What is self-worth and why is it important?

Do you keep hearing about self-worth, but you don’t really know what it is? 

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

Read on to find out what self-worth is and why it’s so important to us all.

What is self-worth?

According to the APA Dictionary of Psychology, self-worth is:

“An individual’s evaluation of himself or herself as a valuable, capable human being deserving of respect and consideration.”

To put it simply, self-worth is your opinion of yourself as a person.

Or, here’s another definition provided by the University of North Carolina:

“Self-worth is the internal sense of being good enough and worthy of love and belonging from others.”

This means that self-worth is related to your own thoughts and opinions of yourself.

So, in essence, self-worth is your opinion of the value of who you are

On top of that, “self-worth is the belief that you are a valuable person regardless of what you have or haven’t accomplished. It’s the belief that you matter,” notes Better Help.

This means that you are valuable because you are who you are and not because of your wealth, status, or any external factor.

8 reasons why self-worth is important

Now that you know what self-worth is, it’s time to find out why it’s so important!

1) Self-worth has a direct impact on what you do

Your sense of self-worth directly affects what you do.

How so?

“The best part about recognizing self-worth is seeing the practical impact it has on your behavior,” says Jacqueline T. Hill, a writer, and an educator.

For example, someone with a high degree of self-worth is more likely to stay true to his/her moral compass, even if it means losing out on something in return.

Someone with a low degree of self-worth might do something immoral or unethical just to achieve his/her goals. 

This means that your sense of self-worth determines your actions and how you conduct yourself both in your personal life and at work.

2) Self-worth has an influence on the choices you make

“Self-worth affects the things you do and the choices you make consciously,” adds Hill. 

What does this mean?

Basically, your sense of self-worth is influential in the choices you make both in your personal life and at work.

This means that your belief in yourself will greatly shape your decision-making process in the short run and the long run.

For example, someone who has a high degree of self-worth is more likely to say no to any choice that may have a negative impact on his/her own well-being. 

However, someone who doesn’t believe that he/she is worth it is more likely to make decisions that may negatively impact his/her own well-being.

For example, a person who doesn’t believe that they are valuable will be more likely to engage in risky behavior (like partying, overeating, and drinking) than someone who has high self-worth.

3) Self-worth helps align your life with your values

Basically, self-worth is influential in helping you make the right decisions that are in line with your own values and beliefs. 

For example, someone who has a high degree of self-worth is more likely to make decisions that align perfectly with his/her values and beliefs. 

However, someone who doesn’t have a high degree of self-worth is more likely to make decisions that aren’t in line with his/her values and beliefs.

But what if you need clarity on the values most important to you?

When I was trying to create a life with meaning and purpose, I wasn’t sure how to bridge the gap between my life and my values.

That’s when I discovered this free checklist. I had to select the values most important to me and take part in a short exercise that helped me begin to align my life with my values. 

If you’d like to do the same, download your free checklist here.

4) Self-worth impacts how you talk to and think about yourself

Your sense of self-worth has a direct impact on the way you talk to yourself, your emotions, and any other thoughts that go through your mind. 

For example, someone who has a high degree of self-worth is more likely to talk to himself or herself in ways that are positive and uplifting. 

However, someone who doesn’t believe he/she is worth it will be more likely to talk to himself/herself in ways that are negative and demoralizing.

Indeed’s editorial team agrees:

“Rather than telling yourself negative things that may not even have much of a basis, giving yourself validation and recognizing that you have value as a person can help you to develop your self-worth.”

In short, your belief in yourself has a significant impact on how you talk to yourself and the things you say to yourself – that’s why developing your self-worth is so important.

5) Self-worth is at the foundation of self-acceptance

Why is self-worth important?

Self-worth is important because it is the beginning of what we call self-acceptance.

According to Dr. Annie Tanasugarn, “self-worth is at the foundation for the concepts of self-acceptance and self-love. Without feeling a solid sense of worth or value it is difficult, if not impossible to feel worthy of love or acceptance from others.”

To put it simply, if you don’t understand that you are worth it, then you won’t feel worthy of anything.

Self-worth is vital because, if you believe that your sense of self-worth is low and that you don’t deserve to be happy or successful, then it will be difficult for you to feel accepted and loved. 

This means that self-acceptance is the first step towards self-love! They are all connected.

6) Self-worth impacts the quality of relationships you have with others

Your sense of self-worth has a direct impact on the quality of relationships you have with others – this includes friends, family, co-workers, and more.

Better Help explains it:

“You can have more honest relationships when you have a higher sense of self-worth because you don’t feel the need to hide who you are. This goes for romantic relationships and also work relationships, friendships, and family relationships. They become more honest when you value yourself.”

On top of that, when someone mistreats you, your reaction depends on your self-worth. If you don’t believe in yourself, then you’ll let that person mistreat you.

However, if you believe in yourself and understand that your self-worth is of the utmost importance, then you’ll stand up for yourself and put a stop to the mistreatment. It’s that simple!

7) Self-worth plays an important role in confidence

Your self-worth has a significant influence on your level of confidence as well. 

Self-worth is essential for the development of confidence because, if you believe that you are not worth it, then you will tend to avoid confrontation and risk. 

However, if you believe that you are worth it, then you will confront the situation with purpose and clarity. 

Self-worth also plays an important role in your ability to achieve goals, as well as any type of success in life.

Self-confidence is a person’s attitude about their capabilities and skills. A person with good self-confidence feels like they have control over their lives,” adds author Tali Weissberger for the Attention Deficit Disorder Association.

Simply put, self-worth is required to develop a high level of confidence, which is the key to any form of success in life.

8) Self-worth is important in maintaining your identity

Ultimately, self-worth is important for the development of your identity.

According to Enciclopedia.com, “self-identity refers to a person’s self-conception, self-referent cognitions, or self-definition that people apply to themselves as a consequence of the structural role positions he or she occupies or a particular behavior he or she engages in regularly.”

This means that your sense of self-worth plays a significant role in how you define yourself and your identity.


Because your identity is the way you see yourself and how you define who you are. It’s the essence of who you are, the part of yourself that makes you unique, and it is what guides your actions and behavior.

So if self-worth impacts your identity, then it has a significant influence on who you are as a person and how you behave.

And this is just another reason why it’s important.


Overall, self-worth is essential for the development of self-confidence, self-acceptance, and self-identity. And these are some of the traits that make you who you are.

Your ability to stay true to yourself and have a sense of purpose is also dependent on your self-worth. This is because your self-worth provides you with the motivation and clarity to achieve goals and succeed in life.

It also impacts your ability to get along with others, maintain healthy relationships, and behave in a way that aligns with your values.

So what are you waiting for?

Stop letting others influence how you see yourself and start defining yourself based on how you want to be perceived by the world. 

Daniela Duca Damian

Daniela Duca Damian

I’m Daniela, a passionate writer with an academic background in journalism. My work is based on research and facts. In recent years I have focused on the study of interpersonal relationships, analyzing, and writing about aspects related to social connections, romantic relationships, but also personal development. My goal is to decipher the most confusing concepts so that anyone who is interested in living a better and fulfilled life can apply them. When I’m not writing, I challenge my friends with meaningful questions about life.

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