Aren’t self-esteem and self-worth the same thing? They are not, but are both important. Let’s start first with self-esteem since that seems to be referred to most often.

Self-esteem is primarily built upon sources outside of yourself that you don’t control. It is thoughts and feelings you experience at each moment that have a direct impact on your results, behavior, and performance. Your self-esteem is derived from what you think others “think” of you based on your results and actions and can shift with changing opinions and circumstances. However, this isn’t true for people who have a high level of self-worth. A high degree of self-worth naturally enhances our self-esteem, thereby providing us with the self-confidence needed to follow through with our chosen decisions and actions.

Self-worth is an internal state of being that comes from self-understanding, self-love, and self-acceptance. It’s a state that is somewhat timeless and unchanging because it’s a direct measure of how you value and regard yourself despite what others may say or do. It is steady and unflinching, and therefore, holds power to radically transform your life for the better. To have a high level of self-worth means having a favorable opinion of yourself, feeling worthy of good things, deserving of happiness, health, wealth, success, and love — irrespective of the difficulties you face, the disappointments you experience, or of people’s opinions. You alone are the most significant factor in how you feel about yourself, about your life, and about your circumstances which is where your personal power comes from.

Start building your self-worth:

1: Understand Your Self
Your first step involves getting to know yourself at a deeper and more profound level. Realize that no matter what happens externally and no matter what’s taken away from you, you are not affected internally. Accept the fact that we’re only human, with our own weaknesses, and our own personal struggles. Your strengths are the things that help build your self-confidence. They are the things that allow you to move forward with greater self-assurance. However, true strengths are only strengths by your own measure, that’s essentially what truly matters when it comes to building your self-worth.

2: Accept Your Self
Acknowledging your true nature including the good, the bad, and the ugly. You have flaws, you’ve made mistakes, and you have failed miserably time and again. Forgive yourself for everything you’ve done in the past and accept yourself unconditionally without judgment or excuses. Fully accept every part of yourself including flaws, fears, behaviors, and qualities you might not be too proud of. This is critical for developing a high level of self-worth.

3: Love Your Self
Treat yourself with kindness, tolerance, generosity, and compassion. Compassion, of course, comes through self-love, which comes from self-acceptance, which stems from self-understanding. Speak to yourself in a positive and supportive way. “I feel valued and special…”, “I love myself wholeheartedly…”, “I am a worthy and capable person…”. This brings your focus and attention to the beauty hidden within you.

4: Recognition
You openly recognize you no longer need to please other people. No matter what people do or say, you alone control your own perspective and attitude. Recognize your true value regardless of your earnings, career, possessions, social rank, relationship status, etc. Your true value comes from an internal measure that you’ve set for yourself. And that’s where true personal power comes from.

5: Responsibility
Take full responsibility for your life, your circumstances, and your problems without giving away your personal power. Acknowledge that you have the personal power to change and influence the events and circumstances of your life.

When you have a high level of self-worth, you no longer rely on other people to make decisions for you, you alone hold the power to make positive changes in your life. No more complaining, blaming, judgment, or excuses. You are steady, self-assured, accept yourself fully, love yourself unconditionally, and recognize that you’re the captain of your ship. While the outside world is a crazy mess, your inner world is as steady as can be.