How to Improve Your Self-Worth in a Way that Actually Works

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Here’s how to improve your self-worth in truly life-changing ways.

I kept my gaze on my tricolored pasta, pushing it around my paper plate as the girls around me scarfed theirs down.

Was it supposed to feel this way?

Halfway through high school, I decided to join the cross country team.

I had never felt a sense of belonging to a club or sport, and I wanted to feel like I was a part of something.  

Yet, there was just one little problem.

I wasn’t good.

In fact, I was really, really slow.

So slow that more than once, a few spectators yelled rude remarks to me.

Sitting at this pasta party the night before a big meet, I felt like I didn’t even deserve my place here.

Shouldn’t this party be for the girls who were actually good runners?

Deep, deep down, I knew I had untapped potential.

One of the coaches even gave me a compliment about flying down a hill during a practice. Yet, that was the only compliment I received from two seasons of running. In fact, I think that’s the only time a coach spoke to me.

The coaches only bothered with the elite few who were breaking records.

I always felt that if they had encouraged me or recognized my potential, then I would have soared.

But I had it all wrong.

I wanted someone else to care about me, and I was upset when they didn’t. (Umm story of my life!?!)

I should have been the one who cared enough about me to believe in me.

Instead, I let my feelings of inadequacy take over, as I waited for outside validation that I never received.

I got in my own way.

In reality, I was just as much a part of that team as the girls who were breaking records left and right. I deserved my plate of pasta just as much as the next girl did.

After all, we ran the same race.

It was my own sense of worth that kept me stuck.

What Does Self-Worth Really Mean?

Self-worth is this inner belief that you are worthy of wonderful things.

It is not “I love myself because I’m so pretty.”

It is not “I love myself because I work hard.”

Nor is it “I love myself because I have a great job.”

Self-worth is knowing on a soul-level that you are worthy just because you are you.

Unfortunately, this isn’t something that we are taught. We are taught that we have to earn everything. We have to prove ourselves worthy.

No and no.

The same God, Source, Universe that created majestic sunrises, gorgeous trees, and stunning mountains also created YOU.

You don’t need to be anything, you don’t need to do anything, you are worthy just as you are.  

No one or nothing can take that from you.

How Can You Improve Your Self-Worth

Once you become aware of need to improve your sense of self-worth, you open the doors to a whole new world.

Use these tried and true recommendations below to start seeing some incredible change.


Affirmations are incredibly powerful for self-healing. You may think that are just words. But, oh my goodness, words are so powerful.

It’s the words I told myself for so many years that contributed to my low self-worth.

If words can break you down, they absolutely can build you back up.

For your affirmations, you can come up with your own mantras, or you can use a few of these:

I am perfect just the way I am.

I am worthy of miracles.

I have infinite potential.

I am worthy of blessings.

I whole-heartedly love myself, just for being me.

With these affirmations, you want to say them aloud to yourself during the day.

The most powerful way to say them is out loud in the mirror, while you are looking in your eyes. Let yourself breath, smile, and really feel into these statements.

You can screenshot these on your phone. Or, print them out and tape them to the bathroom mirror.

Do what works for you, but know these are incredibly powerful.

Grounding & Connecting to Nature

There’s something so beautiful and healing about being in nature.

To ground yourself, you can stand with your feet in the ground and the sun on your skin, taking deep breaths and feeling the energy of the earth come up through your feet.

Or, you can lay on a blanket, close your eyes, and feel the earth’s energy enveloping you.  

There’s so many ways to connect with nature: You can listen to the birds, go for a stroll, watch the waves.

Nature brings us back to ourselves. We are a part of it. Just as all of the beauty around was created, so were we.

One mountain isn’t better than another because it’s taller. One bird isn’t better than the next because it flies faster. The sun doesn’t apologize for moving behind a cloud.

We are whole and worthy just the way we are.

Connecting to Your Body

An amazing way to feel a stronger sense of worth is through deepening the connection with your body.

Moving your body in any type of way can help you feel more comfortable, and give you a beautiful strength in who you are.

Maybe that means going on nightly walks in the fresh, cool air.

Maybe that means having dance parties, even if you would usually be the last one on the dance floor.

Or, maybe that means doing a yoga or a breathwork class.

Pick something that is easy. Or, pick something that is exciting.

Either way all of these things bring us back to our body and help to make us feel whole again. In turn, helping us to improve our self-worth.


Journaling is one that I struggled with for a while.

However, it’s one of the most helpful tools because you can heal through the written word.

You can have a change of mindset through the written word.

You can feel heard and loved through the written word.

