• Emily Saunders

Discover Your Worth by Applying the 7 “Areas of Life”

What is Self-worth?


It is the essence of an individual's subjective evaluation of their own value. In other words, it's your beliefs about yourself and it manifests in emotional states, such as triumph, despair, pride, and shame.


Self-worth involves your perception of your appearance—whether you measure that by the number on the scale, the size of your clothing, or the kind of attention you receive.



Other aspects of your life that might affect your image of yourself are:

  • Net worth—this can mean income, material possessions, financial assets, or all of the above.

  • Who you know/your social circle—some people judge their own value and the value of others by their status and what influential people they know.

  • What you do/your career—we often judge ourselves by what we do.

  • What you achieve. Your achievements may influence your self-worth, such as success in business, scores on the SAT, or placement in a marathon or other athletic challenge (Morin, 2017).

Things That Shouldn’t Determine Your Self-worth

Your to-do list: Achieving goals is great, and it feels wonderful to cross off things on your to-do list, but it doesn’t have a direct relationship with your worth as a human.

  • Your social media following: It also doesn’t matter how many people think you are worthy of a follow or a retweet. It can be enlightening and healthy to consider the perspectives of others, but their opinions have no actual impact on our innate value.

  • Your social media following: It also doesn’t matter how many people think you are worthy of a follow or a retweet. It can be enlightening and healthy to consider the perspectives of others, but their opinions have no actual impact on our innate value.

  • Your age: You aren’t too young or too old for anything. Your age is simply a number that does not factor into your value as a human being.

  • Other people: As noted above, it doesn’t matter what other people think or what other people have done or accomplished. Your personal satisfaction and fulfillment are much more important than what others are thinking, saying, or doing.

  • Your grades: We all have different strengths and weaknesses, and some of us are simply not cut out for certain subjects. This has no bearing on our value as a person.

  • The number of friends you have: Your value as a human has absolutely nothing to do with how many friends or connections you have. The quality of your relationships is what’s important.

  • Your relationship status: Whether flying solo, casually dating, or in a committed relationship, your value is exactly the same—your relationship status doesn’t alter your worth.

  • The money (or lack thereof) in the bank: If you have enough money to survive (which can, in fact, be $0), then you have already achieved the maximum amount of “worth” you can get from money (hint: it’s 0!).

  • Your likes: It doesn’t matter if you have “good taste” or not, if your friends and acquaintances think you’re sophisticated, or if you have an eye for the finer things. Your worth is the same either way.

  • Anything or anyone but yourself: Here we get to the heart of the matter—you are the only one who determines your self-worth. Even if you don’t believe you are worthy and valuable, guess what—you are still worthy and valuable!


What Are the 7 Areas of Life?

Physical

If your self-worth and weight are shackled to each other (like you might be shackled to your scale), release yourself from these bonds. Even if you don’t feel fabulous about your body, you can recognize your attributes and accomplishments.

What do you love most about your character, personality, and principles? Are you generous, smart, witty, sweet, thoughtful? Are you a friend that everyone can count on? Do you volunteer? What do you like about yourself?

Create a daily praise list. Write down five things you’ve done each day that you can give yourself credit for. Then think about how these actions relate to the type of person you are.

Relational


This is one of my favorite crucial areas of life because knowing your self-worth is a very important part of relationships. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that self-love is the key to finding true love.

I wholeheartedly believe that sharing the joys and wonders of life with another being who lights up your world is absolutely priceless. There’s nothing like it. It’s something every human being deserves to experience.

It’s hard to be in a healthy relationship if it is based on a need you want someone else to fulfill.

Being needy, insecure, and trying to gain approval and a sense of self-worth from a partner puts an enormous amount of pressure on them, and it’s a major turnoff. It’s an unachievable task because feeling inherently loved and worthy comes from within. Not from your partner.

An outstanding love doesn’t come from two half-fulfilled people coming together to make one whole, complete life. Outstanding love comes from two whole people coming together to share and enhance their already full and beautiful lives.

An amazing relationship comes about when we own and appreciate who we are and completely accept the other person for who they are.

So loving and putting you first is not selfish, it’s necessary. It’s imperative to creating the wonderful love and life we all desire. And let’s get something straight—loving yourself doesn’t deplete the love tank; it actually fills it up so we have even more to give.

Know that fitting in is overrated. You are very lucky if you have a few close friends. True friends won’t leave you on a whim. And they will love you for your amazing unique qualities. Be yourself and you’ll attract authentic friendships into your life. When I was younger, I was bullied in school and I would have done anything to not be different and fit in. Now, I prefer to be unique, and I have fun with the different aspects of me, like having an Aussie accent in the U.S. You get more attention and opportunities if you are different.


Intellectual

We are continually growing and learning, and the intellectual area of life is all about feeding your brain with new knowledge and information, after all, it is just another muscle in your body that needs to be nourished and exercised.

In some ways, it may seem counterintuitive to have to learn to know yourself. Surely that should be a given, right? Not necessarily. Make time to learn about yourself. You can journal and you might want to begin by thinking about what you are passionate about and what you want from life. Write down the lessons you have learned and your progress.

