You’ve probably heard the term self worth many times. If you’re like many, however, you probably think that it’s just another way of saying self esteem. In reality, the two are different. Self worth is thought of by those in the field of psychology as your inherent value as a human being, while self esteem is usually more tied to a person’s outward appearance and accomplishments.
The enemy of both self worth and self esteem is self deprecation. This is, simply put, our way of putting ourselves down. One of the most classic examples is the person who receives a compliment and immediately denies it. We are “trained” from a very young age that acknowledging our own worth is somehow vain, conceited or otherwise wrong. Our parents and other teachers didn’t know they were instilling these negative values in us – in fact, they were raised the very same way!
Thankfully, once you realize this, you’re well on your way to optimizing your self worth while, at the same time, eliminating self-deprecation. Read on for our top three tools.
Stop Each Self Deprecating Statement and Thought
You already know the example of the poorly-taken compliment. You can probably think up loads more examples from your own life of times when somebody brought you into a positive light and you shut them down.
Eliminating these statements – both internal and verbal – is a big step toward increasing your feelings of self worth. Don’t worry about slipping up. Remember that this is a system of thinking which has been ingrained in you since a very early age. Simply take a step back and rephrase each self-deprecating statement or thought as soon as you recognize it. This is a hard process, but with dedication it can be done, and the results are well worth the time and effort.
Realizing Who You Are
This is a deceptively simple statement when it comes to self worth. You may think that you know who you are. However, if you were asked, you’d probably give an answer that has something to do with your accomplishments. Many people, for example, identify themselves as their occupation: “I’m a doctor,” or “I’m a waitress.” While these statements are true, they ignore what a person truly is, without labels or other factors.
Realizing that you are a unique human being with valuable traits is one of the first steps to increasing your self worth. What are your best qualities? Are you honest? Caring? Intelligent? Spend some time thinking about this question. If necessary, ask friends and family for honest answers. Each day, remind yourself of these things. In time, you’ll see that what you do for a living is nothing compared to who you truly are inside.
Surround Yourself with Positive People
We all have friends who build us up and make us feel good about ourselves. We also have those friend who, somehow, always manage to make us feel bad. These people are, quite literally, toxic to our sense of self worth. Talk with them about their negative thought and conversation patterns. If this doesn’t work, distance yourself from them as much as possible. They bring everybody around them down, and you simply don’t need that added stress on your journey toward a healthy sense of self worth.