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Value is defined as “the regard that something is held to deserve.” We place value in things like possessions, skills and, especially, in people.
But the most important thing you should value is yourself.
According to Dr. Kristin Neff, there is a problem with society’s belief of how to measure one’s self worth or value. The problem is that we focus on measuring ourselves against others, rather than paying attention to our own inherent value. “Our competitive culture tells us we need to be special and above average to feel good about ourselves, but we can’t all be above average at the same time,” claims Dr. Kristin Neff .
The point is, when assessing your self value, you should consider yourself and only yourself. You need to believe that YOU deserve to be held in the highest regard. If you don’t value yourself, or fail to value yourself enough, you’re less likely to succeed on almost every conceivable level. Learn to be yourself and be proud of it.
Self confidence is a HUGE part of self value. Once you can recognize exactly how you are undervaluing yourself, learning how to build self confidence in those specific areas will lead to a healthier, happier life.
Here’s are 6 ways to stop undervaluing yourself and learn how to build self confidence the right way…
1. Undervaluing Yourself Costs You Professionally
Leaders tend to value themselves highly. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t be a leader in the first place.
In a weekly column for the Harvard Business Review, Marshall Goldsmith wrote about how he rarely sees CEOs with self-confidence issues. He offers five suggestions to people in and outside of the business world on how to build self confidence and value.
- Worry less about being perfect and focus on making good decisions and handling the consequences.
- Accept that failure is part of life, and understand that the people who have tasted the most failure have often also relished in the most success.
- Commit to your decisions instead of continually second-guessing yourself.
- Even when you’re scared, act courageous so that others will be inspired by your courage.
- Enjoy what you do, because you shouldn’t waste a short life doing what doesn’t bring you happiness and satisfaction.
Goldsmith’s advice is solid, and should be followed. In order to succeed, whether you’re working at a Fortune 500 company or a convenience store, you need to be confident that you’re able to do the work that you’ve been assigned to do. If you aren’t sure of your ability to get the job done, then most likely you simply won’t get the job done.
2. Undervaluing Yourself Costs You Financially
Professional abilities are far from the only factor when it comes to your income. Research study “Self-Esteem and Earnings” from the Journal of Economic Psychology found a positive correlation between self-esteem and how much money people make. Author Francesco Drago explains it in his introduction.
Recent research in economics provides evidence that non-cognitive skills are important determinants of earnings (Bowles, Gintis and Osborne, 2001). A relevant non-cognitive skill is self-esteem, which is usually conceived as the perception that individuals have about their own ability. From the theoretical point of view, the basic idea according to which self-esteem may increase earnings is very simple. Ability and effort are complements, so that, under the premise that individuals are uncertain about their own ability, higher self-esteem causes higher effort and earnings (Benabou and Tirole, 2002).
This applies not only to getting promoted at your work, but also to commanding a higher salary in your current position. If you have low self-esteem you probably won’t risk rejection by asking for more money, because chances are slim that those who don’t consider themselves very valuable at their jobs will be confident enough to push for a big raise or a high starting salary.
As nice as the thought may be, you can’t expect a corporation focused on earning and saving money to immediately offer you the amount they think you’re worth. If you learn how to build self confidence, you can become brave enough to ask for it yourself.
3. Undervaluing Yourself Costs You Personally
Low self-esteem also has a disastrous effect on you personally, specifically in regard to your social life. In the article “How Your Self-Esteem Impacts Relationships” author Suzanne Phillips explains “Self-esteem colors not only a person’s perception of self but impacts expectations of the partner and the tenor of the relationship.”
People with low self-worth seek constant, bordering on irritating levels of assurance from their partners. That leads to insecurities, and the last thing something as complex as a human relationship needs is one member doubting the other’s commitment because they don’t believe they’re worth being with in the first place.
Questioning the partner’s commitment causes strain in the relationship and can even decrease the other partner’s sense of self-worth. That isn’t good for anyone. If you translate Goldsmith’s tips above on how to build self confidence to your personal life as well, you’ll be surprised how quickly your relationship will change for the better.
4. Undervaluing Yourself Costs You Mentally
One of the biggest impacts of self-worth is on people’s mental health. Depression, anxiety, inflexibility, addictive behaviors, and more troubles are common symptoms of low self-esteem, and stop you from being as strong as you can be.
“Depression is a prison where you are both the suffering prisoner and the cruel jailer.” ―Dorothy Rowe, Psychologist, Beyond Fear
There’s so much research to support the negative consequences of not valuing yourself that a whole form of treatment exists to help you improve your opinion of yourself. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) focuses on examining the relationships between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
Many doctors and clinics require that you undergo CBT before they prescribe you antidepressants, knowing that the first step to healing is learning how to build self confidence and think more positively about yourself. That will improve your mental health and, from there, improve pretty much everything other aspect of your life.
5. Undervaluing Yourself Costs You Physically
When you’re down on yourself, you may even suffer from physical symptoms. There are obvious reasons for that, such as the depression from low self-esteem will cause you to not take care of yourself. If you eat comfort food for every meal, you probably won’t be comfortable in the long-term. If every day is a Lazy Sunday, you’ll feel less rejuvenated each morning.
A less obvious reason for feeling worse, however, is that your poor mental health can also directly cause you to feel physically weak. Chronic joint pain, limb pain, back pain, gastrointestinal problems, tiredness, sleep disturbances, and more kinds of discomfort are closely linked with depression, including the kind of depression that’s a result of having a low opinion of yourself.
If you take the right steps and learn how to build self confidence successfully, you will begin thinking more highly of yourself and feeling better because of it.
6. Undervaluing Yourself Costs You Emotionally
As important as every other category on this list is, and they are important, in the end most of us just want to be happy. That’s usually the ultimate goal, and if it isn’t, it probably should be.
Undervaluing yourself impacts your mood dramatically, and is a pointless cause of pain. Even if you do believe you’re not worth anything (and you shouldn’t!), accepting that won’t bring you any satisfaction.
Convince yourself to be happy, including if it means fibbing to yourself. Know what you need to let go of. If you genuinely want to get better and succeed in every way listed above, the lessons of CBT are a great starting point for you and your unique path of building self confidence. This list is another resource. Use whatever gets you from where you are now to where you should be.
Truly learning how to build self confidence isn’t an easy task. But the simple fact that you’re admitting that you may be undervaluing yourself on a daily basis is the right place to start. Once you recognize exactly how and in which parts of your life you are undervaluing yourself, turning your life around for the better by using some of the tips and resources we’ve provided, will be a goal within your reach.
“With realization of one’s own potential and self-confidence in one’s ability, one can build a better world.” ― Dalai Lama