What is self-worth, and why is it the missing puzzle in today's society?
Self-worth is having a sense of one's intrinsic value and understanding that you are worthy no matter how someone views you. This is about WHO you are and not WHAT you do.
Where that can differ is when self-worth places more strength on the person's moral character and less on their abilities to perform. This is why we tend to attack our personalities and consider ourselves "bad" when we feel low on ourselves. Whereas with self-esteem, we look at measurable qualities and skills; examples of these can look like; excelling in a sport, learning a new skill, or improving your outer appearance, among others.
Where is the confusion?
In the western individualistic culture, there is a huge emphasis on the self excelling in everything to reach "the American dream." Due to this need to constantly strive for perfection and success being measured through zero/sum odds, we have a moving target on our back that is propelling us into a spiral of self-depreciation.
So, how do we build our sense of self in a world that merges esteem with worth?
First, we must understand that to be gentle with others and apply that principle to ourselves.
Self-compassion is the best tool to utilize in moments of self-doubt. We must understand ourselves and be mindful that we can make mistakes. We were recording when our inner critic is triggering us is a great way to understand the pattern of our thoughts. In this way, we are differentiating ourselves from our intrusive self-doubt. This can be done by journaling at least 1x a week to identify the pattern of your thoughts and create more self-awareness. One easy trick to achieve this is by going to the notes app on your phone and writing one sentence about yourself and the antecedent of the trigger.
Once we can determine our triggers, we become more equipped to process their formation and decide how to react to them. If you can understand the function of the motivation and why it affected you, then you can substitute your negative thought with one that has more empathy for the self. Creating a mantra of positive self-regard is an excellent way to start. This can begin with, "even though ____ triggered me, I did my best, and I am a good person." You can curate how you want your grounding exercise to be.
When we stay in our minds and do not allow outside distractions, we often end up in an echo chamber of our ruminations. It's essential to have a community of friends or family who can enrich our world experience and allow us to provide support and receive it. When we feel like we care for others, we have a sense of purpose.
The most important thing to remember is that our worth should not wither based on outside factors, and we deserve to be in every room we step into.