9 Ways to Increase Your Self Worth
1. Stop comparing yourself to others.
Consider this, if you are a flounder and you compare yourself to a shark, you will come up short every time. We are all made to accomplish different things in different ways. We are all made to look, act, think, interpret, dress, etc. differently. A flounder is just as important to the sea world as a shark. Yes, flounders don’t make as much splash and draw as much attention, but they sure are great on the table. So become very aware of how often you compare yourself to others. The next time you catch yourself comparing, pinch yourself and remember the flounder and the shark. Comparing yourself to others will only pull you down, make you feel like a failure, and sometimes rob you of hope.
2. Stop people pleasing.
You are always eager to lend someone a hand and are available to help and give of yourself at the drop of a hat. You are probably somewhat insecure and fear rejection. It may be very difficult for you to say NO. It is only a tiny little 2- letter word so why is it so powerful that you cannot say it.? Learning what scares you so much is the first thing to explore. (Hint. You may have learned as a child to people please for a safe environment for yourself.) Those days are over, so now is the time to stop putting other people’s needs in front of your own. You can say “No” nicely with or without an excuse.
3. Stop thinking the opinions of others are more important than your own.
It is important to consider other people’s opinions, but don’t let their thinking overshadow your own. Listen to others, take what makes sense to you, and maybe blend it into your own opinion. You might want to ignore some people’s responses to your opinion. Whatever the response is, it is no more important than yours. Be sure to be well informed regarding your opinions and not just emotional reactions to something you have read or seen. Wanting to belong or to be liked makes it more difficult to stick to a different opinion than others, but very important that you do if you have done your research and you know yourself well.
4. Stop thinking so much about past mistakes.
Dwelling on the past just keeps you wrapped in negative energy. Your self-worth will not grow surrounded by negative energy so STOP. You most probably did the best you knew how to at the time. No matter how much you beat yourself up, you cannot change the past. The key is to forgive yourself. You have changed your morals and values, or it would not bother you so much today. The next time you catch yourself going over that dead horse again, shake your head no and tell yourself “I am not going there today,” then fill your head with something else. A prayer, a favorite uplifting song or saying, or whatever it takes to keep your mind occupied positively.
5. Start forgiving yourself.
It is much easier to forgive someone else than it is to forgive yourself. Holding on to that guilt is like renting space in your head to your worst enemy. It only creates self-loathing, depression, and possibly anxiety. When you come to believe that it is time to learn a lesson from what was done in the past, you will begin the self-forgiving healing process. This process can be a lesson that can help you for the rest of your life. So, count the lessons and then count your blessings. Not forgiving yourself only sets you up for more personal trauma and possibly even health issues.
6. Know that you are NOT flawed or defective.
The feeling that there is something wrong with you often comes from not being treated with love and respect or maybe even being abandoned as a child. I often ask my clients to take an imaginary trip with me to the baby nursery in the hospital. I then ask them which of the babies deserve to be abandoned, sexually assaulted, treated with disrespect, or not loved by their parents. They cannot pick one and I remind them that they were once one of those babies. Trust me when I tell you that you are not flawed or defective or unworthy of a beautiful life. You may have been through some very difficult times in your life, but it wasn’t because you were defective or flawed.
7. Allow yourself to have dreams and desires.
When you stop dreaming about what could be possible for you and desire a more positive life for yourself, you begin to wallow in self-doubt and depression. Don’t use the excuse that you are too old. I published my book at the age of 77, so I am not buying that excuse. Yes, there may be some things that you cannot do any longer but open yourself up to new ideas and adventures. What is it that you have always wanted to do or be? Think of the ways you might be able to scratch that itch. Be gentle and kind to yourself as you open to new possibilities. Your desires may be to travel, lose weight, perform in a theater production, etc. Begin today to learn what you can do to make your desires happen and put a plan in place to make it happen. Make affirmations regarding this desire and repeat them over and over. You may be very surprised at your results.
8. Learn to accept praise and appreciation.
Very often people who suffer from low self-worth undermine compliments by thinking or even saying something to discount praise or appreciation. Remember that others may see you differently than you see yourself, and when you discount that praise, you may invalidate or demoralize the other person. I am sure that you never want to do that. A simple thank you with direct eye contact and a smile is a great way to acknowledge praise and appreciation. It also validates the person who gave you the praise. When you find yourself uncomfortable with other people complimenting you, locate where the feelings are in your body. When you are in an appropriate place, touch that part of your body gently and kindly remind yourself that it is okay to accept and even rejoice in the words that were spoken to you. Developing the habit of complimenting others is also important.
9. Remember that GOD DON’T MAKE NO JUNK.
If you are having trouble with your self-worth, you are probably seeing yourself as the equivalent of junk – no good, not worth anything, a caste away, etc. When you catch yourself thinking these thoughts, pinch yourself and remember the trip you took to the baby nursery in No. 6. You did not, and do not, deserve being treated poorly. No matter what you have been told or how you have been treated, you have a beautiful soul that wants desperately to be valued and loved by you. To help expedite this process, twice a day every day look in the mirror and into your eyes and say, “I love you.” This may be extremely difficult when you first start, but I promise that if you work through the difficulty, it will become easier and easier.
Author of ALL GOD’S CHILDREN GOT ISSUES—A Woman’s Guide to Turn Her Issues Into Assets Available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble Website.