“You are always a valuable, worthwhile human being – not because anybody says so, not because you’re successful, not because you make a lot of money – but because you decide to believe it and for no other reason.” – Wayne Dyer

Plumbing the depths to find your self-worth only to come up empty?

The truth is that we’ve all been there at some point in our lives, usually when things looked bleakest and hope seemed to have disappeared. At these times, not only did we feel hopeless and helpless, but worthless as well. Finding any value in what we did or believing we had value was also incredibly hard.

What we didn’t realize then – and may have a tough time believing now – is that we always have value. The key is to tell ourselves this over and over until it sinks in and we begin to believe it.

Think about what it means to have value and worth.

These are not attributes someone else bestows upon us, at least not any human. One can argue that God gives us value and worth and that without these, we’d be animals. That may be the subject of a philosophical discussion, but there’s likely some merit in the concept. For now, however, the focus is more on how our internal beliefs help shape and motivate our actions and determine the extent to which we live a life of joy and purposefulness.

Making tons of money may sound good, like a panacea to solve all problems, but it rarely happens and almost never works. Just as you can’t buy happiness, having a stack of cash won’t ensure that you feel any better about yourself than when you were an average, hard-working individual.

Being a household name or the CEO of a thriving company similarly doesn’t catapult you into the category of high self-esteem, self-worth and value. It’s important to remember that value has nothing to do with dollars and cents, with titles or material possessions, or celebrity, or stature in the community.

If you’re coming from a place of self-doubt, the realization that you always have value may take time to bubble up. It is there, your value and self-worth. It just needs patience on your part to discover and nurture it.

How can you do that? Here are some suggestions:

Strike the word worthless from your vocabulary

There is no good reason to ever use this word. It does nothing for self-esteem. Instead, replace it with worthwhile. You may have failed in an endeavor, yet your efforts were worthwhile.

Strive to see the positive in everything you do

This means everything, from the seemingly trivial to the most important decisions you make. This means making a conscious choice to look at each potential action and weigh the possible outcomes, both positive and negative, and then choosing the course that offers the most hopeful result.

Savor the goodness of life

This is important, for life’s goodness is all around you. How you view life helps shape how you live it. You can do good things, emanating from the goodness of your spirit, or dreadful things, in an impulsive, punishing, lashing-out way. Goodness is more powerful than evil. You can do more to bring about goodness in the world and, in so doing, elevate your own sense of value and worth.

Remember that each human being makes his or her own way in the world

Life is also short, so the time we have in it is precious, deserving of our best actions. How do you want to live your life so that it means more to you and helps you feel like you’ve contributed something worthwhile?

Always pursue self-improvement

Strive to make small advances toward overcoming any of your perceived or real shortcomings. Work to eliminate a tendency to be hypercritical of your efforts. In addition, and this is crucial, give yourself permission to make mistakes and learn from them. It is from experience that wisdom comes – along with an increased sense of value and worth.

Remember, all you need to begin to believe you have value and worth is the decision to do so. Follow up with proactive, well-thought-out plans, and maintain a hopeful attitude backed by a powerful desire to utilize your strengths to your best advantage.