How to Develop a Healthy Sense of Self Worth.

Lifes Journey can Help or Hinder Self Worth

Self-Worth another name for self esteem defined is : 'confidence in ones own worth or abilities; self respect' Navigating our way through life can have a damaging effect on self esteem for some as we journey through life making our way at times in fear and trepidation often feeling like we just might not be quite good enough.

Early Impact on Self-Worth We start life being told that we are either good or bad according to the way we react and respond to others about us and whether or not we develop according to standard norms. The comparison rate continues to rise as we begin the competition of life with others right from preschool; when we are rewarded for sharing with and playing nice with others to kindergarten; when we have an advantage over other kids if we know our ABC's, and right through our formative years where learning almost accelerates at the speed of light and we learn that bullying is frequent but not an acceptable way to get what we want in life. And where we learn that a competitive spirit is almost shunned but secretly applauded by classroom teachers; through to our teenage years where it is worked out who are the Einsteins among us and who has academic ability and will go on further to tertiary education. For many these types of challenges can crush and bruise our self worth and we head on over to adulthood with our self esteem a little or a lot worse for wear.

But it's what we do with who/what we are and how we feel that counts. How we think about ourselves helps to determine our sense of self worth. How we see our self matters. If our self worth has suffered on life's journey and our thoughts about ourselves are mostly negative we can change what we think about ourselves by applying some of the following.

  1. Develop a healthy realistic perspective of your strengths and weaknesses - then focus on what you can do rather than beat yourself up about what you can't do. Most of us have watched painful and embarrassing images of hopeful idol contestants attempting to sing when they clearly can't; and thought hasn't anyone been kind enough to them to tell them that they are just not going to make it as a singer. Doing an honest assessment of your strengths and weaknesses is invaluable and can help to give you the right kind of direction in life. Learning to identify the disparity of thinking about ourselves of what we think is right compared to what actually is right is something that takes time skill and effort. However you do it; whether making a list of your strengths and weaknesses by yourself or with the help of the right kind of friend or family member, one who won't tell you what you want to hear but who will be honest with you, or with the help of a professional, can be life changing.
  2. Know and understand yourself well - understanding yourself psychologically, is the key to freedom, particularly in relationships. For example knowing what makes you strive harder, what motivates and demotivates you; knowing your intellectual capabilities in life and how you learn; what is it that pushes you over the edge and makes life that bit harder.
  3. Develop strong positive self talk - what we say to ourselves about ourselves either makes us or breaks us. Challenging the negative thoughts that we think about ourselves and the quiet often distorted perspectives we hold is a continual challenge and not one to be take lightly as more often than not we are willing to convince ourselves about something negative rather than believe something positive about ourselves. It can take time, effort and practice to develop positive self talk and is a key factor and vital for healthy self esteem and worth. So to is the practice of saying thank you when receiving a compliment.
  4. Be kind to yourself and others - the old adage of treating others how you want to be treated yourself works in the process of building up your own self esteem and kindness is beneficial for health and well being. The Karma of what goes around comes around applies here.
  5. Stand up for yourself - sometimes we don't like how we are spoken to or treated by family, friends or colleagues and hesitate to speak up for ourselves. But it's not that hard to say a few simple words like 'I don't like it when you speak to me like that' It might mean that you have to practice saying it many times until you feel confident before you say it but the benefits can make a difference long term and let's people know that you are not a push over and teaches others to show you some respect.
  6. Don't compare yourself to others, there will always be someone stronger,smarter more good looking; Accept who you are, learn to like who you are and what you see in the reflection Each individual is unique, similar at times but different, made in different moulds. You own your blueprint, your difference matters and contributes to the world around you. You are valuable to God, your family and your friends, don't let negative self talk convince you otherwise.

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Comments 42 comments

dwachira profile image

dwachira 4 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

This a great hub carter06, i agree with you,

self esteem start when we accept our strengths and weaknesses. Thanks for sharing.

billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

Excellent points my friend! If I had a dollar for ever student I have had who had low self-esteem I would be a millionaire. This needs to be read by many!

slackermom profile image

slackermom 4 years ago from Attapulgus GA

Wonderful hub. So many struggle with accepting themselves and finding value within themselves and this hub really addresses this issue. You did a great job.

