If You Want to Develop Self-Worth, Do Things That Give You Self-Worth


“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” —Arthur Ashe

Self-esteem is a valuable pursuit. It impacts our decisions, our relationships, and our well-being in both the short and long-term.

When our self-esteem is healthy, it affects everything about us. Equally so, when our self-esteem is unhealthy, it affects everything about us.

It is vitally important. And yet, it is estimated that roughly 85% of people worldwide (adults and adolescents) have low self-esteem.

So how do we overcome this pandemic? Years ago, although I cannot remember the exact source, I heard a life-changing piece of advice, “If you want to develop your self-worth, do things that give you self-worth. You can’t think yourself into feeling better about yourself, but you can intentionally take actions that develop it inside of you.”

I have found this principle to be true in relation to self-esteem, but also in others areas of life as well.

We fall into a trap when we think we need to feel good about ourselves before we can start doing something worthwhile. Because actually, the opposite is true. Action results in better thinking—not the other way around.

You don’t have to wait until everything is perfect before taking a step in the direction of the change you want to see in your life. Take that step—and watch your circumstances change around you.

This principle was powerfully illustrated to me during a trip back in 2014, when my family was researching orphan care around the world in preparation for launching The Hope Effect.

Alongside a group of friends dedicated to the mission, we visited an orphanage in Baja California. While receiving a tour of the grounds, I noticed a small campground on a hill nearby which I asked about.

The Director explained that groups from California often stayed there when they came to volunteer.

Curious, I asked what kind of things they did at the orphanage when they visited.

He replied, “No, they don’t come to work here. They work in the city—teaching English, building homes, or helping one of the local churches. In fact,” he continued, “not only do they not volunteer here, we send our orphaned children with them into the city to volunteer and help with the families living in poverty.”

The Director opened my eyes to a new way to see the world when he continued, “Because,” he said, “the only way to overcome the victim mindset in your life is to begin serving others. Once you do, you realize how much you have to give.”

That profound insight has stuck with me ever since. It further underscores the truth about our self-esteem: Our actions shape how we think about ourselves.

We overcome the victim mindset by actively serving and seeing how much we have to give. And we best develop self-esteem in our own life by engaging in activities that bring it about.

If you are among the 85% of us struggling with self-esteem, here are some ways to change your self-perception:

1. Volunteer and Serve Others

Volunteering is one of the most impactful ways to build self-worth. When we serve others, we shift our focus from our own problems to others in the community. But more than that, we realize how we can help to improve the lives of others and bring about a positive change in the world for someone else.

2. Commit to Mastering a Craft

Whether it’s painting, writing, cooking, or any other skill, committing to mastering a craft can significantly boost our self-esteem. The process of learning and improving builds confidence and a sense of accomplishment.

Of course, you don’t have to become the best at something for this to help, it’s about dedicating ourselves to improvement and enjoying the journey of growth.

3. Create Positive Habits

Developing positive habits, such as regular exercise, healthy eating, reading, or journaling will have a profound impact on our self-worth. These habits improve our physical and mental well-being, provide structure to our lives, and offer a sense of achievement. You can choose whichever positive habits you want to grow in, but I find that when I’m doing these three well, life gets better.

4. Practice a Discipline of Gratitude

Gratitude shifts our focus from what we lack to what we have. By regularly acknowledging and appreciating the good things in our lives, we foster a positive mindset and enhance our self-worth.

Gratitude as a response to circumstances isn’t particularly helpful—because when we need it most, it’s the hardest to find. But developing the discipline of gratitude (practicing it every day regardless of my circumstances), that’s life-changing.

5. Take Small Steps Toward Your Goals

“It’s easier to steer a moving ship,” as the old saying goes. If we wait until we feel fully confident and prepared to start pursuing our goals, we may never begin.

Instead, take small, actionable steps today. Each step, no matter how small, can move us closer to our desired outcome and builds momentum. Whenever we do this, our confidence and self-worth will naturally grow. We don’t feel better about ourselves just at the end of the process, we grow with every single step.

6. Engage in Meaningful Activities

Choose activities that align with your values and passions. Whether it’s supporting a cause you care about, attending a faith service, spending time with loved ones, or pursuing a hobby, engaging in meaningful activities brings fulfillment and reinforces our sense of purpose. These experiences validate our worth and contribute to a more positive self-image.

Start Small, Start Today

Your first step in the right direction doesn’t need to be a big one. But it does need to happen.

I don’t know who needs to hear this, but I know someone does:

Identify one small action you can take today to intentionally move toward greater self-esteem.

Maybe it’s volunteering for an hour, anonymously sending a struggling single-parent a restaurant gift card, picking up an old hobby, deciding to run a 5k, or simply sending a text expressing gratitude to someone in your life.

If you want to be happy, do things that bring lasting happiness. If you want to be grateful, practice gratitude regularly. If you want to feel more confident, step out of your comfort zone and take on new challenges. If you want to be a leader, begin to lead.

And if you want to increase your self-esteem, do things that give you self-esteem. The entire world will benefit from it and we’re all cheering for you.

Source link

Share this article

Recent posts

Popular categories


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Recent comments

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons