7 Ways to Start to Value Yourself

value yourself

“You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You, yourself, as much as anybody in the universe, deserve your love and affection” – Buddha

One of the biggest myths we feed into is that setting ourselves as a number one priority is selfish and unkind. Truth is, it is the most loving thing we can do for ourselves and for others. Our loved ones gain when we are in a good space and when we have all our energy at any given moment. People benefit when we are whole and life opens when we are thriving. Yet, we’re so conditioned to believe that things will fall apart and it is not ethical to put the person who lives inside your heart, body, and mind first.

I remember before I met my husband, I started to pull back from some toxic relationships in my life. I allowed myself to be taken advantage of; let myself be taken for granted. They demanded so much but gave so little. My time, my finances, my heartfelt, “I will stretch until I break, as long as you don’t have discomfort.”

When my priorities shifted and I started giving a little more love to me. Not only did it feel amazing, but I had to have this love within me before I could give it freely to someone else. My new found happiness was poorly wished upon. And instead of attempting to fix those relationships, I stood my ground with “I am loveable and worthy” mantras. I focused on the blossoming relationships and let go of the suffocating.

Making yourself a priority enables you to be a better person, not just for yourself, but for the relationships your forge along the way. The choices we make from a more loving space are far more beneficial than the ones we make from a place of guilt, lack and overextending.

Below are seven ways to start to value yourself and make yourself an important person in your life. Besides, everything starts with you.

1. Stop comparing yourself

Comparing ourselves to others is a losing battle. Not only do we look for things we lack, but we find ourselves in the feeling of lack. Unless you have been in their shoes, view life the way they do and gone through their experiences, you are comparing yourself to information that can in no way be accurate. Comparing takes the focus off you and onto that person, yet your power lies in things you can affect in your life. You are a unique being and there is nobody in the world like you.

Start to shift your focus on things that are going right in your life and pay attention to the person looking back in the mirror. He or she has their own unique attributes. Let go of the inner perfectionist and start to appreciate your smile, your talents, what you have to offer. Starting to see your value is the fastest way to shift focus to the right place.

2. Don’t settle

Some people stay in jobs they don’t like just because of the salary. Others settle in relationships that no longer cause their hearts to race. Some of us stay with friends who deplete us because we long for any kind of company. Whatever your settle, it’s not worth the cost. You deserve peace of mind and to be outrageously happy.

If you are constantly saying to yourself, “There has to be something better than this”, you are probably settling. Don’t settle for less. Seek out to find your best.

3. Start appreciating

Appreciate the bed you sleep it. Appreciate your significant other. Appreciate the clothes you have on your back, your car, your food. But mostly, don’t forget to appreciate what you bring into the world. Start to see the joy you bring to others. Give thought to the impact of that joy and its ripple effects. Just because you are not aware, does not mean it has not extended itself further than you can imagine.

The more you appreciate, the more good will flow into your life.

4. Foster healthy relationships

Let go of or at least distance yourself from anything that causes you to feel less than good. Find yourself in the presence of people who bring something significant into your life. Make it a point to have at least two people who feed your spirit, encourage your dreams and accept you for who you are. No alterations. Cultivating strong, nurturing bonds encourages us to remember we are not alone and keeps our hearts open.

5. Learn to say No

While we are here to help one another there will be times we’re tempted to do things at the expense of our own well-being. Sometimes when we give more than we can we don’t allow the other person to learn from or have their own experiences. Continually doing things out of insincere obligation can lead to resentment. Instead, honor yourself by doing what feels right for you.

‘No’ can be liberating, because when we say no to others we are saying “yes” to ourselves and we’re in alignment with our values. Allow yourself to say no once in a while. This practice will improve your self-esteem and create a space for people to value and respect you more.

6. Set healthy boundaries

Having clear boundaries is vital to establishing that relationships are mutually respectful. Believe it or not, but putting “up” boundaries actually creates freedom because when our wishes are clearly defined, there is no need to put up walls. Boundaries reflect our self-esteem and our values. A healthy self-respect will teach others how to treat you.

And when the occasional person attempts to push against your lines, simply keep your feet placed firmly on the ground.

7. Follow your heart

We all have something that makes us come alive and gives our lives meaning. Don’t forget to listen to the part of you that drives your bliss, and be aware of your idol wants and those little things that distract you. Focus on your purpose because dreams never really go away. They simply get postponed.

Our passions can be as little or big as they are, and we can have one or a multitude of them. Listen to the things that are ticking at your heart’s door and find a way to do one thing at a time if you can. You can encourage yourself to do it all and to find a way for life to support you while you do.

Everything in our lives starts with us and ripples into our relationships. So it only makes sense to give yourself as much love, nurturing and joy that you would look for in others, or that others would seek in you. By living the best life we can we inject these ripples to go out with love, beauty, and kindness.

Recommend Resources

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30 thoughts on “7 Ways to Start to Value Yourself”

  1. This list really resonates with me. Especially the saying no part. It is so easy to get sucked dry by all that goes on around us. Trying to be a good friend, a good mother a good wife, a good citizen, a good daughter, it’s exhausting! All the demands of life and the people around you need to be prioritized. It’s very difficult to feel like you are letting someone down, we need to be more mindful of not letting ourselves down.

    1. Hi Alisa, I’m sorry that I only saw this comment now.

      You’re so right. As women we feel we have to be everything for everybody, and too often we do it until we run dry. You’re so right that we have to be mindful so we don’t let ourselves down. <3

  2. This is very true. We all need to be a little more assertive when looking after ourselves. All too often we put others before us. We prefer to stay with what we have, even if it’s not what we want rather than risk trying to change it. I encourage everyone to be kind to yourself and go after the happiness you desire. We all deserve to be happy. :)

    1. Hi Margaret. So agreeing and loving that.

      It’s often hard to feel happy outside when others around us don’t feel it. But we shouldn’t let the guilt of being happy rob us. The moment it does, gratitude is the fastest path out of guilt and back to joy. <3

  3. Hi Ulenda,

    Talk about resonating with and relating to a post.

    I have been guilty of all of the above at various times in my life. It doesn’t help when you think negatively most of the time and develop a negative mindset. The more you think negatively, the harder it is to dig yourself out of a deeper hole. Being an extreme introvert and constantly overthinking things in your head just makes things even worse.

    The key is to identify and work on the above things one at a time which helps to overcome much of this. I have conquered everything except for #3 and #6. In short time I will also have those under my belt.

    Thanks for the post.

    Cheers,

    Mark
    LiveLoveLaughBeHappy.com

    1. Hi Mark,

      I wish I saw this earlier. Thank you for your raw honesty and for your words. I’m guessing by now you’ve delved into number 3 or 6 already. :)

      Have a benevolent day. :)

  4. This is incredible! I believe that fighting the stigma of how you should not be focusing on yourself is good because first you always have to love yourself before anything else.

  5. Hi Ulenda,

    This is great content. I loved reading this list. We find ourselves most of the time comparing our lives to other people based on what they show us. And with social media, we compare to what they post online, which is very selective.

    This was a good reminder to “trust thyself” and be independent in our thought and behavior.

    Thank you for sharing!

  6. Even though it was your last point Ulenda, following your heart resonated the most with me. I just came across a quote from Conor Mcgregor “One person with passion is better than ten with interest.” Even though he seems to be a cocky guy, this quote hit home because it makes sense. Passion can essentially make you ten times more “insert word” from anything from ten times more productive to more happy. Thank you for this list, I have been searching for my passion and gaining the courage to run towards it and your list inspired me to keep doing so. Ch

  7. You are so right about making ourselves a priority in our own lives. I always liken it to that saying when you get on an airplane and the flight attendants give the safety speech: “Put your own oxygen mask on before assisting others.” Learning to say “no” was a challenge for me for a while, but there are healthy ways to do it. Thanks for this thoughtful list!

  8. This was amazing. I am trying very hard to learn to say no. I am normally a very nonconfrontational person so it is difficult for me, but I am becoming more aware of the necessity of the occasional “no.” I believe it goes hand in hand with being willing to put yourself first. So many women are caretakers for their kids and significant others. It is impossible to constantly take care of others and never make yourself a priority. It seems silly but it really took me about 5 years, after having our first daughter, that I realized I could still have dreams and goals. I was so busy taking care of others that I didn’t even realize I was coming a bit depressed and feeling purposeless. I never stopped to evaluate what I needed to be happy. My relationships with my husband and our kids are stronger when I am feeling happy as well.

