• Chantal Porter

What is Self-worth and How Do We Build It?

Updated: Aug 26, 2019

We live in the greatest information age there ever was, yet, despite the increase in the access to information, there is still general misinformation and misunderstanding surrounding the matter of self-worth. There is a tendency to confuse self-worth with self-confidence but the two are not exactly the same. Self-confidence is directed towards your ability to do things and to achieve goals.

Self-worth, however, goes deeper and is more intrinsic than self-confidence.

While the various “self” concepts are linked, understanding them on a singular level may help you to develop the individual concepts and apply them in your life.

To tackle the misunderstanding surrounding self-worth, let’s address some myths directly:

Your self worth is not determined by:

  1. Your ability to attract a mate

  2. Your weight or any other physical feature

  3. Your job

  4. Your degree(s) or level of education

  5. The number of followers you have on social media

  6. The number of contacts in your phone

  7. What others think about you.

We are all born with a full tank of self-worth. Babies have a healthy perception of themselves. They believe that they are worth the attention they demand each time they cry and they do not doubt or fear their capacities. As we grow older, however, we adopt, cultivate and almost fight for our self-limiting beliefs, which slowly erodes our self-esteem. When our self-esteem is affected, it may become evident in our self-confidence. We no longer believe in our abilities, because the way we view ourselves has changed. We aren’t fearless, invincible or bulletproof in our own eyes anymore.

The reasons are usually external. We suddenly get caught in the webs of comparison and criticisms only to wind up struggling with negative self-talk. It’s quite stressful if I’m completely honest and if left unchecked, it’s a web that will spin out of control.

So what do you do?

Define, outline and clarify your values

Your values are the building blocks to your soul. If you have foggy values, then you’ll find yourself in situations that leave you feeling confused. Have you ever done something but had no idea how you felt about it? It’s a value issue. Everyone’s values are different. You cannot copy and paste someone else’s values just because the words sound good. You have to decide what’s really important to you. What moves you, inspires you, ignites you and encourages you?

You can generally find your values reclining in the alleyways of your honest responses.

Live within your values

Once you have defined your values, become resolute in these values. You may find yourself at odds with those who share different values but it won’t really matter at the end of the day. Why? Because you would have been true to yourself. You made a deposit into your self-worth bank account. By living within your clearly defined values, you declare to yourself that your thoughts are relevant, your feelings are worthwhile and you know who you are.

This kind of clarity, boosts your self-image, worth, esteem and confidence. Making value-based decisions is really the way to go.

Help others

Compassion, kindness, and empathy help to boost self-worth. While our self-worth should not be determined by others, there is a part of us that is positively affected by helping others. It is that part of us that longs to be involved in something bigger than ourselves. It is hard to view yourself poorly through the lens of those whose lives you’ve positively blessed.

Flip the script

Talking negatively about yourself is easy to do. Cut it out. Change the dialogue that’s happening in your head. Negative self-talk is based on harsh criticisms and misplaced dissatisfaction. Learning to love yourself starts with the words you say when no one else is listening but you.

You, my dear friend, are lovely. You are valuable and you are worthy of all the great things you want in your life. Unfortunately, we don’t attract what we want in this life, instead, we attract what we are. So, believe with me today that you’re worthy because you are. It will change your life.

I have included a post on the five major lessons that I learned at age 25 that you might find very useful.

"It's not about how hard you can hit; it's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward."-Rocky Balboa

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