“The Pyramid of Self-Worth”: Step 3–Practice Self-Love (& video)

"The Pyramid of Self-Worth": Step 3--Practice Self-Love (& video); www.DrChristinaHibbert.comIt sounds simple, yet so many of us get stuck on this one. Some think, “I love myself,” then, hesitantly wonder, “Don’t I?” Others believe, “I don’t love myself enough” or “I’m not even sure how.” (If you missed parts 1-3 of this series on How to Feel Self Worth, catch up here.)

Self-love is at the core of feeling self-worth, so it’s imperative we each learn to love ourselves more completely. It would be easy for me to therefore say, “Go love yourself,” and leave it at that. But I know from experience that for many of us, knowing how to “love yourself” can feel downright tricky.


What Self-Love is NOT

Before we can practice self-love, we must understand what self-love means. First, let’s get clear on what self-love is NOT:

Self-love is NOT…"The Pyramid of Self-Worth": Step 3--Practice Self-Love; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

  • Selfishness. It’s not selfish to love yourself. In fact, selfishness involves very little self-love.
  • Narcissism. Self-love is not narcissistic either. Narcissists don’t actually know how to love themselves—or others, really.
  • The opposite of other-love. Nope. Self-love is an important part of loving others. You will never fully love others until you learn to love yourself. You cannot give what you do not already possess.


What Self-Love IS, & How to Practice Self-Love

Then what IS self-love? The way I see it, self-love has four important elements, and when we’re able to focus on and practice each of these, we begin to experience true self-love and feel our true self-worth.

Watch this 3-Minute Therapy video on my YouTube channel on “Feeling Self-Worth: Step 3, Self-Love.” Then, continue reading, below.

[stream provider=youtube flv=http%3A//www.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3DcI9WlyM0yWo img=x:/img.youtube.com/vi/cI9WlyM0yWo/0.jpg embed=false share=false width=640 height=360 dock=true controlbar=over bandwidth=high autostart=false responsive=16:9 /]

Self-love IS…


  • Self-Compassion (developing loving thoughts and feelings about yourself). I love the concept of self-compassion. It takes into account all of who we are—our good and not so good—and allows us to apply a loving hand when we most need it. As self-compassion researcher and author, Kristen Neff, writes, “Compassion, then, involves the recognition and clear seeing of suffering. It also involves feelings of kindness for people who are suffering, so that the desire to help—to ameliorate suffering—emerges. Finally, compassion involves recognizing our shared human condition, flawed and fragile as it is…Self-compassion, by definition, involves the same qualities.”[i] When we exhibit self-compassion, we choose to think and feel kindly toward ourselves, despite our suffering and mistakes. It allows us to see we’re just like everyone else—perfectly flawed—and it allows us to touch our flawed nature with self-love. Self-compassion stems from our thoughts—we choose to think with kindness and compassion about ourselves. (More on this, read “Perfect?” or “Fake”: 8 Myths about Perfectionism & 8 Truths to Cure It)


  • Self-Kindness (doing nice things for yourself). Beyond taking care of yourself and practicing self-compassion, it’s also important to do nice things for yourself. For some, this may mean giving yourself a break by getting someone to watch your kids for you, or letting yourself go for a hike with friends instead of cleaning the house. It may mean getting a massage for a sore back, savoring a tasty treat, watching your favorite TV show, or finally booking that long-overdue vacation. It may be as simple as telling yourself you look terrific when you look in the mirror, smiling and shaking it off when you make a mistake, or reminding yourself, “I am a good person.” A good question to ask is, “What would I do to show kindness to someone else?” Then, do that for yourself. (For more on this, read Learning Self-Love: 5 Tricks for Treating Yourself More Kindly)

 "The Pyramid of Self-Worth": Step 3--Practice Self-Love; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

  • Letting others love you. Let down your walls and let the love in. Letting love in not only builds strong, healthy relationships that reinforce your self-love, it creates a stronger healthier YOU. Let others do kind things for you to show you their love. These small acts of kindness and love can make a big impact if you will let them into your heart. Practice receiving a compliment with a simple, “Thank you.” When others ask if they can help or serve you, say, “Yes, that would be wonderful.” Even returning a smile from a stranger can help the walls come down and the love begin to enter our hearts. And listen: if you think no one loves you, you’re wrong. Look around you. Seek to open up a little bit more each day and let the kindness of others plant the seeds of love in your heart. It’s one of the kindest things you can do for yourself. (For more on this, read 10 Ways to Let Love In & 5 Things I Know For Sure About Love)



Build Your Sense of Self-Worth:

Self-Love Tools

1)    Practice Self-Care, as described above and here.

