I’ve had conversations with people throughout the years, and especially more recently, where people have stated that though they want to gain a sense of sense of self-worth, they are afraid of becoming conceited, or lest we say, an asshole. I am here to shed some light today in a manner that is also light-hearted: sister, having self-worth absolutely does not make you an asshole!
There is a big difference between the person who knows her worth and the person who is annoyingly arrogant or even narcissistic.
Self-worth is absolutely necessary for optimal mental health. It’s what helps us say “no,” set healthy boundaries, keep ourselves safe in relationships and increases self-esteem and confidence- all things which boost our mood, happiness, and overall emotional well-being.
When we feel self-worth, we navigate the world with a sense of “I matter. I have value and a place in this world.” When people are arrogant, on the other hand, they operate from the place of “I matter more than others.” It is absolutely possible to feel worthy and at the same time, empathetic and compassionate toward others.
Those who genuinely feel self-worth are secure in a way that keeps them from down-talking others, they prefer to connect and lift others up. Those who are arrogant are typically insecure- just as insecure as those with low-self esteem, it’s just that their insecurity manifests in a more aggressive way.
Those who are arrogant have relationships that suffer as a result of their self-involvement and false sense of superiority, while those who have self-worth tend to attract others with their positive energy.
Ok, I get it. So now how do I increase my self-worth?
Girl, I’m so glad you asked. Here are some exercises to Improve Your Self Worth:
- Build Awareness: Reflect on this, “Who in your life made you feel that you didn’t matter?” Oftentimes there are multiple people and a lot of times they include your parents and other family members.
- Take note and ask yourself this, “Did the people who made you question your self-worth actually embody worthiness themselves?” (More than likely they didn’t and their assaults on your character were an attempt to hide their own feelings of shame and lack of self-worth). Begin to reflect on this,
It wasn’t you, it was them! You learned you weren’t worthy from
the people you trusted and it was a lie!
- Resourcing: Can you remember times in your life when you did feel worthy? (Even if it was back when you were in 1st grade).
- What internal and external conditions were present at that time to empower your self-worth?
- How can you begin to recreate those conditions in your life today?
- Actions Breed Feelings and States of Being: Begin to act in a way that validates your worth and existence:
- Can you identify people, real or fictional characters, who embody self-worth?
- When in a self-deprecating frame of mind, aks yourself what this person would do, and do that instead!
Nothing beats therapy. I am admittedly biased, and doing all of the above exercises WHILE under the care of a supportive therapist (a therapist who is the right fit for you and gets you) will be game-changing. Nothing compares to having therapeutic support.
*And as always, the information here is not intended to replace a real-life therapeutic relationship with a licensed mental health professional. Seek help. You are worthy of it.