Self-Worth vs Self-Esteem – What is the Difference?

Written by Karl Perera, MA, DipLC 

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What is the difference between self worth and self esteem?

These two terms can be confused because they are closely related to each other, but if I can, I’d like to clear up this confusion immediately for you.

Self worth is your own self-evaluation in terms of understanding your positive qualities and accomplishments. Meanwhile, self esteem is the measure of your self-value or how worthy you perceive yourself to be.

According to Baumeister (1991), self-worth is one of four main pillars upon which a positive outlook on life is formed. The others are purpose, values and efficacy.

How are self esteem and self worth related?

Self esteem and self worth are two different concepts. Self esteem is how someone feels about themselves. And self worth is how much they feel that they deserve.

Self esteem is a feeling or perception of one’s own worth, value, or importance, while self-worth refers to the degree to which one likes or respects oneself.

Self esteem may be considered a good thing because it gives people confidence in themselves and their abilities. However, too much self-esteem can also be damaging because it can lead to overconfidence and a lack of motivation for improvement.

Self esteem is how someone feels about themselves and their abilities. It is the confidence they have in their actions. Self-worth, on the other hand, is the value a person places on themselves. It’s how much someone believes they are worth to others.

People with low self-esteem tend to be quite hard on themselves and do not feel good about their talents or abilities. They may also blame themselves for things that go wrong in life and not take ownership over anything that goes right in life. On the other hand, people with high self-esteem tend to have a very optimistic outlook on life and feel good about themselves no matter what happens.

Self worth is also an important part of improving your mood overall because if we feel like we have accomplished something then we will see ourselves in a better light as well as others seeing us in that light too.

How does self-esteem impact self-worth?

People with high self-esteem will be more confident in themselves and believe that they are worth something. This means that they will have a higher chance of going after goals and working towards them.

People with low self-esteem on the other hand will doubt themselves and believe that they are not worth anything, making them feel insecure. This can lead to people not taking risks, not pursuing goals, and being satisfied with being mediocre.

Do you have high or low levels of self worth? How do you know?

This is the type of thing that is very difficult to measure. One way to determine if you have high levels of self worth or low levels of self worth is looking at your feelings on a day-to-day basis. If you’re feeling good about yourself, your capabilities and your life, then you are likely considered to have high levels of self worth. If you routinely feel like there’s something wrong with you and that you are not as good as other people, then it’s possible that your self-worth levels are lower than what they should be.

What are some Examples of Low Self Worth Behaviour and Thinking?

Low self worth is a term that encompasses a number of thoughts and behaviours. One of the most common is people who are constantly seeking external validation for their own worth.

Low self-worth can be seen in many different ways, but it typically manifests through an individual displaying some of the following traits:

– Constantly seeking external validation

– Unhealthy need to be ‘perfect’ in order to please others

– Low opinion of themselves and their abilities, even when they are successful or talented

Other Negative Examples of Poor Self Worth

When people are not in a healthy state of self-worth, they will be more likely to lash out at others who do nothing wrong. They will also have lower self-esteem and feel less confident.

People who have low self worth are often more vulnerable to certain illnesses and mental health conditions because they don’t feel that they can control their own lives and the only thing left is external control.

Self worth is the measure of how much you value yourself or your sense of self-respect. A person with an appropriate level of self worth will generally believe that their opinions, thoughts, feelings, knowledge are as important as anyone else’s.

What can be done to increase your levels of self worth and self esteem?

Self-worth is defined as the value or worth that a person assigns to themselves. Self-esteem is the feeling of self-worth, self-respect, or self-regard.

We all have a tendency to put ourselves down and focus on the things we can’t do, but we should really be focusing on what we can do. We are all unique and have something special to offer the world so we need to start acknowledging this more often and start doing things that make us happy.

We place a lot of value on our self worth. It is important to think about what we might be doing to lower our self-esteem.

Self worth is one of the most important things in life. We should always be proud of ourselves and of what we have accomplished. But how can we improve our self worth?

Wills (1981) claims that one common way many increase self worth is by comparing themselves to others who are worse off than them in some way. Another is taking credit for successes but blaming someone or something for your failures (Bradley, 1978).

We can improve our self worth by working hard on what we love to do. It doesn’t necessarily mean that we should work as hard as possible and neglect other aspects of our lives like family, friends, hobbies, etc. Building a good lifestyle is also important to have a healthy body and mind.

Self-worth is something that starts from within us. People who are confident and happy with themselves will always hold their head high even if they don’t have the approval of others.

Steps You Can Take to Improve Your Self Worth

The first thing that we need to do in order to determine our self worth is figure out the time, effort, and commitment we have put into our lives. We can do this by looking at what we have accomplished with the help of others. Then, we need to acknowledge all of the challenges and failures that came with those accomplishments.

References

Baumeister, R. F. (1991). Meanings of life . New York: Guilford.Meaning in Positive and Existential Psychology, edited by Alexander Batthyany, and Pninit Russo-Netzer, Springer New York, 2014. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/anglia/detail.action?docID=1730877.Created from anglia on 2021-08-12 14:38:26.

Bradley, G. W. (1978). Self-serving biases in the attribution process: A reexamination of the fact or fiction question. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 36 , 56– 71.Meaning in Positive and Existential Psychology, edited by Alexander Batthyany, and Pninit Russo-Netzer, Springer New York, 2014. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/anglia/detail.action?docID=1730877.Created from anglia on 2021-08-12 14:40:52.

Russo-Netzer, Pninit., and Alexander. Batthyany. Meaning in Positive and Existential Psychology. 1st ed. New York, NY: Springer New York, 2014. Print.

Wills, T. A. (1981). Downward comparison principles in social psychology. Psychological Bulletin, 90 , 245– 271.Meaning in Positive and Existential Psychology, edited by Alexander Batthyany, and Pninit Russo-Netzer, Springer New York, 2014. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/anglia/detail.action?docID=1730877.Created from anglia on 2021-08-12 14:39:39.

Website Author and Your Guide

Karl Perera is a fully qualified Life Coach (DipLC), Teacher (MA), and author of the book Self Esteem Secrets. He has taught at various universities including Durham, Leicester and Anglia Ruskin, Cambridge. He has run More-SelfEsteem.com since 1997 since suffering from low self esteem for more than 25 years overcoming it in his thirties.