Self-Love – The Key to Your Personal Empowerment

Part 3: Self-Worth – The Next Building Block to Loving Yourself Fully

This is part 3 in a 5 part blog series, so if you’ve missed the others, be sure to check them out. Part 1 is all about the basics of self-love and what actually defines it. Part 2 dives deep into the first aspect of self-awareness, which is the foundation for not only self-love, but also for all personal growth and transformation. In today’s exploration, we will be diving into the second aspect of self-love, and that is the concept of self-worth.

Self-worth often gets confused with self-esteem. Unlike self-esteem, which has more to do with how we generally feel about ourselves, self-worth focuses more on the level of value that we place on ourselves. Merriam Webster dictionary defines self-worth as “a feeling that you are a good person who deserves to be treated with respect.” Even with this definition, it can be extremely easy to fall into the trap of measuring ourselves and our value by outside standards such as the ranking in our jobs, or our ranking in society as a whole, but a healthy self-worth is not about this kind of measurement. A truly healthy self-worth is about valuing who you are as a person, not what you do, and a healthy self-worth is one based on your own standards, not those of society or of others outside of you.

Very often people will also gauge their self-worth on the status of their relationships. However, the danger of gauging your self-worth on your relationship status is that we only think we are deserving of love when we are receiving it from someone outside of us. We are literally giving away our power by not loving ourselves first. This kind of limiting belief (often an underlying, subconsciously held belief) is extremely detrimental to our self-love. If we are being led by this kind of belief, we are setting ourselves up for disappointment in our relationships, and we are disempowering ourselves.

A healthy self-worth is not dependent on outside circumstances and this especially includes relationships. When we have a healthy self-worth, and practice loving ourselves regularly, we can have more meaningful and deeper relationships as a result. Essentially, the better we love ourselves, the better we can love another, and the better we can receive love from another.

Developing a healthy self-worth is an ever evolving practice, much like self-awareness. Are you catching the vibe here after reading the previous self love articles? All of these things that relate to loving ourselves, to becoming better versions of ourselves, etc – they are always in process. There isn’t a finish line, as these aspects of ourselves are ever evolving and ever changing, just like we are as individuals, so how do we tackle this, knowing there is no finish line? The key to developing a healthy self-worth and empowering ourselves starts with self acceptance.

We empower ourselves and show ourselves love through self-acceptance when we choose to love and accept every part of ourselves, even the parts that we may be aware of that aren’t the “brightest” or the parts that we don’t particularly like. This is especially true when it comes to the mistakes we make, or the high standards that we set for ourselves that we don’t always hit. Practicing acceptance of these things doesn’t mean we don’t want to change them or that we don’t want to improve, it just means that we can recognize that we are human, we are not perfect, and expecting perfection is harmful to our self-worth and to our self-love.

Practicing self acceptance begins with practicing self forgiveness, and recognizing that perfection in any aspect of life is not a realistic goal. I frequently invite my clients to talk to themselves the way they would talk to their best friend or a dear loved one. So often, we end up beating ourselves up and holding ourselves to standards that we would never expect from those we love; standards that are so unattainable we have no choice but to not live up to them. By simply accepting the idea that we are not perfect, and that we are not meant to be perfect, we open the door to self acceptance, and we empower ourselves by practicing and creating a healthy self-worth.

Having a healthy self-worth also directly relates to how we relate with that good ol’ inner critic, and this is a key aspect in self-acceptance. A key in changing how we relate to the inner critic lies in the practice and development of self-awareness which was already discussed in this blog post. As we become more aware of our conditioned behaviors, we start to see ourselves in a more loving way, so when that inner critic comes up to put us down, we are able to stay positive and develop a strong sense of self-worth. As we become more practiced in self-acceptance, we are also able to “converse” with this inner critic in a way that is loving and beneficial instead of one that is negative and non accepting.

It is important to recognize that the inner critic does indeed come from a loving place in you. In reality, it is motivating you to do your absolute best, and sometimes that “tough love” kind of motivation is exactly what we need. However, this kind of self-talk becomes detrimental to our self-worth when it is the only way we engage ourselves, and when we are constantly trying to live up to those standards of perfectionism or hold ourselves accountable to unrealistic goals.

If you’re struggling with taming your inner critic, or if you find yourself stuck or lost in the views that your inner critic paints for you, 1:1 Coaching can be a great place to learn new strategies and new ways of relating to your inner critic. Applying to work with me is free, and I would love to be able to guide you into a deeper, more loving relationship with yourself, so apply today!

