a goal, go do something that you love.
Comparison is the thief of joy
– Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt said it, comparison is really the thief of joy. Comparison is also the thief of self-belief and self-worth. I think we have always compared ourselves. I could imagine cavemen comparing the size of their caves with each other. The problem we have in today’s society is that we are so connected via social media, comparison has become the new norm.
Our new age lifestyles are riddled with comparison. It’s easy to do and it’s a slippery slope. I sometimes need to consciously stop myself from comparing my life with others. We are just bombarded with advertisements and status updates on a constant basis. You have to drop out of that kind of thinking if you want to increase your self-belief.
If you find that you are feeling down for no reason but you are always on social media you might be suffering from comparing-jitus. Comparison has become a reflex, we just automatically compare ourselves to everything around us. This constant comparison is devastating to our own self-belief and self-worth. So, stop it.
Think about something you’ve always wanted to learn and learn it. Always keep educating yourself, develop your skills and keep trying new things. You will be amazed at what you can do if you put your mind to it.
When you learn new skills you will naturally start believing in yourself more. Become a lifelong learner.
Take a bit of time each day and visualize the person you want to be. Create a picture in your mind of someone who is achieving their goals and conquering fears. Visualization is a powerful tool that I use to shape myself into what I want to be. When you visualize you have to believe what you are creating therefore self belief plays an important role.
Many people in your life will have their own opinions of you. They will have a lot to say about the path you choose. The only opinion that matters is your own. Don’t allow other peoples opinions to derail you from your path.
Part of developing self-worth is to follow the path you believe in. You might make mistakes along the way, we all do. Learn from any mistakes you make and move forward.
In this video, Jim Cathcart talks about how to develop self-belief. His story is quite inspiring and motivational. If you have time watch this 8-minute video to get a bit of inspiration.
“No amount of self-improvement can make up for any lack of self-acceptance.”
– Robert Holden
Self-acceptance is exactly what it sounds like. You have to accept yourself for who and what you are. Not only the positive attributes but also the negative ones. You have to be aware of both sides of yourself, its a difficult thing to be fully accepting of yourself but it’s not impossible.
If you really and truly want to improve your self-worth you have to start accepting yourself as you are. If you have a low self-esteem then there might be parts of you that you are struggling to accept and come to terms with.
Remember that it’s easy to accept the good parts of ourselves the real work comes when we have to accept the bad parts too. When you start accepting the negative parts of yourself the real transformation begins.
To shift from self-hatred or non-acceptance we need to set our intention. This is a vital step in the process of becoming more self-accepting. Below is an outline of my intention that I set for myself to help me become more accepting of my own flaws.
My intention is to live a life where I accept and acknowledge the good parts of myself and the bad. I intend to accept all of my flaws with no judgement and know that they are there. I intend to change behaviors where I can and to align myself with who id like to become.
Many people struggle to celebrate their strengths it’s easier to hold onto the belief that you have none. We all have strengths there is something in everyone that can be celebrated.
If I had to ask you what your strengths are what would you say? A great exercise is to write down your strengths on some paper. It can be as simple as “I am a kind person”. When you write down your strengths you give them more power try this once a day and celebrate the fact that you have positive strengths.
Who do you surround yourself with?
Are the friends and family in your life supportive or negative? Do they reinforce your negative self-talk? Do they say hurtful things to you? Are the people in your life negative towards you?
If you answered yes to any of those questions then it might be time to re-evaluate who you allow into your life. If your friends and family struggle to accept you for who you are then the odds are that you will struggle too.
It’s vital that you create a support system for yourself. This means that you need to surround yourself with people that are accepting of you, kind to you and supportive for you.
Living in the past and focusing on regret prevents us from self-acceptance. Move on and forgive yourself, stop living in the past. You cant change the past no matter how much you might want to. However, when you forgive yourself for any past mistakes you allow yourself to learn from it. Forgiving your bad history will do wonders for you self-worth.
