Vera Wang is an iconic name in the world of design and showbiz. Some of the world’s biggest celebrities from Victoria Beckham to Mariah Carey wore a wedding dress from the queen of bridal couture. 

Wang might have a fashion and lifestyle empire today but did you know she achieved success relatively late in life? 

Initially, Wang dreamt of becoming an Olympic figure skater, but couldn’t. She refused to give up and decided to venture into the fashion industry.  Wang only opened her first boutique when she was in her 40s.

Wang’s story tells us that it’s never too late for success and that we shouldn’t give up on ourselves. We can believe in ourselves only when we know how to value ourselves. Read on to see why it’s important to know your self-worth and the effective ways to develop it. 

What Is Self-Worth?

Self-worth and value are two sides of the same coin and are often used interchangeably. Having a sense of self-worth means you value yourself and believe you’re worthy and capable. A sense of worthiness often stems from the feeling that you have good qualities and have done positive things.

On the other hand, self-value is more behavioral than emotional. It’s more about how you act towards what you value, including yourself. It entails self-care. Valuing yourself means treating yourself well, reducing negative self-talk and recognizing your potential and qualities. It further improves personal health, growth and development. 

To fully recognize the importance of self-worth, you must look at its benefits:

  • When we deal with low self-worth, there’s a persistent feeling of unworthiness that affects our mental well-being; when you know your self-worth, you build a positive relationship with yourself

  • When we respect ourselves, we feel more confident in our abilities. We trust ourselves to take up new challenges and goals because we believe that we can achieve them

  • Having a healthy relationship with yourself improves your relationships with others. When you’re in a positive frame of mind, you find time to invest in your interpersonal relationships

How To Increase Your Self-Worth

The way you feel about yourself is the way you’re going to treat yourself. Knowing your self-worth isn’t enough; you need to know how to value yourself. Everyone deserves to lead a fulfilling life and you need to take active measures towards that goal. Let’s look at some of the effective ways that’ll teach you how to value yourself and improve your self-worth. 

  1. Allow Yourself To Make Mistakes

We often let our mistakes define our level of self-worth. You need to understand that mistakes are beyond our control and it’s difficult to navigate the inevitable. Learning is a continuous process and mistakes are going to be a part of them—it’s okay to make mistakes. Learning from your mistakes not only helps you stay prepared for future scenarios but also allows you to work towards self-development.

  1. Let Go Of What You Can’t Control

We all have days when everything seems to go wrong. You need to remind yourself that there are only some things that are affected by your actions and intentions. Focus your time and energy on the things that you can control. The onus to make things right isn’t always on you, so don’t burden yourself by overthinking.

  1. Stop Comparing Yourself With Others

We often compare ourselves with others because we want to achieve the same things as they do. Everyone’s different and at different stages of growth and development. It can be damaging to make comparisons because their needs, expectations and experiences are completely different from yours. When you stop comparing, you can focus on yourself and embrace your uniqueness. 

  1. Learn To Say No

There will be times when we’re tempted to prioritize others’ needs and requests over ours. This often happens at the expense of our personal well-being. Learn how to prioritize yourself and make room for your needs and expectations. Honor yourself by doing what feels right. Try saying ‘no’ more often and establish healthy boundaries for yourself. Not only does it create personal freedom, but also reflects self-esteem and self-value.

  1. Do Things That Scare You

We often let fear hold us back from pursuing things—it stems from low self-trust. It’s impossible to recognize your self-worth without taking risks and overcoming fear. For example, if you’re afraid of public speaking, make smaller attempts by speaking up at meetings or when you get together with friends. Ask people about their opinion and use the feedback to address your shortcomings. These small but valuable steps will be instrumental in building self-confidence.

  1. Embrace Vulnerability

Worrying about others’ approval and validation is only normal. However, if you focus too much on what others think, you’ll be limiting yourself. It can be difficult to stop thinking about others’ perceptions about you but that shouldn’t stop you from being authentic. We all have something that gives our life meaning—don’t be afraid to listen to your heart and pursue your expectations. Stand out from the crowd by being vulnerable, transparent and true to yourself and others.

  1. Chat With Your Inner Critic

Our inner critic can be quite mean and exhausting. An effective way to value yourself is to manage your inner critic. Start paying attention to how you react when things go wrong or when you make mistakes. Write them down if needed. Monitoring your inner thoughts will help you reflect on the way you treat yourself. If you’ve been harsh, find ways to change the narrative. For example, think, ‘What if I did this differently next time?’

  1. Give Yourself A Break

We bite off more than we can chew, more often than we realize. We tend to take up responsibilities because we feel that our worth lies in our work. We feel guilty for taking time off or doing nothing at all. It’s good to be productive and dedicated to your work, but your body needs adequate rest and nourishment too. You must take healthy breaks and allow yourself some time off. Reserve a day in a week when you don’t look at your emails or texts and spend time doing what you love.

The Importance Of Self-Worth At Work

A strong sense of self-worth can improve your performance at work—by increasing engagement, enabling higher productivity and helping you build better interpersonal relationships with coworkers. It helps you make decisions and trust your choices, which are important qualities needed for professional development. Here are some useful tips that’ll teach you how to increase your self-worth at work.

  1. Identify Your Purpose

In order to identify your purpose, you need to define your value. Consider the qualities you want others to recognize and appreciate. Create career goals that align with your work and deliverables in the organization. You’re more likely to flourish when you fully recognize what you want to achieve.

  1. Recognize Your Strengths And Weaknesses

We’re all great at some things and not so good at others. When we consider our strengths and weaknesses, we know what we’re capable of. You can capitalize on your strengths and contribute to the organization’s success. Instead of negatively reviewing your weaknesses, you can identify ways to overcome them. All in all, accept yourself for who you truly are.

  1. Build Good Relationships

Good workplace relationships not only make jobs more enjoyable but also keep us motivated and productive. When you cultivate positive relationships with coworkers, you’re widely recognized. It encourages you to collaborate and network, giving way to lasting relationships. Teamwork becomes more efficient when you’ve already established trust through your relationship. Healthy interpersonal relationships boost self-confidence because others are supportive of you and your actions.  

  1. Ask For Feedback

Learning is a never-ending journey. To continue learning, we need to monitor and track our progress. Consider asking your managers, supervisors or colleagues what they think you do best. View such constructive criticism as opportunities to do better. Positive feedback helps improve confidence and you’re more aware of your true potential.

  1. Focus On Yourself

A fast-paced work environment often makes it difficult to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Try to establish healthy boundaries and avoid overexerting yourself. Make sure that you get adequate rest and maintain a healthy diet because it affects your productivity and efficiency. Take breaks between work hours and listen to music or go for a walk. If you’re overwhelmed at any point, try relaxation exercises or talk to a peer.


Self-worth and value are transformative skills that anyone can adopt. While they’re tricky to navigate, you can always learn how to be open-minded and kind to yourself. The first step to valuing yourself is to become self-aware and understand your needs and expectations.

Harappa Education’s online course ‘Leading Self’ will teach you how to understand yourself better. The Ladder of Learning will help you recognize your competence and skills. The Iceberg Model will teach you how to overcome self-imposed limitations. You’ll be unstoppable when you learn to trust and value yourself. Lead yourself to success!

Explore Harappa Diaries to learn more about topics related to the LEAD habit such as ResilienceSelf-Esteem and Self-Motivation to achieve personal and professional success.

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