Your self-worth sets the tone for everything else you experience in life. The higher and healthier your self-worth, the more willing you are to ask for what you want, walk away from what you don’t want, and handle challenges with greater confidence.
If you’re not experiencing life the way you want to, low self-worth is likely a contributing factor.
To assist with developing self-worth and creating more of what you want in life, here are eight signs you have healthy, high self-worth:
You take care of yourself. When you believe you’re valuable, you look after yourself. You maintain the standards you hold for yourself and the boundaries you hold others to because it is ultimately more important for you to have good mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health than it is for you to keep others happy. You understand that you can’t give to others what you don’t already have, so you take care of yourself in ways that bring you joy and empower you to serve others if you choose. By contrast, when you lack self-worth, you over-commit, over-give, over-compensate and over-excuse. You also stay much longer than you know you should in desperate, hurtful or harmful situations.
You have quality relationships. When you value yourself, you will not tolerate poor treatment from others. You communicate your boundaries and desires. This causes some people to improve the way they interact with you and others to remove themselves from your life. Either way, the quality of your relationships improves. You understand there are some relationships that you don’t enjoy but that can’t be removed from your life. Your healthy self-worth means you can be in the company of these people if necessary, but not be emotionally triggered by their words and behaviours. You’d rather put your energy into relationships that bring joy.
You are incomparable. High self-worth means you spend little time comparing yourself to others. Caroline McHugh described this way of being as having an interiority complex. Unlike a superiority complex (when you think you are the most important person around) or an inferiority complex (where you have overmodest self-worth and tend to self-deprecate), with an interiority complex you don’t need to focus on other people in order to make comparisons. It’s more important you are always growing and becoming better than you were before, rather than needing to feel like you’re better than others.
Approval is unnecessary. People with high self-worth enjoy approval and love to receive compliments and praise. They are also usually better at receiving and giving compliments – unlike those with low self-worth who often don’t believe compliments when they receive them. The important distinction is that while people with self-worth enjoy praise, they don’t fall apart when they don’t get it. In the absence of approval, they can approve of themselves. Of course, people with high self-worth will face challenges and setbacks, like everyone else, but those experiences do not diminish their sense of worth.
You can speak your truth and stay open to feedback from others. High self-worth means you can stay in communication with others, even when it’s challenging, because you know your worth is not determined by their words. You can say what you need to say without being aggressive and you can hear what others have to say without needing to be defensive – common reactions from those who source their worth from external sources. It is interesting to note these two kinds of reactions are usually correlated; the day that you can speak your truth is the same day that you will be able to stay present to the truth of others. While rarely easy, the courage to stay with truth is evidence that someone has done work on themselves and their sense of self-worth.
Perfect is unnecessary. With high self-worth, the need for life to be perfect falls away. Perfectionism is usually motivated by worrying about what other people will think. The internal motivation of people with high self-worth creates healthy striving, driven by the need to be better for themselves.
You can let things go. People with high self-worth are better at letting things go. People with low self-worth attach their worth to external rewards or people. Unfortunately, when those things leave, they feel their worth is diminished. This creates susceptibility to neediness or desperation. People with high self-worth don’t need to hold on to anything for validation. They have that everything they need is available, so there is no need to force things or people to stay.
You feel full. High self-worth is more than just feeling complete – you feel abundant. You feel a sense of fullness, completely the opposite of the scarcity associated with low self-worth. When you really believe you are lovable and valuable, it creates an energy that you want to do something with, either with other people or on your own.