What is Self-Worth and How Can We Grow It?

In the days of social media and perfect images, it is easy to doubt your self-worth. Just a quick scroll and you see images of “perfect” looking people or the “perfect” life. Images that can perhaps leave you feeling a lack of self-worth and that you and your life aren’t quite good enough.

Personally, it got the point that I would rarely ever post a photo of myself on Instagram. I just in all honestly felt like I didn’t look good enough. Yet, if I don’t feel I’m good enough, who else will.

I am sharing what self-worth means to me, my process of learning and understanding what my self-worth is, and my tips to start living a life feeling self-worth.

Lady walking through field with back to the camera

What is self-worth?

Personally, I think that self-worth and self-confidence as different things. Confidence is more about external aspects, such as how other people perceive us. Whereas, self-worth is something more internal and is focused on our own perception of our self.

With regards to confidence, I think of the expression, “fake it till you make it”. By imitating confidence, a person can be perceived as confident and therefore making them feel more confident. Whereas, self-worth is focused on our own perception of our self, and more difficult to “fake”. If you feel that you are unworthy, there is only so much you can kid yourself that you are happy.

So, how can we grow our self-worth? How can we really start valuing ourselves?

I’ve come up with five ways that have helped me:

1. Accept the past

I know I can pinpoint some of my feelings of lack of self-worth to things that happened in my childhood. I ended up going to counselling as I could see that it was impacting on my adult life by the choices I was making. It’s still a work in progress, but I accept I can’t change things in the past, but I can change my view of myself and my own self-worth now.

2. Remove toxic people

If you feel like the people around you make you feel insecure or not so good about yourself, then it’s time to say goodbye. It is not easy, toxic people generally will have such power over you, and they shouldn’t. Once you remove these people from your life, it will free you from the negativity they bring into your life, but it will also create space for more positive people to come into your life.

3. Set your personal boundaries

This is something I struggle with. In all areas of life, people will take the “p” if you let them, impacting on your feeling of self-worth. You could go as far as writing out what you will or will not accept from others, or just go with your feelings. I go with what makes me feel good and what makes me feel bad. As with the toxic people, if people or situations make me feel insecure or not good about myself, I will distance myself from them.

4. Be your own best friend

I read a quote years ago about you have to love yourself before anyone else can love you. I remember at the time thinking, yes whatever. Yet it’s true. Once I realised I was my own worst enemy; I was the one who constantly doubted myself. Turn that around, be your own best friend. Be the one who says you can do it. You are worthy of good things. Help yourself by practicing regular a self-care routine to make yourself feel good and keep anxiety at bay .

5. Surround yourself with people you love

If you value yourself, you will attract people that are worth your while. Surround yourself with people you love, and you will feel valuable too.

I am now in a loving relationship, have amazing friends, and the toxic people are in the past. And guess what? I feel happy, valued and loved 🙂

 

What are 5 things you value about yourself?

Life Begins at Forty?

I’m about to turn forty. Bah I’ve said it.

I’d love to tell you I’m feeling positive about turning forty. Part of me just wants to run and hide behind the great big inflatable 4 0 balloons. Am I going to wake up on Saturday morning, everything all kind of shrivelling up? Will I be deep in the throws of a full blow mid-life crisis with an overwhelming compulsion to buy a red Ferrari that I can’t afford from eBay?

They say ‘life begins at forty’. I guess in that sense it’s like another ‘New Years Eve’. A time for reinvention, a new chapter, a fresh start. I can’t think of anymore cliches! This is a time many of us think of changing career. Although, I’ve had more career changes than your average careers advisor could tell you about, so maybe not a career change (for now anyway). 

What do you want to be when you grow up?

In all honesty. I never had a clue. It’s always been about studying for me. What can I do next? Never really being satisfied in the here and now. Eat, sleep, (with the occasional rave) repeat. Maybe now, moving forwards, it’s a time for acceptance of myself and learning to look around and appreciate all that I have.

Maybe this is a time to travel more, not just holidays, but explore different cultures and cuisines. I want to learn Spanish again AND more importantly have the confidence to use it. I also want to get back into yoga (I was too scared to go to a class alone when I moved to London). Generally, I just want to push myself to do things I always wished I could, but was too scared.

In fact, does age really matter at all?

It is all a bit relative when you think about it. I mean if you could write a letter to your younger self. What would you say? I know I would tell myself to stop caring so much about what others thought of me, or rather what people who don’t matter thought about me.

“At age 20, we worry about what others think of us. At age 40, we don’t care what they think of us. At age 60, we discover they haven’t been thinking of us at all.”Ann Landers 

In my head, I’m still 18 and the world is my oyster. Maybe the reality is that I’m 40, and do you know what, the world is still my oyster! Even if I still don’t have a clue what I want to be when I grow up.

Happy Birthday to all of my fellow August babies. I hope you have a fantastic day! However old you are, who you are, or who you want to be!

Lots of love Helen xoxo

What if you are actually good enough?

In England the weather has started to cast her Autumnal vibe (save the bank holiday weekend summer glory – what was that all about!). That means only one thing; it’s back to school. This year is a feeling of a nervous excitement and please let that continue. This time last year, was very different. A long story for a different day, but I’ve spent a lot of time getting to this point.

I’ve been MIA in blogosphere for a while now. One of the main reasons has been because I just didn’t feel I was “good enough” if I’m really being honest. I’ve finally started to turn a corner, but it really got me thinking: why do we suffer from low esteem and more to the point, what can we do when we start to doubt ourselves?

Look back and try to see where the self doubt started:  For me,  I think it started at high school. I think for the first time I felt quite alone and it was big and scary. Academically, I didn’t achieve (what I know now, I was more than capable of). I just didn’t see the point, if I’m really honest. It was only when my friends left for uni I had a massive wake up call. I think I’ve spent the rest of the time trying to “fix” this.

Make friends with YOU: The hardest thing sometimes is to realise that it’s actually ok just to be yourself. Personally, looking back; I’ve always been naturally quite a shy and insecure person. For some reason, I felt this was a bad thing and soon learnt to put on a fake front. I would hide behind the smile, then the laugh and the fact that I am (*cough*) quite dippy at times. It was easier to make people laugh, rather than just being genuine and letting them see the real me.

Talk about how you are feeling: I don’t know why, but I am one of those people who doesn’t like to talk about their feelings. This unfortunately led to me ultimately suffering from anxiety. If I had spoken up, it might not have got to that point.

Stop beating yourself up: I’ve finally realised I was my own worst enemy. I was the one who stopped me from doing things. The dialogue in my head for the most part has been a constant self-criticism. Ultimately, I couldn’t do whatever because I had convinced myself I wasn’t good enough and I couldn’t do it.

Rid yourself of those toxic people: Whether it is negative people who make you feel down on yourself, or an actual bully. It is time to rid these people from your life. Whether it be by just ending the relationship, or confiding in someone who can help you to end the situation. It’s time to do it now. Once you have grieved or taken time out. It will be ok, promise.

Take small steps to boost confidence: By stepping out of your comfort zone, once a day, once a week. It will do wonders for your self-esteem and you will soon start to build up your confidence.

Just do it! What are you waiting for. Life is too short. It isn’t a dress rehearsal…blah, blah… I’m all clichéd out now, but you get my drift!

xoxo