Understanding Self-Worth

March 28, 2024

an image of someone thinking about their self-worth

Self-worth is commonly understood as the way in which someone perceives themselves to be of value and significance as a person. The manner in which people evaluate their self-worth can vary greatly, though. Read on to learn more about improving self-worth and discover the importance of cultivating genuine self-worth in a world where many are struggling with feelings of inadequacy.

What is Self-Worth?

Self-worth definition, according to APA (American Psychological Association) is an individual’s assessment of themself as a competent and valuable person deserving of recognition, respect, and affection. Self-worth expresses the extent to which people value, respect, and cherish themselves in the same way as someone might extend love, respect, and consideration when interacting with others, 

Individuals with a healthy sense of self-worth often exhibit higher levels of self-confidence and self-esteem. Conversely, having diminished self-worth is characterized by severe self-criticism, a diminished view of self, and a tendency to dwell on personal faults and weaknesses rather than acknowledging personal strengths and talents.

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How to Build Self-Worth

When attempting to assess your self-worth, it can be insightful to ask yourself a few questions beforehand:

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  • How deeply do you appreciate, respect, and hold yourself in esteem?
  • What words would you use to introduce yourself to someone new?
  • In moments of self-reflection, do your thoughts about yourself tend to be positive, negative, or a mix of both?
  • Do you feel that you deserve love, respect, and consideration from others?

Posing these questions to yourself can prompt meaningful introspection, clarifying your perception of self-worth. Beyond this, it may be beneficial to explore the roots of your beliefs and feelings about your own value, understanding where these impressions originate from.

After reflecting on these questions and beginning to understand the foundations of your self-worth, you might wonder, “What next?” How do you build or enhance this sense of intrinsic value? The journey to building a more robust sense of self-worth is both personal and transformative, involving intentional steps toward self-acceptance and self-love. Here are some simple strategies to guide you on this path:

  • Practice self-compassion: Extend yourself the same forgiveness, compassion, and understanding that you would offer a friend. Acknowledge your imperfections without judgment rather than fixating upon your flaws – nobody is perfect.
  • Set boundaries: Learning to say no and establishing limits with others can help you honor your needs and feelings, reinforcing your sense of self-respect.
  • Cultivate positive relationships: Surround yourself with supportive and encouraging people who recognize your worth and help you see it, too.
  • Stretch yourself: Move out of your comfort zone and learn a new skill, pursue a hobby, or tackle a challenge at work. Deliberately engage with challenging activities to begin enhancing your self-esteem right away.
  • Challenge negative thoughts: When you catch yourself dwelling on negative self-talk, challenge these thoughts by asking for evidence, seeking alternative explanations, or focusing on your strengths and achievements.
  • Affirm your value: Regularly remind yourself of your qualities, achievements, and the positive impact you have on others. Affirmations can help shift your focus from what you think you lack to the value which you inherently possess.
  • Seek support when needed: Sometimes, building self-worth can be challenging, especially if you’re dealing with deep-rooted issues. Don’t hesitate to seek support from friends, family, or mental health professionals.

Building self-worth is about recognizing and nurturing your inner value, beyond external validation or achievements. By adopting these practices, you can develop a stronger, more resilient sense of self-worth that empowers you to live authentically and confidently.

How to Improve Self-Worth

Improving self-worth is an ongoing process, so here’s how to continue building upon your sense of self-worth:

  • Reflect on past successes: Spend time reminiscing about moments of success, no matter how small. These reflections can reinforce your belief in your abilities and contributions.
  • Embrace vulnerability: Allowing yourself to be vulnerable with trusted individuals can strengthen connections and remind you that your worthiness isn’t contingent on being perfect.
  • Practice gratitude: Regularly acknowledging what you’re grateful for, including your own qualities and actions, can shift your perspective to one which recognizes and values your worth.
  • Focus on self-improvement: Pursue personal growth not to prove your value to others, but to enrich your own life and fulfill your personal goals and desires.
  • Detach worth from productivity: Understand that your value isn’t measured by your productivity. Rest and leisure are essential components of a balanced life and self-acceptance.
  • Celebrate small wins: Acknowledge and celebrate small wins along the way. This practice reinforces belief in your capabilities and worth.
  • Mindfulness and meditation: Engaging with mindfulness practices can help you stay present and reduce self-critical thoughts, promoting a more compassionate relationship with yourself.
  • Reframe failures as learning opportunities: Viewing setbacks not as reflections of your worth but as chances to grow can significantly enhance your resilience and self-esteem.
  • Write a self-appreciation journal: Regularly jot down things you appreciate about yourself. This can include traits, achievements, or ways in which you’ve been kind to yourself or others.
  • Limit comparison: Try to catch yourself when you compare your life to the lives of others. Remember that everyone’s journey is unique, and comparison often overlooks the nuances of individual lives.
  • Seek constructive feedback: Instead of shying away from feedback, seek it out constructively. Use it as a tool for personal and professional growth, not as a measure of your worth.

Improving self-worth is a deeply personal journey that evolves over time. By integrating these strategies into your daily life, you can continue to cultivate a healthier, more positive relationship with yourself, reinforcing the belief in your intrinsic value and capability.

Learn How to Improve Self-Worth at Connections Mental Health

If you need help improving your self-worth, reach out to Connections in Southern California. We offer immersive and compassionate inpatient treatment for anyone looking to improve their emotional well-being and enhance everyday functioning.

When you engage with treatment at Connections, you won’t find yourself feeling overwhelmed. We limit intake at our small luxury facility to just six people at any one time. This enables you to get plenty of personal attention without missing out on the support of peers grappling with similar issues.

Over the course of one month at our beachside facility, you will have access to talk therapies like CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) and DBT (dialectical behavior therapy), as well as motivational therapies, holistic treatments, counseling,  and medication management. Call 844-759-0999 today and begin improving your self-worth right away

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