The Self-Worth Safari
For several decades now, we have been taught that self-esteem is the Holy Grail of personal development. But there is mounting evidence that self-esteem is not delivering on its promise. Instead, the widespread pursuit of self-esteem all too often seems to be nurturing narcissism, addiction to praise and ever-present anxiety about not living up to one’s full potential. Far from producing generations of self-assured adults, we seem to be cultivating even more self-preoccupation, anxiety and depression than ever before.
Self-worth is a more loyal companion than self-esteem. Unlike self-esteem, self-worth is not contingent on meeting expectations: neither those of others nor even of your own. Self-worth is independent of your performance; it’s a fundamental, unconditional friendship with yourself. Unlike the fickle friendship of self-esteem, self-worth is a faithful ally in the most challenging of times, on those grey days when you most need to be a friend to you. You can have self-worth even when you skip the yoga class. Furthermore, with real self-worth you are likely to be a valued member of any enterprise or team.
When you possess real self-worth, you are not obsessed with proving yourself. An unconditional sense of your own value gives you a new lease of happiness and freedom. You develop energy and stamina. You recover quickly from setbacks and develop confidence that you can develop and grow. You are not afraid of people or situations, because you trust your power to deal with them. Being able to say Yes and No, you negotiate with new clarity and confidence. Your relationships improve. You tackle hitherto difficult tasks with fresh energy and purpose. Being no longer a hostage to prolonged spells of anxiety, frustration, envy or guilt, your capacity to act is enhanced. And your self-esteem grows too… precisely when you are no longer chasing that objective.
You might imagine that such profound changes take time. While self-esteem certainly does take time to build, a powerful inner foundation of self-worth can be built in a relatively short time; via a new awareness of clear distinctions coupled with a few focused, affirmative actions. Welcome to the “Self-Worth Safari”.
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