Updated: Mar 7
Have you ever had trouble with your self-worth or self-esteem?
Most people will say a big fat "YES" to this. Many of us have had questions about our self-worth in life. Sometimes we wonder what value we bring to others, if we genuinely matter, what value we bring to the world, etc.
Often we hold ourselves to impossible standards and forget to pat ourselves on the back, to look back to see how far we have come or to appreciate ourselves and celebrate the little things in life.
We've all heard the quote: "One day, looking back, the little things will be the big things."
Well, we can start seeing those things as the big things now.
Often we can forget what truly matters to us as individuals because we get sucked into societal conditioning that tells us we have to want what society thinks is right for us.
We get pulled into believing that we should be something else, do something else, or have more of something to be considered valuable and worthy as human beings.
Our culture says...
"You have to earn your worth."
"You have to have X wealth to be a valuable person."
"You must look a certain way to be accepted..."
"Compared to that person, you are no good"...
The distinction that must be made is this, you need to earn worth to the marketplace, you need to earn worth to be valued on the soccer team, you need to earn your value as an employee, but you are valuable as a human being, no matter what. Being a human is separate from doing human things. I think most people would agree that babies are valuable. Yet they cannot do anything. They didn't earn that value.
I prefer to believe that everyone is inherently valuable, just for being.
I believe you can build a sense of self-esteem by gaining competence in something you value.
Example: A kid with low self-esteem can do a sport like boxing or martial arts for a few years, which will be great for their self-esteem. This confidence can spread into the rest of their life and give them higher self-esteem. Or, more specifically, a more empowering self-concept.
True self-worth/self-esteem is unconditional = needing no conditions/skills/etc.
In life, it's easy to get pulled into a never-ending cycle of "I'm not good enough until.....".
And same goes for comparison. The people who play the comparison game forget that it never ends...
If you struggle with self-worth/self-esteem issues, here are some self-coaching questions that might bring your more clarity, more self-esteem, and more awareness of how to build self-esteem.
Spend a few minutes journaling your answers to each question:
1. How do you know you lack self-worth/self-esteem? What is telling your this?
2. How will you know when you do have self-worth/self-esteem? What will change? What will this look, sound and feel like?
3. What specifically do you want regarding self-worth/self-esteem? What will this look, sound and feel like?
4. What do you believe needs to happen for you to be worthy?
5. Does a newborn baby need to do anything to be worthy?
6. At what age does a person become conditionally worthy?
7. Who do you compare yourself to? How are their results in their life a reflection of your worth? Is this realistic, or are you being tough on yourself?
8. What do you genuinely need to be truly fulfilled in your life?
This is often a lot less than we have been led to believe. For example, it's a few high-quality friends, health, daily joy, a steady income, an enjoyable weekly routine, a mission, and a daily practice of gratitude for life. What is it for you?
9. Is there anything you are not fully accepting of yourself?
Practicing self-acceptance is a foundational skill for self-worth/self-esteem.
10. Can you accept yourself entirely as you are now?
Remember that you are human. You're perfectly imperfect like everyone else. Build unconditional self-acceptance into your daily routine. It is a practice.
11. Who is in charge of your beliefs about yourself?
Take responsibility for nourishing your inner world by empowering yourself with higher-quality beliefs about yourself.
12. What beliefs do you have about yourself that are not serving you?
Example: I am not where I "should be," I "could" be better, etc. These beliefs often disguise themselves as "I'm holding you to a high standard," but they only serve as a good way to beat yourself up constantly. What can you replace them with that will be more productive?
13. What do you believe about your life that doesn't feel good?
14. Do these beliefs serve you? If not, what belief can you replace it with that will support the life you want?
15. What do you want to choose to believe about yourself?
16. What kind of self-talk do you engage in? Negative self-talk? If yes, what does it say?
17. Does this self-talk help you or hurt you?
18. What do you genuinely appreciate about yourself? What can you celebrate about yourself?
19. What is important to you about life that you are not doing, getting, or having?
20. In what areas do you need to have more patience with yourself so you can enjoy the journey more?
Enjoy the journey,