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Consult a counselor to help you value yourself more if you struggle to see your worth. Simply click here to connect with one via BetterHelp.com.
In our bid to be everything to everyone, we often neglect our own needs and desires. We make sacrifices for our families, careers, religious beliefs, and everything in between, and we don’t always get much in return.
Taking the time to refuel or rejuvenate is not an option and is sometimes seen as being selfish or self-absorbed, or not being a team player.
It’s almost as if we are carrying the weight of the world on our shoulders, with no hope in sight of putting it down.
As a result, our mental and physical health takes a beating. Jumping from situation to situation, we’re overworked to the point where we neglect our bodies. And with no time to care for our mental well-being, our self-worth drops and we stop seeing our innate value.
Life becomes an endless struggle where your contributions feel insignificant.
The truth is, waiting for others to appreciate you is a waste of time. If they were going to, they would have already done so.
So, rather than waiting on other people, why don’t you recognize and celebrate your inherent value?
Why is recognizing your value so important?
Strip away everything; roles, responsibilities, experiences, weaknesses. Do you recognize your innate value?
Are you uncomfortable with putting yourself first? Does the idea of loving yourself sound selfish and un- (Christian, cultured, kind, insert whatever adjective fits)?
Perhaps you struggle with an inner critic? You know, the voice inside that is always quick to point out your mistakes or weaknesses and rationalize or downplay your strengths.
Maybe it is an outer critic, in the form of a loved one or a religious figure or societal pressure, always pushing you to do and sacrifice more.
In this day and age when our mental health is being assaulted at every turn, being able to recognize your value is a skill that can no longer be disregarded.
Recognizing your value enables you to get your needs met. It helps you build and maintain healthy, stress and drama-free relationships that spur you toward your goals. It makes you more decisive because you trust your instincts.
Mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety can be fueled by a low sense of self-worth. Developing your ability to see your value can reduce your chance of sinking into depression and despair.
When you work to value yourself more, it positively impacts your physical health (you’ll take better care of yourself) and your mental health (you’ll treat yourself with compassion).
So there is no reason not to start working on it today.
26 Ways To Recognize And Celebrate Your Inner Value
Celebrating yourself and seeing your value can sometimes go against the lessons learned throughout life. It certainly goes against many religious beliefs where low self-worth is often mistakenly characterized as humility.
So, how can you truly value yourself?
1. Trust yourself and the decisions you make.
Stop doubting yourself and your judgment. Trust your instincts and don’t be afraid to make a mistake.
You can only do so much research. After a while, you’re going to have to decide. Trust that you’ve dotted your i’s, crossed your t’s, and made the best possible decision with all the information at your disposal.
And after making a decision, stop second-guessing yourself and worrying about how things could have worked out better.
Once you start trusting your instincts, you’ll have more confidence and be better able to seize opportunities when they come. You’ll be less likely to get analysis paralysis – an endless cycle of being stuck and not moving because of ongoing research.
2. Stop settling.
Don’t settle for less than what you deserve, whether in your relationships, at work, or in pursuit of your dreams. You are not doing anyone any favors by taking less or being less than what you’re meant to be.
When you settle for less, it’s usually the result of fear. Whether it’s fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of success; whatever it is, you’re afraid of something.
Fear has you settling for a job you hate because you think you won’t find a better one. You are stuck in a relationship, settling for being unfulfilled because you’re afraid to enter the dating pool again. Your dreams lay abandoned because you fear you will fail if you chase them.
Spend some time in introspection and identify where you are settling for less. Ask yourself, what would you want instead? Don’t be afraid to dream big.
Now, imagine yourself having it, just like you dream of. How would you feel? How would that change your life?
Research people who have accomplished what you’re dreaming of, and take inspiration from them. After all, if they can do it, why can’t you? Use their experience to develop a plan to move toward your dream.
If your dream still seems too big, keep researching until it no longer seems impossible.
Take the first step.
3. Identify those people who try to tear you down.
Not everyone who claims to be your friend is actually your friend. The same goes for family.
Identify people in your life that just love to tear you down.
You’ll know who they are because even though they dress it up as constructive criticism, it lacks the care required to make it constructive. It’s biting, sometimes cruel, and always makes you feel less than.
