Are self-worth and self-esteem the same?
Self-esteem and self-worth are similar ideas, but they are not one and the same.
Self-esteem: is a measure of your own assessment of your worth, while self-worth is the value you place on yourself.
Self-esteem can be affected by external factors—a bad job interview, a break-up, or even just a bad hair day can impact how you feel about yourself.
Self-worth: however, comes from within. If you know that you have been created in the image of God, your self-worth is unshakeable. Your self-worth is not how others see you or what you do. It is how you see and value yourself.
Not the same
Self-esteem is the part of your brain that thinks “I’m good at this, I like that, I did well there.”
Self-worth is more about “I am good enough, I am worthy of love.”
Here's where it gets tricky.
It’s possible to have high self-esteem, but low self-worth. After all, if you feel good about yourself because people treat you well, then your self-esteem might be high. But that doesn’t mean you believe that you are valuable or important as a person; it just means that other people said nice things to you.
On the other hand, it’s possible to have low self-esteem and high self-worth. You can feel bad about yourself because of something negative that happened to you, but still believe that you are inherently valuable as a person
To increase your self-worth: consider things like practicing gratitude, being kind to yourself, knowing that everyone makes mistakes, working on forgiving yourself for past mistakes, being truthful about your achievements, and being mindful of negative thoughts about yourself.
Self-esteem is like a tick-box. Do you think you're great? Check. You have self-esteem. Self-worth, on the other hand, is more nuanced and introspective. It's a comprehensive assessment of what you can bring to the table.
Self-worth isn't easy to measure, and it's not something you can really learn in school or on the job. It's not a box that can be checked—it's more like a weird shape with edges that fade into infinity as you look at it from different angles.
More importantly, self-worth is not something others can give you. Self-esteem is straightforward: do others think your opinion of yourself is accurate? Can they verify your ability to do the things you say you can do? If so, check that box!
But self-worth is about how YOU feel about what YOU are capable of doing. It's an internal process that doesn't rely on external validation and cannot be measured by someone else—only by yourself.
So do yourself a favor: don't try to check off that box called "self-esteem." Instead, take some time to figure out exactly what makes up your self worth: What makes YOU feel worthy?
Seek and you shall find. Cheering you on.
Chief Worthiness Officer