Self-esteem is a standard of measurement or value judgment defining how we feel about ourselves and our worth. It is ultimately an emotional evaluation and most often based on how we stand up to and compare ourselves to others. These types of emotions are a rollercoaster ride of feelings. They are fluctuating and deceptive at best. We see ourselves as better than some but at the same time, not as good as others.
Self-value or self-worth is a close cousin of self-esteem and often used as a synonym. However, it is a function of how we value and treat ourselves and our inherent worth as a human and less about measuring ourselves based on external conditions and actions as one does with self-esteem. It is more behavioral than emotional and not based on what others think but about how we act towards the things we value – the things we believe are ultimately important in our daily life and work. Self-worth comes from within and is the only type of worth we can control. In other words, it is less about what we do and more about who we are.
If we truly want our life to flourish, we must work on ourselves first. If we don't understand our own self-worth, we will never appreciate and truly love ourselves and can never pass this feeling on to others. Rather than chasing a temporary, fleeting boost in self-esteem to feel our self-worth, we need to start measuring our self-worth by who we are at our core.
"Core self" is a term often used in magazines or online articles. But, what exactly does it mean?
According to Rachel Eddins, "our core self is our true self, our most authentic self". It is our personality and values, our "inner wisdom, inner nurturer, wise self, feeling self – our inner voice".
It is not our thoughts, but rather the part of us that observes our thoughts and recognises and alerts us to our negative thoughts and patterns.
It is our core essence – our intuition. When operating from this essence, we tap into our true, deep authentic feelings.
A strong core-self connection is essential and the key to persevering through life's toughest challenges. When connecting to our core values, we assume responsibility, taking a leadership role for ourselves. It requires a healthy dose of self-respect, self-love and honest reflection. We make necessary changes and take action steps that move us closer to what we really want out of life.
The truth is, we all have more power than we claim to change all aspects of our lives, from physical and mental, to our finances and our daily lifestyle habits. That power lies in the present moment, not in our daydreams about the future or disappointments about the past. It's a present moment experience.
Rather than waste time and energy by sitting in judgment for past actions or waiting for future dreams or expectations to materialise, we must accept that we are empowered to act now and make the necessary changes that contribute to our self-worth. Procrastination empowers laziness, not success.
We must begin focusing on the things that charge our energy rather than depleting it. That means discovering more about ourselves and what contributes to our happiness and eliminating anything that doesn't.
Focusing on the health of our body, mind and emotional state must become our priority. We must address our personal health issues, nutritional needs, exercise and sleep requirements as well as how much quality me-time and time with others we have allotted in our busy schedules.
Without proper sleep, our body cannot repair organs and tissues and operate effectively. Without proper nutrition, it won't have the reserves necessary to properly maintain bodily functions. And, without proper exercise, the body no longer produces healthy, lean muscle tissue, negatively affecting ligaments, joints and the strength of our overall muscular frame - and that's just the short-list.
When we take care of ourselves and spend more time doing what we love and enjoy, we open our mindsets to embrace positivity and new opportunities and shut the door on disappointment, disillusion, and despair.
Connecting to our core values is not a one-time activity. It is a lifelong practice of maintaining and strengthening our core connection and living authentically. Along the way, we'll face some negative demons that have managed to super-glue themselves to our thoughts. However, this time we come prepared with a strong connection to our core values (our own super-glue remover) and we come out on the winning side, stripping our negative demons of their power.
Wise words often come from the youngest, purest hearts. This beautiful affirmation by Bindi Irwin will gently remind you of what self-love and self-worth really are. Put it where you can easily see it and repeat it often: "To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don't need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself."
And, to that already powerful affirmation, add this, "you must also be willing to walk away from anything or anyone that is no longer serving your needs, helping you grow and evolve or contributing to your happiness".
Connecting to our core selves and acting authentically is the only true path to real happiness and success. Everything else is a temporary illusion.
Discover, honour and live from your core values and you'll be able to take on anything in
life with vitality, empowerment and passion.