What Is Self-Worth? The Definitive Guide to Understanding Yourself
Self-worth can affect everything from how you see yourself in the mirror to how much money you make. In fact, a recent study has shown that your self-esteem may affect your income more than your cognitive skills do.
We are constantly being told to “love ourselves”, to make time for “self-care,” and to get to know who we are. But what is self worth, and what does it all really mean?
What Is Self Worth?
The truth is that self-worth involves more than signing up for some yoga classes and downloading some self-help books to your kindle. It also doesn’t come in the form of an essential oil or candle.
Here we will be digging deeper into self-worth and how to tap into your own.
First, Let’s Talk about What Self-Worth Isn’t
Many people shy away from self-worth out of fear that they will come off as arrogant or cocky. Let’s make one thing clear, self-worth rarely looks egotistical. In fact, the root of being egotistical is actually self-doubt and low self-esteem.
Self-worth doesn’t mean believing you’re better than anyone else. Those with self-worth are actually more likely to support and empower others because they don’t have the weight of insecurity upon them.
Self-Worth and Your Job
Consider the following scenario: you have brilliant ideas that could serve your company well, but you find it hard to complete them or even bring them up.
Or maybe this one: you have been dedicating yourself to the same company for years. They can attribute much of their success to your work and talents. Yet, you haven’t seen a raise in your pay or an advancement in your position for some time.
It could be easy to blame these scenarios on competitive coworkers or your superiors not wanting to shell out extra money, but the truth is they’re all based on your self-worth.
If you don’t feel that your thoughts or ideas are worthy of being heard, then you likely won’t bring them up. If you don’t feel that your time and talent is worth a higher salary, then you won’t ask for one.
Self Worth and Your Relationships
Relationships, especially romantic ones, seem to be the most analyzed subjects among therapists. While a commonly excepted theory is that we look for a partner that reminds us of our parents, self-worth also plays a major role in the type of romantic relationships we have.
In fact, we are most likely to both accept and attract what we believe we are worth. Nothing more, nothing less.
Studies have shown that there is a direct link between low self-esteem and domestic violence. Why? Because we will not look for more if we don’t believe we deserve more.
If our self-worth has been degraded to the point where we no longer believe we deserve love, compassion, and basic human decency, we will be willing to take on the opposite.
Self Worth and Your Self Image
A great deal of how we view ourselves is dictated by the media. In fact, the media has played such a major role in the development of eating disorders that France recently passed a law against using unhealthily thin fashion models.
The good news is, there are steps you can take to fight the constant flow of negativity found in the media, starting with how you speak to yourself.
It may sound cheesy, but practicing positive mantras and complimenting yourself in the mirror daily can greatly enhance your self-worth and self-image.
Also, as difficult as it may sound, it can help to avoid social media. In a world of Instagram models, social media now thrives off of comparison. This can be detrimental to your self-worth.
How to Start Improving Your Self Worth
Now that you know how self-worth can affect your daily life, let’s dig into some simple exercises you can start to do today to improve it.
5 People/10 Things: If you have poor self-worth, this exercise may seem scary to you. You want to start by making a list of things you like about yourself, the more the better.
From there, ask five people to make a list of 10 things they love about you. Add their list to your list and refer to it whenever the negative self-talk begins.
The List: Even if you get a strong handle on your self-worth and speaking negatively towards yourself, we’re all human and we all have triggers. This means there will be times where it’s just difficult to feel good about yourself.
That’s why it’s best to prepare for such circumstances. Create a list of things that make you feel good about yourself. It could mean doing things like journaling your feelings, dressing up to go out, or just taking a little time to pamper yourself.
Put this list somewhere you can see it, such as on your fridge or bedside table. When you find yourself feeling low, try one thing off the list and then another until you feel better.
Fake it until you make it: It takes time to get to the point where you’re aware of the negative self-talk. However, once you get there it’s your job to correct it.
If you catch yourself speaking negatively about yourself (to yourself or to others), stop mid-sentence and correct it.
In the fight against yourself, there is no one who can stand up for you but you. Don’t allow your darker thoughts to take center stage.
Repeat some positive mantras to yourself. Even if you don’t believe them now, with time those thoughts will become second nature.
The Daily Practice
Now that you know what is self worth and how to improve your own, it’s up to you to make it a daily practice. By practicing mindfulness, you will become aware of the thoughts and habits that negatively affect your self-worth.
From there, you can create a solid plan on how to become the best version of yourself. The road to self-improvement isn’t an easy one, but it’s a fight that must be won every day.
In the end, you will find yourself happier and more confident, which will also benefit the lives of those around you.