13 Things That Don't Determine Your Self-Worth (2023)

”Your value doesn’t decrease based on someone’s inability to see your worth.” - Unknown

For years, I’ve wondered about my worth.

It all started after I watched the movie The Joy Luck Club. In one scene, the mother tells her daughter a story about worth. The mother explains, “My mother not know her worth until too late; too late for her, but not for me. Now, we will see if not too late for you, hmm?”

The movie made me think: How do I know my worth, and how do I know it before it’s too late?

Do You Know Your Worth?

Self-worth is how you value yourself. It’s not based on what others think of you or the things you have (or haven’t) accomplished—it comes from within. But it’s easy to forget that our worth isn’t determined by outside forces.

In an article for Psychology Today, Amy Morin, L.C.S.W., a psychotherapist, explains that we constantly measure our worth, but we’re often not aware of how we do it. Sometimes it's by our careers, our appearance, other times by our relationship—she compares this method to measuring our height with a random stick.

We constantly measure our worth, but we’re often not aware of how we do it.13 Things That Don't Determine Your Self-Worth (1)

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“When it comes to measuring self-worth, many people use something just as unreliable as a random stick,” Morin writes. “You may not even consciously think about what type of stick you use to measure your self-worth. But it's likely that, deep down, you know. After all, when you feel like you're measuring up, you feel good about yourself. But when you feel as though you've fallen short, your self-esteem likely plummets.”

So often, the “stick” we’re using to measure our worth exists outside our control. We measure our worth based on the X’s on our to-do list, the number of matches on a dating app, the likes on our latest Instagram post, the promotions we receive—the list goes on and on. We tend to notice how our sense of self-worth affects us (aka those “I’m not good enough” feelings), but we rarely stop and think about how we’re doing our calculations.

We notice how our sense of self-worth affects us, but we rarely stop and think about how we're doing our calculations.13 Things That Don't Determine Your Self-Worth (2)

How we measure our worth affects the kind of life we live, according to Morin. And when we let other people and things determine our worth? It sets us up for a rollercoaster of emotions. That's why the best “measuring stick” we can use is one that we control.

“Use a measuring stick based on factors you can control—not the external events in your life,” Morin says. “When you know who you are—and you're pleased with the person you've become—you'll experience a sense of peace through life's inevitable ups and downs. You'll believe in yourself regardless of whether you've been fired, gone through a divorce, or failed to get a promotion.”

"When you know who you are—and you're pleased with the person you've become—you'll experience a sense of peace through life's inevitable ups and downs." - Amy Morin13 Things That Don't Determine Your Self-Worth (3)

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I’ve learned this lesson the hard way. I’m a people pleaser, and I let that determine my worth for the longest time. I always felt like I had to prove myself as worthy of everyone for everything. I did things that made others happier than it made me. I did this so often that I lost track of what I valued.

Thankfully, I recently realized that this "measuring stick" set me up for disappointment. I decided that what made me happy mattered more than pleasing others. I’m still a work in progress, but I now try to measure my self-worth based on my own sense of self rather than how other people perceive me. It’s a tactic Morin suggests, too.

“Instead of chasing things that temporarily boost your self-esteem, measure your self-worth by who you are at your core,” she writes.

When you need a reminder to detach yourself from other self-worth “measuring sticks,” here are 13 things that don’t determine your value in this world.

13 Things That Don’t Determine Your Self-Worth

1. Your To-Do List

Crossing off items on your to-do list is a satisfying feeling, but you can’t let the number of things you crossed off your list (or the number of things you don’t) control your worth.

“While it's normal to feel proud of your accomplishments, basing your entire self-worth on your achievement is like building a house on an unsteady foundation,” Morin writes. “You'll need to experience constant success to feel good about yourself—and that means you'll likely avoid doing things where you could fail.”

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2. Your Job

No matter the type of job you have or how much you love (or hate) it, your job doesn’t define who you are as a person.

So what if you don’t have a million Insta followers or Twitter retweets? In this digital world, it can feel like that number determines your value, but you’re more complex than what anyone can see on a screen.

4. Your Age

Speaking of numbers, your age is just a number. Some people may say you’re too young or too old, but that’s just who you are at the moment, so just be.

