The Operating Manual for the Self tm
Let’s consider the following questions: What is Self-Worth? What is Self-Esteem? What Does Self-Worth Give Us? How Do We Get Self-Worth? What is our Resistance to Self-Worth? and What is False Self-Worth?
What is Self-Worth?
Human beings are born with innate self-worth. The word innate means “inseparable from.” Our worth is inseparable from who we are as human beings. Self-worth is a given by definition.
What Does Self-Worth Give Us?
Our worth and our existence itself give us our right to exist (to be treated as full-fledged human being). The right to exist not universally acknowledged as in societies where other human beings are devalued and their right to exist (their survival) is not guaranteed at all. There are societies where slavery exists, where people are considered second class citizens who are worth-less, and where others are kept subservient. There are some marriages rights are not equally distributed.
I am worth it. I deserve. These statements, derived from our worth give us the motivation to treat ourselves with consideration, generosity, importance, mattering, and love. We also become willing to expend the energy necessary to accomplish whatever we need to.
How Do We Get Self-Worth?
We get self-worth by becoming aware that it is already there, within ourselves; we just need to uncover it. We must become aware of beliefs about our worthlessness, especially statements from our parents that view us as worthless. We then totally and categorically reject these believes, understanding that they are wrong. S
What is our Resistance to Self-Worth?
If our worth is innate as a human being, then every human being has the same innate worth. We may totally reject the idea that people who are criminals also have worth. Therefore, we reject the idea of innate worth.
We confuse deserving with entitled. The attitude of entitled is selfish and narcissistic. We don’t want to feel or appear selfish and/or narcissistic. In our confusion we reject entitled and therefore self-worth.
What is False Self-Worth?
Some sources of false self-worth are: from our accomplishments; from our possessions/money—our net worth, and from approval from others; and from being loved by others.
Remember our self-worth is given by the fact that we exist. We do not have to earn self-worth through accomplishments or through any other circumstances of our life.
What is Self-Esteem?
Self-worth can be contrasted with self-esteem. Self-esteem is having a fundamental and deep, good feeling for and about yourself. It is also having a deep positive regard for yourself. Regard is how you hold yourself. With self-esteem we hold ourselves in esteem, liking and valuing our self. We give Self-esteem to our self by recognizing the good that we do and giving ourselves credit for it. In contrast to self-worth, self-esteem is earned through the actions we take.