Are you feeling worthless? Maybe you think you aren’t good enough for relationships, jobs, and opportunities. It’s normal to feel that way, especially if you experienced the worst in life. But as this feeling creeps in further, life will control you and cage your potential.
How do you battle this state? How do you build your self-worth again?
What is Self-worth?
Self-worth is your perceived value of yourself. It’s how we see ourselves for our qualities, both the good and bad. And accepting it accordingly.
But sometimes, we ground this value from outside forces.
Yes, we all need validation from people. After all, we’re just humans.
But what if we don’t get it from them? What if people say that we aren’t good enough? What if our love is not reciprocated? What if our bosses say we can’t level to their expectations?
Our self-worth plummets to almost nil. Unconsciously, we measure ourselves to the expectations of others. It’s good if they perceive value in us. But if they don’t, what will you do?
Measuring Your Self-Worth
The problem is how we all measure our self-worth. Based on Psychology Today’s article, most people gauge themselves with the following unhealthy measures:
- Net Worth
- Who We Know
- What We Do
Yes, these are valid parameters. But basing your whole self-worth solely on these metrics can just give temporary happiness. Just a temporary boost to your self-esteem.
And when the temporary is gone, you’re empty once again. So instead of measuring to these worldly confines, we should find our core values and create a life of meaning and purpose around it.
What your values will depend on you. But here are 8 practical tips to build your self-worth away from external validation.
Accepting Who You Are
The first step in building your self-worth is accepting who you are.
Self-acceptance. We are not perfect.
There will be people who are more intelligent, prettier, more talented and “insert-superlative-here” than all of us. It’s seldom that you will be the best in the world for something.
But there’s beauty in accepting all our strengths and weaknesses. After all, shallow love is just loving what’s good. But deep love is loving the good and the bad altogether. If we can do it for other people, why can’t we do it for ourselves?
It might be difficult. But it’s time to accept who we are in its entirety. It doesn’t mean that you don’t improve your bad qualities. It just means that regardless, you love yourself unconditionally — the rawest version of you.
Write 10 Things You Like About Yourself
Let’s start with your strengths. What do you like about yourself? Write down 10 things!
Yes, 10 things. You can do it!
Sometimes, we focus so much on other people’s validation, that we forget that we can like anything about ourselves, regardless of what other people think. You may think you’re arrogant or full of yourself for doing this.
But you owe it to yourself to like you for who you are. And that’s priceless.
Ask Your Close Friends for 10 Things They Like About You
Next, ask your closest friends for 10 things they like about you. You’ll be surprised with what you’ll get. Just tell them that you’re doing an exercise about self-worth.
When we are deep in self-loathing, we forget the things that are great about us. Sometimes, we underestimate our value and impact on the people closest to us.
It’s an eye-opening experience. And I suggest, you read these lists every morning until you are convinced enough that you emanate these positive qualities.
Managing Our Inner Critic
There will be moments when we doubt ourselves. It’s like there’s this inner voice pulling us down to somewhere safe and mundane — the inner voice that feeds us lies that we aren’t good enough. It’s like an inner critic that points out our past mistakes and flaws.
It’s time to manage your inner critic to move forward. Tame it. Ask him:
- Is there any basis for your claim?
- Is there an alternative reason for your claim?
- Are you being kind with what you’re saying?
More often than not, it’s just self-sabotage.
It’s better to let it pass. Don’t stop the thought or feeling from happening. The more you suppress your feelings, the more that they will control you.
So just acknowledge it, and tell yourself that it doesn’t define me. And there will be better moments in the future.
Be Kind To Yourself
After acceptance, what’s next? It’s just the start of the work.
Now, you have to be kind to yourself. Yes, you have flaws. But give yourself compassion, kindness, and time to work on it.
We are so used to self-deprecating thoughts that this might seem unnatural. But start to pay attention to how you talk to yourself.
Uplift yourself. Practice being grateful for every little accomplishment and blessing that you get. It can start with a gratitude journal. Or just telling yourself that you are worth it.
Next is to practice positive affirmations. According to a study, positive self-affirmations activates brain systems causing positive behavioural change.
So if you want to be better, you can start by looking at yourself in the mirror. And then, reciting simple affirmations like:
- “I love myself.”
- “I am valuable.”
- “I am worthy.”
You can even customize your own affirmations. You can check out this list to give you ideas for your own positive affirmations.
According to a study in Standford, meditation helps improve self-image. It stops us from becoming too critical of ourselves and what other people think of us. And focus on our inner being. It’s surprising that a simple exercise can create a big impact on our lives.
You can try out this guided meditation or find one of your choice. And practice it consistently.
High self-worth is crucial in our lives. We can have better jobs, better relationships, and even better lives just by knowing what we can offer. So let’s all build our self worth and live the best life we can possibly live. Cheers!