Self-worth and self-esteem are powerful things. With them, you feel good about yourself, you feel in control of your life and you know that you have the power to make things happen. On the other hand, without them, life becomes a struggle. You feel unworthy of the things you want, you hold yourself back and you generally feel lousy about yourself. In this article, we’re going to take a close look at self-worth and self-esteem and find out how you can increase both, so that you can live a more confident, happy, and fulfilled life. In particular, I’ll share 61 positive affirmations that will help you to affirm your self-worth and increase your self-esteem every day.
What are Self-Confidence, Self-Worth, Self-Esteem, and Self-Efficacy?
Self-confidence, self-esteem, self-worth, and self-efficacy… oh my! So many terms, but what on earth do they all mean?
Before we can truly understand how to increase our self-worth, self-confidence, or self-esteem, it’s valuable to be clear on what each of them really is.
What is Self-Confidence?
Self-confidence is a term that we use often, but there’s confusion about what it means. Often the term self-confidence is used, when what we really mean is self-efficacy.
And while self-confidence and self-esteem are related, they’re also different, and they too are often thought to mean the same thing.
According to Positive Psychology, one of the most cited sources about self-confidence refers to it as simply believing in oneself (Bénabou & Tirole, 2002).
Another definition of self-confidence is that self-confidence is an individual’s expectations of performance and self-evaluations of abilities and prior performance (Lenney, 1977).
And a third source, the Psychology Dictionary Online, defines self-confidence as an individual’s trust in his or her own abilities, capacities, and judgments, or belief that he or she can successfully face day-to-day challenges and demands.
The term confidence comes from the Latin fidare, which means to trust. So having self-confidence means trusting in yourself or trusting your beliefs or abilities.
Being confident about something means you have a strong belief in its outcome, whatever that outcome may be.
Typically, the more confident you feel about your abilities the happier you are, and the more motivated you are. Because of this, you’re also likely to perform better. Which gives you positive reinforcement and increases your confidence further, as well as increasing self-efficacy.
So what is self-efficacy?
The term Self Efficacy was first coined by a Canadian Psychologist, Albert Bandura.
Self-Efficacy is a person’s particular set of beliefs that determine how well one can execute a plan of action in prospective situations (Bandura, 1977).
To put it in more simple terms, self-efficacy is a person’s belief in their ability to succeed in a particular situation.
He also said;
“It should be noted that the construct of self-efficacy differs from the colloquial term “confidence.” Confidence is a nondescript term that refers to the strength of belief but does not necessarily specify what the certainty is about. I can be supremely confident that I will fail at an endeavor. Perceived self-efficacy refers to the belief in one’s agentive capabilities, that one can produce given levels of attainment.- Psychologist, Professor Albert Bandura
In short, self-confidence is about having trust in a particular cause of action or an outcome. Self Efficacy is about believing in your ability to accomplish what you set out to achieve, believing that you have agency and control over your life and that you can meet the obstacles and challenges that come your way. Self-efficacy is therefore extremely important for your success.
How Do You Develop Your Self-Efficacy?
Self Efficacy comes from 4 different places.
- Your own past experiences and past performance outcomes: If in the past you have not performed well at something this can lead you to believe that you will not perform well at it again. Your perception of past “failures” can therefore have an impact on your future performance. This is also true for past successes.
- Vicarious experiences: You can develop high or low self-efficacy based on other people’s performances or experiences. For example, if you see many people struggle with something or fail at something, you could then hold the belief that this thing is hard for everyone and therefore will be hard for you to achieve which may or may not be true.
- Verbal input: Encouragement and discouragement will impact your self-efficacy.
- Physiological feedback: You will receive sensations from your body. How you interpret these sensations will influence your beliefs about efficacy.
What is Self Esteem vs Self Worth
Self Esteem and self-worth are very similar. To you and me they may as well be the same thing, however, from a psychological perspective they’re slightly different.
According to Dr. Christina Hibbert, “Self-esteem is what we think and feel and believe about ourselves and how much we value and like ourselves. Self-worth is recognizing ‘I am greater than all of those things.’ It is a deep knowing that I am of value, that I am loveable, necessary to this life, and of incomprehensible worth.” (2013).
Psychologist, Morris Rosenberg described self-esteem as:-
“a favorable or unfavorable attitude toward the self”.
So while self-esteem is about your attitude towards yourself and what you think and feel about yourself and how much you like and value yourself, high self-worth means understanding and believing that regardless of everything, you are worthwhile and a worthy human being, just by being.
What impacts self-esteem?
Lots of things can impact your self-esteem. These include:
- Feelings of security
- Feeling a sense of belonging
- Feeling competent
If things are positive in these areas then you’ll likely have high self-esteem. On the other hand, there are many things that can lead to low self-esteem. Some of the things that have the biggest negative impact on your self-esteem are racism and discrimination and major life experiences such as job loss, financial problems, and sickness.