Another great way to increase your self-worth is by engaging in meaningful activities that allow you to be of service to others. This can be as small as helping someone carry their groceries to their car or home, or as large as volunteering at a local non-profit for a cause that you are passionate about. Whatever you can do to help yourself live up to your own personal, loving, and realistic standards, you can utilize in your path to building your self-worth.The key is to give yourself grace, and understand no one is perfect and no one is meant to be perfect.

As we develop a healthier sense of self-worth, we gain more access to our inherent personal power. When we show ourselves self-love through a strong, positive self-worth, we grow in our resiliency. We have more energy and motivation to continue on in life, even if it is challenging or difficult. Life is always a series of ups and downs, so the more personal power we have, the better we are. Growing in our self-worth gives us access to that personal power. 

If you’d like to engage in a fun activity to get to know yourself a bit deeper and develop a deeper understanding of your self worth, I highly recommend this tool from Positive Psychology. I often utilize their tools and resources in my coaching sessions, but this one is available to anyone for free so check it out!

Be sure to check out the next article in this 5 part series that dives into self-esteem. If you haven’t already, also be sure to check out the previous 2 articles in this series that define self-love, and dive into self-awareness, the key to all personal transformation and the key to creating and maintaining a healthy state of self-love.

Self-Love: The Key to Your Personal Empowerment

Part 2 of 5 – Self Awareness as the Foundation to Self-Love

If you missed part 1 of this 5 part blog series, I encourage you to read it here. In this blog series, we are exploring how self-love is the key to your empowerment. In that exploration, we are diving into the 4 aspects of self-love: self-awareness, (which we will cover today) self-worth, self-esteem and self-care. 

Of these 4 defining aspects of self-love, self awareness is the foundation that all other aspects lie upon. Not only is self-awareness the foundation to self-love, but it is the foundation and the key to all personal growth and transformation.The deeper of an understanding we have of self-awareness, the more empowered we become in our lives to embody that awareness, and to gain the benefits of the magic that comes along with it. 

Like many things in the world of mental health and well being, definitions can vary, however, psychologists Shelly Duval and Robert Wicklund give us a great definition of self-awareness: “Self-awareness is the ability to focus on yourself and how your actions, thoughts, or emotions do or don’t align with your internal standards.” In other words, self-awareness can be seen as being honest with ourselves about who we are, inside and out, and doing our best to understand how we are interpreted by others around us. The more self-aware we are, the more honest we are with ourselves about our actual well being and how our actions affect not only ourselves, but also those around us. 

A crucial piece of self-awareness is personal responsibility. The more responsible we are for ourselves, the more personal power we have access to. By becoming aware of how we operate internally and being honest with ourselves about our conditioned behavioral patterns, we can become aware of our “programming,” and we can lovingly adapt and grow into a more conscious and empowered version of ourselves. This is a process, and is something that we are always evolving in, and it isn’t always easy, but you don’t have to go at it alone. 1:1 coaching sessions can help provide you with the space, tools, and resources necessary to become aware of your “programming” and to reprogram and recondition yourself into your highest potential. 

Self-awareness isn’t always a “positive” experience. It can be painful to recognize that we have triggers that lead to conditioned behavioral patterns that cause recurrent issues in our lives, and this is where having a coach can be greatly beneficial. For instance, being honest and recognizing that we nag our partners with our grievances, or engage in passive aggressive behaviors, rather than being open about our feelings in our relationships can be a hard thing to recognize about ourselves. We might have to admit that our perceived relationship problems are not solely the other person’s fault, as we take responsibility for our conditioned behaviors. 

The majority of our coping mechanisms and relationship communication patterns are developed in our younger years, between the ages of 8 and 14, and so most of our behaviors as adults are actually just pre-programmed responses to experiences we had in our adolescence. The more aware we become of our patterns and of our conditioning, the more control we have over them, and the more personal power we can gain. Self-awareness is an ever evolving skill, and it isn’t something that we just one day master. It is something that we must always be paying attention to, and always have on our radar. 

We show ourselves love through self-awareness by taming the inner critic and by re-parenting ourselves. When we come face to face with the conditioned ways of behaving that cause issues in our lives, we are given a choice to lovingly accept ourselves and allow for change or to choose to let the inner critic drive and subsequently “get down” on ourselves. As we practice self-awareness and do so in loving ways, we effectively become the perfect parent to ourselves. 1:1 coaching sessions offer you the space to lovingly work on taming your inner critic, and provides you with tools and resources to overcome your conditioning and to empower yourself in your life. Apply for free today to see if working with me would be a good fit for you.