Identify anyone quick to rain on your parade and downplay you, your dreams, or your accomplishments. Friends and family members are supposed to build you up so you can face whatever challenges come your way. They’re supposed to celebrate your accomplishments, so you feel encouraged to grow and do better.
Identify those who don’t. Consider cutting ties with them.
4. Be honest with yourself.
It’s one thing to lie to others, but don’t lie to yourself. Be honest with yourself. Don’t be dishonest about who you are and what you can do.
You’re a work in progress, you’re not finished yet. You’re still growing and becoming, regardless of your age. It’s okay. Everyone is going through the same process of evolution.
Don’t be ashamed of the areas where you need improvement. Be honest about them and work on your bad habits. Don’t hide from the truth; face it.
5. Stop comparing yourself to others.
You are an original. There is no one else quite like you. You have your unique talents and gifts. No one has gone through what you have gone through.
Yes, you have failed, but you’ve also succeeded too.
Own that and stop comparing yourself to others. You are making the absolute best out of the hand life dealt you.
As Marilyn Monroe once said, “Trying to be someone else is a waste of the person you are.”
Honor the person you are. Give that person a chance to be.
6. Silence your inner critic.
Your inner critic is holding you back. It is stopping you from seeing your true value. Because you focus on the negative, you cannot see the positive impact you have on those around you or appreciate your contribution to humanity, no matter how small it is.
Before you can take a leap of faith, your inner critic is there to showcase all the reasons why you would fail at the attempt.
Identify your negative thoughts. This might be hard because you’ve heard them for so long that they’ve become your truth. You might even feel you’re lying when saying otherwise.
Challenge these beliefs. Find evidence that proves your inner critic wrong.
Stop replaying your mistakes over and over in your mind.
Replay your successes. Focus on our strengths.
7. Practice self-compassion.
Be kind to yourself. Give yourself the same compassion you’d give to a friend or a beloved pet. Talk to yourself the way you talk to a loved one.
In the same way you are patient with a small child when he is taking his first steps, be patient with yourself.
Don’t ignore your pain or destroy your confidence with criticism. Be tolerant of your shortcomings.
Show yourself the same compassion you freely show to others.
Accept that life isn’t perfect and neither are we. Be gentle with yourself when you cannot live up to your impossibly high standards.
8. Take part in activities you feel are important.
Imagine how much free time you’d have if you limited yourself to doing only those activities you feel are important and necessary.
Think about how much more goal-oriented you’d be or purpose-filled you’d feel if you focused on doing what was important.
Spending hours on social media or an entire afternoon in front of the television might be fun, but is it important?
Identify what is important to you and take part in activities that are related to that.
9. Help others.
The term “helper’s high” refers to the feeling you get after helping others in need.
Comparable to the runner’s high, it’s a feeling of elation, exhilaration, and increased energy, followed by a period of calm and serenity.
The difference between the two is that studies have shown the helper’s high lasts much longer than runner’s high; even up to several weeks.
The high you get from helping others has even been shown to increase the body’s immune levels and lower stress.
You help yourself by helping others; it’s the ultimate win-win situation.
10. Maintain your personal integrity.
Personal integrity refers to having your own set of morals and values. Maintaining your personal integrity is essentially being true to yourself in whatever situation you find yourself in. It’s about living by your moral code.
Have you ever disappointed yourself or done something that you never would have expected you’d do? You didn’t necessarily do anything bad, in the conventional sense. But you were uncomfortable with your actions.
The reason you were uncomfortable is that you didn’t live up to your moral standards.
Listen to your inner moral compass. Don’t let yourself be pressured to act in ways that conflict with your sense of right and wrong.
11. Identify troubling conditions and situations.
Have you ever watched a horror movie where the hero/heroine is walking into a dangerous situation but is completely unaware of it?
They’re about to step into a house where a deranged murderer is waiting to chop them down with an axe. You tense up, knowing they’re walking into an obvious trap, wondering why they are oblivious to the clues of impending danger when all the signs are right there for them to see.
You are the hero/heroine in the movie of your life. Recognize the danger that you’re in or about to walk into. And get yourself out of that troubling condition or situation before you come to harm.
12. Recognize what you’re good at.
Everyone is good at something. No one on the face of this earth is bad at everything. Not even you.
Recognize what you’re good at.
