ISSUE 97   ISSN 1712-468

Self-Worth provides the experience of being able to cope with the basic challenges of life and being worthy of happiness.

Dr. Nathanial Branden
Author and Researcher

My Source Experience - Journal

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This Week´s Inspiration

Do You Feel Worthy of Success and Happiness?

Self-Worth: A confidence and satisfaction in oneself; sense of personal worth and ability that is fundamental to an individual's identity

Every day, each of us will have our worthiness factor tested—from mild to intense. Some of you are not even sure what I am talking about because your sense of self is grounded, centered, and rarely shaken.

On the other side of the coin are others who are wondering if they are worthy of anything good that life has to offer.

Self-worth is the part of the human personality that determines personal value and importance. It is the area of our thinking that evaluates our behavior, appearance, feelings, thoughts, and abilities. It outlines both the level of appreciation we have for ourselves and the way we feel about our inherent worth—what we believe we need to be or do to have value as a person.

There is debate in the psychological community about the degree of impact our levels of self-worth have in our life and the specific strategies that best assist us to improve our self-worth.

The majority of research overwhelmingly supports the opinion that there are strong overall benefits to having high self-worth in our lives. Self-worth is not only a source of motivation and personal energy to engage life, it reveals areas of psychological vulnerability.

In CRG’s Self-Worth Inventory, we help individuals identify their self-worth level in five critical areas in their life.

It is interesting that we can have what we call situational self-worth, where we might feel confident and worthy at work but not at home; perhaps the opposite is true for some people. It is a very powerful process to help pinpoint where a person can specifically improve his or her levels of self-worth.

Dr. Nathanial Branden, author of Our Urgent Need for Self-Esteem, sums up our thoughts in this quote.

Self-worth provides the experience of being able to cope with the basic challenges of life and being worthy of happiness. It consists of two components.

  1. Self-Efficacy: Confidence in our ability to think, learn, choose, and make appropriate decisions
  2. Self-Respect: Confidence in our right to be happy and the belief that achievement, success, friendship, respect, love, and fulfillment are appropriate to us

Basic challenges of life include such fundamentals as being able to earn a living; take independent care of oneself in the world; being competent in human relationships that are mutually satisfying; and having resilience that allows you to bounce back from adversity and persevere in one’s aspirations.

Self-worth is a basic human need that is essential to normal and healthy development. Lacking self-worth causes psychological growth to stunt. High self-worth provides resistance, strength, and a capacity to regenerate, while low self-worth diminishes our resilience in the face of life’s problems.

High self-worth can never be given to a person by another person or by society. It must be sought and earned by the individual for him or her self.

Does it really matter if your sense of personal value is high or low?
The answer is absolutely Yes!

Research has shown that high self-worth relates to many positive qualities of mental health, life success, and happiness. On the other hand, low self-worth undermines all areas of human interaction.

The Benefits of High Self-Worth and
the Consequences of Low Self-Worth

First, self-worth is important to normal psychological development. To adequately cope with the challenges of growing and developing, people need to believe they have the capacity to achieve what they need and want and that they deserve happiness and joy in life. If they lack belief in either area, they still may be productive in an external sense, but they are probably less effective and creative than they would be if they possessed high self-worth.

The effects of self-worth are also seen in career planning and decision-making. For people to make a nontraditional career choice or go against family desires or pressures, they must strongly believe in their ability to make appropriate plans and decisions, even though others disagree with them.

Current management literature outlines the type of people who will be successful in our information/entrepreneurial society. That includes but is not limited to individuals who can make independent decisions, take risks, vigorously pursue new ideas, and act on their own initiative. Those are character traits of people with high self-worth—when they are confident enough to act on them.

General Insights Revealed from Research about the Importance and Effects of Self-Worth in Youth and Adults

  • The family is a strong force in the development of self-worth. The early years are particularly important in establishing an “authentic and abiding self-worth” in a person.
  • High self-worth in parents is crucial to their ability to nurture self-worth and personal effectiveness in their children and others.
  • School and work environments play an important role in the development of the self-worth of individuals. Schools that target self-worth as a major focus appear to be more successful academically and in the development of self-worth among their students.
  • Self-worth and achievement may be either the cause or the effect of each other, depending upon the person and the particular situation in which he or she is functioning.
  • Young girls who possess positive self-worth are less likely to become pregnant as teenagers.
  • Adult individuals with high self-worth as less likely to engage in destructive and self-destructive behaviors, including child abuse, alcohol and drug abuse, violence, and crime.
  • The most important influences of self-worth in children are parents and their parenting style. This was confirmed by a review of the available research conducted by the London School of Economics.
  • With children, the key qualities to developing higher self-esteem appear to be approval and acceptance.

It is obvious that the lower your self-worth, the more likelihood of social, educational, and physical disadvantages, compared with people who possess high self-worth.

To support you on your journey of building your confidence and worthiness, start by knowing your gifts, talents, and strengths, using My Source Experience Journal. As part of this process, to give you the complete picture, we recommend the Self-Worth Inventory as well as these other assessments.

This Week´s Action Steps

Nothing Good Can Come from Bitterness or Resentment

  1. Do you harbor bitterness or resentment toward anyone or anything? If you do, please list them.
  2. Consider each item on your list. Determine what you must do to completely release your emotion around each item.
  3. Reflect on your entire list. From each person or event, what lesson have you learned and/or how have you improved as a person? Write your positive results beside each of the items in your first list.
  4. Review each item on your list and frame it in a mindset of thankfulness. 
  5. Release all feelings of regret, remorse, or resentment toward yourself. 
  6. Now look toward the future with a clean slate, free of the feelings of bitterness and resentment. When you get into that frame of mind, you will feel better.
  7. Who in your circle of influence can you encourage to release bitterness and move on? Make that list now.
  8. Is a bitter or resentful individual part of your inner circle? Let that person go or reduce your connections to him or her. If the person is your life partner, leaving is not your only option. Reframe your thoughts to feel thankful for the ongoing lessons you are receiving.
  9. Make sure you are living on purpose. Individuals without purpose or direction often lean toward feelings of bitterness and resentment because they seem to have less to be thankful for. Use My Source Journal Experience(TM)to start you on the right track.
  10. Know yourself. Understand your primary needs and preferences, then build a life around them. Use the Personal Style Indicator, Stress Indicator and Health Planner, Self-Worth Inventory,and Values Preference Indicator to help you with these Action Steps.
  11. Be an example of how a person can turn any situation or event to his or her benefit by letting go of all bitterness or resentment. 

Until next time, keep Living On Purpose!.

Ken Keis

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