Self-worth is a popular topic right now in the mental health field because of how much one’s view of oneself can impact their overall feeling of worth. A lot of my clients struggle to answer the question, where is your self-worth coming from, or what defines your self-worth?
This question can be hard for certain people to answer for different reasons, and every person has a different way to define their self-worth. I use this question as apart of a bigger exercise during session to help people think not only about their self-worth, but also their values, and how they prioritize certain values.
Some people’s first reaction is to say that they define themselves by their successes. This can be a slippery slope though, because we all go through times in our lives where things might not go our way. If we only define ourselves by our success, we will have a very low view of self during these times in our life. Other people will answer this question by saying how much money they make, through the material things that they own, or their job status.
All of these answers can have a downside: what if you lose your job and are not making as much money any more, or you somehow lose everything that you own? If this were to happen, then the person that would define themselves by those things could have a negative view of themselves.
For Christians, really the only answer to this question is to let your Christ define you. If you can allow Christ to define your self-worth, then no matter what happens in your life, you can still keep a positive view of self because that is always how Christ sees you.
Values and Re-aligning Our Values
The second part of the exercise is discussing a client’s value set. This is done by simply asking what your values are and listing them out. Once we look at your list of values, we discuss how the client is currently addressing and living their lives by their values. We discuss how they prioritize certain values over others, and why some values are more important. But, what happens when we start to prioritize other things in our lives over the values that we want to live by?
The final piece to the exercise is discussing how a client is currently prioritizing their values and if how they are currently prioritizing them is lining up with how they would like to prioritize them. If this list is out of order, then what changes do they need to make in their life to re-align their priorities with how they would like them to be. This can be a hard step and a hard discussion because it is not easy to change how we are currently living our lives. When we start to live our lives by our values set prioritized in the correct way, then we feel more fulfilled, less anxious or depressed, and happier.
If you are currently looking for a therapist, then please reach out to us here at Optimum Joy. A therapist, including myself, is always willing to talk to you and help you discuss your value set and how to re-align your values in the order that you would like them to be prioritized. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, call today!!
Written by therapist Alex Parlette