6 Ways To Understand Your Self-Worth
We live in a comparison culture. Advertising, traditional media, and social media seem to be built on comparisons. And we’re often comparing all the ugly truth we know about ourselves with someone else’s carefully curated social media image. Someone once said it’s like we’re comparing our own blooper reel to someone else’s highlight reel — our worst with their best.
The constant barrage of other people’s filtered photos — their perfect-looking vacations, their Pinterest-worthy outfits, their 20 best minutes of the week. All of it can make us feel less-than. Less pretty. Less successful. Less fun. Less worthy.
And when we aren’t feeling our own self-worth, we’re more likely to get caught up in relationships and behaviors that don’t place value on us. We’re less likely to set healthy boundaries or set high enough standards for how others treat us if we don’t see our own self-worth.
So how can we build self-esteem? How can we better see our own self-worth? Well, we don’t have all the answers, but we came up with 6 things you can do to help you feel your own self-worth.
- Surround yourself with people who build you up. Obviously, some of us have parents or family members who tend to tear us down or make us feel criticized. There’s nothing we can do about that. If you’re under a certain age, you may not have a choice about whether to be around those people. But you can choose friends who build you up, friends who recognize the beauty in you. You can also find a mentor who will encourage you and speak positive things to you.
- Monitor the messages coming into your life. If spending time on Instagram makes you feel bad about yourself or less-than, then stop scrolling. If looking through fashion magazines makes you feel like you don’t measure up, put down the magazine. If scrolling Pinterest makes you feel like a hot mess, delete the app from your phone. Pay attention to how you feel after consuming too much media – social or traditional – and make the adjustments you need to for your own mental and emotional health.
- Talk kindly to yourself. Often, the sort of things we say to ourselves, we’d never say to a friend! Speak to yourself the way you’d speak to your very best friend. When you mess up, talk to yourself the way you would a friend. Assure yourself that it’s OK to be human, then learn from the mistake and move on. When you look in the mirror, find one thing to compliment yourself on – imagine the person in the mirror is your best friend and ask, “What would I say to my friend if she showed up looking like this?” Pay attention to the way you talk to yourself, and then re-frame any negative thoughts into positive ones.
- Set achievable goals and then work toward them. When we accomplish goals, we feel good about ourselves. If this is new to you, start small. Make a daily to-do list and think of one goal for the day. Maybe it’s walking for one mile, reading 10 pages of a book, studying for that test, making that one hard phone call, or eating a healthy meal. At the end of the day, cross the tasks off your list and see if you met your daily goal. Gradually work your way up to weekly or monthly goals. Be sure to celebrate yourself when you meet your goals!
- Keep a gratitude journal. At the end of every day, write down 5 things you’re thankful for and one thing you’re proud of yourself for or one thing you like about yourself. Creating a space within each day to recognize your own value is a healthy way to build self-esteem.
- Volunteer. We feel good about ourselves when we help other people. What does your community need that you have to offer? Find a way to serve others, and you’ll feel valuable to your community. That’s sure to help you see your own self-worth!
Here’s the thing — we all have value just because we exist. You’re worthy of love. You’re worthy of joy and goodness. And your worth isn’t measured in how many social media hearts you get or how often you’re ReTweeted. Even if all your Pinterest attempts fail, you’re still valuable. And those media-perfect images you’re comparing yourself to aren’t realistic; they don’t tell the full story. You don’t know what’s been cropped out and filtered over or how many pictures got deleted before that one got posted. You’re enough – exactly as you are. Your past mistakes, your weaknesses and flaws, your insecurities – none of that diminishes your worth. Actually, all of that is what makes you uniquely, beautifully you!
If you’re struggling to see your self-worth or if you’ve had a hard time setting healthy boundaries because of your lack of self-esteem, we’d love to talk with you. Call us and someone on our staff will listen and connect you to some resources that can help you live your best, healthiest life. Because you’re worth it!