I love how Brené Brown speaks about self-worth: “Our worth and our belonging is not negotiated with other people—we carry those inside our hearts.” She’s so right.
Our self-worth can’t ever be negotiated or determined by others. It’s an intrinsic, deep-seated value that comes with our personal package the day we’re born. We have it simply by being alive in the world. But the concept of worth is often confused with external factors such as how much we earn, what we own, how educated we are, when the truth is these things don’t reflect our inherent value as humans.
Every person on the planet has their own set of skills, experiences and talents, along with the capacity to think, feel and experience the world around us. No two people are alike and each of us has something valuable to offer. It’s important to know our worth isn’t something given to us by others—nor is it something anyone else can take away.
Our self-worth is inherent and can’t be altered by anyone or anything. No matter what others do and say, our worth remains constant and unchanging.
Many people struggle with the concept of self-worth and often base their sense of value on the opinions of others, their accomplishments or material possessions. If these external markers aren’t present or are perceived as inadequate, this can lead to feelings of low self-esteem.
But truth is our worth isn’t something that can be negotiated, diminished or altered by other people’s opinions or actions. It belongs to us. We need to control and nurture it. Our self-worth is our own. It’s a powerful realisation that can help you build self-esteem and a strong sense of self-worth.
It’s also key to know that other people’s opinions and actions reflect their own thoughts, experiences and beliefs. Just as our self-worth should be governed by us, it’s not our job to try and change other people’s opinions or seek validation from them. Our job is to focus on our own experiences and beliefs and to understand and accept our own worth.
How do you cultivate a strong sense of self-worth?
- Accept yourself as you are and embrace both your strengths and weaknesses. They make you you.
- Set boundaries and treat yourself with respect and kindness. Practice self-compassion and reframe negative self-talk.
- Do things that bring you joy and fulfilment: hobbies, exercise, being with loved ones, community volunteering. I like impromptu karaoke sessions wherever and whenever! When we do activities that light us up and deliver happiness and purpose, we build a strong sense of self-esteem and self-worth.
- Surround yourself with positive, supportive people who will cheer you on and celebrate your qualities and abilities without trying to influence you. Avoid toxic relationships.
- Achieve small regular goals and recognise your accomplishments.
- Take care of your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual wellbeing through healthy eating, exercise and asking for help when you need it.
Remember, self-worth takes time and effort to develop. Be patient with yourself as you take small constant steps towards loving and respecting yourself.