Having a high self-esteem is key to positive mental health and well-being. This week, Counsellor Sarah Barr shares ways to change how you value yourself.

Self-worth is knowing that you are good enough and worthy of love. It is being able to validate yourself from within and not relying on external validation.

Below are 7 beliefs that can help your self-worth:

1. No matter what, I’m worthy of love.
Someone who has a high sense of self-worth takes responsibility and accountability for their mistakes. However they don’t put themselves down unnessessarily, instead they are able recognise that they did a bad a thing instead of labelling themselves as a being a bad person.

2. Things do not define me.
Your worth is not defined by what you wear, the car you drive or where you live.
We all enjoy external things, yet someone who has higher levels of self-worth does not attach these to their identity. The things they have or don’t have does not make them any more or less of a person.

3. All my feelings are valid.
Knowing all your emotions are important both the positive and negative feelings. Emotions are tools that help us to process what is happening, what has been triggered and overall help us to become more self-aware.

4. Enjoy my own company.
A person with higher levels of self-worth enjoy spending time with family and friends but equally enjoy their own company. They are not worried about missing out or being left out. They know what other people think of them is none of their business. They create healthy and firm boundaries, not needing to be liked by everyone but instead having people in their life that they trust and want.

5. Responding instead of reacting.
People who have a high sense of self-worth focus on the fact that they are responsible for their feelings, thoughts, and actions.
Instead of focusing on what is wrong and becoming stuck in a negative though pattern, they focus on solutions. Acknowledge their feelings, forgive themselves, take accountability for their actions and move forward. 

6. I see myself in others.
Self-worth requires the belief that the world is a like a mirror. If people are judging you, it’s because you are reflecting a part of them that they have yet to accept or triggering an insecurity.Their judgment may hurt, but it is about them, it their “stuff”.

This is also true for when you judge other people. Whatever you see in someone else is something you have in you. You could look at this as an opportunity for you to learn more about yourself.

7. Grateful.
Remind yourself everyday what you are grateful for and why. If you are going to compare yourself with anyone, compare yourself with your past self and reflect on how far you have come.

Take all the compliments, say thank you instead of shrugging them off. Even keep a compliment log and read over them regularly.

Finally: own who you are and be your authentic self!

Take care, Sarah.