Boost Your Sense of Self-Worth
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Personal growth or personal development is a process in which a person attempts to achieve their fullest potential by improving a sense of self awareness and identity. This is achieved through development of the self. A person wishing to experience personal growth may seek out counseling, a life coach, seminars or use self help techniques to grow emotionally, cognitively, physically, spiritually or all of the above.
One way to begin on the path to deep and lasting personal growth is to increase your sense of self worth. Self worth is defined as: “the sense of one's own value or worth as a person; self-esteem; self-respect”. Self worth is a personal sense of knowing your value and acceptance of you for who you are. Self worth means you know your strengths and weaknesses and accept them all. A great quote on self worth is:
“Because one believes in oneself, one doesn't try to convince others. Because one is content with oneself, one doesn't need others' approval. Because one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts him or her.” ~ Lao Tzu
You Know Who You Are
A sense of self-worth means believing that you are worthy of love, valuable and desires to be recognized as being of value or worth to others. Self-worth is impacted by belief systems that affects you in every area of your lif - It affects how you think, feel and act on a day to day basis and in every situation with people, work, school, family, and so on. One's sense of self worth is established during childhood and by your past and present experiences. You develop your belief system about who you are, your abilities and the beliefs about the world around you from your experiences and interactions. If you are nurtured by a parent, sibling, family member or even a teacher, you develop a sense of positive self worth.
A Sense Self-Worth Can Change
Self worth is not constant, and it can change if a negative or hostile situation or even person are encountered in life. For example, someone may have grown up with a strong sense of self worth, however, later in life became a victim of an abusive relationship or experienced trauma such as rape, war, etc. Past experiences that teach you what you believe you are, what you can accomplish and what you should expect. If you have a low sense of self worth, you may feel you are not worthy of success in a job or in a relationship. You may expect that you will not achieve the results you want because you are not worthy, and you may even sabotage any potential for success without being aware that you are self sabotaging any possibility.
There are many factors that affect a person’s self worth. Since the family is the first contact with others, this is where most of one's identity is developed. Negative family factors = negative self worth. Positive family factors = positive self-worth. The most profound factor impacting negative self worth is a parent's negative attitude toward their children. This includes: name calling, demeaning statements (ex. You are worthless, you will never be anything”, abusive behaviors towards a child, not letting the child feel they have a voice or opinion, ignoring a child and neglect are just a few. Parents attitudes toward their children have a direct correlation of a child’s sense of self worth. Parents are viewed as mentors and guides to learning about living safely and healthily in the outside world. If a child is not accepted in their family, they will come to believe they will not be accepted in society.
A person’s sense of self worth can also be affected by peers. This is at any age, but especially during the childhood and teenage years. Current research focused on bullying (physical and cyberbullying), has demonstrated the profound affect a peer’s words and actions can have on a person’s sense of self. There are now rules in the schools against bullying as well as laws against hate crimes. These are all to protect those who are victims to prevent a sense of low self-esteem, and this can lead to depression and even suicide. There are also stories on social media demonstrating the effects of bullying that include having such a low sense of self-esteem, that suicide became the only way to cope with the intense negative feelings.
A sense of being fundamentally worthy of existence and positive experience can be increased at any time in a person’s life, and as we develop into adulthood, personal growth opportunities become incresingly available to anyone at any stage in their lives. There are many resources to learn how to have personal growth opportunities in the area of self worth. A counselor, life coach, workbook, or online options are now available through a simple Google search. If you believe you have low self worth, take the time to explore these opportunities to improve. Improving your self worth can help you to achieve success and improve your overall feelings of happiness in your life.
- Kim B.