2)    Practice Self-Compassion: Listen to what you say to yourself throughout each day. Are you compassionate when things go wrong? What would the compassionate response be, instead? Work to replace negative or hurtful thoughts with your new compassionate alternatives.

3)    Practice Self-Kindness: Each day, do one kind thing for yourself. It might be a nap, or time out with your friends, or it might be a massage, or a little extra sleep. It might, and should, often include choosing to believe the compassionate thoughts and feelings you’re attempting to create.

4)    Read, “Learning Self-Love: 5 Tricks for Treating Yourself More Kindly,” for more ideas.

Join me next week for the final part of this 5-part series on How to Feel Self-Worth. SUBSCRIBE, below, so you won’t miss a thing!

(Part 1) How to Feel Self-Worth: The Pyramid of Self-Worth

(Part 2) “The Pyramid of Self-Worth”: Step 1, Self-Awareness

(Part 3) “The Pyramid of Self-Worth”: Step 2, Self-Acceptance

How do you practice self-love? What gets in your way? Share your thoughts on this important topic by leaving a comment, below!

#1 Amazon Bestseller, This Is How We Grow, by Dr. Christina Hibbert, Available now on Amazon.com! www.ThisIsHowWeGrow.com
Be sure to check out Dr. Hibbert’s Amazon Bestseller, This is How We Grow
available now on Amazon.com!



"The Pyramid of Self-Worth": Step 3--Practice Self-Love (& video); www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

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“The Pyramid of Self-Worth” Step 1–Practice Self-Awareness (& video)

"The Pyramid of Self-Worth": Step 1--Practice Self-Awareness; www.DrChristinaHibbert.comIn my last post, we discussed how to feel self-worth, using what I call, “The Pyramid of Self-Worth.” Today, we get to start working through the steps of the pyramid, toward our ultimate goal of increasing our sense of self-worth.

Before we start, let me say, I realize this is just a blog, and we certainly won’t be able to cover every aspect of discovering self-worth for every person, but I believe in these principles, and I’ve seen them work before. Following The Pyramid of Self-Worth, we can discover, or rather uncover, who we really are. We can feel our true potential. We can grow in self-worth.

Understanding Self-Awareness

What is self-awareness?

Before we can practice self-awareness, we first must understand what self-awareness is and what gets in our way of being more self-aware. For our purposes, self-awareness means “the ability to allow yourself to see all of you—including the good, the not-so-good, and yes, even the ugly.”

What blocks self-awareness?

For many, self-awareness is difficult. Some simply have no interest in self-awareness, but most start out aware but then block self-awareness. Why is this so? Bottom line…I think it all boils down to fear:

1)    Fear of seeing something really ugly if we dig too deep.

2)    Fear of feeling worse about ourselves because of what we see.

3)    Fear that, once we see, we’ll have to make change, and changing can be scary.


Watch this “3-Minute Therapy” YouTube video on “Feeling Self-Worth: Step 1–Practice Self-Awareness.”

[stream provider=youtube flv=http%3A//www.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3DCexWG3VYBjk img=x:/img.youtube.com/vi/CexWG3VYBjk/0.jpg embed=false share=false width=640 height=360 dock=true controlbar=over bandwidth=high autostart=false responsive=16:9 /]


Self-awareness requires courage.

It certainly can be challenging to become self-aware. Self-awareness requires courage. You may be saying, “But I’m not courageous.” Yes, you are. It takes courage to read this article. It takes courage to get honest with yourself and how you are, and who you are. It takes courage to desire to change, to work on that desire. Yes, you are courageous, and that is great news, because self-awareness requires courage.


Self-Awareness dispels the fear and brings peace.

Sure, it might be tough to see what we see at first, but eventually, as we see all of who we are, we become free of it. As we courageously take a deep breath, open up our heart, and step inside, we find the truth, and as the bible says, “the truth shall set you free”—free of fear. It’s easy to fear the monsters hiding in the closet, but seeing them in the light takes the fear away. The more of us we expose to the light, the less there is to fear, because the more we know.

Self-awareness opens us up to the truth, and that gives us the opportunity we need to accept that truth, as we will discuss in the next post. This is the ultimate gift of self-awareness—peace. No longer do we fight against the dark parts of who we are; instead, as we see and name the darkness, we bring it to light. And who’s afraid of the light?


Self-Awareness can be exciting.

Hard as it might be to practice self-awareness, it can also be exhilarating. We not only see the “negatives;” we also get to discover our strengths. We get to understand who we really are, and not just who others, or the world, tell us we are. We get to grow toward our true potential. That’s why self-awareness is such an exciting endeavor: It opens the door for lifelong progress.