5. Your Appearance

If you want to change the way you look, do it for you. But know that your physical appearance shouldn’t define how worthy you are. “A beautiful body or a handsome face won't last forever,” Morin writes. “Hair loss, wrinkles, and a middle-age spread can feel catastrophic for someone whose self-worth depends on their physical appearance.”

6. Other People

I’m guilty of comparing myself to others who have the same job title as me and others my age. But I’ve learned I have to manifest in my own lane—and so should you.

Manifest in your own lane.13 Things That Don't Determine Your Self-Worth (4)

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You do you. Let them do them. Sometimes others may pass you on this road called life and that’s OK. We’re all traveling at different speeds.

7. How Far You Can Run

Ever tell yourself you’ll run a mile and then beat yourself up when you weren’t able to? It happens, but know that your worth comes from trying at all, not how quickly you crush a goal.

8. Your Grades

Maybe tests freak you out or school is just really difficult. Your grades don’t determine your intelligence, and they don’t measure things like your dedication and integrity.

9. The Number of Friends You Have

The more friends the merrier? Sometimes. But whether you have a ton of friends or just a couple, what matters is how you treat one another and if you can turn to them in times of need.

10. Your Relationship Status

Single schmingle. It doesn’t mean you’re not worthy of love or of being loved—it means you’re doing you and focusing on loving yourself.

11. The Money (or Lack Thereof) in the Bank

Whether you’re a billionaire or don’t have much in your wallet, the amount of money you have or are making doesn’t define your worth. “Going deep into debt to create a façade of wealth backfires in the end because while goods and services have monetary value, they don't reflect your value as a human being,” Morin writes.

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12. Your Likes

I’m not talking about Facebook likes, but your personal likes, such as your taste in music or movies. Like what you like, whether it may be considered “high art” or “low art.”

13. Anything or Anyone But Yourself

Bottom line: Your worth is entirely up to you. You are worthy because you say you're worthy and because you believe it. Look within, and trust that you are enough.

Read more: Read This If You Ever Find Yourself Doubting Your Worth


What does not determine your self-worth? ›

First, take a look back at the list of what does not determine self-worth. Remind yourself that your bank account, job title, attractiveness, and social media following have nothing to do with how valuable or worthy a person you are.

What is an example of self-worth? ›

A person with a high sense of self-worth takes responsibility for their mistakes, but does not degrade themselves for making them. If they goof, they say, “I did a bad thing” instead of “I am bad.” They say sorry when they needs to, and do what they can to make things right.

How do you determine one's self-worth? ›

The following are more common ways people measure their self-worth:
  1. Sphere of Contact. Many times, people are weighed (or weigh themselves) by the number of prominent people they are close to and know.
  2. Physical and Emotional Appearance. ...
  3. Occupation. ...
  4. Possessions.
26 Sept 2022

What are 5 things you value most in life? ›

  • Your Health. Treat your body with the respect it deserves. ...
  • Your Friends. Spending time with friends is key to our emotional wellbeing. ...
  • Gratitude. Appreciate the miracle of life. ...
  • Your Reputation. ...
  • Your Family. ...
  • Your Education. ...
  • Giving To Others. ...
  • Life Experiences.
17 Oct 2022

What is the root cause of low self-worth? ›

Causes of low self-esteem

Unhappy childhood where parents (or other significant people such as teachers) were extremely critical. Poor academic performance in school resulting in a lack of confidence. Ongoing stressful life event such as relationship breakdown or financial trouble.

What factors affect self-worth? ›

What influences self esteem? Your self esteem can be influenced by your beliefs on the type of person you are, what you can do, your strengths, your weaknesses and your expectations of your future. There may be particular people in your life whose messages about you can also contribute to your self esteem.

What are the 3 components of self-worth? ›

There are 4 components that define the esteem you might feel for yourself: self-confidence, identity, feeling of belonging, and feeling of competence.

