Throughout our lives, we’re subject to ups and downs, good times and bad times, and each of these external experiences helps to develop our self-esteem. Self-worth, on the other hand, is something that happens internally, without the need for any external validation.
Many people will use the terms self-esteem and self-worth interchangeably, but you can see that one relies on external factors, and one relies on internal thinking.
What is the difference between self-esteem and self-worth?
Your self-worth doesn’t depend on anything that you are good at, skilled at, how smart you are, how beautiful you are, or what you’ve done and accomplished throughout your life. These are all things that would bolster your self-esteem. But your self-worth is innate – it is the strength of your belief that you deserve what you desire, and that you are inherently “good enough” to have it.
Another way to think of it is like this: if you fail at something, it will affect your self-esteem for a while. But failing at something will not affect your self-worth because you know that failure and success are merely two sides of the same coin – both of which you need in your experiences to become a well-rounded person. Therefore, the worth you feel you have doesn’t change – because you always know that you ARE worthy, no matter what.
You are born a worthy individual – it is simply a part of what makes you, you. You may strengthen that sense of worthiness at any time by taking actions that reinforce your self-worth beliefs. There are lots of things you can do to grow and maintain your self-worth, like taking proper care of yourself, getting exercise when you need it, being kind to yourself, saying no when it feels right, and making sure that you have what you need at all times.
What is innate self-worth?
Innate self-worth means that you accept and celebrate yourself and the uniqueness that makes you different from everyone else. No matter what you look like, or how much you weigh, or how much money you have in the bank, you are worthy of loving and being loved…simply because you ARE you.
If you feel your self-worth waning, spend time around those who love you unconditionally, as that is a constant reminder of your innate worth. Do the things you know you are good at and talented at doing. Go back in your mind and relive past successes and celebrations, reminding yourself that you are worthy, you are good, and nothing external can change that.