We often confuse self-worth with self-esteem. Self-esteem is about the way you think and feel about yourself. If we have a secure self-esteem, it does not need to rely on external validation and therefore we stay unwavering when faced with negative comments in our external environment, without feeling the need to question ourselves or change our way of being to fit in.
Unfortunately, many of us grew up with fragile self-esteem, entirely focused on how others perceive and evaluate us.
“Self-Esteem is therefore influenced by our external environment, and will fluctuate depending on how people think of us”
Self-Worth on the other hand, goes deeper into our core beliefs as to how we perceive ourselves. Because it is deep rooted, it makes self-worth a more difficult one to improve on, as even with a positive external compliment, although it might boost our self-esteem temporarily, the same compliment will not change the unwavering core belief that we are not worthy.
We will accept criticism as evidence that we are simply not good enough, and merely re-enforcing our core belief of not being worthy, and defaults us into focusing on our shortcomings and failures and ignoring our strengths and successes. In other words, lack of self-worth prevents us from identifying positive experiences and growing.
“If you have self worth, then you are never weakened by criticism from others.”
We often fall into the trap of believing that we must do or have or be something to be worthy. We spend a lot of time and energy trying to attain a level of achievement that confirms success and worth, and in the process boost our self-esteem. For example, “I will be worthy and accepted when I have made a lot of money… or when I am married… or when I win the gold medal… or when I become a doctor.”
“When you please others in the hope of being accepted, you lose your self-worth in the process”
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Jenny Korten is a certified facilitator for the UFIND and EP7 programs. For more information, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org our subscribe to her blog.
Wishing you all good health