Voted up .

christin53 profile image

christin53 4 years ago from UK

Very good hub. I think they should have self-esteem classes in school to help us all gain confidence while we are young.

carter06 profile image

carter06 4 years ago from Cronulla NSW Author

Thanks so much christin53 and I agree with you and think that early intervention can help protect self worth... appreciate your comment...cheers

carter06 profile image

carter06 4 years ago from Cronulla NSW Author

dwachira - thanks for your feedback... I really appreciate you dropping by and for the follow...will look for your hubs as you write...cheers

billybuc - and you are right low self worth is way too prevalent in young people and of great concern to those of us who work with them, thanks for your concern and your your comments...much appreciated...cheers

slackermom - so nice of you to drop by and for your very kind comments and votes- cheers

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Hubert Williams 4 years ago

Very sound advice, especially 5 & 6. Thank you for writing this and not keeping it to yourself.

carter06 profile image

carter06 4 years ago from Cronulla NSW Author

Thank you for your comment Hubert and happy that you found it useful...and you are most welcome...cheers

Lisas-thoughts101 profile image

Lisas-thoughts101 4 years ago from Northeast Texas

carter, I really appreciate the hub. I hadn't thought about needing to know your weaknesses as well as your strengths in order to have a good self concept but it makes perfect sense. I voted up and useful.


Deborah Brooks profile image

Deborah Brooks 4 years ago from Brownsville,TX

Wow carter what great advice.. and I agree with you.. this is a great hub.. I am sharing


carter06 profile image

carter06 4 years ago from Cronulla NSW Author

Oh thanks Deb...appreciate that...cheers!

Mhatter99 profile image

Mhatter99 4 years ago from San Francisco

Thank you for this. i had to step back to "serve coffee."

Ms Chievous profile image

Ms Chievous 4 years ago from Wv

In working with teens I have found a sense of self worth comes from being involved in community whether it be sports or church or whatever. Good advice here!

carter06 profile image

carter06 4 years ago from Cronulla NSW Author

You are welcome Mhatter99...sometimes taking time and stepping back can be so beneficial...

Ms Chievous thanks for your input I really appreciate it and I totally agree that young people can find self worth in community...good comment...cheers

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Sueswan 4 years ago

Hi Carter

A great hub. I especially agree with number 6. We should never compare ourselves to others. We all are unique and have our own special gift and abilities.

Voted up and awesome.

Enjoy your weekend. :)

Fennelseed profile image

Fennelseed 4 years ago from Australia

This is a great hub and I agree with Sue and would add that being kind to ourselves is so important but not as easy to achieve as it sounds. Beating ourselves up comes so easily when we slip up, but we do need to ask ourselves, in the overall scheme of things, is our slip up really that bad, often it isn't. Positive self talk helps and indeed all your 6 steps here are interrelated.

Great advice for everyone. My votes and best wishes to you, Carter and sharing this supportive hub.

carter06 profile image

carter06 4 years ago from Cronulla NSW Author

Hi Sue my apologies for the delay in responding to your insightful and welcome comment...each of us are definitely unique and have so much to offer...and many thanks for your votes...cheers

Fennelseed thank you so much for stopping by and for your thoughtful words...yes we so need to stop beating up on ourselves...appreciate your votes and sharing...cheers

Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

Gosh, have I not read this yet?! I need this. I have to continually remind myself of that positive self-talk. I often fail. This is a great reminder. Many votes and sharing!

bdegiulio profile image

bdegiulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

Hi Carter. This is really, really useful and helpful info. Everyone has value, it's unfortunate that so many don't see it in themselves. Hopefully this helps. Very well done. Voting up, sharing and all the other good stuff.

emilybee profile image

emilybee 4 years ago

This article is really great and you are so right on, there always will be people stronger and prettier but that really doesn't make us monstrous creatures!! We are unique in our own little ways. :) I also like your point to tell people when you don't like the way they treat you, I've started doing that and really it has paid off. Sometimes people just need a polite nudge and are unaware of the hurt they are causing.

carter06 profile image

carter06 4 years ago from Cronulla NSW Author

Oh thanks so much for dropping by Victoria, and for your votes etc...and don't worry we do often fail and beat up on ourselves... again ...but what helps me and what I've learned to do is to be alert & catch an incoming negative thought and push it away/refuse it entry...and don't give it permission to stay... thanks again, you have a lovely day...

carter06 profile image

carter06 4 years ago from Cronulla NSW Author

Hello my Italian buddy...why is it that we so often can't see value in ourselves when we have so much to you my friend...thanks so much for your votes...cheers

carter06 profile image

carter06 4 years ago from Cronulla NSW Author

Hi glad my hub helped you do's so true that often people are unaware of being hurtful...and I think it's kinder to them to politely tell them, it helps them too...have a great day...cheers