Let go of expectations. This was probably one of the most important things I did. It was hard to let go of the idealized image of what my life was going to be like, which was instilled in my head. But once I was able to, it was easier to accept things for what they were, without feeling like my whole world was crumbling before me.

When you are faced with hard times and questioning who you are and where you’re going, it’s important to take time out to practice a bit of self-care. For me, this usually means getting lost in a great novel, having a warm shower, and getting at least eight hours of sleep. After this, my thoughts become less erratic and I feel a lot calmer and more ready to face challenges ahead.

Remember that your life is not set in stone. You can change anything you want at any time, all you have to do is begin. Enjoy the opportunities that are presenting themselves right now!

Spiritual


The underlying and often unspoken assumption presented in most self-help material is that we as humans are somehow flawed and in need of being fixed. The notion often presented is that we need to put forth a lot of effort to change.

You hear talk about things like willpower, motivation, hustle, and hard work. While all these things are useful to a certain extent, they don’t really bring us closer to the true and permanent inner peace we desire.

The assumption hidden within these ideas is that happiness is found somewhere in the future, and first we need to change something about ourselves to be happy. While I do believe making the effort to change our lives and move in a more positive direction is a wonderful thing, I also see the misery it causes people, people who are stuck in this belief that says, “I need to do more, has more, become more, because deep down I believe that I am not good enough just as I am.” This can easily become a vicious trap.

Herein lies the issue. We’ve been fed so many beliefs from our family, peers, and society that says life is about always striving for more and more, always grasping for something we don’t have yet. It is this incessant craving for satisfaction in things outside of ourselves that is counterproductive. The reason behind a lot of unhappiness and self-destruction is that we are searching for fulfillment in all the wrong places!

By exploring your spiritual side, you can access the power within you and find what you truly desire. Choose a spiritual practice you can apply to help you move into a more accurate awareness of your true self. You are already perfect. You must recognize that.

For this reason, I want to discuss some very simple but transformative spiritual practices and disciplines that will help you tame your mind. Your mind will sabotage you over and over again if you do not tame it first.

I put together powerful audios that help with this process. They are enhanced with ‘theta brainwave entrainment’ technology to assist in quieting the mind. Positive affirmations are spoken in these beautiful soundtracks that help create a positive mental environment that is conducive to spiritual growth and awareness. These five audios are free at AffirmationAudioShop.com

Make the unconscious conscious. Many of the thoughts that sabotage us are buried deep in the unconscious mind, meaning that we are not aware that these thoughts exist. The only way to eliminate self-sabotaging thoughts is to bring them into the forefront of your conscious mind and then surrender them.

I have found that the easiest way to accomplish this is to do a daily journaling practice where you simply spend 10 minutes writing down everything that comes into your mind. The key is to write without judging your thoughts or stopping the flow of writing for any reason. When you get into this flow state, unconscious thoughts tend to surface. Some of them may be very disturbing. Don’t judge them though, simply write them down. After they are on paper, you can see them for what they are, only thoughts with no real truth except the meaning you give them.

You can go one step further and take the sheet of paper with all these thoughts on it, go outside, and burn it. This is a symbolic representation of surrender that can greatly facilitate the process of letting those thoughts go forever.

Commit to thoughts of unconditional love. The mind is often a trap, but it can also be a gateway. Spiritual realization can happen through the mind only when the mind is purified. To purify your mind, you must commit to thinking only the kindest and loving thoughts towards all of life, including yourself. This commitment will bring up the opposite. Hateful and judgmental thoughts will become more apparent when you commit to unconditional love, but this is a good thing. Remember, the unconscious thoughts must first become conscious before they can be surrendered.

Negative thoughts are a normal part of the human condition, but they need not remain with us. If we are spiritually committed, we can purify our minds and use our loving thoughts as a gateway to high levels of spiritual awareness and, eventually, permanent inner peace.


Meditation is a powerful practice that brings extraordinary benefits. The ultimate purpose of meditation is to transcend the hold of the ego and merge into awareness of your higher self. When first beginning a meditation practice, it will become very apparent how identified you are with your ego-self. Sitting in quiet and solitude will make you aware of all the mental chatter going on inside you. You will be able to clearly recognize that you have been living most of your life dominated by this mental haziness.

Meditation is very simple. You merely sit alone in a quiet place and remain aware of what is happening in your mind. Watch the thoughts float by like clouds in the sky. Watch how your mind gets caught by one thought and then it leads into a thousand other thoughts. As you observe, this will intensify your desire to be free of the mind’s grasp on you. Another helpful meditative technique is to focus on something specific, such as a spot on the wall, a flickering candle, or the back of your eyelids. Inhale and exhale, or recite a mantra or affirmation. This gives the mind a job and makes quieting the mind a little easier. You can listen to beautiful meditation music enhanced with theta brainwave entrainment technology to make your meditation sessions even more pleasant and relaxing. There are many excellent books that explain meditation techniques in more detail. If you need to, learn more, but don’t complicate the process. Remember, you already are a spirit so you don’t have to search for it anywhere but within. If you don’t feel free, it’s because you are still dominated by ego.


