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Essential Guide to Improving Your Self-worth

Are you struggling with low self-worth, not feeling good enough or being challenged by relationships? If so, read on. I have created this post for people who want to improve their self-worth. I hope this helps guide you on your journey of feeling enough.

How do you see yourself and your self-worth
Improve your self-worth. How do you see yourself?

Our self-worth is a crucial aspect of our identity. It is determined by our values, which serve as a guide for leading a fulfilling life. Sometimes, we may feel lost or lack confidence and self-belief, which can stem from not fully knowing ourselves. This can negatively impact various aspects of our lives including our relationships. Therefore, I have created this five-step guide to help you increase your self-worth and self-esteem.

What is self-worth?

From the moment we leave the womb, our self-worth begins to develop. Initially, we feel strongly attached to our maternal caregiver or whoever is responsible for caring for us. During the first few months of our lives, we cannot distinguish ourselves from others. During this time, our sense of worth begins to take shape. Through parent-infant interactions, our mirror neurons are firing in the brain as we see our main caregiver as a mirror of who we are.

If our main caregiver is not there for us enough of the time or if we suffer neglect or abuse, the emotional circuitry of our nervous system can be impacted, Leading to us developing a feeling of not being whole. If our main caregiver was present enough of the time, we learned the ability to calm and regulate our nervous system. When shown attentiveness, love, and care, we start to form a sense of ourselves as worthy and loveable. However, if our needs are not met often enough, we may feel like we are lacking in some way.

A true sense of self-worth develops over time through our relationships with others. Our perspectives are shaped by those around us. We may have been told that we are shy, too loud, or not good at something, leading us to believe that these qualities are part of who we are. Alternatively, we may have only been praised for our achievements, leading us to believe that we must constantly achieve to feel enough.

baby and mother. creating a sense of worth
mirror neurons start to create a sense of worth

Our sense of worth continues to develop as we start forming friendships as children. During these times, we become venerable and open ourselves up to another person. If you have experienced betrayal, distrust, abuse or other painful experiences, this can damage your sense of worthiness within yourself and your core beliefs. Attachments influence our nervous systems as we learn to interact with others and navigate the world.

Attachment styles affect your self-worth.

Every connection helps to shape and mould your adult attachments and impacts how you are in romantic relationships. Having a healthy and secure sense of self can make relationships feel natural, as you'll be able to set clear boundaries, recognise when others are diminishing your self-worth, and feel comfortable relying on your partner for support. However, if you have an anxious or avoidant attachment style, you may experience unhealthy relationship patterns that can cause pain and confusion for both you and your partner.

Your attachment style can change based on your romantic relationships and personal growth. However, the process requires time and dedication. You can improve your sense of self by understanding your attachment and working with a trained therapist. It takes time to form a secure attachment, but the first step is identifying your attachment style and the resulting behaviours that are impacting you and your relationships. Whether you lean towards anxious or avoidant attachment, the goal is to shift towards a more secure attachment and a strong sense of self-worth. Below are five tips to help you improve your self-worth.

secure attachment in relationships
Creating a secure attachment and sense of self

#1. Self-compassion

To improve your sense of self-worth, it's important to introduce self-compassion into your life. Generally, when we had a secure attachment as kids, our primary caregivers showed us compassion, which enabled us to be compassionate towards ourselves. When we talk to ourselves, we should do so with the same kindness and care as we would with our best friend or a child. If you take a moment to reflect on the language you use when you make a mistake, would you use the same harsh words towards a child? According to research, Changing how we speak to ourselves has been shown to increase our sense of worth.

Acknowledging and learning from our mistakes allows us to grow and accept ourselves instead of focusing on criticism.

self-care and self-worth
prioritising self-care

#2: Self-care

Taking care of yourself is crucial for your overall well-being. In our fast-paced lives, getting caught up in numerous tasks and forgetting about self-care is easy. However, prioritizing self-care is essential. It's not selfish but rather beneficial; studies have shown that taking care of yourself can make you more productive and able to give more to others. As the saying goes, filling up your cup first is essential. Self-care involves doing things that are specifically for you and bring you joy, helping you unwind and find satisfaction. This could be prioritising sleep, exercising, eating well, getting into nature or whatever floats your boat. These activities can have a calming effect on your nervous system, replenish your energy levels, and put you in a calmer state of mind; where you can forget about any worries, even if only temporarily.

#3: Boundaries

Setting boundaries is essential for your protection. They establish a clear line that helps you recognise when to stop and prevent others from taking advantage of you. Boundaries can involve emotional needs or physical expectations, and they apply to both yourself and others. When someone lacks boundaries, they may experience exhaustion, frustration, and a feeling of imbalance in their relationships. If someone does not value themselves, they may find that others take advantage of them or that they do not maintain their own boundaries. For instance, someone may feel they need to constantly provide and give to others in order to feel worthy, which can lead to neglecting their own needs. This can leave them feeling drained and frustrated that their relationships feel unfair.

Setting boundaries is a two-way process that can protect your values from being violated by others and prevent you from overstepping your own boundaries. Having boundaries can help you feel in control and create balance in your life, allowing you to live the life you desire. Boundaries also show self-respect and assertiveness, which can improve your well-being. Here are some examples of healthy boundaries:

Making time for self-care is an important personal boundary that allows you to prioritise your own needs. Another example of boundary setting could be not allowing your partner to take advantage of you by expecting you to do all the housework.

woman with values, self-worth
leading a value directed life

#4: Values

Values provide you with a sense of belonging and purpose. It can be difficult to establish healthy boundaries without being aware of your personal values. Your values play a crucial role in leading you towards a satisfying and meaningful life, elevating your self-esteem. When we have low self-worth, we may not be aware of our values and may still hold other people's views and opinions as our own. Awareness of your values helps you identify a true sense of self and understand what is important to you in relationships. Knowing your fundamental beliefs helps you identify when you are not in alignment with living them. For instance, valuing equality in a relationship entails sharing household responsibilities as a boundary.

#5: Step out of your comfort zone

Challenging yourself and taking risks outside of your usual routine can lead to accomplishments that may have otherwise seemed impossible. This can enhance your life and bring a feeling of thrill and satisfaction. Furthermore, getting out of your comfort zone helps improve resilience. It involves expanding your mindset, which can boost your confidence and help you overcome fears and anxieties that may otherwise hinder you. Stepping outside your comfort zone can also provide a fresh perspective on life, which can be easily overlooked when we are stuck in our daily routines. Moving towards your edge of comfort can present challenges that help you build strength and resilience. By pushing your limits, you can experience growth, gain a deeper understanding of yourself and improve your self-esteem and self-worth. Embracing opportunities to improve your abilities can lead to greater self-confidence.

I hope these tips will help you begin your journey towards enhancing your self-worth and self-esteem. If you're struggling, seeking counselling can provide valuable assistance. You can schedule a free consultation to determine whether you'd like to collaborate on improving your self-worth. To learn more, please visit my website.

Always remember that you are already enough, just the way you are. xx


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