What things come easily to you? Don’t write them off because you think they’re easy. For some people, that skill might be extremely difficult.
For example, you might be great at encouraging people. You always have a motivational word for everyone who comes your way. In your opinion, it’s just words or you’re just telling them the truth. But it’s a truth they can’t see and you have a gift for helping them to see it.
Find your unique talents, and celebrate it.
13. Build positive relationships.
Human beings are social creatures, and our relationships heavily impact our emotional and mental well-being. We benefit when our lives are filled with people who support, encourage, and help us, and for whom we do the same.
With positive relationships, we have less drama, a greater sense of purpose, and healthier behaviors because our support system is ideal for such peace of mind and growth.
Build relationships that motivate and encourage you. Stop wasting your energy repairing relationships with people who tear you down. Let them go.
14. Learn to say “no.”
For many people, saying the word “No” is an awkward and challenging feat. One that feels wrong. By saying no, you feel you’re letting the other party down or causing them to be inconvenienced.
You’ve said “Yes” so many times it’s almost like you’ve forgotten the word “No” even exists in the English dictionary.
Consider this: by saying “Yes” to everyone else, you’re saying “No” to yourself. “No” to your mental health, “no” to your well-being, and “no” to your boundaries.
Saying “No” to others is one of the easiest forms of self-care you can engage in. That simple two-letter word allows you to do what really matters to you. It helps you take control of your time and energy, and helps you set and enforce boundaries.
15. Set boundaries.
Have you ever left an interaction with someone feeling drained or anxious or in a foul mood? Chances are that person crossed a few boundaries, and you allowed them to do so.
Protect your energy. Set clear boundaries for others regarding your time and energy, including close family members.
Make refueling a priority. Remember, you can only give out of what you have in store. If you have nothing in storage, you have nothing to give.
No one deserves to be in your space 24/7/365.
Setting healthy boundaries is good for your mental and emotional health. It also helps you avoid burnout.
16. See a therapist.
Although seeing a therapist is more acceptable now than it has been in the past, it’s not used as often as it should be.
If you’re feeling confused, lost, sad, stressed, or depressed, reach out to a therapist.
We often underestimate the amount of trauma we’ve experienced or are currently experiencing now. Since we have lived with abuse or in toxic situations for so long, we’ve adapted to it. It has become normal.
Let me let you in on a little secret… we were not created to carry such burdens.
Talk to a licensed counselor and start unpacking your trauma.
Asking for help is a sign of courage and intelligence.
17. Create a physical space that nurtures your well-being.
Is your house or apartment cluttered and disorganized? Are you constantly stepping over a pile of clothes, dropped and forgotten on the floor? Is your sink full of dishes that you just haven’t gotten around to washing yet?
Have you noticed the effect of your cluttered and disorganized environment on your mental health?
Create time and a physical space that nurtures your mental well-being.
Decluttering your entire house is a huge undertaking for many of us. So how about you just tackle one corner; a corner that you keep neat and organized with your favorite items and relaxing scents? A place for you to sit and unwind.
18. Go on a date with yourself.
Take yourself out on a great date. Think about your idea of the perfect date. Then plan it, book the reservations, put on the perfect outfit for the occasion, and go. By yourself. Not with anyone else, but by your lonesome.
Don’t wait for someone to take you. Take yourself out.
Don’t wait for someone to treat you well. Treat yourself well.
19. Create an achievements folder.
Put together a folder of things you’ve accomplished in life and are proud of. Our memories are fleeting and it is easy for us to forget our achievements when we’re busy beating ourselves up.
Unfortunately, we don’t always have people in our corner who will build us up when we feel down. Even if we do, we are reluctant to reveal how often we struggle with feelings of inadequacy.
For times like these, put together a physical folder or a file on your computer of all the things that you’ve done that you’re proud of. It will serve as your reminder that you’re far better and have achieved far more than you think.
20. Feel your feelings.
Allow yourself to feel your emotions instead of always stuffing them down and pretending that everything is okay. Be okay with not being okay.
The burden to always put on a cheerful face or have a stiff upper lip is exhausting and damaging to your mental health.
