The concept of self worth is often shadowed by a much stronger focus on self-esteem. If you are looking to improve how you feel you will most likely be told that you should focus on building up your self-esteem. Don’t get me wrong having self-esteem is important but self-esteem without self-worth is like an eggshell without an egg, or a shiny new car without an engine.

So what is the difference between self-esteem and self worth? The best way to explain this is by thinking of an external and internal self. Self-esteem relates to they way we feel about ourselves externally, i.e. the way we look, feel, act and the way we are perceived. Self-worth on the other hand has more to do with an internal sense of self. Self-worth refers to feelings of importance, belonging and identity. Self-worth involves finding meaning in your life and a sense of ownership or purpose. Another way you may want to think of the difference between self-esteem and self-worth is that self-esteem often is based of materialistic drive or ambitions whereas self-worth are intangible traits that need to be harnessed and cultivated.

Clearly there is a difference between self-esteem and self-worth. If you are trying to take steps in your life to feel better and improve yourself, don’t jump to self-help articles for building your self-esteem. Self-esteem appears to be more about how you present to others whereas self-worth is how you appear to yourself. First and foremost love who you are and what you are. Love every part about you and don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise, because ultimately you are the only person that matters.

Think of your improvement or recovery as the construction of a house where your foundation and frame are your self-worth and the finishes and furnishing are your self-esteem. Do you want to be a house made to impress or made to last?

Thanks for reading 🙂

Posted by Farrel Greenspan. Registered Provisional Psychologist, located in Edmonton Alberta.