The Four Pillars of Worth in Worth-conscious Theory include having enough self-awareness to map and track your life experience. The confidence to tell yourself the truth about yourself. The self-esteem to feel and enjoy what you love about yourself. And the self-respect to protect your mind, energy, body, and worth. We benefit from being known, growing in love, staying safe, and showing up for ourselves.
Quick definitions of the Four Pillars of Worth are:
1. Self-awareness: the ability to see and know when you move with or against your worth. It is simply watching yourself and learning. (I can know myself)
2. Self-esteem: the experience of giving, receiving, and growing your love for yourself. (I can grow in love for myself)
3. Self-respect: the practice of protecting self-worth from being devalued by our own mistakes and from the abuse of others. (When to say, "whoa.")
4. Self-confidence: the courage to express self-worth and to show up for your truth. (I can show who I am)
"Each time you meet an old emotional pattern with presence (awareness), your awakening to truth can deepen." Tara Brach
Being aware of ourselves is more than just being alert or paying selective attention. When we practice self-awareness, we are not afraid to look at our strengths and weaknesses. In fact, we can be very interested in knowing more about what makes us strong and how we limit ourselves or let others impose limitations on us. Becoming more aware helps us challenge our limitations and promote our strengths.
Practicing self-awareness is helpful. We still need to be brave, but that is preferable to feel afraid and surrendering to old programming that isn't serving us well.
Being more self-aware includes paying attention to your thoughts. Have you ever noticed when a thought and feeling pair up in your mind, and that pairing weighs you down? It can seem automatic and, therefore, unchangeable but thought/feeling pairs can be changed.
It takes a little practice and more self-awareness to begin to make changes to the thought/feeling pairs you want to change. Changing the pattern of thinking that has been problematic for you can be done, one pair at a time. Thought + Feeling = good or bad internal experience. (See my article below, The Feelings Wearing Us Down.)
Ribbon of Worth looks at self-esteem as a vital pillar of self-worth. Self-esteem is based on acceptance of self with a healthy amount of loving yourself, too. If we focus only on liking ourselves, it can become what drives us and puts our need for praise in overdrive. So, loving ourselves within the context of acceptance of the whole self is important.
We can accept that we are made up of opposing beliefs such as: being afraid and brave, feeling love and hate, feeling weak and strong, having both a solid and fluid body, being still and yet moving. These are things that can be accepted as true. We can understand the application of each of these opposite possibilities in the right place and time to start to love ourselves more.
Self-respect can be a confusing thing to understand because if you don't already have it, you've probably been subjected to more disrespect than is good for you. That is a difficult reality to endure, but it won't keep you from developing the self-respect you need.
Think of self-respect as the invisible armor that keeps you protected. It is like a forcefield that you turn on when protecting your ideas, beliefs, values, goals, boundaries, and sense of self. Protecting these things doesn't mean you are unapproachable or distant from others. Being detached (or walled off) often occurs when self-respect isn't employed. When we get hurt enough times, we start to think we can't protect ourselves, so we pull away instead of engaging others.
That is no reason to stop interacting with people, but it's a great reason to learn how to monitor your own experience while interacting with the people you care about. We give some power away to people we love, like; friends, family, and even leaders we allow to influence us. We can heighten our awareness of what is kind and what is unkind. We can use our personal power to teach people how to treat us by what we allow or not. We don't have to quickly resort to disrespecting others to invite them to listen and honor our boundaries.
Self-respect is about what we let in, how we let it impact us when we block something or someone from using their power against us, and knowing ourselves so well that we can tolerate differences that aren't being imposed on us. Self-worth is kept safe when we are self-respecting.
Self-confidence is part of the Four Pillars of Self-Worth because it's about being true to yourself - trusting what you do. As self-worth grows, it is easier to live worthy - a worthy person is a confident person. There are two ways to think about confidence - as a feeling of security or as an act of trust.
We can't know why some children are told they are worth it and others aren't. It may be that some parents don't know their own worth and therefore can't endow their children with something they think they don't have. But, not being told you are worthy doesn't equal not having worth.
Confidence is being true to yourself (con=with and fid=trust), especially by acknowledging that you are worthy. When you feel worthy - it feels good to show it. You light up because your worth gives you the confidence to shine.
At Ribbon of Worth, we have a concept that with the first three pillars of worth - self-awareness (to know), self-esteem (to grow), self-respect (to say "whoa"), we get to exercise the fourth pillar, which is self-confidence (to show our worth).
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