Self-worth is essential to well-being. Why? Because your views of yourself not only affect how you feel; they also affect your thoughts and behaviors. When we feel bad about ourselves, we unconsciously act in ways that end up confirming our beliefs. For example, if we feel like we are not worthy of a good relationship, a good job, or financial stability, we stop pursuing these goals with the intensity required to reach them, or we sabotage ourselves along the way.
So how do you break out of this negative cycle? Here’s 4 tips:
1. Figure out what you need
We tend to feel bad about ourselves when we feel powerless to get our needs met — so you can start this process by clarifying for yourself what you need. What people, places, or experiences are must-haves to live a fulfilling life? What aspects of your life — if removed — would leave you feeling empty or incomplete? Generally, our needs revolve around relatedness, autonomy, and competence. Everything else is just a want.
2. Figure out how will you meet your needs
What if your needs aren’t being met? Then you have to start thinking about how you will communicate your needs and what you will do if the people in your life can’t meet those needs. It’s funny how standing up for yourself can boost self-worth.
3. Forgive yourself for past mistakes
Almost everyone has said something hurtful, forgotten an important event, or betrayed someone they love. We have to remember that our mistakes do not define us. They do not make us good people or bad people. If we learn and grow from our mistakes then they make us better people. To develop self-worth, we must keep in mind that everyone makes mistakes. Forgive yourself, be compassionate toward yourself, and give yourself credit for trying not to make the same mistakes again.
4. Celebrate what makes you special
When we cherish what makes us unique, we begin to develop a deep love for ourselves just as we are. Celebrate yourself by enjoying your silly dancing style or giggling at your crooked smile.