The Merriam Webster dictionary defines self-worth as, “a feeling that you are a good person who deserves to be treated with respect.” For some people, this feeling comes naturally. They carry themselves confidently and show themselves respect with their mind, body, and soul. For others, this sense of self-worth isn’t so clear-cut.
Why is it so difficult sometimes for us to love ourselves?
Understanding self-worth and building it is a critical part of being a fully actualized individual. Without self-worth our relationships in life suffer – especially the one we have with ourselves. Building a sense of self-worth takes time, patience, understanding and learning to love oneself.
It can be difficult to learn, nurture and grow your sense of self-worth in a digital age when so much value is placed on artificial things and are often unattainable. However, in order to grow as an individual and find your sense of self-worth there are some things you can do to learn to love yourself more and find your true potential.
- Define your self-worth
This one is big, but it is key. Take a deep breath, relax and make some time to discover what your values are in life. Don’t worry about what others will think; just focus on defining what you think is best for you. Do you value friendship? Do you care about the environment? Taking the time to sit down and figure this out can help you have a better perspective of how you want to live your life set on your own terms.
- Be mindful of your thoughts
You know that little voice in your head that fires off when something has gone wrong and the worrywart in you is just rambling on about all the “what-ifs”? Learn to quietly calm that voice down, give it a glass of water and take a mental five-minute break. Negative thoughts are natural reactions we have, but you control your mind. Don’t allow your mind to control you with negativity. Mind over matter. You got this.
- Unplug from social media
Ever have FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)? It’s hard not to check social media but it’s also a large contributor to low self-esteem. Learning to unplug and reconnect with yourself is vital for building your sense of self-worth. Keep in mind; what people post on social media isn’t always a true reflection of how they are living their lives.
- Set boundaries
Learning what your boundaries are on an emotional level will help you build self respect for yourself and will also make people respect you more. When boundaries aren’t established, it leaves us vulnerable to being taken advantage of. Decide for yourself how you want to be treated and try not to give in to people pleasing. You can start by setting small goals and being firm on saying no.
- Deal with your past experiences
We all have experiences from our past that hold us back from moving forward with our lives. It could be a bad breakup, a bad job, or a fall-out with a good friend. Maybe there is something from your childhood that is holding you back. It’s going to be hard, but learning to face them and come to terms with it can take the weight of the world off your shoulders. Give yourself the peace of mind to move on – you deserve it.
- Give thanks and gratitude
Every single day, find something to be thankful and grateful for. This little bit of appreciation will positively affect your outlook on life, build empathy, and increase your overall happiness. It could even be something small, like being thankful for having a job or feeling grateful for a friend who called you to catch up.
- Learn to accept yourself
It’s easy to compare yourself to others and let it put you in a bad mood. Know that everyone is different and unique – and that’s a good thing! Learn to accept yourself for who you are – quirks and all. A strong and powerful way to build self-worth is reciting positive affirmations about yourself and learning to stop comparing yourself to others.
- Show yourself some love
Paint, read, write! Move over the busy schedule and jot down some time to show yourself some love by pursuing your passions. Use this time as free space to rediscover yourself or invest your hobbies. Even if you’re just relaxing and listening to music, it’s important to carve out time for yourself. You deserve it.
Building your self-worth can often be a life long journey. But it’s ok. Life happens and things change but we will always find a way to adapt. Your sense of self-worth will evolve over time – just like you. Don’t worry about making hard and fast rules. It will only cause greater stress. The key is to focus on taking small positive steps toward loving yourself more and building self-worth that will permeate happiness set on your own terms.