What Does It Mean to Know Your Worth?

“Know your worth” is a phrase that is repeated so often that it is borderline cliché, but it is such an important mantra to incorporate into your daily life. This phrase is often offered as advice to those who are dealing with issues within their romantic lives, but it can and should be applied to all relationships, situations, and circumstances in life. Knowing your worth allows you to build your self esteem, avoid being taken advantage of, and to reach your personal and professional goals. Many people speak on knowing your worth as an abstract idea, but here are a few practical steps and methods to implement in your life in order to truly recognize your self-worth. These tips can be applied to your love life, friendships, career, and your everyday life.

Learn to love yourself.

Learning to love yourself is the first and most important step when it comes to getting to know your worth. You will never truly value yourself as a person without first establishing a sense of love for yourself. Loving yourself allows you to put your own self care first when faced with situations that test your boundaries and jeopardize your personal values. When you lack love for yourself, you will find yourself verbally putting yourself down, and physically and mentally abusing your own body, and in doing so, you give others the permission to do the same. 

A great practical exercise to perform when learning to love yourself is to make a list of all of the things that you like about yourself. This list can include anything from your personality traits, to your physical appearance, to your talents, and the ways in which you treat others. Another helpful exercise is the repetition of daily affirmations in the mirror, or even in the car during your morning commute. Even if you don’t fully believe them at first, repeating positive phrases to yourself over time will increase your identification with them and increase the love that you have for yourself.

Don’t rely on anyone else to teach you your worth.

You can never rely on another person to teach you your own self-worth. As the self half of the compound word implies, your self-worth has to come from within. Even the most positive and motivating person in your life cannot convince you of your own worth if you do not believe in it for yourself. Even more so, you will encounter individuals in your life who will try to take you down a peg or two in order to make you easier to take advantage of and manipulate. If you do not possess your own strong sense of worth, it will be easier for this type of individual to infiltrate your positive space. Practicing self love exercises and the following methods of learning your worth will help you to find your value from within.

Never settle.

When it comes to knowing my own worth, the trap of settling is the one that gives me the most resistance. Because of my piscesean tendency towards laziness, I often find myself settling for less than I deserve, especially if it seems to be the easier option in comparison to going after what I truly desire. Just last year, I found myself stuck in a dead-end job as an administrative assistant where I was performing the duties of three employees while receiving the paycheck of half of an employee. Due to my lack of self worth at the time, I settled for this job and feared putting in the work it would take to pursue a position with higher pay that I would truly enjoy simply because I didn’t realize that I deserved it. After doing some self-work and learning my value as an employee, I finally left the position in order to further advance my education and take a job that fit the description of what I truly wanted to do. 

Set boundaries and stick to your values.

People who know their worth and have a great deal of respect and love for themselves find it easy to set boundaries in order to protect themselves from requests and expectations from others that are not in line with their own personal values. A common area of life that this arises in is within personal relationships. As a people pleaser who finds it hard to say no, learning to set boundaries was a crucial step in my journey towards personal growth. I’ve had to learn to not always be an available ear for others to unload their frustrations upon; I’ve had to distance myself from negative people; and, I’ve had to end romantic relationships that were heading in a direction that was out of line with my own personal values and desires. All of these things are difficult to do, but in knowing your own worth, you have to learn to put your own comfort first. This does not mean that you shouldn’t care about others, but you must never do so in a way that puts someone else’s needs above your own.

Accept that you will lose people and perceived opportunities along the way.

In implementing all of these things, it is possible that you will lose people and perceived opportunities along the way. This will seem like a negative impact of knowing your worth at first, but in the end you will realize that this was just a form of cleansing those who bring negative energy into your life out of your personal space. The people and opportunities that are removed from your life as a result of the increase of your self-worth would have most likely turned into obstacles blocking the people and opportunities that are truly worth your time and energy from entering your life. In the end the power of knowing your worth is more valuable than anything these people and opportunities could’ve offered you, and you will end up attracting things that are much better for you.

Remember that knowing your worth is an ongoing practice. Although I have been working on this and have known these tips for quite some time, I still have moments of weakness where I find myself settling for less or compromising my personal boundaries and values. The important thing is to recognize this when it happens and to do the work that needs to be done in order to get back on track.

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