Self-worth is a term reflecting our worth or value as a person, as perceived by ourselves. Whereas self-confidence is mainly derived from external feedback, self-worth - in turn - is mainly derived from internal feedback. Self-worth reflects our faith in our unique capabilities, potential and that which could be, rather than that what currently is.
When we look outside (e.g. the outer or external world) to validate our self-worth, we are giving our personal power away and set ourselves up for failure, become a victim of circumstances and follow a path in life characterized by one tragedy after the other. Sadly though, we are trained, taught and conditioned to be victims and to surrender our power specifically to more authoritative, divine controlling systems and other outside or external influences such as…
- “famous and perfect” people
- things and possessions
- externally judge aspects, such as - for example - looks, talent, intelligence, success, …etc.
…can distract, derail and let us lose focus on what is important in life and who we truly are. Thus, we essentially lose sight of our magnificent selves.
These external validations and judgments can either provide us with or destroy our self-confidence… but they could NEVER provide us with self-worth. And without balanced and healthy self-worth, we gradually become helpless, powerless and vulnerable to the unreasonable and manipulative wimps of “outside” forces (i.e. become an unfortunate victim of circumstances).
The scary reality is that society'sof our modern society are most active in the manner in which they promote self-confidence, which in reality camouflage deliberate efforts to completely and utterly destroy individual self-worth.
Why would these cornerstone institutions promote self-confidence and simultaneously actively destroy self-worth?
An easy question to ask, but extremely difficult to answer and a question that is keeping many philosophers and social scientists occupied for many years. There are many different views and perspectives on this topic, but essentially it tends to boil down to… “Confident individuals without the foundation of a secure self-worthiness are much easier to control and manipulate than individuals with a steadfast and secure self-worth and shaky self-confidence”.
As long as we look outside of the SELF, to discover who we are, define ourselves as unique individuals and give ourselves self-worth, we are surely setting ourselves up to become vulnerable and helpless victims who are extradited to circumstances and opportunities under the control of others. We are taught (mostly in a very subtly manner) to look outside ourselves to other people, places, and things and to “define” ourselves as a businessman, entrepreneur, Christian, accountant, farmer, psychologist, father, husband, …etc. When this happens - defining ourselves according to outside criteria - we surrender our power and open ourselves for manipulation and control, which make use of self-confidence channels that are related to collectively accepted criteria. Thus, base our self-worth on outsider norms and not on inner self principles.
We can have all the money, property and prestige in the world and have every single person on this planet adore us. But when we are not at peace within (i.e. have secure self-worth) and when we don't love, respect and accept ourselves; we become powerless victims who can be easily controlled and manipulated by institutional forces presently in power using human core concerns as a launching platform for persuasions and manipulations.
The table below indicates things that individuals secure in themselves tend to do and things that insecure people are inclined to do.
|Healthy Self-worth||Unhealthy Self-worth|
|Having confidence||Lacking confidence|
|Being happy||Being unhappy|
|Wholeness||Feelings of not belonging|
|Feeling of being in control||Being out of control|
|Thinking positively||Thinking negatively|
|Being in charged||Disempowered|
|Assertive behaviour||Being a victim|
|Having self-respect||Having no self-respect|
|Being at ease||Feeling uptight|
|Being successful||Being a failure|
|Charismatic personality||Weak personality|
|Feeling valuable||Feeling unworthy|
|Being decisive||Being indecisive|