8 Steps to Increase Your Self-Worth

growth tips healthy self-esteem Apr 24, 2019

Too often I see people stay trapped because they don’t feel that they deserve more in their lives. Working with clients self-worth is one of the big topics. Here are some helpful tools to keep in mind when working to improve your self-worth!

  1. You deserve love. This is first and foremost! You deserve to love yourself and for others to love you. Love doesn’t hurt! You deserve to be treated with respect and compassion. There is no one on this planet that is unloveable. Remember to practice self-compassion.
  2. Change the story. Every morning, usually during my morning meditation, I use positive affirmations. Write down the positive affirmations so you can use them when negative thought patterns come up and pick a few to focus on every morning before you start your day. You will notice that you will become more focused with practice. Make them believable to you! When the negative thoughts come in think about what you would say to a friend or someone you loved in the same situation. If you wouldn’t say it to a friend, why are you saying it to yourself?
  3. Stop comparing. We are not meant to be just like anyone else, that what makes us individuals! You also have no idea what someone is hiding or going through in their personal life. I could compare myself to a mathematician or a ballerina and think of how much smarter or thinner they are than I am but what good does that do? It’s a waste of time and it takes away all of the other great abilities I have! We all come with our own purpose. It is up to you to find yours on your own journey, and let others find theirs.
  4. Identify your strengths. Albert Einstein said, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” I love reading this every time I see it, it is such a good reminder of why it is important to discover our passion and purpose! We are all good and not so good at different things. None of that means we are good or bad people. If we were all good at the same things not only would it be boring but we would not have the innovation that we have. It’s much more powerful and strengthening to look at the what you are good at than to be sad about what you are not good at. Look for opportunities when you can that allow you to do more of what you enjoy. I signed up for meetups, these allow lots of opportunities to find people with similar interests and possibly find new interests as well!
  5. Exercise. Yep, another good reason to stay physically active! When you exercise it actually increases endorphins which are feel good chemicals in the brain. This helps both the body and the mind. It releases stress and builds strength. If your first feeling is that you don’t have time to exercise look at how this may be a way to self-sabotage your health. We often have time for whatever we make time for. If it important we find time to do it. Take the time to put your health in the forefront and it will help in all areas of your life. Self-care allows you to help others, so make it a priority!
  6. Help Others. We will not be remembered as much for what we did for ourselves but rather what we did to help others. When you are of service to others it can help put your own issues into perspective. I spent 13 years working on a crisis hotline, you want a good reminder of what others are dealing with? Try that for a bit, one shift always put my own worries into perspective and made me feel less bad about what I had to deal with. When you are doing something you are proud of it helps increase your self worth. The value is immeasurable. Have you ever heard the saying “whatever you put into the world will come back tenfold”? So have I, and I have experienced it. Help others for the joy of it, not in expectation of something in return and you will be very pleasantly surprised at the results.
  7. Forgiveness. Is there is someone in your life you haven’t forgiven? An ex-partner? A family member? Yourself? By holding on to feelings of bitterness or resentment, we keep ourselves stuck in a cycle of negativity. If we haven’t forgiven ourselves, shame will keep us in this same loop. "Forgiving self and others has been found to improve self-esteem,” says Schiraldi, “perhaps because it connects us with our innately loving nature and promotes an acceptance of people, despite our flaws.” He refers to the Buddhist meditation on forgiveness, which can be practiced at any time: "If I have hurt or harmed anyone, knowingly or unknowingly, I ask forgiveness. If anyone has hurt or harmed me, knowingly or unknowingly, I forgive them. For the ways I have hurt myself, knowingly or unknowingly, I offer forgiveness."
  8. Remember that you are not your circumstances. Finally, learning to differentiate between your circumstances and who you are is key to self-worth. Learning to love yourself at the core of your humanity instead of what you do can start to change things. We have the ability to do amazing things! The thought that we are anything but miraculous is from self-doubt that we may have learned over time. Those negative thoughts can also be unlearned. Pay attention with how you speak to yourself, eliminate self-criticism and work on replacing it with compassion to yourself and others. It will get easier with time. You are a unique, beautiful soul and here for a reason.