What is self worth?


By Felicia Richardson

Self-worth is not just a measure of how we see our abilities or physical characteristics; it is a deep, steadfast acceptance of our intrinsic worth as human beings. Unlike self-esteem, which can vary depending on our achievements or how others see us, self-worth is about recognizing and embracing our inherent worth. It is the realization that our worth is not dependent on our intelligence, talents, looks, achievements or possessions. It’s about knowing that our value is rooted in the deep truth that we are uniquely created and infinitely loved by our Creator.

The causes of low self-esteem

Many of us struggle with self-worth, especially when life throws us into challenging circumstances. Traumatic experiences such as divorce, neglect, bullying, discrimination, financial problems, or health problems can seriously affect our self-esteem. Over time, these negative experiences can erode our self-esteem and lead to a deeper crisis of self-worth. When our sense of worth is constantly attacked, we may begin to seek external validation to feel valuable, forgetting that true self-worth comes from within. This constant search for acceptance can leave us feeling empty, which sometimes also drives us to do things outside of our value system.

Rebuilding and strengthening self-worth

The journey to rediscover our self-worth is not easy, but it is so liberating. Here are five keys to boosting your self-worth:

  1. Faith: Embrace faith as a powerful step to recognize your intrinsic worth. Psalm 139:14 says: “I praise You, because I am so terribly wonderful; wonderful are your works! And my soul knows it very well.” This promise helps us understand that we have just as much right to be here and be happy as anyone else. Our value is non-negotiable and is not diminished by external circumstances.
  2. Gratitude: Cultivating gratitude can significantly improve your self-worth. Research shows that when we list at least five things we are grateful for every day, it increases our sense of worth. Take time daily to reflect on your blessings and focus on what you have instead of what you lack.
  3. Positive self-talk: The language we speak to ourselves matters. Regularly affirming Bible verses that emphasize your worth and replacing negative thoughts with positive thoughts can greatly improve your self-esteem. Trust in who God says you are and silence the inner critic.
  4. Positive relationships: Surround yourself with people who lift you up and appreciate you. Avoid those that undermine your self-esteem. Build friendships and relationships with people who accept and appreciate you for who you are.
  5. Set boundaries: Learn to say no and stand firm in your decisions. You deserve to put yourself first without guilt. Setting boundaries is an act of self-respect and helps preserve your self-worth.

My journey to self worth

When I look back on my life, I realize the huge impact my understanding of my self-worth had on my journey. As a child, I grew up in a stormy environment, with divorced parents, exposure to alcohol abuse, domestic violence, rejection, and poverty. These experiences left deep emotional scars that affected my self-esteem and sense of worth.

The turning point came when I truly understood that I am a child of God, that He gave his life for me, and that I have the right to live fully and use my voice. This realization was transformational. My self-worth began to heal, and it empowered me to achieve so much more in my life. The knowledge that my value is not dependent on external influences, but is a Divine truth that is grounded in my being, changed everything.

Help your children understand their own worth

It is crucial that we help our children from an early age to understand their value and not seek external validation. Research shows that today’s digital age brings unique challenges that can affect children’s self-esteem. Social media is an integral part of young people’s lives, and it can play a big role in how they see themselves. Teenagers will often compare themselves to the amount of interactions or views they get on social media, which can negatively affect their self-worth.

We must teach our children that their value does not depend on social acceptance, but on who they are intrinsically.

How we talk about ourselves, especially in the mirror, has a big impact because our children watch and learn. Talking positively about ourselves and recognizing our own worth sets an example for them to follow. We must empower them to recognize and celebrate their unique worth, regardless of what others may think.

Here are four practical tips to help:

  1. Identify their unique talents: Identify and support your children’s unique talents and passions. Emphasize their uniqueness, and that they are rare, weird and unique. Also help them to be proud of their own abilities and interests.
  2. Create an environment of acceptance: Make your home a safe place where your children feel they are unconditionally accepted and appreciated. Not only when they perform and obey. Encourage open communication and show them that they are loved, regardless of their achievements or mistakes.
  3. Media Literacy: Teach your children to think critically about the content they see on social media. Help them understand that most of what they see is not a true reflection of reality.
  4. Set boundaries: Encourage your children to set limits on their social media use and to prioritize “offline” activities that can boost their self-worth.

This journey is not only about personal transformation, but about empowering the next generation to live with confidence and purpose.

When we truly recognize and embrace our self-worth, it can be a life-changing journey. It’s about understanding that our worth doesn’t have to be earned, but is inherent. Remember, your value is a Divine truth that no adversity or external factor can reduce or affect. Embrace it, and watch your life blossom.

  • Felicia Richardson is an internationally accredited life coach and NLP practitioner. Visit Transformationcoachfelicia.com for more information.