Self worth. What does that mean? It’s not self esteem, but rather, it is more about feeling worthy.
I’ll admit it. There are days that I can feel little worth. I come home from work, defeated, because I waited all day for a “thank you” or a”good job” or a smile.
And I got nothing.
According to an article on PsychAlive, studies now show that basing one’s self-worth on external factors is actually harmful to one’s mental health.
Jennifer Crocker, PhD, a psychologist at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research, did a study of 600 college students during their Freshman year. Their self esteem was pretty high, in general. Go frosh!
When students were asked about what they base their self-worth on, more than 80 percent said academic competence, 77 percent said their family’s support, 66 percent said doing better than others, and 65 percent–70 percent of which were women–said their appearance.
Yikes. Lots of external factors. The people who focused more on external praise had….more stress, anger…..alcohol and drug use, as well as more symptoms of eating disorders. Ding. Ding. Ding. Yep. Yep. That’s me.
But I’m not a college freshman. I’m a 42-year-old woman who is still working on conquering perfectionism and finding her self worthiness from external sources.
So how what to do? Dr. Lisa Firestone called it our “inner critic.” How does one quash the inner critic and just embrace ourselves as we are?
One of the things that I’ve been doing is to focus on self care and less on my people pleasing. It’s hard, especially for those people who are use to me puckering up to them all of these years. But I have to be honest. My true friends…the people that really care about me….are encouraging me to do this. They aren’t challenging me looking out for myself. They’re actually supporting it.