Self worth as a concept is often considered another term for self esteem. If one is suffering from low self esteem we often regard them as having a low sense of worth.
These two terms however are not on par. Self worth is about who you are. Not what you do.
In this day and age however, without conscious awareness we do tend to base our self worth on external objects and achievements.
We compare ourselves to others and our level of self worth is often derived from comparison. Unfortunately though, there is a massive flaw to this because there will always be someone that does things better than you, that looks better, achieves more, does more and our yard stick, despite our best intentions will never meet at a place where we feel content and happy for very long.
Materialistic goals will only nudge our self worth so far. Our sense of self needs an inner focus. Rather than looking outward for that which serves us and provides us with a healthy sense of self worth, we need to turn our attention inward.
Some of the qualities that will foster a healthy sense of self are mindfulness, self compassion, volunteer work and the process of taming our unhelpful thoughts. If you can acknowledge that you are doing the best that you can, with the resources that you’ve got, you are half way there. Because unfortunately, we are so often our own worst enemy and this is why mindfulness and self compassion are such important skills to foster. They allow us to be OK with being where we are instead of constantly experiencing the itch to climb the ladder.
When we are mindful we are more in tune with what we need to do to look after ourselves.
Rather than following what others deem to be important and essential for their well-being, we can focus on what we really need which automatically nurtures our self worth because we are engaging in that which serves us well.
Challenging our own negative Nancy’s is a process that does take time and dedication, but is so worth it.
Some helpful questions we can routinely ask ourselves are:
- If my friend had this thought what would I say to them?
- Is this fact or opinion?
- Is this thought serving me well?
- Is it helpful?
All in all, we can create a strong sense of worth by taking the reins and choosing what serves us.
We can establish what serves us through employing mindfulness as a tool, we can source love for ourselves by relying on compassion, shush our inner critic by actively challenging thoughts and by allowing volunteering to ensure that we don’t get too caught up in our own stuff.
Volunteering gives us all the feels and is a great natural boost to our sense of self. It gets you out of your head and into the moment. A healthy sense of self worth is an inside job and it lays the foundations for happiness and contentment so time spent nurturing your self worth is always time well spent.
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Self Worth Exercise
Challenge your thoughts with this simple worksheet.
1. Thought to be Challenged; 2. 1-10 (How much I believe it); 3. Fact or Opinion; 3. What would I say to a friend? and 4. Challenged Thought (how you feel after going through the first four columns)
Whenever you notice that you’re feeling average, whether it be low or anxious, grab this worksheet or create your own on a piece of paper and start filling it out and shush that inner critic!
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About Victoria Hood
Victoria has been working in the mental health and addiction field over the past 7 years since leaving University with an honours degree in Psychology. During her time spent working in addiction, Victoria was introduced to the practice of mindfulness. Since this time Victoria has become extremely passionate about incorporating mindfulness into both her professional and her family life.
Victoria has an honours degree in Psychology from the University of Canterbury. She is a Life Coach, Mindfulness Coach, Mindfulness Practitioner in schools and is a passionate holistic health and well-being advocate and facilitator of mindfulness based workshops.
More about Victoria…