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The Importance of Self-Worth Understanding Your Value

The dictionary defines self-worth as “the sense of one’s value or worth as a person.” However, there are many ways for a person to value themselves and assess their worth as human beings, and some of these are more psychologically beneficial than others. In this article, we discuss the value of true self-worth, how to build this type of self-worth and why so many of us lack a feeling of worthiness.

Self-Worth vs. Self-Esteem

Although self-worth is often used as a synonym for “self-esteem, self-worth should be less about measuring yourself based on external actions and more about valuing your inherent worth as a person. In other words, self-worth is about who you are, not about what you do. There is a problem with society’s focus on high self-esteem. The problem is that this focus involves measuring oneself against others, rather than paying attention to one’s intrinsic value. “Our competitive culture tells us we need to be special and above average to feel good about ourselves, but we can’t all be above average at the same time,” In this sense, searching for self-worth by constantly comparing ourselves to others means to always be fighting a losing battle.

“There is always someone richer, more attractive, or successful than we are. And even when we do manage to feel self-esteem for one golden moment, we can’t hold on to it. Our sense of self-worth bounces around like a ping-pong ball, rising and falling in lock-step with our latest success or failure.”

Furthermore, studies now show that basing one’s self-worth on external factors is harmful to one’s mental health. One study at the University of Michigan found that college students who base their self-worth on external sources (including academic performance, appearance and approval from others) reported more stress, anger, academic problems and relationship conflicts. They also had higher levels of alcohol and drug use, as well as more symptoms of eating disorders. The same study found that students who based their self-worth on internal sources, not only felt better, they also received higher grades and were less likely to use drugs and alcohol or to develop eating disorders. Although real accomplishments are important to acknowledge as you build your sense of self, your self-worth should also take into account the unique qualities that make you you.

How to Build Self-Worth

The first step in building self-worth is to stop comparing yourself to others and evaluate your every move; in other words, you need to challenge your critical inner voice. The critical inner voice is like a nasty coach in our heads that constantly nags us with destructive thoughts towards ourselves or others. This internalized dialogue of critical thoughts or “inner voices” undermines our sense of self-worth and even leads to self-destructive or maladaptive behaviours, which make us feel even worse about ourselves.

We all have a “critical inner voice,” which acts like a cruel coach inside our heads that tells us we are worthless or undeserving of happiness. This coach is shaped by painful childhood experiences and critical attitudes we were exposed to early in life as well as feelings our parents had about themselves. While these attitudes can be hurtful, over time, they have become ingrained in us. As adults, we may fail to see them as an enemy, instead accepting their destructive point of view as our own.

However, we can challenge the inner critic and begin to see ourselves for who we are, rather than taking on its negative point of view about ourselves. We can differentiate from the ways we were seen in our family of origin and begin to understand and appreciate our feelings, thoughts, desires and values.

A true sense of self-worth can also be fostered by practising self-compassion. self-compassion is the practice of treating yourself with the same kindness and compassion as you would treat a friend. This involves taking on

attitude, which means being Curious, Open, Accepting and Loving toward yourself and your experiences rather than being self-critical. There are three stepsto practisingg self-compassion:

1) Acknowledge and notice your suffering.

2) Be kind and caring in response to suffering.

3) Remember that imperfection is part of the human experience and something we all share.

Adding meaning to your life, by taking part in activities that you feel are important, is another great way to build self-worth. Helping others, for example, offers a huge boost to your sense of self-worth. Generosity is good for you, both physically and mentally, and studies now show that volunteering has a very positive effect on how people feel about themselves. Other studies have found that religion correlates with a higher sense of self-worth in adolescents. People find meaning in many different ways; think about the activities and interests that feel meaningful to you personally and pursue those activities to build a more positive feeling of self-worth.

Self-esteem is our internal reference point, an integral part of the inner-compass

which enables us to navigate our way through life. If we hold ourselves in high regard and believe we are valuable, our lives will reflect thee value and regard us. Life is on our side. When we are functioning with healthy self-esteem, we tend to embrace an optimistic outlook—our glass becomes half-full, where it may once have seemed half-empty. Such a perspective plays a vital role in creating and maintaining healthy relationships. Yet if our internal reference point, our self-esteem, is set on low, our lives begin to show us a very different picture. Reality becomes bleak. Chaos and struggle abound. ​ As children, we were ‘downloaded’ with a set of beliefs by our caregivers, family and teachers—beliefs which became our operating truths, our consequent reality. Each instance of invalidation was internalized. Every trauma, unkind word and abusive action shaped our developing self-esteem.​ ​

Healing childhood trauma with hypnotherapy does not mean that you have to relive the childhood trauma again.

Hypnosis can be a very powerful tool for targeting the root cause of low self-esteem. It can help prevent those negative, overly critical thoughts from telling us how to feel about ourselves and empower us to rid ourselves of these negative thinking patterns.

  • Why it is important to tackle low confidence and self-esteem

  • Why you need to challenge underlying negative beliefs about yourself

  • How to become more assertive and stand up for your own needs

  • Why goals and challenges can help you overcome low self-esteem

​ What hypnotherapy can do is give you a safe environment to focus on resolving the conflict and processing and re-cataloguing your memory so it no longer disturbs you. Clinical hypnosis increases the effectiveness of hypnotherapy which enables unique, specific and positive changes to take place.

We use CTB with the integration of hypnotherapy, which is more effective than using CBT alone. The self-awareness that CBT offers renders it a highly successful way to modify behaviour, embed and consolidate new thinking and deep relaxation.


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