How to Know Your Worth

Self-awareness
11 May 2024
8 min read
Know Your Worth, or How to Balance Your Value In and Out

According to the self-worth theory, the perception of our value is mostly built upon effort, development of skills, outstanding performance, and competition. Indeed, it seems natural for us to base our self-perception on what we accomplish. However, self-worth doesn’t have to come solely from our achievements or ability to out-compete another person. You should know your worth, even if external factors try to convince you otherwise.

If you’re striving for healthy self-esteem, this guide will show you how to achieve self-worth based on your internal resources and lift it up to a higher level with accomplishments manifested in the outer world.

1. Start With Your Intrinsic Self-Worth

With your self-worth built intrinsically, you know you deserve love and respect, and these things cannot be taken from you. You know you cannot control external factors, but you choose to react so that they don’t chip away at your self-esteem. You don’t make unhealthy comparisons with others and continue to regard yourself as a worthy person with strong values who deserves love and support.

6 Pillars of Intrinsic Self Worth

“But if I lack respect for and enjoyment of who I am, I have very little to give—except my unfilled needs. In my emotional impoverishment, I tend to see other people essentially as sources of approval or disapproval. I do not appreciate them for who they are in their own right.”

Nathaniel Branden, author of The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem

Your internal self-worth is not given or taken away from you. Here are the factors that make it possible:

  1. Conscious living: You should nourish the present moment and practice mindfulness, meaning the ability to distinguish facts from interpretations and emotions about these facts.
  2. Self-acceptance: You’re able not to judge yourself for being you and making mistakes.
  3. Self-responsibility: You realize that you hold responsibility for your life situation and the decisions that impact your life today and tomorrow.
  4. Self-assertiveness: Honoring your wants, needs, values, and self-expression practices.
  5. Living purposefully: You hold a purposeful existence as a human being, aligned with your vision and mission
  6. Personal integrity: You accept your reality and examine your experience to reach a higher level of integrity and alignment with your values

Related reading: How to Become the Most Authentic Version of You

2. Add External Building Blocks of Self-Worth

Here are some external building blocks of self-worth that intensify the value of our lives:

  • Respect from others
  • Career accomplishments
  • Position in the social hierarchy
  • Personal accomplishments
  • Financial status and reputation
  • Relationships with important people

To be clear, there’s nothing wrong with caring about these factors. It’s just important to focus inward first.

3. Find a Balance Between External and Internal Self-Worth

Having both intristic and external elements of self-worth is critical to feel good in our lives. If there is a disbalance between them, you may suffer from low self esteem or encounter confidence problems.

What happens if you have very little internal self-worth and your self-esteem comes mostly from external sources? Even if you may seem like a person with a very high feeling of self-worth, ultimately, you end up with a fragile self-concept, with your identity centered around what others think of you. These traits make you become boastful and narcissistic, making you feel good when you have power over others and putting much labor into keeping up the facade.

Now, what happens when the opposite is true? When you have a great foundation for your self-worth in your self-perception, you see a lot of value in yourself and believe you can bring a lot to the table. In this case, you are confident and full of self-love. But in return, you may also have problems with positioning yourself in the eyes of the rest of the world.

11 tips to know your worth and practice it

4. Use 11 Ways to Bring Your External and Internal Strengths Together

Here are 11 tips on small things you can do every day to recognize your power, improve your intrinsic feeling of self-worth, and strengthen your healthy self-esteem with external achievements.

1. Keep Building an Internal Foundation of Self-Worth

You deserve to live and have a strong sense of self-worth that doesn’t require a certain job, education, or financial status. Build it on growing your understanding of yourself – your values, dreams and life goals, and personality. And also gain the skills to recognize your inherent worth as a human being.

2. Write a Journal to Quickly Gain Perspective

Try committing to writing whatever comes to your mind in a journal for just five minutes each day, morning and night. Don’t shy away from uncomfortable thoughts: people with a healthy sense of self-worth don’t avoid negative feelings. They get to the bottom of them. At the same time, they build their self-esteem by being aware of their accomplishments and blessings in life.

Keep track of your accomplishments by keeping a journal. When you write out your thoughts, dreams, and feelings in a personal diary, you get a powerful tool to work your way through negative experiences rather than allowing them to fester. Get things out of your head and onto the page, and you will reach a healthy view of yourself and strengthen your self worth.

3. Work on Accepting Compliments

People who have low self-esteem struggle to accept compliments. They feel uncomfortable and not worthy of the praise they are receiving. So they deflect and minimize.

Remember going forward that the best response to a compliment is to say thank you. You’re worthy of all the compliments in this world, just as you are.

Related reading: Complimenting Men: How to Make Them Feel Great?

4. Engage in Self Care

You won’t have good self-worth if you are busy and don’t prioritize your well-being. If caring about yourself is your eternal problem, fix it. Lead a healthy lifestyle and take some moments to engage in self-care activities like exercise, spending time outdoors, and taking stress-relieving actions like yoga.

By investing in your self-care, you won’t just communicate that you are worth to yourself. You’ll send that same message to friends and family, and this way, your self-worth will improve your relationship with them and boost your confidence.

