Your Secret Weapon To Stronger Self-worth And Going 'Unconditional'
Oxygen Magazine Australia|Issue 99

Ask any vaguely personal development directed question in today’s world and the answer will invariably return as “selfworth”. It’s a modern-day buzzword we’ve come to know and love so well, with everywhere and everyone from talk shows, research articles, blogs, Instagram gurus, doctor’s offices and podcasts telling us we need more of it. Like some midday infomercial selling success and happiness for “just 3 easy payments of $9.95”, self-worth is a concept sold repeatedly as something we all just have to have. But if our self-worth isn’t something as easily purchased as a wonder mop or the world’s sharpest knife set, how might we go about getting it?

Dr Kieran Kennedy

Self-worth 101

In a nutshell, the concept of self-worth represents the core sense of worth we place on ourselves as individuals. Our belief of self-worth is one deeply rooted in the very foundation of what we think and feel about ourselves (consciously and subconsciously) and our inherent, most authentic, value. Somewhat different to the idea of self-esteem (which most often encompasses beliefs of performance and a positive evaluation from others) our self-worth represents our deepest feelings about ourselves when all the polished selfies, ‘like’ counts, high flying grades and workplace success, bells and whistles are put to the side. Self-worth reflects how much (or for some of us how little) value we place on our true selves regardless of the titles, salaries, designer clothes, body fat percentages, grades or accolades that all too often act as masks for a sense of worth. It’s a powerful sense of how worthy we feel we are of love and belonging when (or more commonly if) we show the person we are right here, right now.

Conditional self-worth

The catch point? All too often we don’t define ourselves and our worth on our authentic self alone. In today’s world of endless comparison, pressure and perfection, it’s far more common to define our worth by how well or not we’re meeting the conditions society, our circles and those around us trick us into thinking we need to meet to be accepted and worthy of belonging. We live with a self-worth that’s conditional.

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