Self worth is defined as “the sense of one’s own value or worth as a person”; “a sense of one’s own value as a human being”. Self worth is the value that we place on ourselves. It’s really ironic that we can spend years, even decades of our life, seeking for the validation from other people, when the only thing we need to feel worthy is to perceive our own value (worth).
We are the ones who determine our own value (worth), just like the salesman puts the price on the objects he’s selling. Luxury brands, such as CHANEL, GUCCI, and PRADA, are doing a great job in increasing the perceived value of their products in our eyes, so that we perceive them to be much more worthy than the actual cost of the material that their artefacts are made of. On the other hand, we can devalue ourselves, “sell ourselves cheep”, or even as a counterfeit.
why self worth matters
Over the years, while working as a life coach, I realised how much self worth is important for increasing self respect, self love, and self confidence. Self worth is the foundational ingredient of success in any area of our life. While working with women as a life coach, I discovered that the real root cause of all of the problems and challenges they were facing (impostor syndrome, perfectionism, self sabotage, inability to earn or manifest more money, being taken advantage of in relationships, inability to ‘find’ and ‘keep’ the right partner, limiting beliefs that were holding them back, lack of motivation to work on their goals, failures, setbacks, self sabotage…) was low self worth.
Self worth is the fundamental building block of self confidence (‘self belief’). If you do not believe in yourself, how can you expect that other people believe in you? When I was giving corporate emotional intelligence workshops with my colleague Lata Singh, in Delhi, I would ask the HR manager if she would hire candidates who have an ‘impressive’ resume, but do not believe in themselves and cannot clearly communicate their value (why the company should hire them and why they are the right person for the job). I would get the reply:
“Of course I wouldn’t hire them! If they do not believe in themselves, why would I believe in them? Why would I hire them?!’
Similarly, when people offer their services to potential clients, without self belief that they are ‘the right person for the job’ and that they can truly help the client, they can fail in closing the deal or booking a client. If you do not believe in yourself and your services, products, and expertise, how can you expect other people to believe in you or your products?
Low self worth can have devastating effect on our relationships. When I would discuss during the life coaching sessions with my clients about their ideal romantic partner, we would often discover their hidden limiting belief, rooted in low self worth:
“I wouldn’t have much to offer to that type of man!”
“That type of man would be hard to keep”.
I have to say that all of them had ‘a lot to offer’ in a relationship, but the problem was that they did not believe that they do, just like people with the impostor syndrome do not believe that they deserve the success they have achieved, or the woman who was admired by the whole world for her beauty (Marilyn Monroe) could not ‘see’ how beautiful she was in the mirror. People who lack self worth often end up being taken advantage of in relationships, because they do not truly feel worthy of love.
Lack of self worth leads to forming limiting beliefs that we are not good enough, and deserving of love, success, wealth, happiness… Lack of self worth negatively affects our self respect. How can we feel respect towards someone we do not consider to be ‘worthy enough’ and ‘good enough’? Lack of self worth crushes our self confidence, because we can not feel confident in ourselves (have strong self belief), if we do not feel worthy enough and good enough to achieve our goals.
There is lot of conversation about self love nowadays, but how can we love ourselves if we do not consider ourselves worthy, we condemn ourselves, punish ourselves, sabotage ourselves, criticise ourselves, and constantly judge and devalue ourselves?
Money is a symbol of value exchange, so therefor our self worth is very tightly correlated to our net worth (the amount of money we earn). How can we have a lot of money (symbol of value exchange) if we do not value ourselves? If we do not believe that we are worthy what we charge for, we can subconsciously sabotage our financial success and fall into the vicious cycle of under-earning.
No matter how much effort we put into achieving our goals and how good strategy we have, our mindset, our subconscious beliefs, and our self worth are the crucial factor that will determine if we are going to be successful and achieve our personal and professional goals, or not. Therefor, no matter what goals my clients may be having, I always work with them on strengthening their self worth first, as that is the foundation of success in any area of our life.
how to increase self worth
To increase self worth, it is very important to identify and change our limiting beliefs (“I am not good enough“, “I am not worthy of ________”; “I wouldn’t have much to offer to that type of man!”; “I can’t succeed in anything“; “Who am I to write a book/ start a business/ make a positive change in the world/ be a life coach…?”. Then, we need to reprogram our limiting beliefs into empowering beliefs. We can do that by questioning and challenging our beliefs, observing our negative self talk and changing it into positive self talk (self empowerment). Because, the words we say about ourselves and standards that we set for ourselves communicate our value to others.
“If you make yourself into a doormat, people will wipe their feet on you”. (Belizean Proverb)
If you want to learn more about increasing self worth, self confidence, and self respect, check out my book ‘Self Worth – Women’s Guide To Increasing Self Worth, Self Respect, and Self Confidence’ on Amazon.