Instead, learn how to skillfully feel your feelings. This involves:
a) Naming the feeling – identify the specific emotion at play, without judgment.
b) Allowing the sensations of your feelings in your body – observe and allow the physical sensations of what you are feeling to flow without trying to control or reduce it. How are your emotions affecting your body?
c) Mindfully investigating what is at the heart of your feelings – identify what is driving the emotion. Ask yourself what is at the heart of your pain or joy.
d) Bringing compassion to your experience – treat yourself gently, the way you would a close friend who was going through a tough experience.
21. Do what you love or love what you do.
You spend more time at work, with colleagues than anywhere or with anyone else. Hating what you do and who you do it with for eight hours a day, five days a week is a sure way to die a slow and painful death.
Understandably, not everyone can up and quit their jobs. If you’re stuck, then love what you do. Find something to love about it, at least for the moment. That colleague that drives you insane must have some redeeming quality. Attempt to find out what it is
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.” – Steve Jobs.
It boils down to your mindset. If you cannot leave your present job, decide that you will love your soul-sucking job, no matter what.
If you’re one of the lucky few who have the freedom to search for what they love to do, do so. It is better to try and fail at doing something you love than to fail at doing something you hate. Because, believe it or not, it is possible to take the safe route and still fail.
22. Look after your health.
Have you ever asked yourself why you treat your body the way you do?
It might not be because you’re lazy or don’t have enough time or money. It might actually be a form of self-flagellation, where you’re beating yourself as a sort of punishment.
After all, why are you eating junk food or engaging in dangerous activities such as smoking that you know are slowly killing you?
If you don’t look after your health, who will?
Look after your health not only because you’ll live longer and enjoy a better quality of life, but also because it will make you feel better. When you exercise, your brain produces hormones that are associated with happiness (dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin).
People who have been diagnosed with clinical depression have been found to have lower levels of serotonin. By simply exercising, you can increase the amount of these hormones your brain produces.
23. Take care of your appearance.
Poor body image often shows up in how you take care of your appearance. Do you constantly compare your body to other people’s? Do you speak negatively about your body? Have you stopped caring about your appearance because you think “who’s going to care?”
Studies have shown a strong link between disinterest in your appearance and some psychological disorders, such as depression.
When you take care of your appearance, there is a positive impact on your mental health. It improves the way you see yourself, which naturally improves your mood.
Take care of your appearance and ensure you always look your best.
People will treat you the way you let them treat you. That’s a harsh but painful truth.
We let people get away with taking us for granted or treating us poorly. We’re afraid of rocking the boat or hurting their feelings when we should worry about our own feelings.
Teach people how you wish to be addressed, how you wish to be respected, and how you wish to be loved.
25. Stand up for yourself.
If you saw someone treating an animal the way some people treat you, would you ignore it and move on or would you object and call the local authorities?
If you would call the authorities to save a defenseless animal from being treated the same way you let yourself be treated, then you need to stand up for yourself. It’s long overdue.
You need to save yourself from a fate not even fit for an animal.
Dig deep within yourself and find the courage needed to stand up to people and situations that are crushing you.
Say, enough is enough, even though your voice squeaks and your knees knock together.
26. Believe you are good enough.
You are good enough. Not because of your education or how much money you make or where you come from or who you know.
By reason of the fact you are a living, breathing human being, you are worthy of respect; you deserve love; you are good enough.
You don’t have to do anything more than that. Just believe that simple fact.
By simply being, you have value. Luckily, many of us do more than just exist. What we don’t do is value ourselves and the contributions we make on this planet.
We take ourselves for granted and choose to believe a false narrative that says our contribution to the world and society is insignificant. We are in an abusive relationship with ourselves, with self-criticism and self-flagellation being the order of the day.
Our past failures and trauma keep us paralyzed in fear, low self-esteem, and low self-worth.
If we saw someone treating another person the way we treat ourselves, we’d probably call the police.
Reject this negative and destructive mindset. Embrace your value as a living, thinking, functioning human being.
Still not sure how to truly value yourself and what you bring to the world? Speak to a counselor today who can help you see your true worth. Simply click here to connect with one of the experienced counselors on BetterHelp.com.
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- Why Integrity Is So Important In Life (+ How To Show Yours)
- How To Stop Beating Yourself Up: 7 Highly Effective Tips
- “I Don’t Deserve To Be Happy” – How To Overcome These Thoughts