One of my favorite lessons I learned as an undergraduate student at BYU-Idaho was a lesson taught in my abnormal psychology class.
My professor taught us the difference between self-worth, self-esteem, and self-confidence.
He asserted that many of us may confuse the concepts or interchange them without really recognizing it.
However, to best apply the concepts we must recognize that each meaning is separate and measured differently.
Self-worth is perhaps the most important concept to consider in that we each have a worth that is infinite and eternal.
Worth is never something that can change despite external circumstances.
How then do we measure our worth?
What is something that is innate and never changes?
Worth is measured by the fact that we are children of God. Despite an endless array of sin or your best effort to hide away from your true identity you will always continue to be a son or daughter of God with infinite potential.
How then do we measure esteem and confidence?
Esteem is often defined as having self-respect or a feeling that you can achieve what you need or want to achieve. It is measured by your ability to complete the expectations you place upon yourself.
Confidence can then be measured by the way others may view you. Confident individuals usually have a great deal of money, status, or other traits that society deems admirable.
Consider the following image:
I want you to consider the idea that Satan would have you believe that your worth can only be measured in these same areas.
He would do all in his power to have you believe one of the ultimate lies that your worth can be measured externally.
Yet, one of the greatest truths that I hope to remind you of is that your worth is internal. You can build upon that worth.
It is possible to feel of worth, build upon your esteem, and still have confidence in the sight of others. How then do we achieve or feel that we have favorable amounts of worth, esteem, and confidence?
Let me offer a few activities that tap into all three of these areas.
Maurice Harker in his book “Like Dragons Did They Fight” offers the perfect formula toward connection with God (worth), connection with self (esteem), and connection with others (confidence).
He does so through the use of “MANPWR” goals. MANPWR goals allow you an opportunity to minister to others, have accountability to yourself and others, deny yourself of those things that would keep you from living your values, connect with God through prayer and/or writing, and allow you to increase your knowledge through uplifting literature.
Another idea is to consider your ability to discover, plan, act, or reflect on passion projects.
If you do not know what a passion project is I highly encourage you to seek out and understand what a passion project is and how it can strengthen your ability to connect with God, yourself, and others.
Your worth is eternal. Don’t let Satan cloud you away from living the values and virtues you hold dear. In so doing I promise you that your confidence can and will wax strong in presence of God (D&C 121:45).
Written by Brandon Nite, MSW graduate, Northwest Nazarene University. You can reach Brandon at email@example.com.