The Importance of Healthy Self Esteem and Self Worth
“Self-esteem is what we think and feel and believe about ourselves. Self-worth is recognizing ‘I am greater than all of those things.’” – Dr. Christina Hibbert
Having both healthy self esteem and self-worth are critical parts of a healthy, happy life. Having low self-esteem can and will negatively impact every area of your life: your relationships, your academic success, your career, and your health. Often times our life experiences can lead us to feel badly about ourselves. We start to believe we aren’t good enough or deserving enough. The fact of the matter is that every single person is worthy of love and acceptance – you are certainly no exception!
I hear you, “you can tell me I am worthy but I just don’t feel it.”
These negative self-thoughts are what we call cognitive distortions. Cognitive distortions are irrational thoughts that change the way we feel. (Yes, thinking is directly responsible for our emotions! But we’ll cover that in another blog!)
Here are a few tips to building healthy self esteem and self worth:
1. Stop and be mindful. Notice when those negative thoughts come and ask yourself the following:
- Is there evidence that thought is true? Is there evidence to the contrary
- Would I say that to a friend? (If you wouldn’t say those thoughts to someone else, don’t say them to yourself!)
Don’t take those negative thoughts at self-value, challenge them!
2. Channel your inner kings and queens!
We all have our strengths and weaknesses. You might do well at one task, and terribly at another. Neither quality defines your core worth. Think about your strengths and the feelings of confidence they bring up. It’s easy to take our not shining moments and generalize them. Remind yourself of all the ways you rule in these moments – it helps to offer a more balanced perspective!
Be kind to yourself. The fact that you’ve read to the end of this blog shows me that somewhere within you KNOW you are deserving of positive self-worth. I believe in you – let’s talk more about it during your next session.
I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Adjunct Professor, and Certified Field Instructor committed to working with diverse groups of individuals, families, and communities.