Self -Worth Theory
In psychology, according to Self-Worth Theory, self-worth is determined by how we evaluate our abilities and our performance in one or more areas that we deem to be valuable.
The theory includes a self-worth model, which has 4 elements. These are ability, effort, performance, and self-worth.
According to the theory, the first three elements in the model interact together to determine your self-worth, which is the fourth and final element in the model.
The model shows that if you have a level of ability in something, you will put a certain amount of effort into it and this determines how well you perform. Finally, your performance then results in you having a certain feeling of self-worth.
As well as your abilities and performance in things you deem to be valuable, there are also a number of additional factors which we associate with our self-worth, even though these factors have nothing to do with your true self-worth.
- How you look
- How much you earn
- Your social circle and social status
- What you do in your career
- Your achievements and accolades
As a society, we place a lot of value on these things. This has had a knock-on effect on people’s feelings of self-worth. So when we feel that we’re not doing well in one or more of these areas it can lead to feelings of low self-worth.
Another aspect of life that can impact your self-worth is your relationships. This can be how many friends you have as well as your romantic relationship status. Again, your self-worth should not be based on how other people feel about you.
What Are The Effects of Low Self-Esteem And Low Self-Worth?
Having low self-esteem and low self-worth can affect you in many ways and it can also manifest in different ways in different people. For example, you may believe that other people are better than you, you might find it difficult to express your feelings and stand up for yourself and you may experience fear, extreme levels of self-doubt, and trouble accepting positive feedback.
These are just a few ways that low self-esteem and low self-worth can impact you, but there are lots more, which is why it’s worth doing things to improve your self-esteem and increase your self-worth.
How Can You Increase Your Self Esteem And Self Worth
Research has shown that having high self-esteem leads to increased happiness, one of the most sought-after things in life. In addition to this having high self-esteem will also help you to bounce back after setbacks as well as make you more persistent in your efforts to achieve your goals.
This means that if you have high self-esteem you’re much more likely to keep trying when things don’t work out the first time, which makes you ultimately more likely to succeed in the long run.
Having high self-esteem makes you see yourself in a more positive light, so regardless of what others might think of you and what life may throw at you, you’ll have a more positive perception, which s a good thing.
With all this in mind, as well as the fact that low self-esteem has been linked to depression, improving your self-esteem and self-worth is critical.
Some of the things you can do to increase your self-esteem and self-worth include:
- Becoming aware of your negative thoughts and learning to manage them or quiet them
- Challenging negative thinking patterns and replacing them with positive thinking patterns
- Using positive self-talk and affirmations
- Practicing self-compassion and kindness
What Are Self-Love and Self Compassion
Self Esteem and self-compassion, or self-love are connected, but different. Self-esteem is about how we judge and perceive ourselves, while self-love and self-compassion are about how we relate to ourselves.
Self-compassion or self-love has 3 key parts to it. Being kind to yourself and treating yourself with understanding and forgiveness, recognizing that you have a place in humanity, and practicing mindfulness.
How Does Saying Positive Affirmations Work?
There are a variety of reasons why positive affirmations work.
Firstly, your brain has neuroplasticity, which means that it has the ability to change, learn and develop new neural pathways.
Secondly, your subconscious mind doesn’t differentiate what’s real and what’s not and your mind can confuse the two. This means that when you state a positive affirmation at a subconscious level your mind accepts it as fact.
The third factor that makes affirmations effective is that when we become familiar with things, for example through repetition, we start to believe that they’re true, even if in the beginning we didn’t. Our brains favor, trust and more readily believe the familiar ( Illusory Truth Effect).
And finally, human beings don’t like incongruence. According to cognitive dissonance theory, if we behave in a way that is contrary to our beliefs then we will feel a level of discomfort. We will then do one of three things in order to make our actions align with our thoughts and beliefs.
Three ways we respond to cognitive dissonance:
- Changing your behavior to match your beliefs and thoughts,
- Changing your thoughts to align with your behavior, and finally,
- Adding new cognitions (factors) to your belief system which support your actions and help to better align your actions with your thoughts and beliefs.
Because of this cognitive dissonance, if you’re using positive affirmations on a daily basis, to the point that they become very familiar, this, in turn, makes you believe them more, and ultimately you will then change your actions to match your affirmations and new beliefs or change your beliefs to match your affirmations.
Either way, the result is that you reduce or remove the uncomfortable feeling of incongruence.
How To Use Daily Affirmations
Now that you know how powerful positive daily affirmations are, here are 5 ways you can use affirmations to increase affirm your self-worth and increase your self-esteem.
