The Number One Thing To Keep In Mind When It Comes To Your Self-worth

Social media is constantly throwing the term “self-worth” at us from every direction on a daily basis. We see it in our Instagram newsfeed, we see it trending on Twitter, and we see it highlighted through shared links and content on Facebook.

When we think about self-worth, self-care typically comes to mind. Our minds drift to bubble baths with fizzy bath bombs, face masks that penetrate our pores, pampering manicures and pedicures, and indulgent massages that leave us feeling whole and rested.

While these acts are only a single facet of self-care, they don’t necessarily fall under the category of self-worth. These two words may belong to the same family, but they are not interchangeable.

What’s the difference between self-care and self-worth?

Self-care is the action of taking care of yourself.

This can be through the actions listed above, or it can be through a completely different outlet. Self-care can come in many different packages and often looks different for everyone.

Some people practice self-care by sleeping an extra hour. Sometimes self-care is drinking a green smoothie, grabbing coffee with a friend, or calling your mom. Whatever it is that leaves you feeling fulfilled, taken care of, and refueled is a great example of self-care.

Self-worth, however, is a broader term. Your amount of self-care often depends on your level of self-worth.

Self-worth is all about how you see yourself.

The two terms often go hand-in-hand and contribute to one another, fueling and adding benefit to each other.

What are examples of self-worth?

A person’s sense of self-worth is revealed through their self-care, through the way they carry themselves, talk about themselves, treat other people, and act in a community.

Self-worth is having confidence in yourself and your abilities, believing you are capable of achieving certain things, liking yourself for who you are, and having compassion and grace for yourself when you make a mistake.

You may see yourself as a kind and caring person who loves others and does their best to make the world a better place. In this case, you most likely have high self-worth.

You may see yourself as a person who is dishonest, doesn’t give their time to others in need, or speaks to others aggressively and condescendingly. Depending on your personal set of values, this could lead to low self-worth or high self-worth.

What is low self-worth?

Often, when someone has low self-worth, that means they don’t see their true value. They don’t see the wonderful qualities they have, and they don’t acknowledge the unique skills and advantages they bring to the table.

Someone with low self-worth may see themselves as undeserving of love and attention, honesty and respect, or kindness and care. They may see themselves as less than others, and truly believe that they aren’t worthy of anything good.

To put it simply, having low self-worth means that you don’t feel worthy.

You may frequently put yourself down and criticize yourself, speak unkind words to yourself, accept poor treatment from others, or allow yourself to be placed in undesirable situations.

Low self-worth is a heavy burden. It makes life more difficult because you’re going through life feeling degraded, unworthy, unlikeable, and whatever other story you’re telling yourself about your worth and your value.

What is high self-worth?

People who have high self-worth are confident. They give credit to their abilities and strengths and are able to point out the qualities about themselves that they find admirable and praiseworthy.

High self-worth is a byproduct of loving yourself and viewing yourself as the unique and beautiful person you truly are.

If you feel worthy and valuable, you most likely lift yourself up in situations where it would be easy to demoralize yourself. You are kind to yourself, and you speak words of truth and strength to yourself when you are feeling doubtful.

No one feels high about themselves all the time, and often, people with high self-worth still struggle from time to time and have to pull themselves out of the occasional self-deprecating hole.

However, whether you have high self-worth or low self-worth, there is one imperative thing to keep in mind:

Only you can truly determine your self-worth.

How do you determine your self-worth?

Self-worth is not determined by those around you. It is not determined by what your mom told you when you were 10, it’s not determined by the rumor your best friend started about you in the 7th grade, and it’s not determined by the man who assaulted you when you were at a party.

These things, while they don’t directly determine your degree of self-worth, do affect it.

You may feel unlovable because your wife cheated on you, and therefore feel like you are undeserving. You may feel demoralized and degraded because you were molested when you were a child, leaving you feeling unworthy of love.

Terrible, unfair, life-altering things happen through the lives that leave us feeling a certain way about ourselves, even though the events are not a reflection of who we are as people. We take these circumstances personally and allow our self-worth to fluctuate based on what has happened or what is happening to us in the present moment.

Consequently, we have a low sense of self-worth.

Alternately, we have a high sense of self-worth if we attribute our worth to the good things we’ve done or the accomplishments we achieved.

Good things happen to us, just as bad things do. We get that promotion, we score the winning point, we win the award, we come out on top. If you work hard, you often reap rewards.

Just like we do with the unfairly detrimental life situations, we allow the good things in our life to define who we are and what we’re worth. We think more highly of ourselves because we won because we triumphed over others because we came out victorious.

This is not the way to determine your worth.

In order to have a solid, deeply-rooted idea of what our worth truly is, we must believe in our hearts that we are good people worthy of love and good things simply because we are good people.

There is nothing in this world that can take your self-worth away from you. You may occasionally allow a life event to affect how you see yourself or let a mistake you made dictate your current view of who you are, but these things, in the big picture, do not lessen your degree of worth.

Keep in mind that regardless of what happens to you, regardless of what he said to you yesterday, what she did to you 10 years ago, what happens to you tomorrow, only you can determine your self-worth.

Your self-worth is in your hands, so choose to see yourself the way you truly are: beautiful, intelligent, strong, creative, and worthy of good things.

woman with a tattoo and glasses looking confidently into the camera
Photo by Jen Theodore on Unsplash
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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