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Sense of self-worth changes how you view the world.

The people that seem the happiest and most well-adjusted in life are usually those who see themselves pretty accurately, and are okay with who they are. They know what they’re good at, and what they’re not good at. They realize that to be human is to have both strengths and weaknesses, both diamonds and warts. Healthy people are able to embrace and accept all of who they are.

It’s usually when people choose to focus mainly on their “diamonds” or their “warts,” that they miss something important, and develop a skewed way of viewing themselves and the world around them.

When we focus only on our strengths, we run the risk of developing an over-inflated sense of self that prevents us from growing in needed areas. Conversely, those who focus only their weaknesses may develop such a low sense of self that they are unable to function effectively and let their strengths shine.

There is no general test or assessment for a person’s level of self-acceptance, but a pretty fair sense can be gained by listening carefully to what our friends are saying to us. Those who know us the best are our clearest “mirrors,” and they let us get glimpses of what we’re like on the outside – not just who we think we are.

As you might guess, those who focus mainly on their strengths probably don’t come in for counseling as often as those who struggle believing that they have anything to offer the world.

Some symptoms of those with a low sense of self-acceptance might include:

  • Discouragement
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Fear (especially social fear)
  • Avoidance of people and situations that might trigger negative feelings
  • Self-loathing
  • Over or under achieving
  • Poor relationship boundaries and relationship problems
  • Negative self-talk
    • I can’t do anything right
    • Nobody likes me
    • I’m not as good as they are
    • I’m a loser

There are many possible causes of this sense of low self-worth – more than can be listed here. If you find that you are struggling with some of these symptoms, we suggest that you make an appointment with Counseling Services to talk things over. More self-help content.