This Video Will Teach You to Value Yourself

24 August, 2016

Have you ever thought about your own worth? Or does your life move so fast that you don’t even have time to do so? Maybe you have never stopped to think about your value, or maybe, when you do, you only focus your attention on the negative aspects, just like what happens to the protagonist of this video.

How we value ourselves is something that affects everything we do. From our personal relationships to our job performance. It’s all, in one way or another, influenced by the image we have of ourselves.

What is self-esteem?

There are many conceptions and theories about self-esteem. Carl Rogers, a humanistic psychologist, defines self-esteem as the basic core of one’s personality. At the same time, he defends the idea that many of the problems that we have are no more than a logical consequence of the scorns and ratings we give ourselves, considering ourselves unworthy of receiving love.

On the other hand, the psychotherapist Nathaniel Branden affirms that self-esteem is the possibility and experience of leading a significant life, where feelings of personal capability and worth are determining factors.

A more recent theory is one put forth by psychiatrist Luis Rojas Marcos, who defines self-esteem as the feeling of appreciation or rejection that results from the overall assessment we make of ourselves.

Self-esteem is the evaluative perception that we have about ourselves.
holding paper heart
Different definititions for one same term, but with essentially only one single message: having high self-esteem will encourage us to be more generous in our relationships. In the ones we maintain with others as well as the one we keep with ourselves.

The prison of low self-esteem 

Almost all psychological problems are closely related to low self-esteem. There is nothing that has more power over us than the way we judge ourselves. And if we do so negatively, this will create a kind of mental prison in which we will be incarcerated by our own thoughts.

Having low self-esteem will prevent you from seeing yourself as competent or valid. It will make your eyes see only mistakes — just like what happens to Andre, the protagonist of our video — and it’s very likely that your thoughts will remind you of all of that criticism you have been accumulating.

If we believe that we’re not competent or valid, we’ll behave accordingly.

To drag all of this baggage from childhood will make the bars in your mental prison even stronger and thicker over time, gradually eliminating your ability to value yourself. When you don’t value yourself, you’ll find yourself in a world of constant worthlessness, always in need of others’ approval and acceptance.

The importance of valuing and loving ourselves

Although our level of self-esteem may vary, due to diverse events that can happen to us and our own personal growth, the most important thing is to start to cultivate our ability to value and love ourselves.

In order to value yourself, you have to begin by accepting yourself the way you are.

Acceptance constitutes the main resource you require to love yourself. Remember that accepting yourself doesn’t mean accepting the image others say that you have, but rather the one you create for yourself. These are two very different things. Accepting yourself means discovering yourself and starting to taste your authenticity as a person. Always keeping in mind your virtues as well as your flaws.

Thus, when you start getting to know yourself, a whole world of abilities will be revealed within you. You will no longer be that person who is incapable of anything, unworthy of love or of little value. And you won’t depend on external judgement.

woman hugging self

To the contrary, you’ll be capable and worthy, with sustained high self-esteem that will offer you possibilities in order to put into practice certain abilities to face the challenges that you may find along the way. When you start to value yourself you’ll know that you have a right to be happy and you’ll start to respect and defend your interests and needs.

How do you see yourself? 

Now I propose a challenge for you much like the one the mysterious angel in the Luc Besson movie proposed to Andre, the protagonist. Stand in front of a mirror and look at yourself: What do you see? How do you see yourself? Go deeper. Don’t just describe the physical features…What are you like? How do you value yourself? Free yourself from the negative blindfolds that you’re currently wearing and look at yourself in order to truly value yourself.

Indeed, it’s usually not easy to look at oneself in order to discover and open up to yourself. You might discover that it’s not so easy, or maybe on the contrary, it’s not that hard for you to do it at all. What is hindering you or helping you say these words to yourself? Think about it.

Last but not least, here are some questions to reflect upon the image you have of yourself:

  • How is my self-esteem?
  • Do I love myself or do I wait for others to give me permission to love myself?
  • What am I like and what do I think others think of me?
  • Am I really who I want to be or just who others expect me to be?

Remember that it’s time to start loving and valuing yourself right now…

“Only if I feel valuable for being how and who I am, can I accept myself, can I be authentic, can I be true.”
-Jorge Bucay-

Here we leave you the video of the mirror scene from the French film, Angel-A: