Self-Worth is the ‘sense of one’s own value or worth as a person.’ It is very much about who you are, not what you do.
As babies we are not yet aware of our value. We cry and all our needs are generally met. We are as yet, too young to understand a sense of self. As we grow, we become aware of how others treat us and how this makes us feel. We respond to positive feedback and tend to withdraw from criticism. We measure our self-worth by our upbringing and the beliefs we take on from our parents.
Unless we develop a strong sense of self, of who we are and how precious each one of us is, we tend to look to external factors to measure our Self-Worth. We look for praise from family or colleagues, we look for validation from our peers, we look for love outside of ourselves.
Now there is nothing wrong with receiving praise or love from others. This is a vital part of our interaction with the world. But if we are always looking externally to confirm our sense of self worth, or always comparing ourselves to others, we will never be satisfied. Of course it’s very important to acknowledge our achievements and this helps us develop a sense of self, but unless we value ourselves for our own uniqueness, we will always be listening to that inner critic, that inner voice that says we are not ‘good enough.’
First and foremost, we need to love ourselves. Write down a list of all the things that make you amazing. It might be your smile or sense of humour. It could be your generosity or insight or kindness. We all have wonderful gifts and attributes. We just tend to forget them, especially when we make mistakes or are criticised. It’s then that all our fears and beliefs from past experiences, suddenly appear and we ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be so clever or powerful or successful?’
When this happens, sit with these questions and feel the emotions that they bring up. Is it fear from a past experience or an unhappy memory from your childhood? The more aware we our of our inner critic and where it’s come from, the more we can let these thoughts and feelings go.
Practise affirmations or sayings that reflect how amazing and loveable you are. Write down a list of your values and what is important in your life. Set strong boundaries around how you want to be treated and show compassion towards yourself.
The more you live in alignment with your own beliefs and values, the more you will appreciate how unique and special you are. You don’t need to be a celebrity or a CEO or someone famous, though those things are fine if that’s what you want to do in life. You just need to do work that fulfils you, have relationships that support and sustain you and accept yourself as you are.
Each one of us is worthy of love, kindness, compassion and acceptance. Treat yourself this way too and you will experience a true sense of Self-Worth.
If you do want to explore this further, you can book in for some mentoring here.
References: https://www.psychalive.org/self-worth/, https://positivepsychology.com/self-worth/ Photo by Content Pixie – Unsplash.com
Disclaimer: Please note that all information in this article is the opinion of the author and obtained through her research and knowledge and the above references. It is not meant to replace medical advice and a medical opinion should always be obtained for any health condition.