Self worth refers to our personal perception of ourselves, in other words, one's worth as a person, as perceived by oneself . Self worth should not be confused with what opinions others have about ourselves.
The majority of the things that we do revolve around increasing our self worth as a person, for example, performing well at studies, maintaining good relations, excelling at extracurricular activities, and even small things like using social media or playing video games. Don’t we all like it when people like our photos on Facebook or when we have a large number of people following us on Instagram? Ever wondered why does that happen? The answer is because it creates a favorable opinion of oneself in one’s mind. Even all the video games are designed in a way to increase self worth by constantly challenging and rewarding the player for overcoming the challenge. After all these activities, we feel good about ourselves and that is something which is essential for one’s development. How can we expect others to appreciate us or be happy with us if we are not happy with ourselves?
So, self worth is important but, how can we actually go about increasing it?
There are two ways of doing this, the extrinsic ways that depend on other people like using social media, and then there are intrinsic ways for example challenging oneself to solve a puzzle.
There exists an intrinsic technique which I believe is the most effective and reliable way for increasing one’s self worth. The only thing someone has to do is, be conscientious, do the right thing even when nobody is watching you. (Here, doing the right thing means doing ethically and morally right. Ethically and morally right stances do not depend on personal perspectives, it is something which is universally accepted as the right stance.)
I have personally observed that I am most confident when I know I am right, and I did the right thing. Some people might argue that you sometimes regret the trade-off you made for doing the right thing, and some people will believe there is a list of disadvantages but one sure shot benefit that it provides is increased self worth. At least I am satisfied that I did the right thing even if I had to incur short term losses. For example, in this digital era, where information is readily available it is not uncommon for people to plagiarize assignments or reports from internet sources and friends, and the majority of the time, people don’t even face any serious repercussions for the same. However, whether a similar situation arises (when there is a possibility of facing repercussions) or not, the person who completed the assignment on their own feels a sense of satisfaction, and increased self worth because they did the right thing.
If you look around and think about the most conscientious person you know or create a persona, it is possible that they are not the most lovable friend or the most easy-going person but they are definitely someone who is confident and satisfied with themselves, and also value themselves as a person for doing the right thing.
And isn’t it something we all want to do, value ourselves?
Author: Tanisha Aggrawal, CMI Student Leader, Senior Undergraduate, IIT Gandhinagar