“Self-esteem is a bit like walking down the street as if you owned it. Self-worth is walking down the street and not caring who owns it.”John Niland
This fantastic quotation, by the equally fantastic John Niland (Author, Speaker and Business Coach), sums up perfectly the difference between self-esteem and self-worth. In this post, I want to explore more about self-worth, and share some helpful hints and tips...
The subject of self-worth really resonates with me, particularly as I’m someone who has suffered at the hands of low self-esteem. If you were to meet me in person, you would likely not believe that I suffer from low self-esteem. I am genuinely confident, happy, positive and upbeat.
I’ve spoken many times about my business being called “Akeno” because it means “bright and shining” in Japanese, which is a reflection of me and my business, and that is certainly accurate. What you see when you meet me isn’t an act; I am all of those things, however, I can also be crippled by low self-esteem. For example, I do a great job of avoiding the camera, specifically because I hate myself in pictures so much! I therefore make sure I always offer to be designated photographer whenever friends, family or colleagues suggest a group photo!
So, how do you overcome low self-esteem in order to succeed? Self-worth.
Self-worth is a deep and genuine belief in your inherent value as a person; both in your personal life and your business life. If we have an unconditional sense of our own value, we don’t spend our time trying to prove ourselves; we more easily focus on the task in hand.
Self-esteem on the other hand, is the reputation that we have with ourselves, even when no-one is watching. John Niland talks about the need for self-esteem starting early in life. It’s aiming for the highest marks, weight loss, awards, romance, appearance, cars, houses, the best career, affirmations from people around us… As soon as we slip on any of these slightly, we’re hit by a feeling of low self-esteem.
So, how do we improve our self-worth? How do we walk down the street with confidence, but not care who owns it?
I read an article by the Author Stephanie Jade Wong about correcting misunderstandings and misperceptions about self-worth. She listed all the factors that go into self-worth, and outlined what should not determine your inherent value and self-worth. It’s a fantastic summary and a useful set of hints and tips on how to improve our own self-worth…
Take some time to read through the summary above, and assess your own self-worth. Listen carefully, though, self-worth can often talk to you in a quiet whisper, whereas self-esteem shouts loudly. You often have to dig deep and listen carefully to find your inherent value. But when you do, the voice will become stronger and stronger, trust me.