Both self-worth and self-esteem are paramount in your life if you wish to make changes and become a better version of yourself. Often we get the two terms mixed up, and may even use them interchangeably. However there are subtle and important differences.
At this point, I’d like to say “Let’s start with definitions”, but apparently that is somewhat controversial! The simplest root is that self-worth is the sense of one’s own value or worth as a person, while self-esteem is more reliant on external indicators like achievements, successes and a sense of belonging to a group or a community. It can sometimes be said that good self-worth leads to good self-esteem, but that isn’t always the case.
Self-worth takes time. We are all swimming in the sea of the Corporatocracy we live in, which tells us we are only worthy if we are producers and consumers. If we aren’t pulling our weight, then we aren’t worth anything. But this is a lie. We are all born deserving. We are worthy of having our physiological needs, safety needs, sense of love and belonging all met whether we feel worthy of it or not. It is once we begin to believe in ourselves that we are then able to reach our true goals and become all we want to be.
Here are some simple ways to take steps toward improving your self-worth:
1) Make a list! Write out a list of things you’re good at. If you have a hard time coming up with many things, asks the people around you. Your friends, family, co-workers will be able to share with you how they see your efforts at work and play. Even if you’re not good at something, but you enjoy doing it, add it to the list! Use this list to focus your time and effort into sharpening your skills — this will help you feel better about your abilities!
2) Build positive relationships. Surround yourself with people who build you up! We all need cheerleaders sometimes, but we also need relationships that put in the time and energy it takes to encourage us on our path.
3) Be kind to yourself. It’s one thing to set a high-aiming goal and work hard to achieve it, but only if the goal is realistic. When we learn to accept who we are, we can truly begin to work with what we’ve got and transform into the person we know we are meant to be.
4) Start saying “no”. This seems a little counter-intuitive. But we are better served if we stop trying to please everyone around us, and instead start to focus on what matter the most to us. If we spend all of our time saying yes to everyone else’s dreams, there’s no time left for the things that excite us!
5) Challenge yourself. In every challenge there is an opportunity for growth. If we only do the things that come easily, we stagnate and lose focus of the possibilities. By challenging ourselves we can reignite that spark and step into the next chapter!
6) FAITH it ’til you make it. Rewrite the story that you currently tell yourself. Write one where you already believe in yourself now and you’ll make it to the point where what you believe is a reality. I avoid the use of the word ‘fake’ here, because it feels too inauthentic. I want you to be you AND be the you that you want to become. There’s nothing fake about that!
7) Community makes you stronger. No matter who you are, or what you’re trying to achieve, you can’t do it alone. You need people to support your goals. You need people to bounce ideas off of, you need friends for leisure between the work. There are so very many reasons to build community! If you need ideas on where to begin, send me a message!
When you start wearing your self-worth like a warm coat, you’ll realize that it becomes harder to stay around people who would rather remain out in the cold. In other words, being your worth attracts other people who are being their worth, too!