What are the types of self-worth? ›

There are 3 types of Self-Worth. Here's how to define them, and live by them.
  • Inherent Worth. Inherent worth is achieved through person-hood. ...
  • Expressed Worth. We often assume expressed worth our upbringing. ...
  • Achieved Worth. ...
  • How to Know Your Worth.
10 Mar 2020

What makes a person worthy? ›

They have a realistic self-image in that they're aware of their faults and limitations. They appreciate themselves in spite of their mistakes, imperfections, and yes, physical and emotional scars. They've been caring and generous to others, and have redeemed and forgiven themselves.

How do you know if your self-worth is low? ›

Signs of low self-esteem include:
  1. saying negative things and being critical about yourself.
  2. joking about yourself in a negative way.
  3. focusing on your negatives and ignoring your achievements.
  4. blaming yourself when things go wrong.
  5. thinking other people are better than you.
  6. thinking you don't deserve to have fun.

What are 10 ways to improve your self-esteem? ›

  1. Be kind to yourself. The things you say to yourself are way more powerful than you might think. ...
  2. Accept who you are. ...
  3. Get moving and stay active. ...
  4. Welcome mistakes as part of growth. ...
  5. Remember to forgive yourself often. ...
  6. Surround yourself with supportive people. ...
  7. Focus on what you can change. ...
  8. Do what makes you happy.

What are the 10 basic values? ›

Schwartz and colleagues have theorized and shown empirical support for the existence of 10 basic individual values (Schwartz, 1992; Schwartz and Boehnke, 2004). These are: Conformity, Tradition, Security, Power, Achievement, Hedonism, Stimulation, Self-Direction, Universalism, and Benevolence.

What do humans value most? ›

Five of the top values are about how we relate to the people in our lives—family, caring, respect, friendship, and trust. This suggests that inter-personal safety is a fundamental priority for most people. Historically, personal safety has always been linked to belonging and identity.

What are the 3 most important things in your life anything? ›

What Really Matters – The 7 Most Important Things in Life
  • Peace. Rule #1, protect your peace. ...
  • Health. So many of us take our health for granted until something life-changing happens, and our health becomes at risk. ...
  • Family & Friendship. Our relationships are our foundation. ...
  • Purpose. Purpose is our “why.” ...
  • Time. ...
  • Learning. ...
  • Love.

What are three things that can cause low self? ›

You can have low self-confidence for many reasons, like:
  • expectations from parents and caregivers as a child.
  • peer pressure from friends or loved ones.
  • relationships, including breakups or divorce.
  • unresolved trauma.
  • loneliness.
  • internalized shame.
  • certain mental health conditions.
  • brain functioning and development.

What are the 5 causes of low self-esteem? ›

Causes of low self-esteem can include:
  • Disapproval from authority figures or parents.
  • Emotionally distant parents.
  • Sexual, physical, or emotional abuse.
  • Contentious divorce between parents.
  • Bullying with no parent protection.
  • Academic difficulties.
  • Guilt associated with religion.
  • Social beauty standards.

What is negative self-worth? ›

Low self-esteem is when someone lacks confidence about who they are and what they can do. They often feel incompetent, unloved, or inadequate. People who struggle with low self-esteem are consistently afraid about making mistakes or letting other people down.

What are 7 factors that affect self-esteem negatively? ›

Everyday Things Sabotaging Your Self-Esteem
  • Acne. Physical appearance and body positivity (or lack thereof) routinely land near the top of the list when self-esteems saboteurs come up in conversation. ...
  • Social Media. ...
  • Perfectionism. ...
  • Unattainable Beauty Standards. ...
  • A Messy Desk. ...
  • Self-Deprecating Humor.
14 Mar 2016

What should self-worth be based on? ›

Self-worth is the internal sense of being good enough and worthy of love and belonging from others. Self-worth is often confused with self-esteem, which relies on external factors such as successes and achievements to define worth and can often be inconsistent leading to someone struggling with feeling worthy.

What causes the greatest damage to self-worth? ›

What causes the greatest damage to self-worth? The use of external standards rather than internal values is an inadequate platform for self-worth. The use of positive feedback and internal individual values supports a positive perception of self-worth.

What are the 7 areas of self? ›

Specifically, how did it affect the seven parts of self (Self Esteem, Pride, Emotional Security, Pocketbook, Ambitions, Personal Relations, Sex Relations)?

