I have talked many times about the importance of knowing your self-worth and how it is an intricate part of having a healthy level of self-esteem. My guess is that you are already aware of this knowledge and are likely in agreeance which is what has brought you here to read this post. What you may not fully know or understand though is the true depth of how to know your self-worth.
It seems to me that these days, the way people preach about how to know your self-worth, it all feels so surface-level. Am I right? It’s like “Hey you! You are worthy! Believe it about yourself and you will feel great and live a happier life!” and I’m over here like “Great…thanks…” as I give myself a mini awkward hi-five that is followed by a half-smiling and half-confused face with a head full of questions and uncertainty.
This is the issue these days with all the ways that people seek to answer the question “how do I know my self-worth?”. They are usually very surface level and don’t actually tell you the truth behind the why. Why – because knowing it is important. Okay…but what does that mean and how will it truly impact me? Often you are just taught what to do or the “how” ie. self-care, meditation, being mindful, etc, and while all these things might help you in staying positive and clear-minded, they don’t actually do anything truly life-changing without first answering the why.
Getting to where I am now in my self-worth journey has taken a lot of learning and admitting of truths in my life. I have had to answer many questions about what my values in life are, what do I want to represent as a person, and what it means to have a true understanding of why I am enough the way I am.
As much as I talk about self-esteem, self-worth, inner beauty and all that falls under the umbrella of knowing and loving who you are, I can’t simply talk about it without you having an understanding of the root of it all in my life and the truth behind how I came to know my self-worth.
My “Why” Is My Faith
First and foremost I know that I am enough simply because God made me the way I am.
His word says:
“For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.” -Psalm 139:13-16
I know that any time the ways of the world stir me into believing lies about myself such as being ugly, untalented, stupid, and all the other negative voices, that I can turn to his word and be reminded that he purposely made me the way that I am which he sees as wonderful.
You see the thing is that I cannot come up with an accurate description of why I am enough by myself, as much as I can’t look to others to know my self-worth because no other person can truly know someone completely. However, God can. We as humans are stirred daily in how we feel about ourselves depending on if we feel “fat” one day or depressed or high on life, our mental health can change our perception so easily, so without turning to the one who created us to see the truth about who we are, how can we really know our self-worth?
God Will Never Let Me Down
Our feelings of ourselves begin materializing at a young age. All depending on our upbringing we are given messages of how much we are worth. Some of us grew up in a home rooted in love with discipline, fairness and an understanding of how to treat one another, and others grew up feeling never good enough, forgotten, ugly and incapable. But whether you were brought up in what you felt was a good home or a bad one the fact is that you were raised by flawed human beings. Usually, your feelings on your upbringing are based on how the good outweighed the bad because let’s face it, there was at least sometimes some bad. So even if you were brought up in what felt like a good home, your self-worth was still determined on an imperfect platform.
This is why learning about God’s unrelenting love is all powerful. There is no faltering because of a “good” day or a “bad” day. Even someone who was brought up in the worst of homes can know that despite their upbringing, they have a God who truly loves them all the time no matter what for the person that they truly are.
“The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” – 1 Samuel 16:7
I don’t have to worry about God misjudging me, or not knowing what my heart longs for. I don’t have to fear that he will stop loving me or leave me, and I can go to him any time and anywhere that I want and he will be there for me. He is the only thing that can truly never let me down.
My Life Before Christ
I was brought up in what I felt was a “good” home. I had love and encouragement consistently from my parents and they always wanted me to be happy and to know that I was capable of whatever I put my mind to. However, I struggled deeply. I was always bullied in school from as young as I can remember and I seemed to always come in contact with “mean” girls. I was teased constantly about being different or stupid, and because I struggled in certain areas of learning I honestly believed that I was stupid, so much so that I started high school being a part of the “slow” class. It was interesting though, after a semester in the class I began seeing some truth come out. I wasn’t slow or stupid, I just learned differently than others and ended up leaving the class as working at a slower pace wasn’t actually what I needed. Later in life, I learned that I was a visual learner which is why I could excel in the arts.
Unfortunately, as much as my parents encouraged me and told me that I was smart or capable, it didn’t really boost my self-confidence and I didn’t have a positive sense of self-worth because I wasn’t told why I was enough and beautiful in who I truly was. I never had a clear explanation with a deep sense of truth to what I was being told, just that I should believe in myself. As you can imagine, simply being told what I should believe about myself didn’t work and I ended up searching for acceptance in everyone around me and I continued looking for my identity.
Even in my teenage years as I came to hear about God, my struggles with acceptance continued. I even began playing the role that people falsely labelled me as – the “dumb” blonde. It seemed that I would at least get more attention that way. Guys would flirt with me and I thought at the moment that it felt good and that I was embracing myself. But after many years I continued feeling lost and yearning for acceptance. What I didn’t fully learn till my mid 20’s and after experiencing a lot of hurts along the way was that I could never feel truly accepted by anyone but God and that in order to feel truly happy and comfortable in myself, I had to look at who God made me to be. This whole time since knowing him I had not been looking to him for acceptance and truth but to other people, which brought constant letdowns.
If I look back now on the life I was living before actually accepting God’s true love for me, it makes me feel sad for how lost I must have looked to everyone else. The passion I have now to share the truth about self-worth and embracing your unique beauty comes from knowing how I was back then and that so many other girls feel the way that I did. I want to share my experiences with girls that are just like I was so that maybe I can save them from heartache and bad choices and help them feel more secure in who they are.
Securing My Self-Worth
I remember the day that I finally gave up the wheel and turned it over to God. I was in a mess of a relationship and could hardly recognize myself and the life around me. It wasn’t at all what I dreamed of and I had finally reached the point where I was so sick of it and wanted to get out. It was in that moment that I said a prayer stating how I didn’t feel strong enough on my own to turn my life around and that I needed God to help me get out of it. Before I knew it, my life flipped. All of a sudden the heartache started to disappear, the negative things in my life started to go away and I finally began to get a sense of who I really was in my heart.
You see when I began trusting what God had to say about me, the truth would come out about my life choices and I would see myself, my heart, my desires, my values and all that I truly wanted for my life so much more clearly and I was able to finally feel secure in who I truly was.
My faith always answers my “why” whatever stage I am at and I know that if ever I am letting in a little too much of what the world wants to tell me that I can turn to his word to tell me the truth.