I Have Confidence in Me: A Quick Guide to Self-Worth
What is self-worth and how can I find value in me? If you were to look at the dictionary definition of self-worth it states, “the sense of one’s own value or worth as a person.” That’s great Webster! I appreciate the obvious, but I still have questions. Who defines you, and is this a learned trait or innate?
In today’s culture we are easily defined by tangible and fleeting titles. Brene Brown eloquently states, “In a society that says, ‘put yourself last,’ self-love and self-acceptance are almost revolutionary.” It is no wonder we get confused when we talk about self-esteem and self-worth as if they are congruent with one another. In my opinion, self-esteem finds value in external factors like appearance, finances, and job status. When your sports team does not go to finals and you are the star player this affects self-esteem. When you do not get that promotion at work as promised, this is also a low blow to the self-esteem bank. Self-worth, however, should find its roots from a more internal value of oneself that is less likely to fluctuate from the day to day stressors.
The problem is most of us did not grow up around healthy, supportive parents who fed and nurtured this truth into our lives. Even with all the right factors in place, depending on life experiences and trauma, we can still find ourselves doubting every fiber of our being. It is easier to let our work, social groups, and good looks do the talking instead of addressing the true person within. The sad reality is, external factors can be disappointing and misleading. I would dare to say our definition of self is defined by both external and internal experiences, emotions, culture, and family dynamics.
So how do we reevaluate our self-worth and love ourselves again? There are many ways we can set ourselves back on track but at the end of the day it is a choice. We are the true factors in changing our self-worth and the road to recovery may be long and arduous, but so worth it! I have listed a few steps I have personally applied in loving myself more.
Step one- be honest with yourself. Remember imperfection is a normal human experience we all face no matter your status. You are perfectly imperfect and that is wonderful! We are all unique and this in itself gives you inherent value.
Step two- address that critical inner voice that constantly feeds you destructive thoughts. This step may be the hardest because you may have been living with this “coach” inside your head for quite some time. We may easily be able to pinpoint where this critical inner voice originated from, or through therapy it is later discovered. These critics come in various forms such as family, upbringing, social groups, social media, and partners. Addressing this internal critic gives you a foundation for change. You must acknowledge your pain and be kinder to yourself. Your experiences are a part of your story, but do not define your worthiness.
Step three- practice! Make a daily routine of telling yourself how worthy you are. Whether you look in the mirror and tell yourself or leave sticky notes around the office, eventually these thoughts will stick.
Are you struggling with self-esteem or self-worth? Do you have a friend or family member who does not see their value as an individual? A licensed mental health professional can help. Please call Life Enhancement Counseling Services today at 407-443-8862 to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced Orlando counselors.
Brene Brown: The Gifts of Imperfection