The Difference Between Self Worth and Self Esteem

DR JOHN DEMARTINI   -   Updated 2 years ago

Dr John Demartini explains the difference between self-esteem and self-worth. Two words that are used interchangeably yet have very distinct differences and impacts on your life.

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DR JOHN DEMARTINI - Updated 2 years ago

In all probability you’ve had moments when you have puffed yourself up, exaggerated and inflated yourself and felt overly proud of yourself. You may even tend to build yourself up to be greater than what you actually innately feel and experience a superiority complex.  In this puffed state, you are likely to temporarily experience what some have termed high or elevated self-esteem. This is not your essential or authentic self, but an existential persona, mask, or façade you may wear when you compare yourself to others you look down upon. But you’ve also likely had moments in your life where you went to the other extreme when you deflated, negated or minimized yourself, and as a result went into either a shame or a guilt. This can occur when we exaggerate our perception of others and compare ourselves to them. We might call this an inferiority complex or lowered self-esteem. The reality is that throughout your life you’ll have moments when you go up and down, minimize and exaggerate, inflate and deflate yourself. These are the polarities of what the world typically refers to as self-esteem, which can fluctuate. Self-worth on the other hand is different.   Click below for the video of this article. ↓  




Self-worth is the center point between these two polarities of self-esteem

When you are conscious of the things you like about yourself, and unconscious of the things you don’t like about yourself – you tend to go up and exaggerate yourself. When you are conscious of the things you don’t like about yourself, and unconscious of the things you like about yourself – you tend to go down and minimize yourself. But when you are conscious about both sides of yourself, the things you like and dislike about yourself, your more authentic or true self – you get in the center. And in that center, you become aware of your true self-worth. ACTION POINT: Imagine drawing a horizontal line through the center of your body.

  • Anything ABOVE the line represents elevated self-esteem - when you’re likely puffed up with pride and exaggerating yourself.
  • Anything BELOW the line represents lowered self-esteem - when you’re deflated with shame and minimizing yourself.
  • The middle line – the CENTER – is your true self-worth, the authentic you that is neither puffed up or deflated, neither exaggerating nor minimizing, and neither wearing false facades or putting on different personas.

In other words, your true self-worth is a stable center and your self-esteem is made up of fluctuating emotions about yourself. One of the key reasons I teach my signature two-day program, the Breakthrough Experience, is to introduce people to the Demartini Method. This powerful method helps you transform any vacillating emotional personas, facades, and self-esteems, and transform them into true self-worth, where you're most centered, authentic, empowered and present. Whenever you're unsure of who you are, you're unlikely to be certain, present, grateful, centered, inspired or enthused about your life.  The Demartini Method is a profound way to transform and dissolve fluctuating perceptions and balance the polarities of the two fluctuating self-esteems. When you do, you’ll get to the center and experience your true self-worth. This is your authentic self.


In your center point, you expand and grow your self-worth

Anytime you judge others, you polarize and subjectively bias your interpretation instead of having reflective awareness where the seer (you), the seeing (the process), and the seen (them) are the same. Being in a state of judgment, seeing someone greater or lesser than yourself is highly likely to leave you feeling empty or unfulfilled. This is:

  • Because whenever you put someone on a pedestal, you’re too humble to admit what you see in them is inside you. Now you have a disowned part - a void, an emptiness and a disempowerment.
  • Because every time you put somebody down in a pit, you’re exaggerating yourself. You’re too proud to admit what you see in them is inside you. Now you have another disowned part.
  • Because as long as you're disowning parts, you’re likely creating emptiness inside.

That's why judgment often feels empty and love is fulfilling. It is wise to equilibrate your perceptions and learn that whatever you see in others, is also in you. In doing so, you level the playing field and have appreciation and love, which is what true self-worth is about. By putting others in your heart and not up on pedestals and down in pits, you are more easily able to exist in an authentic state. Your self-worth is a reflection of that authenticity. That's why I am so inspired to have people come to the Breakthrough Experience and learn the Demartini Method so that they acquire and learn the tools to assist them to manage their perceptions and dissolve their emotions by balancing the mathematical equations of their minds. You can learn the science of how to take any self-esteem volatilities or personas and integrate them, thereby owning all the traits, and seeing that nothing's missing in your life. You’ll no longer be inclined to put people on pedestals or in pits because you realize that you own all the traits you admire or resent in them. You’ll also be more able to love them for revealing to you the whole and balanced magnificence of who you are, which is where your true self-worth shines. In the process of doing that, you'll liberate yourself from the baggage of the oscillating self-esteem polarity game.


