How To Identify Your Core Beliefs About Your Self-worth

We’re here to talk about all things self-worth, from what it means and how to define it, to how it presents itself, why self-worth looks different for different people, and we’ll explore the reasons behind why we believe the things we believe about ourselves and how those beliefs got there.

What is self-worth?

If you have access to social media and use platforms like Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, etc.; if you watch network TV programs or stream popular shows on Netflix and Hulu; if you flip through lifestyle magazines while waiting at the doctor’s office, chances are you’ve at the very least seen or heard the term “self-worth.”

While the term has gained traction and popularity exponentially over the past couple of decades, “self-worth” is not a new concept. We see it in books and magazines and news articles, and we hear about it in podcasts and radio broadcasts.

Self-worth is represented among all forms of media and the rate that the concept is picking up speed is remarkable. Millennials and “Gen Z”-ers have latched onto the term, fed and nourished it, and contributed to its growing popularity and relevance.

What exactly is self-worth, though? Is it the same thing as self-esteem, self-love, or self-efficacy? While it may be similar in meaning, the term “self-worth” stands on its own.

Self-worth is defined by how you feel about yourself, to be put simply.

Your sense of self-worth is determined by how you feel when you look at yourself in the mirror, how you describe yourself to other people, what labels you’ve placed on yourself, and how you choose to care for yourself.

There is a multitude of other factors that equal the summation of your self-worth as well; the totality of your self-worth is not limited to these factors alone.

Self-worth is a concept that describes how you feel about who you are as a person.

Self-worth doesn’t have to do with what you look like; that’s more related to self-esteem (for example, being obsessed and vain with your appearance may lead you to either like yourself more or like yourself less).

What does self-worth look like?

People often confuse the terms “self-worth” and “self-care.” Caring for yourself in certain ways or denying yourself care are actions of self-care or self-harm that show the world how you view yourself: what your sense of self-worth looks like.

Whether you like or dislike yourself, take pristine care of yourself or take a lackadaisical approach to self-care, harm yourself intentionally or keep yourself safe, fuel your body with nutrient-rich foods or gorge and over-eat regularly, exercise or live the life of a lazy person: these are all acts that reveal how you truly feel about yourself.

The act itself (for example, over-eating regularly) is not self-worth, but self-care or self-harm. Again, self-worth is how you feel about yourself. Self-care acts are how your self-worth is revealed to those around you.

That being said, self-worth comes in many different packages.

Self-worth can be high (loving yourself), low (hating yourself), or somewhere in between (feeling indifferent towards yourself).

How you feel about yourself is a direct reflection of your self-worth. If you love and care about yourself, you will act in ways that show it. If you’re disgusted by who you are, again, you will act in ways that reflect that belief.

Does self-worth vary from person to person?

Because we are all individuals with varying pasts, different life experiences and lessons, different memories, beliefs, ideas, and ideologies, we each hold our own individualized self-worth.

Self-worth looks different for everyone; it varies depending on your life experiences and your personal beliefs about who you are.

You will not feel about yourself the same way your neighbor feels about themselves, and vice versa. You may love yourself while your mother hates herself. You may feel as though you need improvement, while your best friend is vain and conceited, holding themselves in high regard.

Since we all grow up under different circumstances, we are all molded and shaped to believe certain things about ourselves, and this leads to varying degrees of positive or negative self-worth.

How do I determine my self-worth?

If you are unsure of where your self-worth falls, spend some time analyzing the ways in which you treat yourself, both good and bad.

Take a good look at the way you treat yourself. Your actions towards yourself are a direct reflection of your self-worth.

If you tend to act in ways that bring you pain, distress, or numbness, the likelihood is high that you have a low sense of self-worth. You bring harm to yourself through your own chosen methods (binging on food, drugs, or alcohol, ruining relationships, etc.).

These acts mirror low self-worth. You don’t view yourself as a good or valuable person, you think you’re unlovable or unworthy of care, or you generally dislike who you are.

The same can be said for high self-worth.

If you act in ways that bring you joy, happiness, and peace, you most likely have a high sense of self-worth. You care about yourself, and your actions reflect that.

Self-care acts can be anything that puts you in a better and healthier place, increases your mood, strengthens your relationships, enhances your physical wellbeing, and protects your mind and heart.

In between low and high self-worth is a vast spectrum of self-directed feelings that reveal how you think about yourself.

You could feel one way about yourself on Monday, but by Thursday have a completely different outlook based on the ever-expanding list of factors that contribute to your sense of self-worth.

Whatever your self-worth is, whether you love or loathe yourself, is not necessarily good or bad; it just is what it is. It can be taken, analyzed, shaped, and altered into something new based on your hopes of how you see yourself.

Once you have a strong understanding of where your self-worth is on a regular basis, you can then dive into why you feel the way you do.

Here is where we learn how to uncover and identify what you believe and why you believe it.

How do I identify my core beliefs about my self-worth?

When identifying your core beliefs about your self-worth and why it is what it is (high or low or in between), take a good look into your childhood, how you were raised, your environment growing up, things you were taught, and influential people in your life.

You could have your respective sense of self-worth based on an array of factors, ranging from a memory you have from second grade to a news article that struck a nerve with you ten years ago.

The amount of memories and moments and life lessons that unite and coalesce to form your self-worth is literally insurmountable. You may be able to drum up a couple of indelible memories that led you to believe what it is you believe about yourself, but you will not remember everything.

Some memories and lessons you’ve embedded into your subconscious, which affect your self-worth unknowingly.

However, the task of identifying your core beliefs is not inherently difficult. The challenge comes with the question “why;” why you believe what you believe. That’s where the real work begins.

Self-worth is on your side. It has a need and thirst to be healthy and strong, fueling you for greatness in your everyday life. If you desire to change how you see yourself, dive into your reasons why you believe what you believe. It is in those roots that you’ll find answers, and from there you can begin to care for yourself and speak to yourself in ways that reveal how you desire to feel about yourself.

silhouette of a person sitting with the sunset behind them
Image from Pixabay on Pexels
Eden is a 26-year-old Aries who loves learning and exploring mental health, self-love, self-care, and eating disorder recovery.

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