 The Pyramid of Self-Worth: Step 1–Practice Self-Awareness

So, how do we begin the process of self-awareness? Here are a few strategies to get you off and on your way:~Dr. Christina Hibbert, from "The Pyramid of Self-Worth": Step 1, Practice Self-Awareness; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

1) First and foremost–Leave the judgment out of it. Self-awareness is not self-judgment. It’s looking, and seeing, and discovering who you really are. So, check your judgment at the door. Let yourself open up and freely see it all. 


2) Take a searching look at who you are. Ask yourself, “Who am I?” Then, listen. You will likely hear all kinds of answers–from the outward descriptions, like “I am a teacher, friend, and runner”–to the inward, “I am hopeful, happy, hard-working”–to the very deep, “I am God’s child. I am a spirit, an eternal soul. I am love. I am filled with divine potential.” Whatever you hear, take note. You are beginning an important process, one that will last a lifetime. Take your time and listen to what your heart is continually whispering about you.


3) Take a closer look at how you are. Ask, “How am I?” I’m not talking about how you feel; I’m talking about how you are in the world–with other people, in your daily life, in your relationships. How do other people see you? What strengths or weaknesses have you seen through other people’s eyes? What have other people said about you from which you might learn something? We’re not interested in judgments of who you are as much as opening your eyes to see all of who and how you are. So, be willing to open yourself up. Be willing to see how you are in the world. Gather the evidence like a detective. Lay all judgment aside. Simply open your eyes and take a courageous look.


4) See your weaknesses. We all have them, you know–weaknesses. Some of us can easily identify twenty, while others might struggle to see even one or two. Whichever end of the spectrum you’re on, it’s time to get realistic. See the things with which you struggle. See the areas that need more work. You might have a quick temper, be extremely shy, have debilitating fears, suffer from depression, or be extremely sensitive to hormone changes or sleep loss. Whatever weaknesses you discover, remember this: Weaknesses do not make you a weak person. They make you human. With time and work, your weaknesses can become your greatest strengths. 


5) See your strengths. Some of us struggle more to see our strengths than our weaknesses. Some reject compliments or any words of kindness or praise. But we have strengths, too–all of us. You might be a great listener, an excellent cook, a talented musician, gardener, or computer genius. You might be great with kids, a natural leader, extremely compassionate, or responsible. Search out your strengths. They are your best assets–the ones you’ll eventually want to develop and share with the world. Seeing your strengths is an important part of self-awareness, for they are an important part of who you are and who you are destined to become. (More on strengths & weaknesses, read this.)


Be sure to check out all of this 5-part series:

(Part 1) How to Feel Self-Worth: “The Pyramid of Self-Worth (& video)

(Part 3) “The Pyramid of Self-Worth”: Step 2, Practice Self-Acceptance (& video)

Build Your Sense of Self-Worth–

Self-Awareness Tools

Try one or more of these “tools” to help you begin your practice of self-awareness.

1) Practice self-awareness. As you go throughout your day today, open your heart and your eyes. Notice how you interact with others. Notice how you feel inside. Notice the things that come easy to you and those with which you struggle. Work on leaving the judgment out–simply see. When it gets hard to see these things, stop and take 10 deep breaths. Remind yourself that self-awareness is a courageous act, one that will lead you to a stronger sense of self-worth and purpose. At the end of the day, write down what you have discovered.

2) Create your “I Am” List. Imagine you’re a detective, out to explore and gather the facts about who you are. Start with two lists: “I am,” and “I am not.” The more you uncover, the more you keep adding to your lists.

3) Start a list of “strengths” and “weaknesses.” Again, no judgment. Your job is merely to uncover the truth–to see all parts of you. Add to your lists as you learn more and more about yourself. Read this article for more on Strengths & Weaknesses.


Leave a comment below with your thoughts on self-awareness, and be sure to join us next time as we work on “Self-Acceptance.”


#1 Amazon Bestseller, This Is How We Grow, by Dr. Christina Hibbert, Available now on Amazon.com! www.ThisIsHowWeGrow.com
Be sure to check out Dr. Hibbert’s Amazon Bestseller, This is How We Grow
available now on Amazon.com!



Join my  This is How We Grow Personal Growth Group!

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“If Self-Esteem is a Myth, then What is the Truth?”: Understanding Self-Worth

"If Self-Esteem is a Myth, the what is the Truth?": Understanding Self-Worth, www.drchristinahibbert.com“If Self-Esteem is a Myth, then what is the Truth?”: Understanding Self-Worth

 I appreciate the feedback I’ve received on my article, “5 Reasons Self-Esteem is a Myth”. Some of you were excited about the insights I shared; some weren’t so sure. If you haven’t read it yet, I suggest you give it a look. In this post, I hope to build upon those ideas, to help us understand a little better why self-esteem isn’t the way to go & why “self-worth” is.


