“Ordinary riches can be stolen, real riches cannot. In your soul are infinitely precious things that cannot be taken away from you.” —Oscar Wilde
Self-worth. What is it exactly? And how does one find it?
Contrary to what many believe, self-worth is different from self-esteem. Self-worth is something all of us possess on the day we are born where as self-esteem is something develops as we grow. But due to circumstances – some beyond our control and some within – we lose sight of it and forget our own unique value.
When Sarah Ferguson, on Oprah Winfrey’s talk show recently, asked the question, “How to I get self-worth?” I began to search for a clear answer, and the aha realization initially is that we all have self-worth; it is a matter of finding it within ourselves. Once we accept and acknowledge, and know, that we are worthy, the amazing journey of finding our purpose, of discovering our passions and living our most fulfilling life can really begin.
So today, I’d like to share with you 10 ways each one of us can re-discover our self-worth:
1. Love and value yourself – your dreams, your boundaries, your needs, first. This is not selfish. It is self-preservation. It is being responsible for yourself. Read this fantastic article on Lessons for Living for a more specific explanation as to why it is not being selfish.
2. Be positive. Your attitude is a powerful determiner about how you view yourself, your possibilities and current situation. Be the energy needed to propel yourself forward.
3. Cut out the negativity. If you have people in your life who never lift you up, are always reminding you of your faults, thus deflating your self-worth, pull the plug on those relationships.
4. Spend time with people who love you for who you are, support you and aren’t jealous of your aspirations and/or success. In other words, be around people who have their own lives and dreams to chase and desire to create a more fulfilling life for themselves as well.
5. Identify your strengths – build upon them. As writers are constantly reminded, write about what you know. Focus on what you do well and develop those muscles, build upon what is working for you already.
6. Set goals for yourself and devise a plan on how to achieve them. Then follow through.
7. Reward yourself for reaching your goals, for the accomplishments that you have made. And don’t feel guilty about it.
8. Don’t compromise your integrity or your values.
9. What you are feeling is valid. Trust what you feel. Even if no one else understands why you are either uncomfortable, hopeful, happy or cautious, if you feel this way, respect it and try to understand why you feel this way. Don’t allow others’ discredit of how you feel make you believe that what you are feeling isn’t important. You are feeling this way for a reason. Take the time to figure it out.
10. Take responsibility for your life. Your success rides solely on your shoulders; be thankful for this opportunity and refuse to see it as a burden. The success is possible, the contentment is attainable, as long as you grasp the reins of responsibility and are determined to lean forward and do the work, standing up for yourself along the way.
By definition, self-worth is one’s worth as a person, as perceived by oneself. Some of us are fortunate to grow up in a family that while instilling a strong work ethic, also validated everyone’s feelings, value and potential. And sadly, some people did not have this type of childhood. The good news is, we all can have the self-worth we seek because it is already within us. It resides in first, taking our lives back, making sound decisions in who we surround ourselves with, and then by standing strong in what we know, and always choosing to learn and grow.