EyesStraightAhead profile image

EyesStraightAhead 4 years ago from Connecticut, USA

This is a wonderful hub with some great points. I wrote a similar hub on taking back our innocence. When we are children, we believe in ourselves until the world destroys that belief. We feel we can conquer anything. I try not to hurt that innocent nature within my daughter. I want her to believe she is amazing and wonderful. I struggle with my self-confidence due to my weight and I never want her to feel the same way I do. I want her to know she is beautiful no matter what and that her qualities not her outward appearance are what lead to her being truly beautiful. Thank you for sharing this great hub.

carter06 profile image

carter06 4 years ago from Cronulla NSW Author

You are too kind EyesStraightAhead...and I will pop over for a visit could your daughter be anything other than amazing & wonderful with such a thoughtful and dedicated mamma...thanks so much...

AnnaCia profile image

AnnaCia 4 years ago

What a complex topic this is! You point out so many important and imperative aspects to have and maintain a healthy self worth. I appreciate the information. Thanks. Voted up.

TToombs08 profile image

TToombs08 4 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

I could have used this when I was a teenager to defend myself against my mother! Thank you for writing this! Voted up and more.

ChristyWrites profile image

ChristyWrites 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

What an important hub, especially for teenagers to read and understand. Thank-you for sharing such an important topic. I vote up and will share further to educate others.

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lovedoctor926 4 years ago

Excellent hub and very good advice. Voted up educational. I really like principle #5 and #6. This is a great way to look at it.

Teenage girls and women struggle with their weight and negative body image. Society and the media don't help much either because it continues to reinforce perfection making these girls feel insecure about themselves. The magazine industry and clothing industry continues to send out false images of models and celebrities in skimpy daisy dukes torturing girls and women that this is the only standard of beauty that is acceptable. Many women have become obsessed with their weight as well as with dieting and detoxification.

Janine Huldie profile image

Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

Wonderful hub and agree that i educational and will definitely share and vote up!

carter06 profile image

carter06 4 years ago from Cronulla NSW Author

Thank you Christie for your vote & very much appreciate sharing...I really think this subject is an important one as you say especially for Teens...cheers

carter06 profile image

carter06 4 years ago from Cronulla NSW Author

Thanks for you comments lovedoctor926... appreciated...I think it's so important to have a healthy sense of self worth so that we are not swayed by the images the media tell us we are supposed to look like...cheers

Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina

Great points to consider. I wish it were as simple as reading the checklist of 'do's and don'ts' and then following them. Unfortunately, it is a more complex issue and self worth needs to be integrated from an intellectual level to one of emotional acceptance. Not an easy task to accomplish.

midget38 profile image

midget38 4 years ago from Singapore

Great points, Carter06! It's the hardest task to accomplish and yet we must do so. Thanks of sharing these ideas, and we should put these in practice!! Shared, and voted up!

carter06 profile image

carter06 4 years ago from Cronulla NSW Author

Oh thanks so much for your comments & votes midget38 & I agree believing in ourselves, knowing our strengths & weaknesses etc is difficult to work through... but so helpful...cheers

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KDuBarry03 4 years ago

Great points and excellent advice, Carter06. So many people have such low self esteem and low self confidence that it leads to drastic measures. It definitely does take a lot for one to over come such mentalities; however, when they do, they will be much more mature and stable when they overcome the obstacles of internal conflict :)

Well written hub, voted up, shared and pinned!

carter06 profile image

carter06 4 years ago from Cronulla NSW Author

Denise I missed your comment earlier but thanks so much for your input and you make an insightful point about acceptance on two levels, it certainly does require that, thanks for dropping by...cheers

carter06 profile image

carter06 4 years ago from Cronulla NSW Author

Hi there KDB, nice to meet you and thanks for your input & votes etc...much appreciate your thoughtful comments...cheers

Injured lamb profile image

Injured lamb 4 years ago

Agree much with all your points carter06, thanks for sharing us a great "up" from me here, cheers!

carter06 profile image

carter06 4 years ago from Cronulla NSW Author

Thank you for dropping by injured lamb and for comments & votes, I really appreciate it...cheers

Ebower profile image

Ebower 3 years ago from Georgia

I think this is something everyone struggles with at one time or another. Great hub! I voted this up and useful.

carter06 profile image

carter06 3 years ago from Cronulla NSW Author

Thanks Erin, many people suffer with low self esteem & developing a healthy sense of worth certainly is hard work for many people especially anyone who has suffered abuse..thanks for your input!

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