Self-worth and values

Every human being has a set of priorities or values including you. These are the things that are most important to least important in your life. Whenever you set goals according to your HIGHER values, you tend to be more objective and more resiliently balanced or neutral. When you set goals in your highest values, you’re likely to be more centered in your true self-worth which will tend to awaken a spontaneous, intrinsic drive to expand your empowerment. Whenever you set goals that are LOWER on your values, because of the lack of true fulfillment that those bring, you tend to want immediate gratification to compensate for the unfulfillment. You’ll likely find yourself going for immediately gratifying ease and avoiding pains and difficulties. In the process. you tend to get addicted to consciously being proud and then unconsciously beat yourself up to keep yourself centered. Anytime you exaggerate yourself, you will simultaneously beat yourself up and minimize yourself in order to keep yourself stable in your self-worth. It is like the licensing effect. The pride gained by a strenuous workout initiating the desert, wine, or overeating shame. Being addicted to a high self-esteem is simultaneously and unconsciously self-depreciative. You will automatically bring in the other side synchronously to balance it.

True self-worth is seeing both sides

You don’t have to get rid of any part of yourself to love yourself. The hero and villain, the saint and sinner, the virtue and vice inside of you all have a place. The part of you that’s building and the part of you that destroys both have a place. They are trying to keep you in homeostasis in your true self-worth where you grow and expand naturally. If you want to grow your self-worth, then it’s wise to understand that it is about calming down the extremes of the fluctuating polarities of self-esteem.

In Conclusion

If you want to be loved for who you are, you're not likely to do it by searching for monopoles and living with the resultant fluctuating self-esteem issues but by being true in your self-worth. Every time you live congruently with your highest values, your self-worth goes up. Every time you try to live according to your lower values, your self-worth transforms into self-esteem volatilities. If you have not yet determined your own unique set of highest values, I would love for you to make use of the FREE Value Determination Process on my website.

You're not your most magnificent self if you're vacillating all over the place with fluctuating self-esteem. You're not here to compare yourself to others. You're here to compare your daily action steps taken to your own dreams and values. It is wise to compare your actions to your own values and not somebody else's.

The wisest thing to do is to fill your day with high priority action steps that are really meaningful to you, that you are focused on and that you spontaneously love doing. Doing things that are inspiring to you will help you to continuously grow your self-worth with the least fluctuating self-esteem volatilities

Anytime you put people on pedestals or pits, you don't put them in your heart and you’re not authentic. Your self-esteem is likely to fluctuate because of that.

If you are inspired to learn the tools to become stable, centered, inspired, grateful, enthused about your unique mission and purpose in life, so that you’re able to focus on priority, be more certain and more present without wearing facades or masks, then consider joining me for my two-day seminar The Breakthrough Experience where I teach the Demartini Method. You’ll discover a powerful tool to help you master your life. I hope we’ll meet in person at the program one day soon!

The Demartini Method is a breakthrough discovery and cutting-edge personal transformation methodology that results in a new perspective and paradigm in thinking and feeling and which helps awaken your authenticity and mastery. 

It is the key methodology incorporated in Demartinian Psychology. The Demartini Method consists of Executive Function Development exercises used strategically to drive the evolution of the brain - from subcortical dominance to prefrontal cortex or executive center dominance. 

It is the culmination of more than five decades of research and studies in numerous disciplines, including physics, philosophy, theology, metaphysics, psychology, astronomy, mathematics, neurology, and physiology. It’s a cognitive process that involves balancing your mathematical equations of perceptions through a continuous thinking and writing action, driving you from your more primitive survival brain (systems 1) dominance to your more advanced thrival self-governing (systems 2) brain dominance.

The Demartini Method results in greater self-governing executive function and thus life mastery.

It is a powerful transformation process used by many leading specialists in the mind mastery field such as psychology, psychiatry, coaching, mentoring, teaching, and holistic healing.

If you’d love to find out more, click here. You can also chat with a member of the Demartini team by booking a call here.


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