A Woman's Worth: 3 Tips to Build Self-Worth
Accomplishments can usually be measured pretty easily and basing self-worth off of achievement is something I’m too familiar with. In high school, I was known as “the girl that was good at art” and if I created something less than perfect I would feel worthless. This striving for achievement followed me all the way through college.
I learned to fill myself up on the praise of others. I tried harder in school, especially on creative assignments. The thought of losing whatever creativity or drawing skills I had made my chest tighten.
I worked hard, I achieved, I was noticed, and, like an addict getting a fix, I felt better. Family members who didn’t think much of me before were suddenly proud of me. I had become somebody worth being.
I was forced to redefine my ideas of self-worth. I understood that always trying to please others was keeping me from being happy. After leaving art school, I wasn’t sure who I was anymore. I no longer had people telling me how talented I was. I wanted to matter; I wanted to be special again.
It’s so much easier to merely see yourself as someone who is worth $60,000 a year, or someone who is the "Head of Global Something" but we're all more than that. It’s so tempting to let things like that become the basis for how we measure up to others. Those things are part of who we are and they are important to our identity but they are not who we are.
Here are 3 ways that I’ve started to overcome the need to base my worth on accomplishments.
Understand the power of your attitude toward yourself. How you perceive yourself, how you talk about yourself and how you represent yourself eventually become a reality.
Learn to overcome a fear of self-love. Self-love is often equated with narcissism, egotism and some kind of one-way trip to negative introversion. Healthy self-love is about being your own best friend. Avoid obsessing over how other people see you. How does it help you to cater your personality to someone else's idea of you?
What you do does not define you. Basing your self-worth on your job title is a big risk. A health problem, economic downturn, or an unexpected shift in the job market may interfere with your career and lead to a major identity crisis. You’ll need to experience repeated success in order to feel good about yourself – and that’s hard to maintain for the long-haul.
We need to look at ourselves and tie our self-worth to a different value system. I know now that I am more than my accomplishments and more than my job. After all, confidence is a mindset and it is most definitely achievable if we try.