It is the ability to validate one self and be able to experience joy. It is having the belief that you are worthy and deserving of love, joy, security, good health, abundance, satisfaction and fulfillment, simply because you are you, and not because of what you do, or because of what you have.
Having self-worth is not dependent on having someone else to make you feel good. Self worth comes from the inside first. However, self worth is stunted from the outside in.
A person has self worth because he or she knows he or she is fine as is, that he or she adds value to the world because he or she is him or herself; he or she recognizes that it is not about being perfect but being aware of one's strengths and qualities and being open to continuous growth and development.
Self-esteem is also based on one's perception of what they are contributing to the world from doing what matters to them (not what is deemed important by others), doing it to the best of their abilities, learning, and growing from that place.
Know that only you the individual can choose to permanently hide your magnificence from the world, and feel less than worthy of all the success you deserve. I know that might seem harsh to some of you, let me explain.
It all boils down to this: Your self-esteem is deeply rooted in your beliefs and thoughts of yourself. It's about how you see the world, not about how others see you. Knowing that you have the power to choose your thoughts - you can change your level of self esteem.
"It's surprising how many persons go through life without ever recognizing that their feelings toward other people are largely determined by their feelings toward themselves, and if you're not comfortable within yourself, you can't be comfortable with others." Sidney J. Harris
Your thoughts repeated over and over lead to your beliefs and feelings. Your beliefs and feelings lead to your actions and your actions lead to your results. If you want more success you need to change any pattern of thinking that is detrimental to your self esteem and therefore to your success. Instilling a strong sense of self within will increase your chances of success.
Step 1 Examine the beliefs you hold.
Increasing your self-esteem and self worth is not so much about doing as it is about gaining new awareness, and changing your way of thinking to a way that is more empowering for you. It requires examining the beliefs you currently hold.
"You have within you right now, everything you need to deal with whatever the world can throw at you." Brian Tracy
Step 2 Release the beliefs those that no longer serve you.
You may want to think of your mind, as a computer and that you now need to install new software. Software is invisible yet oh so powerful in determining how your machine (mind) works.
You hold the power in your mind and your heart, to feel of value, and to add value to the world by the way you think, the way you interact with others, the way you care (this is not about being a martyr), and by how you choose to do what you do.
"Every individual has a place to fill in the world, and is important, in some respect, whether he chooses to be so or not." Nathaniel Hawthorne
Step 3 Be continuously aware, of the external forces that test your resolve.
Frequently, people develop low self-esteem because of the erroneous messages that they have received from their relationships, their church, their culture, and other outside forces. They internalize false assumptions about how to have their needs met. When a person starts to believe things about him or herself or their gender that are false, un-serving and unhealthy ways of reacting are taken on. Doubts may surface and the self-esteem is challenged.
Our media further challenges our internal stand of who we are. For example, over stimulation and attention is drawn to making the comparisons of the perfect physique through countless images, magazines, movies and news fronts. The message, that men and women need to be tall, thin and young in order to be beautiful, and attractive, dooms everyone eventually, if he or she buys into this image of beauty and worth.
Step 4 Monitor your mind chatter.
What do you say about yourself to yourself?
External verbal comments frequently do more damage than any physical abuse, especially if the negative comments are reinforced with self-deprecating internal mind chatter.
We commit a crime against our self every time we keep repeating negative comments in our heads that were uttered by someone else. Many commit this crime so frequently that it is now a habit they are no longer aware of.
Step 5 Stop taking things so personally.
If someone says something negative to you, do you internalize that negativity as your own or acknowledge that it is "his or her own stuff?" The fact is, when someone makes a derogatory comment towards you, it is more a reflection of how they feel about themselves then it is about you.
Step 6 Make time to nurture and care for yourself.
Symptoms of low self-esteem can be expressed in many ways: eating disorders, relationship troubles, physical health issues, substance abuse, workaholism, frenetic activity, overspending, and dependency on others.
A man or woman's low self-esteem has a large reaching impact. On the immediate personal level, low self-esteem affects the ability to derive joy from the every day life experience. It can lead to feelings of anxiety and depression if one senses a loss of control. Physical health suffers and one loses his or her sense of wellbeing.
Many times men and women stop exercising, eating healthy, getting appropriate rest and going for needed interventions because they believe they are not worth the time or that others must always come first.
Step 7 Be a good role model for others.
Current and future relationships are affected by our self-esteem. As parents, spouses, and partners we pass on our beliefs and attitudes to our daughters, sons, nephews, nieces and other children.
The mother models for her daughter what a mom can be, and models for her children what a wife and partner can be. The father models for his son what a man can be, and models for his children what a husband and partner can be.
If we want future generations of men and women to treat each other well and value the people in their life, we must start by valuing ourselves and demonstrating to children that they and others are loved unconditionally.
Step 8 Avoid the blaming game.
It is important to avoid the blaming of others and not use the low self-esteem as a crutch to stay stuck, and hence perpetuate victim hood.
Step 9 Find support.
To increase your self-esteem and personal power, go ahead and get some good intervention in order to halt crimes against yourself. This intervention can be as simple as going to your local library and getting resources to help you on the road to changing your thoughts and perceptions.
"You don't have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great." Zig Ziglar
Reality is that you need to have a solid positive mindset otherwise you will be letting all the little negative things chip away at your self esteem. Working with a life coach can also be a tremendous asset to you.
It is necessary to your overall wellbeing and to mankind that you take care of your self worth. This is a continuous process yet one that becomes easier with time, and with a belief system that serves you. Going from a rag girl image to that of a princess or that of a frog to a prince, and achieving all your desired success will likely not happen overnight. Be patient and loving with your self.
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us." - Marianne Williamson
Step 10 Lastly, and as importantly, acknowledge the steps you take to raise your self-esteem and celebrate the wins that lead to your higher level of personal success.