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Being your own best friend

self-worth [self-wurth] noun 1. the sense of one's own value or worth as a person; self-esteem; self-respect. 

It’s a well-known fact that women tend to earn less than men for the same work. Why is this so? 

From the earliest stages of life, we’re influenced by the comments and attitudes of other people, especially of those we love. In the face of positive reinforcement, self worth thrives; but confronted by a lack of support or even negative messaging, our sense of self-worth suffers. In broad strokes, women and men receive different reinforcement as they grow and get to know themselves, which directly affects their self-worth. 


Why does this matter? Self-worth is crucial because it is the ingredient that enables us to believe that we’re capable of succeeding and that we deserve to lead a fulfilling life. We each face struggles, but it’s our sense of self-worth that allows us to not only rise up and persevere, but to thrive and succeed. 

So how can we overcome some of the skewed or negative messages we may have endured to build a healthy sense of worth? Understand that your attitude toward yourself sets the tone for your life. How you perceive yourself, how you talk about yourself, and how you represent yourself becomes your reality. If you're belittling your worth and making light of your talents in the face of others, then they will be impacted by your self-perception. If you don’t believe you’re worth it, then they certainly won’t.  

The healthy path is the one where you recognize you’re valuable and that your talents are unique and worthy. Getting to this belief can be difficult if you’ve spent a long time underestimating your worth. But it is always possible to change your thoughts

How? 

  1. Look inward. Self awareness is key to recognizing where you're underestimating and short-changing yourself. Ask yourself what experience you’ve had? How has this experience informed your growth and self-perception? 
  2. Focus on your strengths. There will always be something that you don’t know; someone who does it better. But a glass half-empty approach will always be a losing proposition. Instead, focus on your talents and how you can apply them in what you choose to do. 
  3. List your talents and skills. We each bring a unique set of qualities to the table. Becoming familiar with yours will help you sell yourself and in turn build your confidence. 
  4. Celebrate your successes. Acknowledge a job well done, and any new lessons you've learned or skills you've acquired. If you’ve received compliments, think on those to know you’ve done well until your encouragement comes easily from within. 
I always say that we would all do well to be our own best friends. Life can be tough, but if combined with a low sense of self-worth, we can make it all the more difficult. Hopefully these tips will get you closer to finding your inner best friend.

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