I really thought that I was prioritizing myself and practising self-care. I felt confident I was moving forward and felt gratitude for everything I had in my life. Why would I then question whether I was “Undervaluing myself”?
To understand my dilemma, I needed to first understand the concept of what it means to value myself, so I looked a little deeper and researched the difference between “Self-esteem” and “Self-value”. I also looked at people who embodied the principle of having “high self-value” and what became obvious was that they prioritized their physical care, psychological health, growth, and development and they appreciate their own better qualities (even while trying to improve their lesser ones).
So what is the difference between “Self Esteem and Self-care”?
- SELF-ESTEEM is how you FEEL about yourself, sadly based mostly on COMPARISON to others.
- SELF-VALUE on the other hand is more BEHAVIOURAL than emotional. It is about how you act toward what you value, including yourself instead of how you feel about yourself compared to others.
I have been making self-care a priority these days, as life is just too short. As much as I consider myself a nurturer, what I have come to understand about myself is that my empathic nature automatically defaults to taking care of others and taking on the emotions of others. If there is any advice I can impart, it would be to encourage you to look at ways that you may be acting against your best self, and perhaps devaluing yourself.
I have also included a couple of steps which you could take action on now:
- Look at what your values are. Your values are about what you value in your life the most. Create a definition of what your version of success looks like based around these values.
- Look at those external qualities that you are using as a yardstick for your inner self-worth. These are qualities that can only be externally validated. I want you to make a list of these.
- Look at all those human qualities that you value. Some examples may include personal integrity, self-love, the ability to show love, kindness, having a sense of humour, self-confidence, honesty, being true to oneself, affection, gratitude and so on. Now list out yours.
After you are done, I want you to have a look at your two lists, from 2. and 3. and look at what holds more value for you? It should be the list that carries a feeling of inner calm and a power that cannot be dulled by external voices. The list that has more human values.
It may seem obvious to you now that it is pointless to place your value on external appearances that are subject to opinion.
You should be creating a list of values that you can honour. When you are committed to your deepest values, you are creating a life that is filled with purpose, conviction, and compassion. When you violate these values you experience guilt, shame, and anxiety.
Some great points to hold onto…
- Commit to making your physical health important. What you eat and how you move your body, will say so much about how you feel about yourself.
- When you value others, you value yourself more—you will elevate your sense of well-being and facilitate your health, growth, and development.
- There are times when you are going to feel in a powerless state and feel devalued.
A quick way to move past this feeling is to be compassionate, kind, or loving
You should only act on what is truly important to you.
If you think about it, often some of the big mistakes are made when you have made a decision towards someone or something with a choice that was of lesser importance to you.