Know Your Worth

When my parents retired to Florida, I inherited an antique Singer sewing machine. I learned how to sew on that machine, and it was built to last! It worked well for the occasional hemming and minor sewing projects. The only value that machine had to me was the sentimental feeling from my childhood and that is served a purpose for my needs.

When I finally got an updated sewing machine with all the bells and whistles, that old Singer went into storage until I decided to sell it at a garage sale. I sold it for $40.00. It wasn’t until the man who purchased it, grabbed it so quickly, whipped out two twenties, and smiled as he carried the machine to his car, that I realized the sewing machine had a much greater monetary value than $40.00.

How do the concepts of value and worth relate to us?

The definition of self-esteem is commonly stated as, “a person’s overall sense of his or her personal value and self-worth. Another definition included, “an honest, realistic, and appreciative opinion of oneself. Self-esteem is what a person believes to be true about themselves and their value in the world.

Our self-worth, or how and to what extent we value ourselves, determines how strong our self-esteem is at that moment. When we know that we have value, that we are worthy, we will also have a strong self-esteem.

How is self-worth determined?

Even though my antique sewing machine and my new upgraded model were both sewing machines, each carried a different value and worth. However, we are humans and not sewing machines! Human worth is unconditional and equal. One person is just as important and valuable as every other person. We have value, each of us, just because we are a human being.

In 1992, Claudia A. Howard created “Howard’s Laws of Human Worth” to explain how precious each of us is just by being human. There are five axioms.

1. All have infinite, internal, eternal, and unconditional worth as persons.

I am a human being. You are a human being. All humans have the same worth.

2. All have equal worth as people. Worth is not comparative or competitive.

You are not inferior to anyone else. You are not superior over anyone else.

3. Externals neither add to nor diminish worth. Externals include things like money, looks, performance, and achievements. These only increase one’s market or social worth. Worth as a person, however, is infinite and unchanging.

People with financial means (millionaires), people who are beautiful (models, actors), people with specialized skills (doctors, lawyers), and people who have achieved position (actors, politicians), may sometimes receive extra attention from the world and even be revered as “special.” However, these external factors do not make them worth more as a human being. People with these advantages may enjoy certain privileges, but these factors do not mean they are more important or special than every other human being.

4. Worth is stable and never in jeopardy (even if someone rejects you).

No one can take away your worth. It is yours forever. It does not matter if another person likes you or not. It is your right as a human being.

5. Worth doesn’t have to be earned or proved. It already exists. Just recognize, accept, and appreciate it.

The beauty of worth is that it is already yours. You cannot work for it or be rewarded with it. Accept that you are worthy. Believe you are worthy. Know that you are worthy.

How do I start accepting my worth?

Reframe your self-talk. When you feel inferior to someone else that you see as more successful or more beautiful or wealthier than yourself, remind yourself that these are external factors and not a measure of value. Strip all the externals away and know that you have the same value as everyone else. If your self-esteem has been challenged, the best way to strengthen it is by accepting your worth.

You are worth it!


Featured photo by Katrina Wright on Unsplash.