Self-Worth: What Is It and How to Assess It?

Self-worth is often mistaken for self-confidence. In reality they are two very different things. Self-worth is examining your past and looking at the things that you have achieved, and knowing that you have contributed to this world, knowing your value as a person and being proud of it, even if others don’t acknowledge it or even worse, criticism you. Self confidence comes after you’ve attained or acknowledged your self worth. It is the feeling that you have the power, ability and courage to pursue your future goals no matter what others say.

One way to increase your self-confidence is to increase your self-worth. You can increase your self-worth by doing two things:

  1. By examining things that you have done in the past (examining your self worth)
  2. By doing new things that will build your self worth (building your self worth)

Examining Your Self-Worth

Examining your self-worth isn’t easy. Often times people with low self-worth have a hard time finding positive things about themselves.

Here are three areas you may want to explore in order to assess and increase your self-worth.

self-worth: what is it and how to increase it?

List All of Your Accomplishments

List all of your accomplishments. No matter how big or small they are. No matter how long ago they happened. And it doesn’t matter if you accomplish them by yourself or with the help of others.

These accomplishments will vary greatly depending on your age and season in your life. You may want to even divide your list into categories such as: education, extracurricular activities, social life, family life, career, personal development, personal interest. Feel free to add any other categories that suit your needs.

One thing to keep in mind when you’re making your list is to be true to yourself. It doesn’t matter if someone else sees what you have done as positive or negative. Their opinions don’t matter at this moment. This list is just for you. You are the only one whose thoughts and ideas matter here. You can do it in private, and you don’t have to show it to anyone. Don’t let anyone anyone’s thoughts or opinions belittle what matters to you.

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Here are some areas to explore:

  1. Kindness shown to others
  2. Certificates of achievement, medals and trophies you got over the years for different activities
  3. All the courses you have completed, especially those that you thought you will never get done
  4. Education or career related certificates and diplomas that you gained over the years
  5. New skills that you have learned
  6. Goals that you have accomplished
  7. Promises you kept to other people or yourself
  8. Examples of situations which you believe you handled well
  9. Personal, relationship, parenting, education, or career decisions that you have made that you are happy about

List All of the Things You Are Proud of

This one is rather self-explanatory and does not require much guidance. Keep in mind, that things you are proud of don’t have to be big. It could be something as simple as waking up on time every day for a week, being patient with your kids when you felt like you are at the end of your rope, or responding rather than reacting to the person that made you angry.

In many instances, it is easier to start with the big things, and then try to find the little things that stand out in your mind.

The goal is to come up with a comprehensive list of at least 10 to 15 things that you are proud of. If you can list more – power to you!

In many instances, it is easier to start with the big things, and then try to find the little things that stand out in your mind.

The goal is to come up with a comprehensive list of at least 10 to 15 things that you are proud of. If you can list more – power to you!

List 10 Character Traits That Make You a Good Person

From personal experience, I find that this one is the hardest one. For many young people such as teenagers, I find it is difficult due to lack of vocabulary. So here is what I suggest.

First, search for a list of adjectives that describe positive character traits. Print that list. Read all of the adjectives and circle at least 20 that you believe apply to you. Once you do that, for each adjective, think of an example from your life where you could be described as this kind of a person. To make this more vivid and real, on a piece of paper, write the adjective down, and then follow it with an example.

Before you know it, you will have an extensive list of positive adjectives that describe you and solid examples that truly show how wonderful of a person you are.

You’re Almost There

Completing the above exercises is half the battle. Actually truly believing that all of what you have written make you a worthy person is another.

In order to start believing in yourself, you need to remind yourself of all of those accomplishments on daily basis. It may be a good idea to reread this list every day. You may also want to add to it something, no matter how little, that you accomplished each and every day.

Even if you feel that you are worthy and self-confident, it never hurts to examine the positive impact you have had on your own and other people’s life. I’m sure you’ll find little things that you have not thought of before, that will bring a smile to your face and make you feel better about yourself.

self-worth: what is it and how to assess it

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25 thoughts on “Self-Worth: What Is It and How to Assess It?”

  1. This post is amazing. I will take some time and take myself through these exercises. I struggle with identifying my self-worth and what truly makes me happy. I always place my happiness in others hands.


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