Another one of the “self” words. There’s loads of them right?… Self-esteem, self-love, self-confidence. The list could go on and on. Each are important in slightly different ways but I think self-worth is particularly fundamental when it comes to dating and relationships because self-worth is essentially the opinion you have of yourself and the value you place on yourself. It’s how worthy you think you are, mostly around the things that you have in your life or the things that happen. This also includes the way in which people treat you, or I guess it would be more accurate to say the way you allow them to treat you… Which is why it’s crucial that you’re not only clear on your self worth, but you also know how to build self worth if it’s not quite where it should be at. Because it makes a huge difference on how you feel.
Let me give you an example…
Let’s take two people in exactly the same situation. They’re both young, single women in their twenties. However, their attitude is different. The one thinks,
“You know what, I would kind of like to meet someone right now, but so far nothing’s quite worked out. It’s not ideal. But I know I’m a special person with a lot to give. I know what I want, and I will find that. The right person will appreciate me, and I’ll wait for them. In the meantime, I’ll just carry on doing my own thing.”
Awesome. The second on the other hand thinks,
“This sucks. I’m never going to find anyone. And why would I… No-one is going to want me. I might as well give up now. I might as well get seven hundred cats and just accept I will forever be alone. I’m just useless.”
Ha, okay, well maybe the latter is not quite that dramatic. (Although you’d be surprised!) But you get my point. Two completely different viewpoints, but also two common viewpoints, to different levels and degrees of course.
Why are they so different?
Well I guess mindset does play a part in it, and if you want to work on yours, I recommend you give this post a read. Fundamentally however, their level of self-worth will shape the way they speak and think.
The first girl knows her value, which is why she’s more accepting of her situation and can stay more level-headed. The second, clearly doesn’t, which is why she keeps knocking herself down, will drown in this negative self-talk and actually be far less likely to attract the kind of person she wants. Why? Because she’s undervaluing herself which means others will undervalue her too.
In fact, with low self worth, she’s far more likely to end up with the wrong person, settle for something that’s less fulfilling or tolerate the things she shouldn’t, because she’s so damn fed up of being on her own and doesn’t think she deserves any better! Nightmare, I know…
Do You Know Your Self Worth?
We all have a level of self worth, whether we’re clear on it or not – it’s there. Here’s some of the signs you’ve got good self worth. Go through them and see how many of these you can confidently say yes too. Tally them up. Let’s see where we’re at. You…
- Don’t care what others think of you.
- Know you’re deserving of love.
- Take time to look after yourself, daily.
- Don’t undersell yourself.
- Are not afraid to be yourself.
- Don’t let people put on you.
- Are not afraid to stand up for the things that are and aren’t right.
- Face challenges head on.
- Firmly know what you believe in – you’ve got those values clear.
- Have (generally) quite positive self-talk.
- If you have insecurities, you don’t let them rule your life.
- Don’t try to control anyone, nor will you be controlled by anyone else.
- Do the things you’re passionate about and pursue your dreams.
- Don’t rely on others to validate your worth or feel good about yourself.
- Know both your strengths and weaknesses.
- Don’t allow others to treat you poorly.
- Know what you want in your life and you know you deserve to have it.
- Feel like yourself and are happy in who you are.
- Are motivated and inspired.
- Don’t let situations out of your control get on top of you.
How did you score? Don’t worry if it wasn’t as high as you’d like, because next up we’re going to look specifically at how to build self worth.
How To Build Self Worth
So what’s the deal then? How to build self worth? Well first off, I think it’s important to note that you can’t blag self-worth. You feel it on the inside, which means it doesn’t matter what you have in your life or how much you may try to convince yourself that you’re brilliant – if you don’t believe it, you won’t feel it. This in a way is a good thing however, because it gives us more clarity behind how to build self worth.
See, if you can identify what it is that makes you feel inferior or unworthy, then you can work on it. It’s as simple as that.
A Few Examples…
So let’s say you’re happy in who you are as a person and the way you treat people, but you’re not happy on what you’ve achieved in your life. The way to build self worth would be to focus on your career for a while, until you start to feel more accomplished. Or, let’s say you’ve been super successful in your career, but it’s cost you your relationships and you can’t seem to find someone on the same level as you which is making you doubt yourself and your worth when it comes to love.
In this case you could start building friendships, start putting yourself out there more, work on confidence (because confidence in this particular area will inevitably come into it if you’re starting to doubt yourself) and as things start to develop, your self-worth will build itself back up again and you’ll remind yourself that you are worthy. Because that’s the thing…
We can actually join forces with the other ‘self’ words to build or self-worth. So take self-confidence for instance. If you build your self-confidence, you will in turn increase your self-worth because you’ll believe in yourself more.
Self Worth Is Not Based On How You Look…
The only thing you can’t really change is how you look. I mean, sure you can lose weight, learn to do makeup better, get some cute hair extensions and yes, okay, if you really wanted to you could have surgery. (Although that’s not the answer in my opinion.) Ultimately however, you’re born the way you’re born and there’s some aspects of that, that you can’t radically change. But, you have to look beyond it… You have to see that you are more than just your appearance.
If your self-worth is determined on something as superficial as looks then yes, there definitely is a lot of work to do! And I know in the world of social media, it’s easy to compare yourselves to the picture-perfect models you see on Instagram. You start to doubt yourself. But actually, you are beautiful, because you are you. If your self-worth is low because your confidence in the way you look is just not there, then you must shift your mindset. You must see that you’re more than that. If you obsess so much over your appearance, it takes away who you really are as a person. You lose your substance. And you must realise there’s so much more to you than that.
So What Do You Do?
