Self Worth vs Self Esteem
Self-esteem is usually experienced through professional and personal achievement. Having a successful career or relationship or reaching personal goals through artistic or physical pursuits are good examples.
Self-esteem is often firmly fixed in the areas of achievement. For others it can come from physical appearance so for this type of person the way they look and appear to others is important. This type of person’s lifestyle and how it reflects on them is another way their self esteem is elevated, so driving a fancy car, having a lifestyle that reflects affluence are all ways to achieve this.
Self-esteem acquired through personal achievement or acquisitions can often be transient so it’s always wise to have a balanced view of these things. If life circumstances suddenly change and you have no balance self esteem can be dramatically impacted. Without having a solid sense of self and self worth you may not be able to stay grounded especially if life circumstances suddenly work against you.
The question to ask yourself is,
If I lost everything I value tomorrow could I still maintain my self worth?
At the deepest level of my being would I still believe I’m ok?
- If I lost my job
- If I lost my physical abilities
- If I lost my relationship
- If I lost my wealth
- My home
- My looks
- My youth
When you have good self-worth, the loss of self-esteem is seen more realistically because you know its linked to achievement or acquisition all of which can be lost in an instant or eventually recouped.
The ability to recover from loss of any kind is to recognise that everything in life is transient. Everything has its beginning and end point whether its life itself, relationships, material gain, jobs, youth or health. We may not like it but change is inevitable and we have to have skills to cope with it or risk collapsing emotionally.
Some losses of course are more difficult to deal with than others. How resilient we are plays its part in our eventual recovery and the speed in which that happens, however it is having faith in our own self worth which is the real driving force behind our recovery from loss.
Without self-worth the loss of self- esteem can be experienced deeply and profoundly and could result in depression or a sense of hopelessness. With self worth the losses are seen more realistically either as a life lesson, something to accept, recover from or as something to regain.
When you have good self worth you know at the very core of your self that you value and respect that you are and have a deep knowing that you are fundamentally a valuable and worthwhile person:
- What others may say or do to you
- What your successes or failures are
- What you win or lose
- What you have or don’t have
- Whether you are sick or healthy
A good way of understanding the concept of self-worth is to know that you are always going to be worth more than all of your achievements put together.
Self-esteem issues are commonly recognised during the process of counselling. Through counselling people explore life issues, which can and do affect our self-esteem. At Life works we offer workshops that help us understand the factors that impact the most on our self-esteem and self worth.
Please consider coming to Life Works and attend our one-day workshops on Self Worth facilitated by Susie Carr.