Self-Worth. Self-esteem is a similar concept to self-worth but with a slight (although significant) difference: self-esteem is what we think, feel, and believe about ourselves, while self-worth is the more global recognition that we are valuable human beings worthy of love (Hibbert, 2013).
Low self-esteem can be caused by an unhappy childhood filled with criticism of what we do. Low self-worth can be caused by an unhappy childhood filled with criticism of who we are. Occasionally, even a happy childhood can cause low self-worth because of self-criticism on how we perceive circumstances versus how they were intended.
Allow me to share these journal entry with you:
I noticed that he wasn't feeling himself lately. I tried everything I could think of to let him tell me what is wrong. Sure, the pandemic has placed an enormous strain on everything, but I felt that we had it all under control. This did seem different. Every time we would do a meditation, he would ask the question if he's worth it? What could this mean? How did I fail as a parent to make sure that he has good self-esteem and feels worthy?
He's getting straight A's and doesn't seem to have any self-esteem problems. He volunteers in class, gets assigned the lead roles in small drama productions and has a big group of friends. I heard him say a few times that he feels confident in himself and thinks highly of himself, not in so many words. Of course, he's only ten.
I'm running out of ideas, but this self-worth thing keeps popping up! Maybe I'll do some research tomorrow and see what I can find out.
Well, here we have it. It's a matter of self-worth. This also explains his perfectionism that has since been getting much stronger. I was reminded me that he didn't want to touch his sister when she was born. He held her tiny hand when she two months old! This happens to every firstborn, I should know.
Grandma moves far away due to circumstances out of our control
I'll chat to him about this tomorrow morning when we're alone.
I'm so relieved. We chatted about the times that he had to make significant sacrifices, and with the pandemic still putting us on this roller-coaster ride, it brings up all the losses he's experienced in his short life. It really made sense to him that trying to be perfect, nothing terrible would happen to him, but life doesn't work that way. I'm so glad we had this chat. I asked him to back to that little boy and tell him that things will turn out alright. He would become best friends with this little one. The new house would have a much bigger yard and space to build his Lego. Finally, our worth is not connected to other people's decisions. Although we wished things to be different, we can look at that little boy that said goodbye to his grandma on the train station's platform and remembers the fantastic vacations we had in her new city.
When did I make the decision about my own self-worth? I still get stressed out when the house doesn't look "perfect" sometimes. Today was a good reminder that I can go back to that little girl and tell her that things turned out pretty awesome. I can't really think of a specific instance where I attached my self-worth to something that happened, but rather a string of circumstances, events and people. I don't live there anymore, nor do I want my energy or thoughts to live there. It's like a chapter of a book that gives context, but the chapters that follow are much more exciting and worthy of attention.
I painted a wall today. The lines were a bit squiggly, but it was fun.
Journaling Prompts: How would you define your self-worth?