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LIANNE [lee-ann]
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Self-Worth: Strategies for Building Your Confidence

According to the American Psychological Association, self-worth is “an individual’s evaluation of himself or herself as a valuable, capable human being deserving of respect and consideration.” The reason this is so important is because it directly affects the quality of your life.

How you perceive yourself will affect everything, from your emotional and psychological self. It affects how you conduct yourself in healthy relationships, how you face life challenges, mistakes, and failures, and overall what you feel you deserve in life.

Understanding Self-Worth

Self-worth is seeing yourself as a valuable person who deserves to be treated right. Some of the elements of self-worth are how you see your abilities, achievements, and self-image. Having a strong sense of worth means that you see yourself as someone capable and deserving of respect.

How self-worth is formed:

Self-worth is created as a result of early childhood experiences, cultural, family, and social conditioning. A combination of personal achievements and failures can also contribute to this.

People who grew up in a supportive and loving environment with positive reinforcement free of toxic criticism and shame tend to have higher levels of self-love and worth.

Why Do I Struggle with How I See Myself?

Many people are affected by low self-worth. It can be chronic or circumstantial. Therefore, while there are many reasons, it’s important to understand what may be causing your struggles with it now.

Here are some of the reasons you struggle with self-worth:
  1. You’re too hard on yourself: Diminishing thoughts and inner conversations can lead to a negative self-image and a sense of self.
  2. Past traumas: Traumatic events that weren’t processed can lead to low levels of self-love.
  3. Comparing yourself with others: Comparing your life or achievements with others can lead to feelings of inadequacy.
  4. Not meeting society’s expectations: Trying to meet unrealistic social standards, especially nowadays with social media, is one of the reasons you may be experiencing a low sense of worth or self-esteem.

Identifying Low Self-Worth

If you’re asking yourself: “How do I know my self-worth?”, below are signs that you may have low self-worth:

Understanding the Effects of Domestic Violence on Self-Worth

Experiencing domestic abuse or an abusive relationship will have a huge impact on the sense of self-worth of the victim. Abusers usually manipulate the victim’s perception of self-worth to gain control over them. Someone who feels unlovable is much easier to control, manipulate, and isolate than someone who knows they deserve to be treated with respect.

It’s important to remember that abuse can come in many different forms, not only physical but also emotional and psychological. For instance, if your partner, the person supposed to love and care for you, is insulting you, ridiculing you, making you doubt yourself, and reminding you of what you did wrong, how is that going to make you feel? Probably desperate, hopeless, helpless, and ultimately deeply unworthy. These feelings will be aggravated if there are pre-existing conditions such as trauma or addiction.

From this survival state, a victim can easily move to face the primary enemy of worthiness… shame.

The enemy of self-worth: SHAME

The number one enemy of self-worth is toxic shame. Shame usually makes the victim “hide” the abuse in hopes that no one else notices that “something is wrong with her”. It will keep the victim stuck with the abuser because he is the one who “cares for her” and “loves her regardless”. This is the number one enemy of self-worth because it perpetuates the toxic dynamic and feelings of “I don’t deserve better”.

To start gaining your sense of self-love and self-worth back, it is imperative to be in both an emotional and physical safe space, with supportive people, and usually working with a trusted professional. Let’s see some strategies now on how we can start developing a healthy and strong sense of worthiness:

How to Develop and Build Self-Worth?

If you are wondering, I know what self-worth really is now, but how do I develop self-worth? How do I build more value in myself? Check out some tips that can help you on your journey:

The Bottom Line

In conclusion, building self-worth is a key aspect of our mental health and overall well-being. While many circumstances can be the cause of low self-worth, there are some things that you can start doing now to increase your self-esteem and self-worth. Self-reflection, positive reinforcement, self-compassion, and taking intentional action are major components of building a healthy sense of self-worth. Remember to love yourself enough to allow yourself to fail and to get back up stronger and wiser.

Subscribe to our blog for more content on self-improvement and mental health. Your journey to a greater relationship with yourself begins now.

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