Self-worth and self- esteem are often confused as being synonymous (the same), however they are very different.  

•    Self-esteem is about measuring yourself based on external actions;
•    Self-worth is about valuing your inherent worth as a person.

In other words self-worth is about who you are, not about what you do.

Society pushes for the need to have a high self-esteem but the problem with this is that you are always valuing yourself against others. The competitive nature of men in particular, tells us we need to be better and above average to feel really good about ourselves (keeping up appearances). When you look at this way of building your self-esteem it can be a losing battle because there will always be someone who is more handsome, slimmer, richer, owns bigger and better equipment and so on.

Self-esteem is pretty transient and can change in an instant depending on what happens, for example we may be feeling pretty good about a new piece of machinery or the quality of our stud flock and then someone makes a negative comment and our self-esteem falters and we feel completely crushed.  That’s how fragile our self-esteem can be because it can also be fixed by a compliment that bolsters us again.  Much anxiety may be created in striving for acceptance or approval and maintaining our ego or pride.

Probably the best way to understand self-worth is to ask yourself how valuable you are, or how much you deserve to have something you prize.  It is a deep knowing that you are of value, that you are loveable and necessary to this life.  One may feel a high self-esteem because they are good at something, yet still not feel they are loveable and worthy.  When you have a healthy self-worth (at the very core of yourself) you have a deep knowing that you are fundamentally a valuable and worthwhile person regardless of -

•    what others may say or do to you;
•    what your successes or failures are;
•    what you win or lose;
•    what you have or don’t have;
•    whether you are sick or healthy.

The concept of self-worth is really about knowing that you are always going to be worth more than all of your achievements put together.  

It is definitely a good thing to think and feel good about ourselves but what happens when our self-esteem is crushed, does that mean we are no longer valuable?  Absolutely not however many people do think that they are no longer valuable.  For example Robyn Williams, the highly regarded actor and held in high esteem by millions, completed suicide probably not because of a low self-esteem but more likely a low sense of self-worth.

Self-worth and self-esteem are vital beliefs for empowering oneself.  A valid sense of self worth is necessary in order to attain love and a sound mind.  A valid sense of self-worth precludes the possibility of depression and the worthlessness that can lead to despair or possible suicidal behaviour.

Situations, or life events, can come from many places.  As these situations develop we need to value our self-worth to reduce anxiety for ourselves.  Remember …before it all gets too much… Talk to a Mate!


Tim and the Team


The Regional Men’s Health Initiative
delivered by Wheatbelt Men’s Health (Inc.)        
PO Box 768, Northam WA 6401            
Phone: 08 9690 2277                
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.regionalmenshealth.com.au