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What Is Self-Worth?

Hey, Friend! If you’re unaware, I have a methodology called the “3 Pillars of Self©”. It’s about the various ways that self-care, self-worth, and self-discipline subconsciously affect EVERY area of our lives. Last month, we focused on the various aspects of self-care. And what better time to dive into self-worth than in February?!

Before we get started, it’s important to know that self-worth and confidence are NOT the same. They have a lot of overlapping qualities, but they are different. Think of them as siblings (but not identical twins). Haha!

Confidence is your belief in your abilities or qualities. You can be highly confident in one area and have no confidence in another area. For example, you can be confident in your ability to drive a car but lack confidence in your ability to ride a bike.

Self-worth is the internal belief system that you hold to be true about yourself. It is your overall personal sense of worth and value. You can be highly confident, but have a low sense of self-worth. The two are independent of each other. Just because you are confident in your ability to drive a car, it doesn’t mean that you feel that you are worthy or deserving of the car you’re driving. Make sense?

To make for an easy illustration, think of your self-worth as a metaphorical good wolf (read: friendly, obedient domesticated pet dog) or a bad wolf (read: a raging, terror craving, wild wolf). Both wolves are equally present at birth. Whichever wolf gets “fed” throughout your life, is the one that grows within you and shapes your beliefs, thoughts, and behaviors (which creates the reality you live in and the quality of life you experience).

What determines self-worth?

Your level of self-worth is going to determine how you show up or don’t show up in the world. But what determines your self-worth? Initially, your parents or guardians and upbringing instilled your first levels of self-worth. Were your caretakers abusive and neglectful or were they loving and supportive? The first will feed a negative and low sense of self-worth (the bad wolf) while the latter while foster a positive and high sense of self-worth (the good wolf).

But that’s not all. As you grew and began to experience life, your various life stages and experiences further influenced your self-worth. You either reinforce the beliefs that were already planted within you or you start to shift into new beliefs.

It is also influenced by the company you keep. Are the people around you building you up or breaking you down? There’s an old saying that says you can tell one’s future path by the friends they keep. What path is your support system, community, or friends leading you down? Is your “wolfpack” causing you drama and turmoil (whether literally or internally) or are they helping you to believe in yourself and make positive decisions for your life?

Unfortunately, we can sometimes base our sense of self-worth on more superficial external factors such as: how much money we have, what titles or careers we have, or our perception of our success or failure. Please, don’t do this – as this will eventually lead you down a path that is extremely destructive to your well-being! Because once that factor is removed, how will you manage?

I also want to note that your mental health, emotional health, and physical health also influence your self-worth.

Why is your self-worth important?

Everyone on this earth has a few (or many) inner limiting beliefs, and these beliefs are directly tied to our self-worth. Limiting beliefs are subconscious beliefs that limit our ability for growth and development. They limit our capacity for genuine fulfillment and joy in life. They keep us bound to cycles (that often give way to toxic behaviors and/or relationships). They keep us stuck in jobs we hate or stuck in abusive relationships. They block us from dreaming or excessively slow us down from working on our goals.

Research has shown that people have thousands of thoughts per day with about 80% of those thoughts being negative and about 95% are repetitive. This means that the majority of your thoughts are feeding into your limiting beliefs (and unintentionally feed the bad wolf). Some of these beliefs are as follows:

· I’m not good enough.

· I don’t deserve…

· I always have bad luck.

· I can’t trust anyone.

· What will people think of me?

· I don’t have enough time/money/support/education.

· I can’t catch a break.

· Something [negative] is always happening to me.

These beliefs feed into the fear of failure, the fear of rejection, or even the fear of success. They feed into perfectionism, over-thinking, chronic doubt, people pleasing, being highly critical or judgmental, codependency, a lack of boundaries, and more.

When your self-worth is low, you feed into and reinforce all of the above and diminish your quality of life. You are negatively impacting your overall well-being. Your sense of self-worth attracts and determines how you interact in your relationships (whether intimate, professional, or platonic). It determines how you show up at work or in your business. It determines whether you live life or let life happen. It determines how you handle obstacles, and it determines your ability to identify creative solutions to those obstacles. It even impacts your relationship with money.

However, the great thing about self-worth is that you always have the ability to choose which wolf you’re going to feed. So, this month, we’re diving into how to determine your level of self-worth and various ways to improve your self-worth. And here’s a hint, even if you love yourself and love your life… we could all use a little boost! Stay tuned as we feed a buffet to our inner good wolves! Haha!


Lindsey Vertner, Mindset Expert & Professional Speaker

P.S. A low sense of self-worth also feeds into a lack of self-care – which only further exacerbates the issues! Check out last month’s blog series on all things self-care and its impact here.

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