Lastly I’ll leave you with one of my favorite tools to increase self-awareness and to become aware of internal patterns and conditioning. It is a series of teachings by Richard Rudd known as the Gene Keys. This is one of the tools I utilize in my coaching. It is a beautiful synthesis of wisdom, archetypes and various teachings that allow for deep contemplation of our lives so that we can understand our hidden potential. It allows us to look inside while also looking outside and gives us a structure through which to recognize patterns and conditioning. If this is something that interests you, I invite you to contact me directly to discuss offerings I have available to assist you in your Gene Keys study and voyage. 

In the next piece of this blog series we’ll discuss the second aspect of self-love, which is self-worth. Stay tuned and if you haven’t signed up for email updates, be sure to do so that you can stay up to date with this and other great blog posts all designed to empower you.

Self Love – The Key to Your Personal Empowerment

Part 1 of 5

By now, most of us have heard about self-care, self-love and all of the things associated with it. There is an entire industry dedicated to “self-care” that will sell you all things soft, cuddly, and sudsy. Self-care spa day anyone? However, I’m here to tell you that self-care and self-love are about a lot more than a spa day, cuddly clothes, and treating yourself to a massage. Not that those aren’t great things to engage in, but self-love is much deeper than those acts. Self-love is a prime factor when it comes to embodying your full potential and feeling empowered as a person. The question is, what exactly is self-love? How can we practice it? And what about it unlocks our personal power

In this 5 part blog post, we will explore what exactly self-love is and how we can more readily achieve each of the aspects of self love.

How do we define Self-Love?

The term self-love gets thrown around a lot these days, but when I talk to my clients about it, no one really has a clear picture of what it exactly means. In fact, it is one of the topics that every client I’ve ever had ends up working on in our sessions.

Like many of these self-development concepts, it is important to define them for yourself, as we are all unique beings. However, having a foundation from which to start that definition is key to developing a strong understanding and definition of the concept for yourself. The more that you understand and are aware of something, the more empowered you are in that area, so by developing a deeper understanding of self-love and a better relationship with it in your life, you are empowering yourself to grow and thrive.

Self-love is the overarching term that explains how we treat ourselves with care, both physically and non-physically. In short, self-love is the measurement by which you value yourself and what you do to show yourself that value. Even though that seems like a pretty clear explanation, it still leaves room for further clarity and definition. 

Perhaps one of the best definitions that I’ve managed to find in regards to self-love comes from Mental Health Advocate Sarah-Len Mutiwasekwa. She states that self-love can be broken down into 4 areas: self-awareness, self-worth, self-esteem, and self-care. If one of these aspects is absent in our lives, then we are not really giving ourselves complete self-love. So what are each of these lenses of self-love and how do we go about ensuring we are experiencing and practicing all of them?

In the next 4 blog posts, we’ll go into further detail on each of these 4 aspects of self love, but for now we can give a brief explanation of each. 

Self-awareness is the ultimate foundation of not only self-love, but also all personal growth and transformation. Self-awareness is basically exactly what it sounds like, how aware of yourself are you? How honest are you about yourself? How aware are you of your conditioning? Of your motivations? Your triggers? Your emotional state? etc.

Self-worth is the value that you place on yourself, and it is based upon your personal values that you hold. How we choose to value ourselves, and what factors we gauge that value on are unique to each of us as individuals, but you can see that without self awareness, we aren’t able to understand what our personal values are. Without self-awareness, we aren’t truly able to define our values or know our self-worth.

Self-esteem is a term that we’ve all heard throughout our lives, and unlike the value defined piece of self-worth, self-esteem has more to do with how we feel about ourselves. This again is build upon the foundation of self-awareness, and even still, builds upon our understanding of our self-worth. How do we feel about ourselves once we are aware enough to know our self-worth?

The final piece of self-love is self-care. This is yet another “loaded” term that has been thrown around a ton, especially in the personal development and wellness industries. Self-care is more than just a spa day to feel better. Self-care comes down to everything we do to show ourselves that we are aware of ourselves and that we do in fact love ourselves. You can think of the former 3 aspects of self-love as the defining parts of self-love, and self-care brings it all together as the encompassing behaviors of expressing and showing our selves that love. 

In the next 4 blog posts of this 5 piece series, we will break down each aspect of self-love and dive deeper into the understanding and defining of this concept so that you can become more empowered in your life. Stay tuned for more!

If you’re looking for support in empowering yourself and defining and implementing self-love, I encourage you to apply for FREE to 1:1 coaching and/or to check out the monthly meetings of the Women’s Empowerment Community Circle in Colorado Springs – a virtual circle is coming soon so that you can be a part of this community no matter where you are. You are worthy of love and support, and I am honored to help be that support.