Self Worth vs Self Esteem

by Susie Carr on June 19, 2017

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.

Self Worth

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:

Regardless of:

  • 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.

If you would like to talk, feel free to reach out to us. An LifeWorks therapist would be able to help.

Corina Saramet
Corina Saramet
Psychologist - English,Romanian,Spanish
Master Degree in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Bucharest, Romania
Nashwa Tantawy
Nashwa Tantawy
Psychologist - Arabic, English
M.A. in Counseling Psychology from The American University in Cairo
Jyotika Aggarwal
Jyotika Aggarwal
Clinical Psychologist - English
M.A.(Clinical Psychology), RE-CBT - Experience: 7 Years
Sailaja Menon
Sailaja Menon
Counseling Psychologist - English
CAGS (Multicultural Counseling), Johns Hopkins University, USA - Experience: 25 Years
Salma Mahmoud
Salma Mahmoud
Psychologist - Arabic and English
Master's in Psychology, BA Psychology - Experience: 12 Years
Iva Vukusic
Iva Vukusic
Clinical Psychologist - English, Croatian and German
Master of Psychology, Training of Trainers (ToT) Community
Dr.Marwa Abd El Hamid
Dr.Marwa Abd El Hamid
Clinical Psychologist - Arabic and English
Ph.D. in Psychology Ain-Shams University - Experience: 16 Years
Dr. Sravani Behara
Dr. Sravani Behara
Specialist Psychiatrist - English, Hindi and Telugu
MBBS, MD - Experience: 12 Years
Dr.Bassem Badr
Dr.Bassem Badr
Consultant Psychiatrist,Holistic Approach - Arabic and English
Master of Science in Neuropsychiatry - Experience: 25 Years

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