10 Strategies to Improve Your Self-Worth and Recognize Your True Value

  • Improving your self-worth and recognizing your true value can have a profound effect on your life.
  • Your self-worth is like the story you tell yourself. 
  • The effect exercise has on your mental and emotional well-being is nothing short of remarkable.

Having a strong sense of self-worth means that you recognize your true value. It’s the feeling that you are a good person who deserves to be treated with respect. Your self-worth significantly affects your life because it will influence each aspect of it – your relationships, your health, your career, etc. When you don’t recognize your true value, you may accept less than you deserve and go for the “low hanging fruit” in life. 

Pay attention to those things that trigger you to go down this comparison rabbit hole and nip it in the bud.

Many people determine their self-worth through comparison. They compare their appearance, social status, wealth, and career to others. They then rate how they compare to others, ultimately giving them their self-worth. With the ever-increasing use of social media, many are also attributing their self-worth to the number of followers and likes they have.

Improving your self-worth and recognizing your true value can have a profound effect on your life. However, if you consider yourself as someone with low self-worth, it can make it difficult to make the necessary changes to pull yourself out of it. I want you to know that you have the capacity and ability to improve your self-worth, and you can start today!

Here are 10 strategies to improve your self-worth and recognize your true value:

1. Change the narrative through positive affirmations.

Your self-worth is like the story you tell yourself. You have created this character in your mind and have determined her worth and how she will be treated in life. To change your narrative and be the main character in your life, stop all the negative self-talk. You know, the “I’m fat,” “I’m lazy,” and “I’m stupid” – these things you say to yourself when you are feeling bad. Consider the things you would rather believe about yourself. What traits should the main character have? Take these traits and turn them into affirmations that you repeat to yourself. For example, repeat “I am smart,” “I am funny,” or “I am loved.” You can say them aloud or write them in a journal again and again. Actresses that have played the main character in movies, as well as their own lives, are big believers in positive affirmations. Jennifer Lopez devotes 15 minutes a day to positive affirmations, and Oprah Winfrey, Ashley Graham, and Selena Gomez also swear by the practice.

2. Don’t go down that comparison rabbit hole.

It starts with an innocent scroll through your Instagram feed, and before you know it, you are 8 months into the photos of a fitness influencer hating your own body. It’s gotta stop! Pay attention to those things that trigger you to go down this comparison rabbit hole and nip it in the bud. If you find certain people on social media cause you to comparison-spiral, mute them. Just avoid it altogether. If someone in your personal life does the same, it can be a bit more challenging to mute them, so instead, limit time and spend some time journaling about these feelings. Remember, people are posting highly-edited highlight reels of their life on social media. You don’t have the full picture. Everyone has their own struggles, so there is nothing to compare.

3. Surround yourself with a support squad.

Are there people in your life who have you questioning your self-worth and make you feel like you aren’t enough? Like you aren’t successful enough, pretty enough, social enough, etc.? It would be best if you reduced your time spend with people that make you feel poorly and spend more time with those who support you, lift you up, and make you feel good. Quality trumps quantity every day, and when you surround yourself with a quality support squad, you can improve your self-worth.

4. Stop labeling experiences.

You are not your circumstances, and it’s important to know the difference and stop labeling these experiences. Here are a few examples… Let’s say you committed to going to the gym 5 days a week before work, and one day you sleep in. When you say to yourself, “I am lazy,” you are assigning a negative label to yourself. Another example could be if you made an error on a test or a report for school and you say “I am so stupid”. Instead of simply acknowledging that a mistake was made, you assign yourself this negative label. Increase your awareness around these generalizations and make an effort to stop them.

5. Get to the gym and lift weights.

The effect exercise has on your mental and emotional well-being is nothing short of remarkable. There are so many benefits, including improving self-worth! Weight-lifting is proven to increase mental empowerment. Instead of viewing it as another task on your to-do list, try to reframe exercise as a self-care practice. To help, start by bookending it with other self-care practices like having a hot bath or doing an activity that gives you pleasure!

By persistently focusing on yourself and developing a skill, you overcome obstacles and come out the other end with new knowledge.

6. Learn a new skill.

Is there something you have always wanted to learn? Maybe it’s to play the guitar or learn a new language? Think of your strengths and interests. Through boosting your competence in a new skill, you can simultaneously increase your confidence and self-worth. By persistently focusing on yourself and developing a skill, you overcome obstacles and come out the other end with new knowledge. You don’t have to become the best guitarist or fluent in a new language, but you can feel good about your ability to learn and your determination when you know more than you did before you started.

7. Get to know yourself through journal prompts.

Learning who you really are and discovering your authentic self can help you recognize your true value. Journaling is an effective way to discover new things about yourself and get to know yourself on a much deeper level. Give yourself a journal prompt and then write whatever comes to mind – it may surprise you! Here are a few great journal prompts to get you started:

  • Describe a time you treated someone really well.  How did it make you feel?
  • Describe a time you mistreated someone. How did it make you feel? What would you say to this person now?
  • Who are the 3 closest people to you? Write down how you think each person perceives you.
  • If a friend was feeling down, how would you help them? Now, how can you apply this to the way you treat yourself?
  • I feel happiest when…
  • I feel most confident when…
  • I feel down when…

8. Give yourself gold stars.

You don’t need to wait for a big promotion, raise, or marriage proposal to celebrate. Start celebrating the small stuff. Did you wake up on time? Gold star! Did you hand in a report early? Gold star! Did you do the dishes? Gold star! Every night in a journal, give yourself three gold stars by writing these “wins” in your journal. You don’t actually need gold stickers, but it does make it more fun! Who said stickers are just for kids?!

9. Help others.

When you use your strengths, abilities, and skills to help others, you can increase your sense of self-worth. If you are great at math, perhaps you could spend some time tutoring? Or if you have some free time, perhaps you could help out at a food bank? Offering resources or teaching someone something does wonders for your self-worth.

10. Manage your expectations.

Expectations can be our worst enemy. When we set high, unrealistic expectations for ourselves, we can set ourselves up for disappointment. With every high expectation you don’t meet, you can feel a sense of failure, which could be crushing your feelings of self-worth.  When we set high expectations for our significant other and children, we can become disappointed when they don’t meet them. When you are getting upset with yourself or others, ask yourself what your expectations are. The first step is to identify them. Next, ask yourself if that is a reasonable expectation and try and replace it with something more realistic or remove these expectations altogether. For example, do you expect your children to clean the house without being asked? Do you find yourself getting angry and thinking something is wrong with them and you, as a mother, because they don’t keep their room clean? First, you should compare your expectations to theirs, as well as your definition of cleanliness vs. theirs.  A mismatch is bound to lead to disappointment. Again, remember not to label and instead manage high, unrealistic expectations.

Self-worth is about who you are, not what you do or what others think of you. These 10 strategies will help you find out who you are and show you your self-worth and true value.

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Robert Moment

Robert Moment is an experienced and highly skilled ICF Certified Emotional Intelligence Coach, Trainer, Speaker and Author of the book , High Emotional Intelligence for Managers. Robert specializes in developing managers, executives and employees to achieve high emotional intelligence for peak performance and success.   Robert is Certified to deliver The Social + Emotional Intelligence Profile-Self (SEIP) ® Assessment, the most comprehensive, scientifically validated, and statistically reliable instrument on the market and review the results with clients and create a comprehensive developmental action plan. This includes the self and 360-versions as well as workplace and adult editions.  

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