5. Practice Setting Healthy Boundaries

Do you struggle with setting boundaries? Some people worry that they will lose the love and approval of others if they set these kinds of limits. Sadly, they may have even had experiences that affirm these fears.

It can be a bit difficult to set a boundary, but practice makes perfect. People who care about helping you improve may bristle at first, but they will eventually honor you enough to understand your limits without pressuring you at every opportunity.

Related reading: Boundaries in Relationships – Keeping Them Healthy

6. Spend Time with Supportive Friends and Family

You can’t control every relationship. Sometimes, you have to engage with people who stress you out or make you feel bad about yourself. But to maintain the necessary balance in your self-worth, cherish your connection with people who fill you with positive energy, be that your family, close friends, or loved ones.

You have control over the company you keep on your own time. Think of the people who leave you feeling happy and positive. These are oftentimes those who recognize your strengths and give you grace when it comes to your flaws. When you are hard on yourself, they will remind you of the times you thrived. That’s why having a supportive community is so important for your self-worth.

7. Reframe Negative Thoughts About Yourself

You can’t build confidence if you have a negative inner dialogue. When you don’t realize your worst thoughts about yourself are probably untrue, you don’t actively challenge them. And this is what you should do for your self-worth.

When you think or say something negative about yourself, stop and frame it more positively.

Rather than saying, “I’m disorganized and forgetful.” Restate it by saying, “I have a lot going on right now and sometimes I struggle with organizational matters like finding things. But, I am managing a heavy workload and doing the best I can. In the end, I lead people well and they can rely on me”

8. Become a Person of Inspiration in the World

Believing leads to achieving. It’s okay to know your worth, but that should be based on the things you achieve, your talents, and what you “bring to the table” otherwise. You need to know and show your worth.

Don’t shy away from manifesting what an amazing human being you are. Wear bright clothes, say bold things, and be yourself to inspire others to themselves too.

Related reading: What Is Self-Reliance?

9. Nurture Your Strengths

You need to understand your talents and capabilities. Take time to recognize your deeds, accomplishments, and positive attributes. Knowing what you bring to the table is extraordinarily powerful when it comes to developing a strong self-concept that is based on reality.

Do you have a resume? You should! Even if you aren’t actively looking for a job, this is a great document for recording your experience, notable activities, and education. Also, consider keeping track of a portfolio of sorts. Keep a record of goals you’ve accomplished, awards you’ve received, trainings you’ve attended, and more.

It’s a great idea to work on a personal brand. Many people have a website or social media presence designed to boost their accomplishments, give them a place for self-promotion, and communicate their best qualities to others. Use this tool to keep track of your achievements and show others your worth.

10. Recognize Opportunities for Improvement and Growth

Part of finding and building positive self-worth involves learning and understanding where your shortcomings are. Rather than thinking of this as self-criticism, view it as self-awareness.

Knowing where you need to grow and improve is a positive thing. When you can confidently state where you need to improve and share what you are doing to accomplish that, people will see and hear that as a positive sign. We’re all striving to be better, so there is a high chance you’ll find a supportive community that shares these perceptions, so you can grow together.

11. Practice Self Advocacy

Self advocacy is learning the ability needed to confidently state why you own your role and deserve recognition for your contributions, hard work, and potential.

Some people aren’t aware of your abilities and worth. Others know, but feel the need to put you down. It isn’t always easy or comfortable to advocate for yourself, but when you do, you will quickly begin enjoying positive outcomes. Don’t let people undervalue you.

Here are some things you can do when you have to advocate for your worth in a personal or professional sense:

  • Never undercut yourself when discussing salary or the cost of your services
  • Come with data to share so you can quantify your accomplishments
  • Seek our letters of recommendation
  • Speak about yourself in a positive manner
  • Don’t diminish your accomplishments
  • Never accept an offer that undervalues you
  • Don’t offer professional services for free or “exposure”
  • Expect people to appreciate your contributions
  • Walk away from situations where your time is not honored
  • Learn not to carry the emotional load in every relationship
  • Cease associating people who don’t honor our boundaries or well-being
  • Be assertive when the people in your life don’t honor commitments or follow through on promises
Don't let anyone, including yourself, question your self-worth

What Stops Us From Feeling Worthy?

You can be rightfully proud that you’ve been promoted to a top position in your firm. But that can be taken away from you through no fault of your own. Businesses close down. They have lay-offs. Contracts end.

When you operate with a clear set of values and principles, you can build your sense of self by adhering to those things. Nobody can take that away from you. Your self-worth doesn’t rely on your status and relationships; these things just support and manifest your inner light and strength.

What can’t be taken away from you is the work ethic, experience, and skills you used to attain your position. You can always rely on those positive qualities to form your concept of self to give yourself a solid foundation of self love and worth.

Love&Sex Expert
Cherie Hamilton
I’ve always been inspired by women who are outgoing, very sure of themselves, and not afraid to be who they were, including their sex lives. Under their tutelage, I gradually shed my old self, hung out and socialized with them, and, over time, became the empowered, self-confident, and sexual woman I am today. Happy to share my insights with other women today!
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