Self-worth is arguably the most important possession we own
By Ken Keis who can be contacted at www.crgleader.com;
Even though our society seems to be restrained in discussions about Self-Worth, it needs to be included as part of everybody’s success plans and strategies. It already affects all of us—in a negative, neutral, or positive way—so let’s include Self-Worth as part of our awareness program.
And what about our children? The percentage of teenagers who attempt suicide in North America is now at an all-time high.
2. What is self-worth?
It is the part of your personality that determines personal value and importance. Deeply seated within you, it strongly influences your attitudes and the behaviors influencing your success or failure.
When self-worth is low, people have little or no energy to think, feel, and do. They lack the motivation to participate in life.
Here is an example from my own life. Over 16 years ago (prior to meeting Brenda, my wife), I was engaged to an individual from Australia. After spending almost a year in my area, she returned home to plan for our wedding. Two months later, she contacted me with one of those Dear John phone calls. After that phone call, my self-worth hit the lowest point I could remember. Almost in a full depression, I simply did not eat. In the next 30 days, I lost 15 pounds (great weight loss program). Following that phone call, I went from being the number one sales performer for our company to the poorest performer—in fewer than 60 days. My skills or abilities did not change, only my level of self-worth — my low self-worth impacted everything negatively.
Obviously high self-worth creates the opposite results. With high self-worth, people believe their personal efforts will make a difference wherever they become involved. This high self-worth results in a confidence that increases their success.
That is true for all of us—and especially our kids.
Recent research supports the fact that our self-worth levels are always fluctuating and being re-established every day. I suspect even Donald Trump had a couple of low self-worth days after his bankruptcy. Research also supports that experiencing success produces more success and higher self-worth levels. That’s why in sales training, they say that the best time for a person to sell something is right after he or she has just sold something!
3. How does self-worth affect us?
People with low self-worth experience these challenges.
>> They claim more emotional problems
>> They expect to be rejected
>> They take personal criticism poorly
>> They are less comfortable socially
>> They are more resistant to change
Those with high self-worth have these advantages.
>> They are less depressed
>> They think well of others
>> They are more persistent
>> They take personal responsibility
>> They have more personal flexibility
4. Where do you start to improve your self-worth?
As in all situations, the best approach is to take an assessment to establish the required awareness so you can act and initiate change. We at CRG recently deployed our Self Worth Inventory online.
When I completed our assessment many years ago, it helped me understand the concept of situational self-worth levels and how my self-worth varied to the extreme, based on the circumstances. In work, I had very high self-worth levels but with my family of origin, they were quite low. How could that be?
Self-worth is developed over time within your environment. I was very successful in my work, but in the environment of my family life growing up, I had to endure a daily dose of criticism. With low self-worth that carried into my adult life, I became critical of myself, until I recognized it for the destructive behavior it is and altered it! That attitude adjustment helped increase my self-worth in essential areas. The Self Worth Inventory certainly helped change my life.
I want to mention that in some individuals, low self-worth can be biologically generated. Yes, based on your diet and blood chemistry, you could have depression or low self worth that is based on a biological condition—not a mental or emotional condition.
This was also true for me many years ago when it was discovered that I was hypoglycemic (low blood sugar), even though several doctors had misdiagnosed me as having manic depression. That story may appear in a future ezine but, as you look toward increasing your confidence and self-worth levels, please remember that they can also be affected by physiological factors.
5. Action steps for improving your sense of self-worth
Establish your situational self-worth levels by completing the Self-Worth Inventory (SWI) online.
Identify your self-worth levels in the Self, Family, Peers, Work, and Projected-Self categories.
Determine your Self-Concept and Self-Esteem levels with the SWI and how they compare with the levels mentioned in the online report.
If need be, seek help from others or a professional counselor.
Learn more about who you are; recognize your personal style, values, and needs.
Develop respect for yourself.
Take personal responsibility for your improvement.
*Reprinted by permission