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The Summit Counseling Center
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Self-Worth & Values

Megan Barfield

Inner strength“I am valuable. I am worthy.”

When was the last time we said that out loud to ourselves? How often do we say this to ourselves? For most people, it is rare if ever. Both acknowledging that we are of value and believing that we are is a concept that is foreign to many and for others, it changes day to day.

I am worthy and of value because I got a promotion at work.

I am worthy and of value because I have a significant other now.

I am worthy and of value because I ranked in the top of my class.

I am worthy and of value because I can afford a new car.

I am worthy and of value because someone else told me that I am.

Each of these statements, and thousands of others that we tell ourselves daily, show us that our worth is based on accomplishments, achievements, and others’ perspectives of us. None of these statements say anything about our character: our compassion, our kindness, our love, our empathy. More so, each of these things can change: we can lose our jobs, break up with our partner, go to school with someone who ranks higher than you, lose money or the ability to buy a new car, and change someone’s opinion of you without knowing, intending to, or “just because” they did. We lose self-worth by placing it in the things defined above because we don’t have ultimate control in these areas, basing our value on our circumstances. We can increase and foster our and others’ self-worth in the following ways:

  1. Speak kindly to others and ourselves using respect, positive remarks, and empathy. Notice when you are using negative self-talk (“I’m stupid, I can’t do this, I have no talents”) and begin to turn them into something positive
  2. Accept who you are as you are. This doesn’t mean ignore areas for growth and your goals, but acknowledging that regardless of the outcome, you are not more or less of a person because of it
  3. Remind yourself what doesn’t determine your worth from above

Talk to your therapist or counselor about how you can access support in strengthening your self-worth to the fullest.

The Summit Counseling Center
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