Make Your Affirmation Personal
There are plenty of lists of affirmations out there, but the more personal an affirmation feels to you, the more likely you are to believe in what you’re saying. While it’s true that affirmations are powerful, if you don’t connect with what you’re saying and don’t feel anything about it, then it likely won’t have the desired impact.
You can write affirmations that are more tailored to you, by using phrases that feel and sound more like you.
As an example, while saying “I am full of confidence” might not feel right to you, you may be more comfortable using the affirmation” every day I am growing in confidence”
Both of these are positive affirmations, but you may be more comfortable with one over the other.
Practice Mirror Technique
Saying affirmations while looking in the mirror ( Mirror talk/ mirror technique) is another great way to use daily positive affirmations. In studies, participants who repeated affirmations while looking in a mirror reported higher levels of soothing emotions. The mirror amplified the effects of the compassionate self-talk.
The reasons for this could be because eye-gaze and facial expressions are important components of our empathic responses (Cowan, Vanman, & Nielsen, 2014), in addition to this, our own face is very relevant to us and highly linked to our sense of self.
Whatever the reasons may be, if you want to increase the impact of positive affirmations then saying them in front of the mirror is the way to go.
Listen To Audios While You Sleep
Another great way to use affirmations is to record yourself saying your affirmations and listen to this in the evening as you fall asleep and even while you’re sleeping. This is an important time because as you drift off to sleep and during sleep, your brain moves into the theta wave state and then into delta wave state in deep sleep.
Your brain functions by omitting electrical impulses and these are waves of varying frequencies, In total there are 5, but the importance of theta and delta is that they are involved in inducing deep states of trance as well as helping you to tap into your subconscious in addition to forming new memories.
While it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to learn something complex while you sleep, like a new language, for example, studies have now shown that your sleeping brain can absorb simple information and can also be conditioned.
In one study scientists played a tone to sleeping study participants while unleashing a nasty spoiled-fish smell. When the participants woke up, the tone was then played to them and when they heard it, they held their breath in anticipation of a bad smell.
This and other similar studies have shown that there is a level of conditioning and unconscious learning that’s possible.
With this in mind, listening to affirmations while your brain is in these states, may promote increased acceptance of the affirmations by the subconscious and help you to remember them at the deepest level.
Journal and Write Down Your Affirmations
The power of writing things down can’t be overstated. When you are focused on the affirmations as you write them down and take the time to really think about what you’re writing and feel it, this can make a huge difference to their impact.
Neuroscience has proven these benefits and those who write down their goals in great detail are 1.2 – 1.4 times more likely to accomplish them.
[Check out this article to get started with journaling: 29 Most Powerful Journaling Methods To Change Your Life ]
Make Your Affirmations Visual
Finally, we already talked about how our minds like what’s familiar and accept the familiar as fact. By placing your affirmations in a visible place where you will see them often you’ll give your brain plenty of opportunities to get familiar with the new beliefs you’re trying to form.
61 Positive Affirmations To Affirm Your Self Worth & Increase Self Esteem
- I am worthy of success
- I am worthy of happiness
- I am worthy of greatness
- I am worthy of love
- I am worthy of joy
- I am enough
- I believe in myself
- I am more than enough
- I love myself unconditionally
- I deserve to be paid well for my skills
- I value my time
- People value my time
- People value my love
- People value my contribution
- I am worthy of the life that I want
- I am at peace with myself
- I am a valuable human being
- My life is a blessing
- My feelings deserve to be expressed
- I stand up for myself
- I make time for myself
- I take care of myself
- I deserve happiness in my life
- I deserve to experience joy in my life
- My worth is not affected by anyone else’s opinion of me
- My earnings don’t define my worth
- I am worthy of the compliments that I receive
- My contribution is valuable
- I deserve everything good that comes to me
- I am whole and complete
- My imperfections are part of my beauty
- I do my best and that is enough
- My needs matter
- I matter
- I deserve everything I desire
- Loving myself comes easily
- Everything I need is within me
- I appreciate myself
- I am loved
- I am worthy just as I am
- Others love me for who I am
- I love myself as I am
- I respect myself
- The only approval I need is my own
- I have a lot to love about myself
- Then universe loves and supports me
- I am exactly who I need to be right at this moment
- I allow myself to receive and accept love
- Today I choose me
- I let go of negative self-talk
- I am a work of art
- I prioritize myself
- I allow myself to receive and accept abundance and prosperity
- I love who I am inside and out
- I am worthy of abundance
- I expect the best for myself
- I make a difference in the world
- I accept myself as I am
- I love myself more and more every day
- I embrace everything that makes me unique
- I am grateful for all that I am
If you found this post useful, here are 50 More Powerful Daily Affirmations For Confidence And Self-Esteem