  9. Excellent post. This is 100% correct that you should value yourself by improving your self esteem and self respect. All your points about healthy relation, Respect and other things are perfectly accurate. I always try to improve my value in a community where I usually go and I make sure that I have value of my wordings in them. Thanks for your post.

  10. Self-love first, sounds intriguing but that is the most important To achieve the inner peace is hard to achieve. We all know how to value ourselves but through our journey in life we changed. What an amazing post Ulenda, many can change their lives by just going back to the basic which is love yourself first, everything good will follows. The meditation bowls increased Level of joy and connection. It works for me. Be surrounded with the right people.

  11. It’s true that everything starts with you. After reading your post I find myself as an important person, reminding me to value myself for who I am and forget those people who underestimate my abilities.

    Thank you for sharing!

  12. If I don’t love, cherish, and value myself, it’s unlikely I will dedicate the time and energy to living a healthier and more positive lifestyle. Thank you very much for sharing this!

  13. This was a great article about self worth and value. I love when you said, “Let go of the inner perfectionist and start to appreciate your own smile, talents…” Too often in life, we compare our success, failures, and “worth” to everyone around us. Comparing our worth is like comparing apples to oranges. Why yearn to become the other, when both are wonderful and unique on their own? –Ryan

  14. Hello Ulenda, thank you so much for this post..I can relate with almost all what you have said..Growing up we were thought to sacrifice for others even to the detriment of our own happiness…Sadly it has affected how i viewed life…giving my all to friends, family and neglecting my own development..There by rendering you worthless…But i have began to change my mindset…i love myself too and cherish myself too…I will praise myself too….

  15. My husband of 7 years has lied through our relationship from the word go. With in 2 weeks of moving in with me I caught him texting other women. I didn’t kick him out as he has given his home up and I didn’t want to him homeless, hes continued this behaviour throughout the years. We married after 3 years together and I stupidly kept pushing the doubts about us to the back of my mind and when ahead with the wedding. 12 months after marriage he wanted to start trying for a baby and after our son was born he started to sleep with ear plugs as I had to do nights due to me working from home (couldn’t afford to take statutory maternity pay). Our finances were his money was his, my money was ours and even though I had to reduce my hours to look after our son I still had to pay my share of the bills and then some like i did when working full time (it was bloody hard ). I struggled with postnatal depression which he wasn’t any support. When my son was 9 months old he then decides to inform me hes up to his eyes in credit card debt which he had been making the minimum payments on since before we met. I didn’t even raise my voice let alone get angry with him about this. 2 weeks before my sons 2nd birthday hes decides to tell me he loves me as a mother and his friend and this is him being honest for the first time in 7 years, so he says. He wanted to continue to live together and raise our son and we should work it out that way. For the first time in 7 years I realised I had always put him first and in the process destroyed the independant, happy, smart, confident woman i use to be. I responded to his proposal of living together by calling his parents to come and get him whilst he wasn’t looking, his face dropped when I told him he was going (quite a picture infact). The feeling i had was so over whelming at this point, not only had I put my foot down but I took pride in myself for not rolling over for him. Turns out he’s been talking to another woman again and I dont doubt he will be in a new relationship soon but I am also in a relationship but with myself. Since he left I have so many people who have been there to support and love me but where I am actually starting to love myself again the environment I am in is intoxicating, fun, exciting and full or hope. Its a working progress but when you start valuing you you can do anything. Yes my husband was an ass but I was partly to blame because I should have valued and loved myself more. Never neglect yourself I certainly won’t again.

  16. Thank you for this article it has indeed helped in liberating my spirit… I have always had an issue of not being able to say no…always comprising my happiness…..I have a 4 months relationship on going, my man keeps telling me to learn to add value to myself….this write-up is so helpful to me.

  17. Hi Ulenda,
    Thank you for this beautiful article. It is very inspirational and really resonates with me. In particular, the “set healthy boundaries” and “follow your heart” sections. I am going to try apply these lessons in my every day life. <3
    Cheers,
    Eva

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