Once we recognize that self-worth is an issue for us, then what? How do we improve our self-worth?
Self-worth is the intrinsic value that we place on ourselves. It’s the sense of worth that we feel about ourselves without external factors having impact. Self-worth is not determined by outside forces, but rather your sense of self-worth comes from within.
Truly our confidence is deeply rooted in both self-esteem and self-worth, with the understanding of our worth taking precedence.
What Are The Warning Signs of Low Self-Worth?
Look out for the following:
- You struggle to set strong personal boundaries
- You suffer from constant self-doubt
- You’re cynical about the value of what you do
- You struggle to believe that anyone could really love you
- You can’t accept compliments without feeling embarrassed/skeptical
- You always put other’s needs above your own
- You settle for less in relationships and jobs thinking it’s ‘the best you can do’
- You value other people’s opinions above your own
- You always feel a sense of anxiety and tension around others
- You are scared of sharing your authentic self with the world
- You let others walk over or mistreat you
- Instead of feeling like the Master of your life, you feel like someone always needing help or victim always being hurt
- You struggle to speak up and be assertive about your needs
- You don’t know what your true needs are
- You feel more depressed than happy
How to Find Self-Worth and Value Yourself More
For exploring your self-worth, I recommend journaling about the following questions:
- What is something that no one could ever take away from me?
- Who am I and who am I not?
- What kind of person do others expect me to be?
- What does self-worth mean to me?
- What false ideas have I been taught about myself?
- What external things don’t define my self-worth?
- If I lost everything in my life, what would I still have that would be of value?
There are things you can do to boost your sense of self-worth and ensure that you value yourself like you ought to be valued—as a full, complete, and wonderful human being that is deserving of love and respect, no matter what.
First, take a look back at the list of what does not determine self-worth. Remind yourself that your bank account, job title, attractiveness, and social media following have nothing to do with how valuable or worthy a person you are.
It’s easy to get caught up in chasing money, status, and popularity—especially when these things are highly valued by those around us and by society in general—but make an effort to take a step back and think about what truly matters when determining people’s worth: their kindness, compassion, empathy, respect for others, and how well they treat those around them.
Second, work on identifying, challenging, and externalizing your critical inner voice. We all have an inner critic that loves to nitpick and point out our flaws.
Whenever you notice your inner critic start to fire up with the criticisms, make it pause for a moment. Ask yourself whether the words have any basis in fact, whether they are kind or not, and whether what your inner critic is telling you is something you need to know. If none of those things are true, feel free to silence that critic!
Challenging the inner critic on what is whispered in your ear will remind you that no matter what you do or don’t do, you are worthy and valuable.
Exercises for Developing Self-Worth
1. Increase your self-awareness.
An important activity on the road to self-worth is to build self-awareness. Watch for negative aspects that bring your energy down. Pay attention to your internal dialogue. Stop comparing yourself to others: you’re unique and unlike anyone else.
Reclaiming your own sense of power in your life is crucial. That idea that we are somehow not acceptable exactly as we are and that we need to wear a mask in order to be accepted is just plain wrong. Authenticity is the key to reclaiming that power.
2. Boost your self-acceptance through forgiveness.
Enhance your acceptance of yourself by forgiving yourself for any past regrets. Think of any struggles, needs for improvement, mistakes, and bad habits you have, and commit to forgiving yourself and accepting yourself without judgment or excuses.
- I accept the good, the bad and the ugly;
- I fully accept every part of myself including my flaws, fears, behaviors, and qualities I might not be too proud of.
- This is how I am, and I am at peace with that.
3. Enhance your self-love
Now that you have worked on accepting yourself for who you are, you can begin to build love and care for yourself. Make it a goal to extend yourself kindness, tolerance, generosity, and compassion.
To boost self-love, start paying attention to the tone you use with yourself. Commit to being more positive and uplifting when talking to yourself.
If you’re not sure how to get started, think (or say aloud) these simple statements:
- I feel valued and special
- I love myself wholeheartedly
- I am a worthy
Pay attention to your inner critic and change that dialogue. Challenge what that negative internal pattern looks like.
4. Replace people-pleasing with self-care
Once you understand, accept, and love yourself, you will reach a point where you no longer depend on people, accomplishments, or other external factors for your self-worth.
At this point, the best thing you can do is recognize your worth and appreciate yourself for the work you’ve done to get here, as well as continuing to maintain your self-understanding, self-acceptance, self-love, and self-worth.
To recognize your self-worth, remind yourself that:
- You no longer need to please other people;
- No matter what people do or say, and regardless of what happens outside of you, you alone control how you feel about yourself;
- You have the power to respond to events and circumstances based on your internal sources, resources, and resourcefulness, which are the reflection of your true value;
- Your value comes from inside, from an internal measure that you’ve set for yourself.
Create a daily routine of self-care that feeds life and energy back into your soul. Make you the priority.
5. Take responsibility for yourself
In this stage, you will practice being responsible for yourself, your circumstances, and your problems.
Follow these guidelines to ensure you are working on this exercise in a healthy way:
- Take full responsibility for everything that happens to you without giving your personal power and your agency away;
- Acknowledge that you have the personal power to change and influence the events and circumstances of your life.
Remind yourself of what you have learned through all of these exercises, and know that you hold the power in your own life. Revel in your well-earned sense of self-worth and make sure to maintain it.
If you would like support in understanding more about self-worth or self-esteem, let’s have a free clarity call.
If you’d like more information check this article on Understanding Self-Worth.
Katrina Murphy is a Professional Intuitive Mindset and Confidence Coach in Ontario, Canada, serving clients across Canada and internationally. Katrina helps professionals to change the relationship that they have with themselves so they can reconnect both in their relationships and at work. She’s been featured in various publications and is the creator of the Power-Passion-Purpose Framework.