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Published on December 24, 2020

11 Simple Ways to Value Yourself More

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11 Simple Ways to Value Yourself More

Self-worth and self-value play integral roles in how you see and treat yourself in your everyday life. Learn how to utilize both to value yourself through your words and actions.

What Is Self Worth?

The idea of self-worth comes down to feeling that you are a good person who deserves to be treated with respect. If you value yourself, you inherently feel that you are kind, compassionate, and respectful, and are worthy of those same things in return.

Aligning ourselves to our own self-worth allows us to move into more actionable steps that grow and nurture that worth. This is done through self-value.

What Is Self-Value?

While self-worth is more emotional, self-value is more behavioral. This is where we take the foundation of how we feel about ourselves and put it to work. Self-value is the driving vehicle that allows us to walk the walk and act in ways that align with what we value.

This shows up in the way we talk to people or in steps we take to speak our truth. Both self-worth and self-value feed off of one another, but it’s helpful to point out the subtle differences.

How Do They Differ?

Self-worth is at the core of our being. It’s how we step into our life and our purpose, and how we develop our worthiness as human beings. We can also argue that a healthy sense of self-worth is highly responsible for the decisions we make, relationships we foster, and life paths we choose.

On the other hand, if you don’t value yourself, it can lead to boughs of aggressive self-criticism and deprecating self-image.[1]

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Self-value is the action that keeps us aligned to that self-worth. We can also think of self-value as another feeding element of the bigger umbrella term of self-worth. Valuing ourselves is represented in actionable ways, many of which are highlighted below. When we learn how to value ourselves, not only do we nurture our self-worth, but we also extend that energy out to our communities and the people in them.

How to Value Yourself

1. Acknowledge the Inner Critic

We all have that loud inner voice that isn’t always kind. It interjects when we have ideas and projects at hand, and it often persuades us from taking that leap of faith or believing in ourselves. When left unchecked, the inner critic can have devastating effects on our self-esteem.[2]

This is no place for our self-worth to grow. Wresting with this critic is often a lifelong journey, but a first good step is to acknowledge it. So many people live the length of their life with this voice on autopilot, never realizing how much of a dictator it has become. When you can pause and acknowledge that it is calling the shots, you can learn to take back your power and value.

2. Receive a Compliment

The next time someone compliments you, notice if you’re quick to send that compliment back or wave your hand dismissively so as not to attract attention. We’re so afraid of coming off as needy, that we hardly ever receive the good words someone sends our way. Really, the true culprit here is that we don’t often believe we’re worthy of the compliment!

The beautiful truth here is that we don’t often see ourselves in the same way others see us. So, the next time someone says something nice about you, believe them and receive their words fully.

3. Be Grateful for Effort

It’s not always easy to show up to life. We don’t always stop to examine just how much effort we put forth in everyday living. One way to value yourself more is to be grateful for everything you do.

It’s easy to be critical and wish you’d done better, but you’re always doing the best that you can. Keep that up and celebrate small progress. Your entire being will thank you, tenfold.

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Forgive Yourself Often

When things don’t go as planned, practice forgiveness. When people hurt you, practice forgiveness. Holding on to grudges, whether from others or yourself, is like intentionally plaguing yourself with burdens that you don’t need to carry.

Forgiveness is the free remedy that can alleviate so much of our suffering when we hold onto bitterness.[3] It’s worthy of implementing it into our everyday life.

5. Practice Affirmations in the Mirror

Words carry a potent amount of power, and positive words are like little miracles waiting to sprout! Because the eyes are the mirror to that soul, practicing speaking affirmations in the mirror is even more potent.

When we can catch our own gaze and fill our space with positive words, we send that energy deep into our own psyche. Affirmations may be something like, “I am loved and loving” or “Today, I embrace myself as I am.”

6. Give Attention to Your Dreams

Whether you’d like to write them out in your journal or make a vision board, giving attention to your dreams is a never-ending cycle of self-value and worth. Your dreams are your deepest desires and wishes.

When you shine a light on them, you’re feeding your soul and heart in a way that is spiritually and emotionally fulfilling. You’re also teaching and empowering yourself to believe that you are worthy of those dreams.

7. Let Go of Comparison

You are as unique as a snowflake. There is no one else out there quite like you. We all know that “comparison is the thief of joy.” It’s easy to compare ourselves to others and think that we’re behind or lacking in some way.

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That’s simply not true.

You are exactly where you need to be in the timeframe of your life. Trust and believe that everyone walks their path in due and divine timing. Instead of focusing on what others have over you, focus on your own unique journey and get excited at the opportunities to come.

8. Find Ways to Serve Others

When we come into the practice of selfless service (or seva, in Sanskirt [4]), we simultaneously feed our own self-worth and value. Giving to others is more than just volunteering; it’s offering something of ourselves that is uniquely precious and our own.

Whether you have a certain skill you’d like to share, or even just your time, your community benefits from you sharing your own personal contribution to the world.

9. Accept Yourself as You Are

There is no use in re-living the past; it’s done. There is no use in wondering about the future; it has not come yet. In the present moment, your greatest gift to yourself is accepting yourself as you are right now.

The world is more complete when you show up as authentically as you can. It gives others the courage to do so, as well. No doubt you will change and evolve as your life progresses, but right now, how can you show up as yourself?

10. Don’t Settle for Less

If you’re unhappy, notice that you are and start to ask yourself what would make you happier. You don’t have to tolerate anything or anyone who doesn’t bring you joy and contentedness.

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We often think that we have to sacrifice our own happiness for some bottom line, but that’s untrue. There are always choices in life. It’s up to you to believe that you are worthy of the best ones.

11. When in Doubt, Remember Your Perseverance

Life has a funny way of throwing curveballs. If there is anything that can dampen your self-worth, it’s thinking that you’re not enough or have somehow failed. When this happens, think about your end-goal or dream. Remember that perseverance is the limitless supply of fuel that is always at your disposal to keep reaching further.

Final Thoughts

Self-worth is the umbrella term that represents our core being and who we are at the center of our humanness. The steps we take to actionably align ourselves to that worth is the definition and purpose of self-value.

One might think that such steps are complex and time-consuming. Thankfully, they’re anything but. Learning to value yourself requires a gentle shift in perspective to how you show up in your life. Such small yet potent changes can make all the difference for yourself and the greater good.

More on Learning to Value Yourself

Featured photo credit: Hean Prinsloo via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] PsychAlive: The Importance of Self-Worth
[2] GoodTherapy: Inner Critic
[3] Mayo Clinic: Forgiveness: Letting Go of Grudges and Bitterness
[4] Yogapedia: Seva

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Aleksandra Slijepcevic

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Last Updated on July 20, 2021

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

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How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

“Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

Warming up

If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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  1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
  2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
  3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

Stay hydrated

Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

Meditate

Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

2. Focus on your goal

One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

3. Convert negativity to positivity

There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

4. Understand your content

Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

“No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

5. Practice makes perfect

Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

6. Be authentic

There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

7. Post speech evaluation

Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

Improve your next speech

As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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  • How did I do?
  • Are there any areas for improvement?
  • Did I sound or look stressed?
  • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
  • Was I saying “um” too often?
  • How was the flow of the speech?

Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

Reference

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