The measure of our self-worth impacts our decisions, how we treat ourselves, and how we ask to be treated by others. Believing that we are unworthy can affect everything from our thoughts, to our emotions, to our actions, to our experiences. Low self-worth can be a predictor of unhappiness. Knowing our worth and believing that we are indeed worthy is absolutely essential for happiness and well-being.
Self-worth is an internal state of being that comes from self-understanding, self-love, and self-acceptance. It's a direct measure of how you value and regard yourself in spite of what others may say or do and regardless of difficulties faced, disappointments experienced, or other people’s opinions.
Self-worth is not the same as self-esteem, which relies on external factors, such as successes and achievements to define worth. A healthy self-worth is innate and unshakable.
Where do you fall on the Self-Worth Meter?
A high level of self-worth means feeling deserving of happiness, health, wealth and success and love. A low level of self-worth is having a generally negative overall opinion of oneself, judging, or evaluating oneself critically, and placing a general negative value on oneself as a person.
Low self-worth could look like negative talk about oneself, unable to accept compliments or help from others, and a strong focus on mistakes or what one lacks or doesn’t have compared to others. Other examples may include:
In relationships you tend to ignore your personal boundaries to please others
In school or work, you tend to purposely achieve less
You find it hard to stand up to abusive behaviors or neglect
You tend to always be extremely shy and self-conscious
Low self-worth stems from unresolved past experiences and emotions that we consciously or unconsciously feel shame toward. Out of those past experiences developed a negative belief system that has filtered the way you perceive yourself. Building a high level of self-worth is not a mind over matter type process, but can become a consistent self-care ritual that helps you to accept who you are exactly as you are so that everyday, you feel satisfied and good about yourself, your life, and your circumstances.
That said, let’s hit pause and take a moment to reflect on how we value ourselves and learn more about how we can better know our worth.
Take time to explore yourself on a deeper and more profound level. Who are you without your career, relationships and what other people think of you? If everything was taken from you what would be left of you? What are your core values that make you “you”? Exploring the essential part of yourself helps you get a clear picture of how you want to show up in the world, for yourself and others.
Self-care is self-worth.
Nourishing our sense of innate self-worth may not come naturally, but understanding your attitude toward yourself will help you to become your biggest advocate. Check in on how you talk about yourself and how you perceive yourself and how you represent yourself. This step will help to stop the self criticism and help you to become more compassionate and patient with yourself and ultimately helps to foster more self-worth.
Self-worth grows when you make decisions for yourself. Learn to listen to and rely on your intuition and feelings. It will also give you a strong sense of healthy boundaries, understanding when you feel you are being treated unfairly or giving too much.
An inner fire
If you spend your life trying to live up to other people’s expectations, you will struggle to find your self-worth because you just handed over your power to what other people think of you. You allow their projections and their realities to define you. Instead by tapping into your inner fire, your essence you will have an unshakable knowinginness of who you are and what you are capable of. Surround yourself with people who can see and reflect your true self back to you and show compassion and understanding to those who don’t value you or see you as you are.
A lot of times we still struggle with labels and opinions from our childhood. It’s time to let go of all of that. The opinion of your parents, relatives, childhood friends do not determine the kind of person you are. Everyday you have a chance to experience the kind of person you are and want to become. Self-acceptance can help you to let go of any guilt, shame or bad feelings you have about yourself.
Making yourself a priority these days may be challenging at times, but at the end of the day you will thank yourself for nurturing your needs so that you can show up for yourself and the ones you love. Self-worth creates a beautiful foundation for self-improvement. Whatever you’re doing to take care of yourself, do it with positive intent. And by caring for yourself, you show others how you want to be cared for. You deserve to be loved and treated well.
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