It is generally agreed that there are 3 basic human needs:
But if we feel vulnerable and open to criticism, or are knocked-back by even the smallest of set-backs, then it is all too easy to believe that we're powerless to act, incompetent, unable to relate, and doubt our-self in every area of our life.
So, what is Self-Worth?
Is it something mysterious, unattainable, unknowable, and in plain-fact, indefinable? Or, can we pin it down? Is it, in fact, tangible, mutable, something complete, knowable and in plain-sight?
Is it pride, without arrogance? Is it self-awareness, without pretension?
I rather like to think of it in the following ways:
A Phoenix-like vitality
A most congenial place to inhabit; &
As Albert Camus would describe, "An invincible summer in the midst of winter"
Self-Worth is part of my essence and defines me - Yet I know that I am always a work in progress, more sinning than sinned against, yet also constantly creating and recreating myself through action, and always with the possibility to be in constant motion and commotion.
I need then an Anchor
Fear of failure may keep us close to the shore, as it is a fundamental instinct to protect our sense of self, our competence and our reputation.
For myself though, the fear of not doing can be worse, and worse still that can mean I drift. I need to accept and permit myself to just Be and Mindfulness allows me to be fully self-aware, able to understand complex emotions, have the capacity for empathy and remain rooted in the moment, accepting whatever is.
It is then my Anchor! But it is not the only one!
Self-worth - self esteem - self respect - self regard - common regard - shared purpose...
The value and worth I place upon myself and how I perceive my value to the world and to others, is also anchored in how I see my place and my role in the world.
My self-worth is something that takes me beyond myself and gives me common purpose.
"The small work hard to serve themselves in a big way. The big however work hard to serve the world in a small way", Simon Sinek.
My 8 Top Tips
To not feel of worth is ultimately a judgement we make on our-self - It is however, one we should never make wittingly, no matter how bad we feel, no matter what others tell us they think about us, and no matter whatever slings and arrows of outrageous fortune life throws at us.
So, if you feel in clear and present danger of making that judgement - If your self-worth has tanked - or, has never even got out of the starting gate - here are a few things I have done in the past to get back on track:
I seek to Understand: I try my utmost to understand, make sense of and peace with what's affecting my sense of self and self-worth
I fake it till I Make It: Optimisim creates resilience. William Blake wrote that each minute was "60 iron doors and 60 golden palaces". I choose Golden Palaces even if in the moment I don't feel particularly optimistic. Also I never confuse my faith that I will prevail in the end, with the discipline to confront the facts, however brutal, of my current situation
I cultivate Wellness: I take care of myself both physically and emotionally - Even if I just walk more and spend just 5 minutes each day doing absolutely nothing, but appreciating the silence and the moment, because that can be enough and enough is all you need
I Assert: I practice being assertive and reaffirm my right and entitlement to be just who I am
I set myself a Challenge: Something that's always outside my comfort zone and I don't just try to achieve it, I try to knock it out of the Ball Park
I Never Talk Myself Down: The Brazilian lyricist and novelist Paulo Coelho writes, "The less you respond to negative people, the better your life will become" - So, no colluding with the negativity that others may lay at your door
I Relate: As John Donne the 17th century English metaphysical poet and Cleric wrote, "No one is an island" and how right he was - Yet if our self-worth has got up and gone, or never even checked-in, it is all too easy to withdraw and push people away - Don't! Everyone needs what Dennis Charney, Dean of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, calls a Tap Code i.e. a set of individuals in their life that they can count on, share feelings with, ask for advice; &
Don't be Afraid to Ask for Help: You owe yourself that much!
And believe me we are better together
We increasingly live in an interconnected world. There will be 50 billion connected electronic devices globally by 2020 and the evidence tells us that as social animals we do better emotionally and intellectually when we are part of something bigger, so don't cut yourself off.
And when you replace your self-doubt with self-worth, this is what you might see:
"I saw a medley of haphazard facts fall into line and order... but its true, I saw for myself, it's very beautiful and it's very true", C P Snow.
Paul Mudd is the author of 'Uncovering Mindfulness: In Search of a Life More Meaningful'. As well as being an occasional contributor to The Huffington Post, he is also a contributing writer to Thrive Global. Through The Mudd Partnership he works with business leaders, organisations and individuals in support of change, leadership excellence, business growth, organisational and individual wellbeing and well doing, and introducing Mindfulness. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and you can follow the continuing journey Uncovering Mindfulness on Twitter @TheMindfulBook and @Paul_Mudd.