Arpana Shah, The Webster dictionary defines self-worth as “the sense of one’s own value or worth as a person.” Self-worth is the feeling of being good enough and valuing yourself. It comes from self-understanding, self-love and self-acceptance. People tend to use the words self-esteem and self-worth interchangeably. However, there is a huge difference between the two.
Self-esteem is the evaluation of our worth. It is the way we evaluate ourselves in different qualities. It is how you appreciate yourself in different circumstances and situations. We can build our self-esteem only by achieving our aims and goals as our mind needs evidence to maintain our self-esteem. Our self-esteem influences the choices and the decisions we make.
Self-worth basically means being able to love yourself regardless of your traits and qualities. This means that even if you have low self-esteem, your self-worth can be very high as you value yourself. Unfortunately, we find many people in today’s modern world, especially the youth of today to lack the feeling of worthiness. They value themselves through the eyes of other individuals. What other people think about you, how others see you matters to them and not what you think about yourself.
People tend to hate themselves for the way they look to the qualities they possess. They are not ready to accept themselves.
Today’s world is seen though social media. Whatever you see in the social media you believe it to be true. The life, your favorite social media influencer is living is superficial yet it matters to you more than what you are doing in your life. The standards of beauty have become less realistic and beauty is defined sketchy these days. Beauty means Instagram and snapchat filters, posts, photo editing apps and flawless photos posted in social media. Inner beauty is not considered to be beautiful. This leads to low self-confidence, lack of self-love, self-care and hinders self-worth among most people these days.
People tend to hate themselves for the way they look to the qualities they possess. They are not ready to accept themselves. Some might feel they are fat or skinny, short or tall, dark skinned or fair. They want to fit in the standards set by the society we live in. There are people who will body shame you or call you ‘haddi’ if you are skinny and call you ‘kali’ if you have dark brown skin. I have myself faced such incidents in my life and I am sure most of us have faced these situations in some way or the other.
There are people who will bring you down and will break you and your self-worth but we must be strong enough to face such people with greater self-worth and self-esteem. There is lack of self-acceptance in people. To accept the way you are and to love yourself for who you are. This problem is mostly found in the youth. These can have negative repercussions. This can lead to anxiety, depression, fear of missing out (FOMO) and this can extend to steps like suicide.
All of us are facing the global pandemic right now. We are glued to our homes and some of us might be properly utilizing the lockdown by engaging in various activities while some of us might be just living through days. Seeing others doing productive work during the lockdown might make us feel worthless and useless. But this is the time for us to focus on ourselves and not compare ourselves to others. This is the right time for self-care and to have self-worth.
We must be compassionate. We must show some kindness and compassion towards ourselves, the same way we show to our friend or a loved one. Keeping the ‘COAL’ attitude towards oneself can help in becoming self-compassionate. ‘COAL’ attitude refers to being curious, open, accepting and loving towards oneself. We should be generous towards ourselves. We must recognize our own skills and talents and focus on improving them.
Furthermore, the act of forgiving is a virtue and is really important to increase our self-worth. Forgiveness develops self-esteem, self-respect, self-confidence along with self-worth. Learning to forgive yourself is vitally important. As you forgive yourself from the mistakes you have done, it enables yourself to be free and feel lighter and awaken kindness, generosity and compassion. It creates a positive impact on your self-worth. As you learn to forgive yourself you slowly learn to forgive others and you grow beautifully. Forgiveness is one of the best qualities a human can possess.
We must always remember that a person who does not value and respect themselves will not be respected by others. The way we treat ourselves, others will treat you. Engaging in self-care and self-love does not mean being self-obsessed or narcissistic. It just means being able to love yourself, value yourself and being you.
As the saying by Buddha goes, “What you think, you become. What you feel you attract. What you imagine you create”, we must feel positive about oneself and remember that imperfection is part of being human. If we are perfect, we are not human then. Imperfections are beautiful and being able to love yourself with those imperfections is even more beautiful.
Arpana is BBA 1st semester student at Kathmandu University School of Management (KUSOM).