Valuing yourself isn’t just something you feel, it is something you show.
That’s because your attitude toward yourself shines through all around you.
It’s seen in your day-to-day life as well as in your interactions with others.
So how do you show that you value yourself?
These are some of the behaviors that reflect good self-worth.
1) You can say no without feeling guilty
When was the last time you turned someone down?
And, significantly, how did you feel about it?
It can be tricky to say no and own it unapologetically.
We live together in societies where cooperation is important. So most of us don’t particularly relish disappointing others.
We may worry about how we’ll be viewed.
But we can’t forget that we are completely within our rights to turn down invitations or opportunities for whatever reason.
- You don’t have time
- It’s inconvenient
- You just don’t feel like it
If all of these feel like perfectly legitimate reasons to you, then congrats…
You value yourself enough to know that only you get to choose what you say yes or no to in life.
2) You have begun to ask for what you want without feeling selfish about it
In both big ways and small, we may end up stifling our desires and preferences.
The funny thing is that so many of them seem trivial at the time.
But expressing how we feel to people is so often repressed within us that we just get used to it.
If you’re fed up with pushing down those desires, then chances are you’ve started to find your voice.
Rather than hoping your partner will bring home flowers, you’ve told them you’d really appreciate receiving them.
Instead of hoping your boss will finally give you more responsibility, you’ve told her that you’re ready to step up and asked for it.
So often, getting what we want out of life is dependent on finding the courage to straight up ask for it.
As we’ll see next, the same applies to the things we don’t want…
3) When something isn’t good enough you dare to speak up
In a nutshell, this comes down to boundaries.
And they’re often more complicated to navigate than we may like. Because they can get messy.
Sure, it’s fine when we’re treated the way we would like. But boundaries really kick in when someone oversteps the mark.
Then we must use our voice and our actions to signal that it’s not okay for us.
That’s where plenty of people fall down.
Rather than deal with an uncomfortable situation (and uncomfortable feelings) they may allow themselves to be pushed further and further.
When we start to draw a line, we know that we’re putting our own best interests where they should be — at the top of our priority list.
4) You know you’re not perfect, but you genuinely like yourself
Growing up, I put a lot of pressure on myself to be perfect. I guess I thought that nothing less than that was good enough.
I hoped that by being perfect I’d never have to face rejection or the pain of making mistakes.
Of course, the older I got the more I understood that simply isn’t how life works.
None of us is without our flaws.
It’s okay to see them, in fact, it’s healthy to do so. That way we can work on them.
But we shouldn’t beat ourselves up over them. They are not a reason for us to feel like we aren’t good enough.
Because rather than motivate you to do better, this attitude keeps you stuck.
When we’re forever criticizing ourselves it eats away at our sense of self-worth.
5) When it comes to romance, you’re tired of being treated badly and are ready for healthy love
In my opinion, very few areas of life signal someone’s sense of self-worth quite like romance.
Because we all seek connection. We all want love.
Throw into the mix crazy hormones that get us high on someone, and you have yourself a recipe for losing your head.
That’s why I suspect so many people end up allowing others, against their better judgment, to walk all over them.
They put up with (and even justify) a whole host of disrespectful behavior.
Deep down, we can feel so desperate for a relationship that we are willing to lower our standards.
When you finally put a stop to all that, you show yourself the respect you deserve.
You grow tired of excuses and settling for less. You would rather be alone than in the wrong relationship.
You have dropped all the duds to make space for someone who is genuinely worthy of your time, energy, and effort.
6) You have asked for a raise
I remember the first raise I ever asked for, and I was so nervous.
I felt a weird mixture of ungrateful and rude for bringing up money. The stats suggest that my trepidation wasn’t uncommon.
In fact, less than half the workforce requests a higher salary.
But then my boyfriend at the time said something that helped:
“It’s business, it’s not personal. If you wait around for them to offer you what you deserve, you’re going to be waiting a long time.”
He was right.
Because the sad truth is that people don’t always automatically notice our efforts and reward us for them. Sometimes we need to advocate for ourselves.
Let’s face it, it can feel incredibly scary to go to your boss and lay out why you are an asset and deserve more compensation.
Which is why it’s a clear sign that you are increasingly valuing yourself and can see your own worth.
7) You no longer feel the need to compare yourself
It’s super tempting. Most of us can’t help but look enviously around at what other people are up to.
Especially when social media gives us a tantalizing glimpse. But of course, you’re never getting the full picture.
Besides, it ultimately doesn’t make a difference what someone else has or does.
What matters most is focusing our energy on ourselves.
When you understand these trappings and consciously decide to stay in your own lane for your own sake, it’s a positive sign.
You realize that it’s a form of self-betrayal to directly compare yourself and your journey to other people.
8) Rather than assume you can’t do something, you give it a try first
This shows something really important:
You trust yourself.
It’s next-level confidence to never ever question or doubt yourself. In fact, sometimes it points to arrogance.
For most of us, it’s simply about feeling those nervous butterflies and giving it a go regardless.
When we give up before we’ve even tried, it signals that we don’t believe in ourselves.
Negative storytelling creates a defeatist attitude that makes you think you won’t succeed.
That’s exactly why it’s so powerful if you can push doubts aside and back yourself enough to take action.
9) You’ve dropped connections that no longer feel aligned
Deadbeat dates, draining friends, or the general users and abusers whom you have met along the way.
You know that you’re under no obligation to stick around, just because you’ve known someone for years.
If they make you feel like shit, or consistently have failed in their basic duties towards you, then they’ve got to go.
You don’t feel mean or unkind for respecting yourself enough to walk away.
10) You aren’t afraid to offer up your ideas and opinions
Rather than keep quiet in that work meeting, you no longer shy away from sharing your thoughts and suggestions.
Similarly, when it comes to offering up your opinions and feelings on certain matters with your friends and family, you don’t hesitate.
It feels safe to be yourself.
That’s because you deep down know that you have things to contribute.
You acknowledge that your thoughts, feelings, ideas, and beliefs are just as valid as anyone else’s.
11) You’re no longer terrified of change, instead, you lean into it
We don’t always think of adaptability as a sign of self-esteem, but it is.
How you feel about yourself ultimately dictates how you feel about the outside world and the mindset you take.
When we don’t value ourselves we feel far more afraid of change. We’re scared of the unknown because we aren’t sure how we will cope.
We can’t say for sure that we’ll be okay and able to survive it, let alone thrive in it.
But when you can not only handle the unpredictability of life but also get a rush from it, it’s a sign you trust yourself.
No matter what life brings your way you know you’ll be alright.
12) You don’t agonize over decisions
Making choices no longer feels the challenge that it once did.
In the past, you could get caught up in overthinking and second-guessing yourself.
You may even have believed it was smart to do so, to make sure you have all bases covered.
But in reality, indecisiveness often comes down to a lack of belief in yourself.
So the fact that you can go with your gut over something or commit to a decision is a sign of a turnaround.
Yes, you still make considered choices, but you don’t torture yourself about them.
You don’t keep yourself in limbo. You know it is better to make a choice (and later correct it if you need to) than not choose at all.
Our self-confidence and self-esteem fluctuate
Not every day is the same.
We’re bound to face situations that make us feel vulnerable or shake our sense of self.
Confidence is a skill, but it doesn’t mean it’s unwavering.
What matters most is that we keep building our self-esteem and putting the work in to nurture it.
It might not happen overnight, but over time, we will see those benefits reflected all around us.