Do what you can to become the most confident version of you, physically. But do it for you – not anyone else. And don’t keep pushing. Oh, “I’ll feel worthy of being loved when I’ve hit my ideal weight…” then that ideal weight stretches further and further. Allow yourself to feel happy now. Then, when you’re ready, start to work on the other areas of your life that are going to make you feel good. Because actually, it’s those things that hold more power.
At the end of the day, if you want to know how to build self worth, you have to look at the areas of your life and yourself that you’re not completely happy about – and then improve them. If you can become the best possible version of yourself, where you can then look yourself in the mirror and feel genuinely happy and proud, then you will have found your self-worth.
Habits To Help Build Self Worth
To round it up, I thought we’d finish with some positive habits to help build self worth. After all, ‘we are what we repeatedly do’, so if we want to feel awesome, we have to consistently do things that will make us feel that way. Here’s five of my favourites…
1) Practice Standing Up For Yourself
I’m going to start with this one first, because I think it’s actually the fastest way to build self-worth, even if it’s not necessarily the easiest. (Depending on how often you typically do this.) But baby steps, start small. To begin with, simply practice saying no to the things that you don’t actually want to do. Then from there, start speaking up more and addressing the things that aren’t right.
For instance, if someone keeps snapping at you – tell them they are not being fair. Or if someone has been treating you badly, tell them you’re no longer going to tolerate it. It’s firm but fair. It doesn’t mean you’re being confrontational, and there’s definitely ways to go about things so that you can still communicate what you want to say, in a nice way. But this is what having self-worth is all about, and ultimately it’s going to improve the way you feel.
Which brings me onto another side-note, if you want to be able to build self worth, you must be able to remove anything that doesn’t serve you… the bad people, the bad habits. Start fresh!
2) Get More Goal-Orientated
I touched on this briefly above so you know why it builds self-worth, but let’s go one step further now, to turn it into an actual habit. Every day, set yourself one goal. One thing you’d like to accomplish. It may be big, it may be small, but it must be something. Write it on a piece of paper or in your phone, every morning and – if you need to – try setting a couple of alarms to go off throughout the day to remind you of your goal and keep you on track. The aim is to accomplish more. It’s therefore better to set smaller goals that you can more easily reach, than overstitching yourself with the time that you have.
Each daily goal however, should tie into a bigger mission, and over the course of a week, a few weeks, months or even a year – the impact can actually astound you. The goals may be to do with your career, your relationships, your self-confidence, wherever you feel like there’s a gap between what you want and where you are. If you’d like to read more about how to effectively achieve your goals, I also recommend you read this post, here.
3) Become More Thankful
So building on my last habit suggestion, at the end of each day – when you go to look at your daily goal and whether or not you achieved it, I want to add another task on… Write down one thing you’re thankful for.
It could be related to the success of that goal, or perhaps even recognising that you’re grateful for the development that you’re seeing in yourself and in turn how that’s positively impacting how you feel. Or, it could be something completely random, like… (at the moment) the fact that you haven’t caught the coronavirus! Or, “I’m thankful for the delicious meal I had cooked for me tonight.” Or, even something as simple as the fact you have hot running water. (Because trust me – once you volunteer in Africa for a couple of weeks, you realise just what a privilege that is!)
There is so much we can be thankful for, but by becoming more aware of it, it helps to build your self worth because you shift your mindset. You’re not looking so closely in on yourself. Instead you’re seeing the bigger picture and getting into a more positive state of gratitude and appreciation. The more thankful you become for what you have, the more value you’ll put on yourself and your life.
4) Do More For Yourself
If you want to build your self worth, self-care plays a key part. Take the time to look after yourself properly – to shower regularly, dress in clothes that make you feel good, to eat properly, exercise regularly. Make all of these things regular habits, just part of every day life.
Another thing that’s important? Taking time to do the things that you enjoy, to prioritise yourself for a little while… Even if it’s just for an hour every week if you have lots of commitments or are short on time. Know that you are worth it and deserve it. After all, if you can’t take time for yourself and think you’re worthy of that, why would anyone else think you’re worthy of more? You see? It all starts with you…
5) Commit To Learning
I talk here about how you can change the way you see situations and how if you value learning, it will help you in so many different ways… and it can help when it comes to building self worth too. Why? Because fundamentally to build self worth, you have to build yourself up, you have to become the best version of yourself. But there will of course, be things that are standing in your way, you won’t have all the answers. If you therefore commit to learning and developing yourself – with say – 20 minutes of personal development reading or listening every single day, you will be blown away by the progress you will make.
A few recommended reads in this area to get you going:
– The Alchemist: Let’s start with a classic! It won’t be everyone’s taste but it has some strong lessons in there. The reason it helps with self worth? Because it’s all about self-discovery. Give it a go.
– Unfuck Yourself: Excuse the language but this Gary’s bluntness is refreshing. It’s a best seller and I can honestly see why. You will learn how to deal with your inner critic, stop comparing yourself to others, combat self doubt and get yourself out of a rut to truly find your self worth again. You can see more on that here.
– Know Your Worth: I also like the mindset programme with Antoinette & Renee. This is a specific coaching workbook that focuses on helping you to develop a fresh new mindset, challenge the status quo, and ultimately increase your level of self-worth and confidence so you can face the world head-on and heart-first. Click here if you’d like more details.
I hope these offer a good starting point for you anyway.
To Round Things Up…
If you want to build self worth, you have to focus on the areas of yourself and your life that you’re not happy on, and keep working away until you improve them. Self worth isn’t about what you have, but how you feel at your core. Best of luck on this journey.
Other related reads:
- Three Steps To Feel Good About Yourself Again
- How To Stop Doubting Yourself
- The Personal Development Bucket List… this one will certainly push you!
All the best!