What are the 7 factors of self-concept? ›

These factors are :
  • Age.
  • Appearance.
  • Gender.
  • Culture.
  • Emotional development.
  • Education.
  • Relationships with other people.
  • Sexual orientation.

What are the 4 elements of self? ›

Keeping the four elements, which are the four parts of self in balance, is fundamental to well being. These elements are emotional, physical, mental and spiritual.

What is too much self-worth? ›

Overly high self-esteem: Feeling superior to others. People with overly high self-esteem are often arrogant, self-indulgent, and express feelings of entitlement. They tend to overlook their own flaws and criticize others. Low self-esteem: Feeling inferior to others.

What are 5 tips to building a good self-esteem? ›

5 Ways to Boost Your Self-Esteem Today
  1. Use positive affirmations in the right way. ...
  2. Identify what you're good at. ...
  3. Learn how to accept compliments. ...
  4. Don't criticize yourself. ...
  5. Remind yourself of your real worth.
7 Mar 2017

How do you increase your self worth? ›

Other ways to improve low self-esteem
  1. Recognise what you're good at. We're all good at something, whether it's cooking, singing, doing puzzles or being a friend. ...
  2. Build positive relationships. ...
  3. Be kind to yourself. ...
  4. Learn to be assertive. ...
  5. Start saying "no" ...
  6. Give yourself a challenge.

What is worthy in life? ›

Similarly, loving relationships, productive work, comfortable circumstances and enjoyable activities are all intrinsically valuable things that contribute greatly to making life worth living, whereas their lack diminishes the quality of life.

What does feeling unworthy mean? ›

If a person or thing is unworthy of something good, they do not deserve it. You may feel unworthy of the attention and help people offer you. Synonyms: undeserving, not good enough, not fit, not worth More Synonyms of unworthy.

What are the 7 actions to improve self-esteem? ›

7 Ways to Raise Your Self Esteem
  • Believe In Yourself. It is not always easy to love yourself. ...
  • Gather The Courage. It is sometimes easier to be motivated by someone else than by yourself. ...
  • Be Optimistic. ...
  • Treat Yourself Well. ...
  • Participate In Life. ...
  • Be Self-Contained. ...
  • Establish A Purpose.

What are the 12 steps to high self-esteem? ›

12 Steps to Raise Your Self Esteem and Be a Better Person
  • Pay attention to how you talk to yourself. ...
  • Don't compare yourself to others. ...
  • Don't dwell in the past. ...
  • Find a “self-esteem buddy” and support each other. ...
  • Figure out what triggers your feelings of low self-esteem. ...
  • Separate your feelings from facts.

What are 4 ways that you can build your self-esteem? ›

One such change is to take steps to reduce negative thinking and build up positive, encouraging thoughts about the person you are and can be.
  • Positive Thinking.
  • Take an Inventory. ...
  • Acknowledge Successes. ...
  • Stop Comparing Yourself. ...
  • Practice Self-Care.

What are the 12 universal values? ›

Schwartz's ten types of universal value are: power, achievement, hedonism, stimulation, self-direction, universalism, benevolence, tradition, conformity, and security. Below are each of the value types, with the specific related values alongside: Power: authority; leadership; dominance, social power, wealth.

What are the top 5 always important values? ›

Good luck and let me know how it's going on your journey!
  1. Honesty. Honesty should be the bedrock of your foundation, as it will define who you are before you even allow others to know more about you. ...
  2. Fire. ...
  3. Hard Work. ...
  4. Confidence. ...
  5. Perseverance.
28 Apr 2017

What are the five core values? ›

Five Core Values
  • INTEGRITY. Know and do what is right. Learn more.
  • RESPECT. Treating others the way you want to be treated. Learn more.
  • RESPONSIBILITY. Embrace opportunities to contribute. Learn more.
  • SPORTSMANSHIP. Bring your best to all competition. Learn more.
  • SERVANT LEADERSHIP. Serve the common good. Learn more.

What is human values value? ›

Basic human values refer to those values which are at the core of being human. The values which are considered basic inherent values in humans include truth, honesty, loyalty, love, peace, etc. because they bring out the fundamental goodness of human beings and society at large.