When you start writing or typing out the emotions you are feeling and where they came from, you can start to make really amazing connections.

You can realize why you picked up a certain pattern. You can then attribute this to an event or an experience and understand that it doesn’t define who you are.

Journaling is a beautiful way to let go of what we are carrying, and let it flow out of our bodies.

Some self-worth journaling questions are:

When did I first feel like I wasn’t good enough?

Why do I place so much emphasis on what others think of me?

Where am I judging myself too harshly?

What do I need to forgive myself for?

What negative beliefs do I have and what can I let go of?

How am I blocking myself from receiving?

You don’t need to use all of these questions – just one or two that speaks to you.

Trying Something New

As we get older in life, we tend to take less risks and live in more contracted ways.

Maybe we were wild when we were younger, and we feel it’s time to settle down and play it safe.

Coming from someone who traveled Europe by backpack and went skydiving in the Swiss Alps in my 20s, you would never know that now.

After graduation I got a job, got married, had kids, and got lost in the routine of everyday life.

In doing so, it’s so easy to lose your essence.

We have to remember and honor who we are.

We don’t necessarily need to do anything crazy (Anyone else thinking of Uncle Jesse jumping out of the plane on his wedding day?!).

Yet, trying something new once in a while is good for us, especially when we give so much to others.

Get that diving certification you’ve been wanting.

Take that martial arts class you’ve been looking at.

Start a new hobby. Or, maybe an old hobby you once loved.

Trying something new enables you to step out of the box you’ve put yourself in.

It doesn’t need to be something way out of your comfort zone, but it should be something that you’ve been wanting or hoping to do.

Something that maybe an older version of yourself would have loved.

Find her (or him) and do it!

How to Improve Self-Worth with Yoga on the Paddleboard

Tame the Inner Critic

This is a rough one, but we have to stop judging and criticizing ourselves. Getting past this can work wonders to improve our self-worth.

There is this saying that we are our own worst critic. It’s so true.

Yet, how have we let that happen??

We should be our biggest fan!

Why didn’t that saying become normalized?

Think about when your child throws a temper tantrum.

Of course, you still love them. You’ll probably hug or hold them until they calm down.

You’ll probably validate their feelings, saying “It’s okay to be mad but it’s not okay to kick, hit, etc…”  

Now think about if you, as an adult, throw a little fit in a moment of frustration. You’ll probably be mad at yourself later.

Yet, what we really need is to love ourselves through it.

Just as we gave that hug to our child and showed our love, we need to give that same loving message to ourselves.

“It’s okay to be mad.”

Breathe into that. Let it flow out.

Otherwise, these emotions get trapped in our bodies and become future triggers.

We need to stop judging ourselves and love ourselves through it all.

Through the fun emotions and the not-so-fun ones.

Sure, we can do better next time but that doesn’t mean we can’t love ourselves while we try.

Connecting to Your Spirituality

When I was young, my grandmother prayed every day to Mother Mary.

She always kept five special people on her rosary, and I was honored when I was one of those people.

Now, I feel this beautiful connection with Mother Mary and often pray to her.

There are so many spiritual beings or ascended masters that we can pray to or connect with regardless of religion.

These helpers can truly help us improve our self-worth.

Mother Mary is amazing to connect with, especially since a lot of our self-worth issues stem from childhood.

Another incredible ascended master to connect with is Kuan Yin.

She envelopes compassion and can truly help you dig deep and feel compassion for yourself.  

Any kind of stillness, prayer or meditation, is a powerful way to connect.

Doing Inner Work

As mentioned above, a lot of our feelings of self-worth come from childhood.

Part of moving forward is looking back and resolving what comes up.

There are tons of self-help books on how to improve your self-worth that can help you go deeper into this.

However, an amazing resource is the Holistic Psychologist Nicole LePera’s book How To Do the Work.

She also has an incredible instagram where she gives bursts of beautiful, relatable healing information that is changing people’s perspectives and their lives.

Definitely check her out!

Improving Self-Worth Wrap Up

All of the above things can help you improve your self-worth in miraculous ways. Choose one or two to start with, and see what works for you.

For me, running cross-country certainly wasn’t my first instance of low self-worth.

Nor was it my last.

Maybe if I had recognized it back then, I wouldn’t have kept repeating the pattern for the couple decades.

Yet, that is the beauty of this life: the lessons come back around if we miss them.

So, work on your worth.

It’s important. YOU are important.

And, last, to all the fast runners out there: you’re welcome.

It’s the slow ones, like me, that made you all look so fast.

To learn more about the author, visit About Eileen.

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