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.
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.
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.
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. 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.
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 ), 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.
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.
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.