Vocational


The most important thing to know is that your job or career does not define your self-worth. If you believe you are not doing what you dream of right now, the truth is you actually are. You’re learning skills that will help you eventually in your dream. Skills might include discipline, hands-on skills, and even the ability to stay focused and do well potentially in a job that you might not like or enjoy. One thing I always say is that one day, even your dream becomes a job. What I mean by that is even if you are living your dream, there are going to be things you don't enjoy doing, for example, calls, emails, meetings, etc. that come along with living that dream.

The other side is you may have potentially lost your job recently, maybe because of COVID. And while you can lose a job, you can never lose the abilities within yourself that got you that job in the first place. I love this concept for so many reasons. It helps you detach from these external things, like your career or your relationship status. Instead, it promotes the idea that the abilities, qualities, and strengths within you are what define you. Not your career.

When I was younger in the workplace, I used to be self-conscious about my age and position title or level in different jobs. Thinking this way didn’t just affect me negatively at the beginning of my career. Instead, this thought process has been detrimental as I’ve grown. Even now, it’s easy for me to compare myself to others around me — not just bloggers, but my peers in various industries as well. If that blogger has ten times more followers than me, does that mean she’s “above” me? Does that mean she’s ten times better than me? It’s easy to compare yourself in this way and wonder where you stand, like the rungs of a ladder. But life doesn’t work that way. If someone is earning more money than you, or they’ve made their passion their career, or their job title has more responsibility — none of that means they are better than you. Because the amount of money we make, or the number of followers we have, does not define us. In other words, your career status does not define your self-worth.


Financial


We often think that how much money we have in the bank defines our value. Self-worth should never be determined by the status of your bank account. However, your net worth is affected by your self-worth. if you don’t believe you can get more money, then you won’t get it. The reality is that our perception of ourselves, and how worthy we think we are, has a direct correlation with our net worth.

One way to increase your self-worth is to purposely put yourself in uncomfortable situations. So if you are afraid of negotiating, put yourself in situations where you have the opportunity to ask for more money. It might be terrifying at first, but over time, you’ll begin to realize how powerful putting yourself out there can be — for both your confidence and your checkbook.

Another important step to gaining fulfillment in your financial area of life is to have financial security. Start saving at least 10% of your income. In this way, you invest in yourself and your future.


Social


The people you surround yourself with have an enormous impact on your self-worth. It is important to build connections with others. Forming and maintaining satisfying relationships is empowering. A common way of doing this for many people is through social networking sites. There are a growing number of studies exploring how we do this online and the effect it has on our self-worth. One study found that when regular Facebook users were assigned to an experimental condition where they were banned from sharing information on Facebook for 48 hours, they reported significantly lower levels of belonging and meaningful existence. In a second experiment, participants were allowed to post material to Facebook, but half of the participants’ profiles were set up by the researchers to not receive any responses, likes, or comments to their status updates. In line with predictions, that group reported reduced self-esteem and a sense of belonging, a lower level of control, and feelings of a meaningful existence than the control group who did receive feedback (Tobin, Vanman, Verreynne, & Saeri, 2014). Whether online or offline, feeling ignored by our friends can dent our self-worth.


To build a healthy and positive social circle requires you to do these five things:

  • Embrace your self-worth and your differences

  • Focus on quality of friendships over quantity

  • Remember: It’s not all about you

  • Leave negative relationships behind

  • Seek out people you admire


Self-Worth and Living Your Best Life


Knowing your self-worth helps you understand where you want to be in life, and this gives you the ability to add the -ing into your best life.

The best lifeing principles can be applied to any area of your life. And in terms of self-worth, the process is the same. It’s about figuring out where you are at versus where you want to be and creating a plan to get there. And it’s super important for your plan to be fun and enjoyable for you. It’s the journey, so the plan needs to be one you love doing.


What Does Self-Love Really Look Like?

  • It’s prioritizing your dreams and making an effort to do things that inspire and light you up.

  • It’s saying no to things you don’t agree with or that don’t fit in with your plans and values.

  • It’s deciding to spend time with people who support, encourage, and motivate you to be the best version of yourself.

  • It’s owning your thoughts and opinions and refusing to be swayed in order to please others.

  • It’s being gentle with and talking kindly and sweetly to yourself.

  • It’s having the courage to try new things that you’ve always wanted to experience.

  • It’s taking time to nourish your mind, body, and soul by exercising, eating well, having alone time.

  • It’s trusting your intuition and honoring your own truth.

  • It’s spending money on things that make you feel amazing while investing in your future.

  • It’s daring to believe that you’re capable of achieving and creating the life you visualize.

  • It’s choosing to see the good and refusing to let others bring you down.

  • It’s gifting yourself forgiveness and accepting yourself for all of your beautiful talents, abilities, quirks, and qualities.

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