Unfortunately we are our own worst critic sometimes. Here is the rule of thumb. If you wouldn’t say it to someone you truly love then why are you saying it to yourself? Our inner critic will always be there but we need to learn how to calm it down.
More often than not the critical voice we are hearing is something a parent or a bully might of said to us “you aren’t good at anything” or “you are fat” In order to calm down that voice we must closely examine what we are saying to ourselves and decide if it is true or not. Who is really saying those hurtful and judgmental things to us?
Affirmations help me to deal with my negative inner voice. When I catch the voice being critical I will do some affirmations. The one I love using is “I am loved, I am worthy and I am doing the best I can” I will say it over and over for a minute or two and then go back and examine what the critic was saying. Becoming aware of your negative self talk brings it to the light and the shame will die on exposure.
Stop being so hard on yourself if you fail at something that you have been working on dont immediately punish yourself. Take a step back and look at your progress. Celebrate the fact that you are trying to do something that might be challenging for you. Pat yourself on the back and try again. Being kind to yourself will impact your self-belief, self-worth and self -acceptance.
Caitlyn Roux sums up self-love very nicely in this video. Her words encapsulate what it means to recognize your self-worth and in turn cultivate your self-acceptance.
Our self-worth is not determined by any external factors, remember that it comes from within. It is our intrinsic value. Here is a list of 8 things that under no circumstances determines your self-worth.
Your career does not define your self-worth. It doesn’t matter if you are flipping burgers or if you are running a fortune 500 company.
Social media is a problem in and of itself. I believe that it is contributing to so much negativity in today’s world. The sooner you stop allowing your social media to define you the better. It can be used for good but it’s so easy to fall into the comparison trap, be careful out there.
Age has absolutely nothing to do with your self-worth. I would hope that the older you get the better you become at realizing how valuable you are in this world. We all have gifts to give but it starts with self acceptance and self- belief.
When I was younger I would place my value on what I looked like. I thought that if I was thinner people would like me more. I thought that by changing my appearance I would be more lovable. Well it turns out that wasn’t true at all.
I had to go through the road of discovering that self-worth is not about what we look like or dress like. It was and still is a road of self discovery that Im willing to take on everyday.
Other people do not determine how worthy you are. Don’t get caught up in the opinions of other people. Everyone has opinions but the only one that should matter is yours.
Just because you are single does not mean you aren’t worthy of love. The same applies to people that are in relationships. It doesn’t mean that they are more worthy because they have found someone to share their life with.
Once you realize your own self-worth and you are able to practice self acceptance it wont matter if you are single or in a relationship. You will know yourself and love yourself before you allow someone else to.
You can’t buy worth, it’s not for sale. No amount of money can make you love yourself more. The same goes for not having any money. If you are struggling financially it does not mean that you are worthless either.
Be careful of letting your achievements determine who you are. Accolades and medals are great but they aren’t a measure of your worth.
I challenge you to try at least one of these activities or exercises. They will all help you to access your feelings of worthiness. You can do them once a day or once a week, it’s really dependent on you.
How do you know if you are recognizing your true value? What are some of the signs that you are on the path to loving yourself fully.
You believe in yourself and you like yourself. When you have a decent amount of positive self-esteem you have confidence in your abilities as a human being.
Your relationships with other people are good and you a are comfortable in your own skin. A positive self-esteem can be developed by becoming more self-accepting and having self-belief.
Your moral compass is working correctly, you know right from wrong. You understand and respect your own boundaries and don’t let people take advantage of you. You can stand up for what you believe in with courage and you don’t need outside validation from your peers.
This ties straight back into self-belief. You believe that you are good enough and you don’t feel a need to hide away from situations or people. You carry yourself with pride, walk upright and chest out.
You no longer allow criticisms to get you down. In the same breath you don’t allow compliments to inflate your ego. Instead you are able to take things as they come as pure information and guidance.
I hope that this article has helped you to understand the importance of self-worth and how to develop it. I use all of these techniques to better myself and my life. Along with practicing mindfulness and meditation on a daily basis.