5 Steps To Knowing Your Self-Worth And Valuing Yourself
You’ve probably experienced this more times than you liked: a boss, a lover, a friend, or even a member of your family treating you unfairly. In these instances, you tend to point blame at the other and ignore the role played by not knowing your self-worth.
Before you shoot the messenger, allow me to explain this message a little bit more and what it means to value yourself.
It is easy to forget that you get, in return, exactly what you put out into the world. The energy, attitude, and confidence you set out every day are usually the terms on which others will deal with you. They are the currency with which others transact with you.
When you analyze these instances, you realize that the common denominator in all of these instances is nothing other than YOU.
You allow others to treat you the way they do.
And why is that?
Because deep down you believe you deserve to be treated that way. Now knowing your self-worth means that you don’t see enough of your own value to think you deserve more and then demand more.
Read that again so that it digests properly; it’s important that you see your role in all of this before we continue to find out how we can change things for the better.
Not Knowing Your Self Worth Shows Up in Surprising Ways
This lack of not recognizing your value and self-worth does not necessarily show up in all areas of your life.
You could be running a successful business and bossing the competition. While at the same time settling for less than the ideal in your romantic relationships or even in your family situation, because you think too little of yourself to consider your needs as important.
You could be enjoying a growing career and great academics in school. But at the same time allowing your friends to run roughshod over you on a regular basis. Why? Because you lack the required knowledge of your self-worth to say “Enough, I deserve better from you”.
A lack of knowledge of self-worth will lead you to short-change yourself and will have you settling for cards that should have nothing to do with you.
On the other hand, properly knowing your self-worth does the opposite. Valuing yourself sets you up for respect because you respect yourself. As you know your self-worth, sets you up for love because you love yourself.
Having a solid sense of self and self-worth set you up for happiness for the very simple reason that you believe that you deserve nothing less.
The Difference Between Self-Esteem and Self-Worth
What Is Self-Esteem?
According to Dr. Christine Hibbert, a clinical psychologist, “Self-esteem is what we think and feel and believe about ourselves. Self-worth is knowing ‘I am greater than all of those things.’ It is a deep knowing that I am of value, that I am loveable, necessary to this life, and of incomprehensible worth.”
In the same vein, Dr. Lisa Firestone, the Director of Research and Education at The Glendon Association, self-worth has less to do with measuring yourself based on external actions.
It has more to do with valuing yourself on an inherent basis as a person. Or better put, self-worth has more to do with who you are rather than what you do.
In other words, self-esteem is largely built on sources that are out of yourself, most of which you have no control over.
And while self-esteem has its merits and uses to you as an individual, an overemphasis on it can pose a few problems.
According to Dr. Kristin Neff, an associate professor at the University of Texas, over-emphasizing self-esteem leads to focusing on measuring yourself against others, instead of paying more attention to your intrinsic value.
According to her, “Our competitive culture tells us we need to be special and above average to feel good about ourselves, but we can’t all be above average at the same time.”
But this leads to a losing battle because there is always someone who is prettier, more successful, and wealthier than we are.
This makes self-esteem fleeting, to say the least, constantly rising and falling like sea tides throughout the day.
What Is Self-Worth?
Unlike self-esteem, self-worth is an internal state of mind that comes from self-acceptance, self-love, and a strong understanding of yourself.
It is more stable and secure than self-esteem because it is a direct measure of the value you see in yourself in spite of what others may be saying or thinking. Self-worth does not easily change, once discovered.
And it is this timeless, unchanging nature of self-worth that endows it with the power to radically affect and improve your life for the better.
- While self-esteem says “I feel good because I am dating so and so”, self-worth says “I feel good, because I love myself in spite of everything”.
- Self-esteem beats its chest and says “I feel validated because I have X amount of dollars in the bank”, self-worth shrugs its shoulders and declares.
- While self-esteem goes “Oh I’m so happy with all the good things in my life: friends, career, romance, and so on”, self-worth screams on the rooftops that “I am so happy because I was made to be happy and deserve nothing less.
In other words, knowing the value within yourself leads to high levels of happiness and contentment.
Once you know your worthiness, your entire outlook on life and your expectations change, and your life will never be the same again.
What Does Knowing Your Self-Worth Mean?
It’s all well and good to know what self-worth is, but what does knowing your self-worth mean, and how can that change your life for the better?
