What is Self Worth?
I’m sure you have heard all of these “self-” words over the last ten years. There is self-compassion, self-esteem, self-worth, self-respect, self-confidence, self-love, and the list goes on and on. In today’s world, we’re bombarded with new ways in describing how we feel, think, and behave towards ourselves and others.
Through each of these known and yet to be known ways of understanding how we feel and think, the more we learn how each one is unique from the next, and with its own purpose.
I would like to talk about “self-worth” in this post today.
Self-worth and self-value is often used interchangeably. Both have similar meanings but when you look a little bit deeper, you will find just how unique each of these two words are from each other. Having a sense of self-worth means that you value yourself, and having a sense of self-value means that you are worthy. The differences between the two are minimal enough that both terms can be used to describe the same general concept.
Generally speaking, self-worth is defined as a feeling that you are a good person who deserves to be treated with respect. Self-value is more behavioral than emotional; it is more about how you act toward what you “value”. For instance, this could be how you feel about yourself compared to those around you.
Comparing self-esteem to self-worth: self-esteem is more what we feel, think, and believe about ourselves. Self-worth is about declaring “I am greater than all of those things”.
You are lovable, you have value, necessary to this life and are of incomprehensible worth.
Why Do I Bring This Up?
Personally, I recently began questioning my own self-worth. Am I necessary? Is it my self-esteem that has been negatively impacted by recent events? What value do I actually have in this world? These questions led me on a journey towards understanding the difference between all these “self-” words. Stranger than fiction, not long while on my journey did I begin to understand that while these words are unique from the next, they’re all connected.
When we begin understanding one, we begin to understand the next. And I’ve come to learn as well that just one word can be the difference between life and death, in a manner of speaking.
In the beginning, my sense of self-value was non-existent. Trying to understand what was going on, its indicators, and more, became increasingly more difficult through all the depression. There wasn’t much I felt as though I could grasp onto anymore.
One Word, One Day At A Time
There were a number of elements which brought me out of my recent depression. Namely my unborn child, playing my guitar, walking and other exercises. However, I told myself I can at least learn one word, one day at a time. Before, I would overload my mind; this was counterproductive to my end goal. Quickly I understood the difference between self-worth and self-value, later – self-esteem.
As someone who wears his heart on his sleeve, I have to remind myself that I am a good person and that I do deserve to be treated with respect. Self-Worth.
Daily, I must remind myself how I carry and act towards myself and towards what I value most in this world. Self-Value.
The Self-Worth Theory
The “Self-Worth Theory” is all about motivation. Along with self-esteem, it is posited a persons priority in life is to find self-acceptance. And self-acceptance is found through our achievements. When we think of achievements, more times we think of being in competition with one another. Generally, this path tells us that competing with others helps us to feel we have outstanding achievements under our belt, leading to feelings of pride, enhancing our self-acceptance.
Did You Know?
There are four elements to the self-worth theory:
The first three work in tandem with one another, determining our self-worth. Our abilities and efforts judge the level of performance – the end result contributing to our own self-worth and self-value.
Normally this is a great example of what self-worth is and how it affects self-value, acceptance, esteem, and more, but in the end, we may be doing more harm than good. For example, in modern society, there is a distortion on what determines self-worth. Appearance, net worth, who you know/your social circle, career, and what you achieve are just a few examples of this distortion.
It’s important to recognize that we all have our strengths and weaknesses. Emphasizing your appearance, net worth, career, and what you’re able to achieve will always be counterproductive towards a healthy end goal.
When we’re able to redefine and reclassify what those distortions are, we can begin to focus on better self-worth, self-value, self-esteem, and self-acceptance.
And just like the four elements of the self-worth theory, when we are able to understand one “self-” word, we will understand the next – each one eventually working in tandem with each other for greater happiness.
On A Final Note
Recently I set myself on a new journey. That journey has led me to make amends with my past, the people I’ve hurt, those I have done wrong towards. It is one thing to send an email, a text message, but another to confront them in person. I suppose it takes on another level when confronting them in person, more freeing when able to apologize for what I’ve done wrong.
Perhaps it is more freeing when it works in tandem with my own self-worth, self-value, and more.
It is accepting of myself.