For many of us, our sense of self-worth can be an uphill struggle. From lack of self-esteem to low self confidence, if you’re feeling stuck in a rut and bogged down with negative self-talk, you’re not alone. And while the concept of confidence and self-worth may seem like a trivial one, it’s anything but. Positive self-worth is critical to health, happiness and well being, and without it, it can have a negative impact on one’s mental health.
Before we start, it’s important to differentiate between self-esteem and self-worth, as while they both relate to the way in which someone views themselves, there is a subtle difference between the two. While your self-esteem can be influenced by your self-worth, it is directly related to how you feel about yourself at any given moment, based entirely on your actions. Self-worth, however, is an internal state of being that comes from self-love, understanding and acceptance, and isn’t influenced by what others say or do. A direct measure of how you value yourself, it means having a favorable opinion and unshakeable faith in your own ability, and having a high sense of self-worth has the power to radically improve your life for the better.
Fortunately, if your own self-worth is lacking, there are a number of ways in which you can start conquering your demons and break the cycle of negativity you might find yourself in. And while cultivating self-worth can be surprisingly difficult to those it doesn’t come naturally to, rest assured that there are practical steps to help you on your way. From tips that will result in an instant and sustainable increase in your self-worth, to solutions that may take slightly longer, we’ve rounded up ten practical ways in which you can effectively build and nurture your self-worth, and instill a deeper belief in yourself.
- The first step when it comes to reigniting your self-worth is to accept that the process will not be an overnight one. While there are numerous ways in which to see instant results to your happiness and self-worth, it’s something that must be worked on consistently, in order to achieve real and long-term results. Getting a solid foundation and into the daily habit on working on your self worth is a fundamental part of nurturing it, and will ensure sustainable growth that can last for a life time.
- A simple way in which to build your self-worth is to do something for yourself every day. Taking time for yourself to do something as simple as reading a book or mediating is a key factor when it comes to mastering self-worth. Carve out time each and every day and get into the habit of guilt-free me-time.
- They say that comparison is the thief of joy, and it’s certainly true when it comes to negative self-worth patterns. Stop comparing your behind-the-scenes to someone else’s highlights reel. In an era where many of us live our lives online, it’s easy to think that those around us are happier and more successful than they actually are. Comparing yourself to other people – particularly to an online falsehood you don’t know to be true – can be damaging to your self worth. Boost your self-worth by running your own race, at whichever pace best suits you.
- Be generous. Giving to others and being generous is one of the best ways to feel good about yourself. And giving doesn’t have to cost a penny; lending a listening ear to someone in need or volunteering your time are two worthy acts of generosity. The rewards of giving are plentiful - increased happiness, an improved level of self confidence, and a wonderful feeling of satisfaction.
- Improve your self-talk: If you’re your own worst critic, turn that around and be your best source of praise. The first step is working on your self-awareness, by being mindful when you do find yourself thinking negatively about yourself. If you do find yourself in the midst of negative self-talk, turn this around by thinking about how you speak to a loved-one, and start speaking to yourself in the same way. Be nurturing, loving and reassuring at all times. Get into the habit of reminding yourself on a daily basis that you are worthy of love, happiness and success. Ignite your self worth by encouraging and supporting yourself in the same way you would uplift and champion a best friend.
- Work on self acceptance. In a world where many of us strive for perfection, one of the best ways to overcome this is to accept that no-one is perfect, whatever it might seem on the surface. An unrelenting endeavor for flawlessness is not only unrealistic, it too is damaging to our sense of self-worth.Making mistakes is part of life; learn and flourish from them, but don’t allow them to become an obstacle for growth. With enough effort, being willing to accept and love your imperfections – however big or small - will allow you to soar past anything standing in your way.
- Avoid negativity. People with high states of self worth, are often those who consciously take steps to avoid all forms of negativity. The two main sources of negativity are internal thoughts and feelings and external environment. By surrounding yourself with friends who are uplifting and supportive and avoiding spending time with negative and narrow-minded people, you’ll see a drastic increase in your self-worth. And if you’re prone to negative thoughts and feelings, try turning them into something positive. Remember, say no to negativity, it will bring you down, alongside your sense of self-worth. Surround yourself with positivity and wonderful things will happen to you.
- Trust yourself. Elevate your self-worth by learning to listen and rely on your own feelings, and not automatically react or respond to the feelings of others. Trusting your own feelings will give you a better sense of self-worth, and as such you’ll be better equipped to recognize unfair demands from others, and will thus be able to respond to them better. When we let others make decisions for us, of when we allow those around us to influence our own decisions, our self-worth can take a knock. While initially, letting others make decisions for us may seem like the easy route and one that allows you to avoid hard choices, your self-worth will grow when you make decisions for yourself. If you don't, you will always find yourself boxed in by what other people decide for you. It may feel uncomfortable at first, but make a mindful and conscious effort to trust your gut and your instinct and you’ll be better equipped to make informed decisions that are right for you in the weeks, months, and years to come.
- Forgive: Many of us hold on to feeling of regret for past experiences, or resentment towards others who have done us wrong in the past, but blaming either ourselves or others for past misfortunes can have a negative impact on our self-worth. Relinquish the need to use blame as a source of coping; blame alleviates the need to look at yourself and to change your own behavior. Blame will leave you stuck in time and stuck with your negative feelings, and it perpetuates feelings of helplessness. Instead chose to forgive, always. Forgiving yourself and others for trials and tribulations from days gone by will give you a fresh foot on which to start this new chapter of your life, and you’ll find a new sense of self-worth to boot.
- Take action. It’s all very well knowing which steps to take to reignite your self-worth, but the knowledge is useless without any action to accompany it. By taking action, you’ll find the landscape around you changing, and that you’re better able to deal with obstacles and difficulties that come your way. Don’t get caught up in the minutia of life, learn to let go when you are able. When you take action, you are taking responsibility for yourself and you will begin to grow and develop as a person, as well as helping to hone and nurture your sense of self-worth.begin to grow. Take the time to appreciate and reflect on the progress you’re making and learn to always be kind to yourself on your journey to reignite your self-worth.
The benefits of an increased self worth are ample and varied, and include everything from higher self confidence to a more positive attitude and a greater feeling of acceptance. Boosting your self worth will bring about many opportunities in life – both socially and professionally - and will undoubtedly affect your day-to-day happiness. Some of the steps will be easier than others, and while some may come more naturally, you may find others more effortful.By making small, regular changes to the way in which you live, the people with whom you spend your time and the way in which you speak to yourself, you will find yourself well on your way to creating a life with an abundance of self worth.