Well, having a proper amount of self-worth would mean you have a favorable view of yourself. People who value themselves in this sense have an unshakable belief in their own abilities and the impact they can bring in any setting they find themselves in.
When you develop a sense of value and self-worth, you find yourself feeling worthy of love, good things, and happiness.
You quietly accept happiness, health, wealth, success, respect, and love—in spite of circumstances or other people’s opinions. You accept these as your right and stop acting surprised like you received mail on Sunday when they happen to you.
A high level of awareness of your value as a person is unyielding even in the face of your own flaws, limitations, and imperfections. You are able to recognize your value at any time and place.
Knowing your self-worth is a truly powerful state of being because it empowers you to become the sole influence over how you feel about your life and your circumstances.
It enables you to block out the judgments of others and other external factors so they don’t hold any undue influence over your internal state of mind.
Once you value yourself, you know what you deserve and you have no qualms demanding it from those you choose to interact with.
This is not about walking around with a sense of entitlement, but rather expecting others to treat you the way you treat them.
The Different Stages that Lead to Knowing Your Self-Worth
The journey towards knowing your self-worth is a winding one that can be divided into 4 stages or steps.
The first stage towards recognizing your self-worth consists of understanding yourself.
To get started with this stage, you can imagine being stripped of everything you own—friendships, career, money, possessions, achievements—whatever is tangible and or external.
How would you define yourself at that point?
What would you be left with that you would consider being of value?
How would you feel about yourself?
The answers you derive from these questions would be the real things of value within yourself, free from any external influence. This would be the real you and where your self-worth stems from.
This process of knowing your self-worth requires being brutally real with yourself and asking some hard questions:
Who am I?
What fears hold me back?
What habitual emotions of mine hurt me?
Where do I struggle the most and need to improve?
What are my strengths and abilities?
Which mistakes do I tend to repeat?
What are my gifts?
And so on.
The previous stage established a clear picture of your current level of self-worth and also where you fit in your current environment.
A lot of that information would not be the rose petals that we previously imagined them to be.
But that’s okay, because, in order to know your self-worth, you need to be real and authentic about yourself all the time. You have to accept yourself, warts and all, imperfections and beauty, just as you are.
That is what this self-acceptance stage is all about.
And it is a truly powerful stage because you cannot build a high level of self-worth without knowing and accepting all your flaws, weaknesses, and limitations, along with the good aspects of yours which you discover.
It is only after accepting yourself—the real you, that you can finally block off external influences from defining you.
After accepting yourself as you are, comes the time to treat yourself to a little self-love by treating yourself with compassion, generosity, tolerance, and kindness.
After accepting that you are human, and, thus, flawed, you can then go on to not punish yourself for it. Rather this stage requires you to give yourself empathy in spite of whatever shortcomings you may have.
One of the best ways to do this consists of speaking to yourself in compassionate terms:
I am good enough just as I am.
It’s my right to take up space; I deserve it.
Just like anyone else, I am a worthy individual.
I am capable and strong, it is safe for me to reconnect with my power.
And so on.
At this stage, you are so focused on your deservedness, in spite of your flaws, that you no longer need outside approval to dictate whether you are worthy of good things in this life or not.
4. Take Ownership
This is the stage where you take responsibility for your life and internal dispositions.
You can interact with others without giving away your personal power to define yourself and how you respond to external circumstances.
At this stage of knowing your self-worth, you can truly consider yourself to be liberated.
No matter how people feel about you or how negative circumstances get, it would have no bearing on how you feel about yourself. The way you value yourself will not be affected.
You would respond to anything around you based on what resources you have uncovered within you.
A Shorter and Better Route Towards Valuing Yourself
The above method involving 4 stages works. But it can be brutal and long.
If you have no problem taking such a brutally honest look at yourself and spending several months doing so, no problem, go ahead.
But I must tell you about a shorter, yet effective way, one that involves only one step to know your self-worth. (yes, I still believe we should all do extensive work and take conscious steps towards improving ourselves daily.)
You could improve your self-worth and sense of value by listening to subliminal messages. These hidden positive affirmations have been scientifically proven to be capable of rewiring your brain and forming permanent new behaviors.
This is the reason why I created a special “self-worth” recording to help you know your self-worth faster and easier.
By listening to this track for only 15-30 minutes a day, you would rewire your brain to value yourself as a person.
Before you go, get instant access to my self-worth booster to develop unshakable confidence. This tool is packed with a constant stream of positive commands that will help you re-wire the limiting subconscious beliefs.