Self-Esteem vs. Self-Worth

 “Aren’t Self-Esteem & Self-Worth the Same Thing?” I’ve heard this question many times, and if you’re using a dictionary, then the answer is: “Yes”. In fact, most definitions for “self-worth” simply say, “See self-esteem”.

I, however, disagree that self-worth and self-esteem are one and the same. Self-esteem, to me, is more external, surface, conditional, and changing, while self-worth is internal, deep, unconditional, and enduring.

Here are a couple definitions I found for “Self-Worth”:

1)   Respect for or a favorable opinion of oneself[1]

2)   One’s worth as a person, as perceived by oneself[2]

3)   The sense of one’s own value or worth as a person (origin 1960-65)[3]

The last two seem closer to what I’m talking about but they’re awfully simple definitions for such a deep, core principle.


Defining Self-Worth: 

What I’m proposing is a new definition of self-worth. Yes, it includes our sense of value or worth as a person. But I take it a step further.

To me, Self-Worth means: The ability to comprehend and accept my true value—to understand I am more than my mind, body, emotions, and behaviors, to see myself as God sees me, to accept His love for me, and to learn to love myself in like manner.


Self-Worth is Deep

 I know this is getting a little deep and spiritual, but to me, self-worth is deep and spiritual. Too many of us settle for “self-esteem”—for Understanding Self-Worth: "If Self-Esteem is a Myth, then what is the Truth?", www.drchristinahibbert.comfeeling good about how we act, look, feel, think—instead of seeking what lies beneath. We fail to get to know our true selves because we’re too caught up in the selves we create.

No matter how much we learn to love who we seem to be on the outside, we will never fully embrace our worth until we dig deeper. Self-worth isn’t about our outsides. It’s about knowing who we really are on the inside. It’s about connection—to other people, to our true selves, and to our Higher Power.


Self-Worth is Accepting the Truth

As I accept the Truth—that I am not a “personality” but rather a “soul,” with innate, unchanging potential and worth—I learn to accept all of me: my strengths and weaknesses, my “good” and my “not so good”. I see that I can choose to become stronger or weaker, but these things don’t define me. I can then let go of who I or others think I am and just be who I am. Because who I am is a divine soul, full of light and love and joy and all things good. I just have to go deeper and see it.

Perhaps Marianne Williamson’s brilliant (and now famous) quote says it best:

 “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and famous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in all of us. And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”[4]

I agree. We were “born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.” And it is “in all of us.” Understanding this Truth not only allows us to freely accept and love ourselves, it opens the door for us to help others do the same.


Self-Worth is Possible for All

I know some of you don’t believe me. I know there are some who are reading this and thinking, “Yeah, right. That might be true for some people, but it’s not true for me.”  You don’t believe you will ever experience self-worth.

Well, I’m here to tell you you’re wrong. You are of worth. You are valuable. You are loveable. You are important. You are essential to this world. And you don’t have to believe me. Not yet. You just have to open yourself up to the possibility. Open yourself up to the idea, and you can and will someday know for yourself that what I say is true. For everyone. Even for you.

What do you think about self-worth and self-esteem? Questions? Challenges? Comments? Join the conversation below.

More on this Topic: 

Check out my 5-part series on How to Feel Self-Worth using “The Pyramid of Self-Worth” and also

Self-Esteem vs. Self-Worth: Q & A w/Dr. Christina Hibbert [plus video]

#1 Amazon Bestseller, This Is How We Grow, by Dr. Christina Hibbert, Available now on Amazon.com! www.ThisIsHowWeGrow.com
Be sure to check out Dr. Hibbert’s Amazon Bestseller, This is How We Grow
available now on Amazon.com!

 "If Self-Esteem is a Myth, the what is the Truth?": Understanding Self-Worth, www.drchristinahibbert.com

Join my  This is How We Grow Personal Growth Group!

FREE. Online. Growth. What more could you ask for?

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SUBSCRIBE, just below, “like” my Facebook pages (Dr. Christina HibbertThis Is How We Grow) and follow me on Twitter,Pinterest, & Instagram!




Related Posts/Articles

Let’s Get Real: 10 Confessions from “The Psychologist, The Mom, & Me”

10 Major Mistakes I’ve Made This Month (& Why It’s OK)

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[1] Online Dictionary in “Reference Tools,” Microsoft Word.

[2] Webster’s Dictionary, hardcover, 1998.

[4] Williamson, M. (1996). A Return to Love, quote.