What are the 10 best things in life? ›

From happiness to honesty, these are some of life's best treasures that cost nothing at all.
  • An honest opinion from a loved one.
  • True friends who have your back.
  • A family you can always count on.
  • Someone who supports your dreams.
  • Finding true love.
  • Humor and laughter.
  • Having a positive attitude.
8 Apr 2014

What is needed most in life? ›

Health. Being healthy is the single, most important part of our existence – without good health, our lives can be cut short. That said, it's important not to take good health for granted and feed our bodies nutrients that they deserve by eating a balanced diet and engaging in regular physical activity.

What are the three things you need to be happy? ›

The Three Things We All Need for a Happy Life
  • Someone to love.
  • Something to do.
  • Something to look forward to.

What do you value most in a life? ›

I value happiness. By keeping this value at the center of my life, I am able to easily make decisions in the best interest of my family, my business and myself. A happy family, a happy home and a happy work environment add up to a happy life. I value making a difference in life and living with integrity.

What is the most value thing in life? ›

The reality is that even though we live in a capitalist world, the most valuable things in life come without a price tag.
Here are 7 of the most important things that the richest person in the world can still very well be lacking:
  1. Time. ...
  2. Love. ...
  3. Happiness. ...
  4. Courage. ...
  5. Intellect. ...
  6. Purpose. ...
  7. A Legacy.
26 Jun 2014

What is your values in life example? ›

Treating others with kindness can be an important life value, especially when it comes to forming and maintaining relationships. Kindness is one of the important values to have because it influences the way you view the world and treat other people, regardless of their background or actions.

What is truly important in life? ›

What is Important in Life? Friendships, relationships, time, memories, and experiences are what truly matters in life. It's those people and things that can never be replaced, even if you try. Purpose is another important aspect of life because, without purpose, you'd feel empty and void of everything.

What are your deepest value? ›

These are called our deepest values — the guiding principles that are largely responsible for the decisions that we make each and every day. Our deepest values are the core building blocks of who we are. They embody the type of person we believe ourselves to be and determine how we interact with the world around us.

Which part of your body do you value most? ›

The most important part of your body is your Brain and Nerve System. “Your brain is you. Everything else is just plumbing and scaffolding.” Bill Bryson describing the brain in his 2019 book called The Body – A Guide for Occupants, The importance regarding your brain is easy to see in your own life and those around you.

What are the 12 core values? ›

  • Citizenship: Contributing service and showing responsibility to local, state, and national communities.
  • Compassion: Being kind and considerate, and showing concern for the well-being of others.
  • Cooperation: ...
  • Courage: ...
  • Faith: ...
  • Health and Fitness: ...
  • Honesty: ...
  • Perseverance:

What are the 12 values? ›

The 12 values, written in 24 Chinese characters, are the national values of "prosperity", "democracy", "civility" and "harmony"; the social values of "freedom", "equality", "justice" and the "rule of law"; and the individual values of "patriotism", "dedication", "integrity" and "friendship".

What things are priceless? ›

More often, priceless things are things without a monetary value — like friendship, love, honor, etc. Parents call their children priceless, because they value them so much and obviously would never sell them.

What is priceless in life? ›

It is often said that human life is priceless. No amount of money or other goods equals the value of a human life. The only justification for not preventing the loss of a human life when one can do so is that it would result in the loss of even more lives. In short, only human lives can be balanced against human lives.

What things hold their value? ›

6 Assets That Will Hold Their Value
  • Real Estate. Real estate has to top a list like this. ...
  • Tokenized Real Estate. It can be emotionally exhausting to invest heavily in something as volatile as cryptocurrency. ...
  • Quality NFTs. The non-fungible token (NFT) is the poster child of a risky investment. ...
  • CDs. ...
  • Index Funds. ...
  • Gold.
16 Aug 2022

What are 6 examples of values? ›

Some examples are:
  • Loyalty.
  • Honesty.
  • Trust.
  • Ingenuity.
  • Accountability.
  • Simplicity.
  • Respect.
  • Value-centricity.
31 Oct 2022


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