Identifying your good qualities can be challenging when you believe you’re worthless or have low self-esteem. When you’re feeling worthless, your negative thoughts distort your perception of yourself and you overlook the positives. However, they’re not the truth even though you might believe it. No matter who you are, you are not worthless and you do have good qualities. Identifying your good qualities even if you feel worthless can help guide you to the things you’re suited to, find meaning or purpose in your life, and most importantly, to see your own worth so you can build your self-esteem.
Note that these tips are not intended as a substitute for therapy. If you are feeling persistently worthless, it may be helpful to seek the help of a therapist.
Tips on Identifying Your Good Qualities When You Feel Worthless
In order to identify your good qualities, you need to get to know yourself. Self-awareness is empowering, and it’s worth spending time figuring out what makes you unique, and the good qualities that go with that. Here are some tips.
- Focus on the good things about yourself and your life. You need to make a deliberate effort to notice the good things, especially when you’re feeling worthless. Pay attention to the good things you’ve done each day and that includes both your thoughts and actions. Also pay attention to any compliments, smiles or thank-you’s that you might get. Reflect on the good things about your life. You might like to write down a list of good things every day, to keep you focused, and also as a reminder for when you’re feeling negative (Gratitude and Feeling Better About Yourself).
- Try a variety of new experiences. The more you experience, the more you will learn about yourself.
- Look back at your history. Think about the things you were good at, or passionate about as a child. Look back at the things you’re proud of, or have done well in your life. These might be clues.
- Ask someone you trust. Ask a trusted friend or family member about your good qualities. They will probably see things you don’t.
- Get professional help. A mental health professional can help you to see the positives in yourself and help you to change your negative thoughts into positive self talk.
- Get to know your personality and the strengths that go with it. There are many good things that come with who you are. Learn to see the positives in your individual traits.
- Use a profiling tool. There are plenty of tools to use that can help you learn more about yourself. For example, the VIA Survey (noting character strengths from the VIA Institute on Character) can help you identify your key character strengths.1 There are also many personality profiling tools such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), which can help you to learn more about your personality and the strengths that go with it.
- Ask yourself questions to help identify your good qualities. For example: “Who or what do I care about?” “What am I passionate about?” “Who cares about me?” “How have I helped someone?” “What challenges have I overcome?” “What do others like about me?” “What good things have people said to me?” These are just some ideas to get you thinking and I encourage you to come up with your own questions.
- Focus on who you are as a person. Your good qualities, and self-worth are not about achievement or possessions. Your worth is who you are as a person and it’s important to know that.
Most importantly, understand that even if you feel worthless, you do have good qualities and it’s a matter of becoming aware of them. Identifying your good qualities is particularly important in helping you see your worth, particularly when you are feeling worthless.
How to Identify Your Good Qualities When You Believe You’re Worthless
In this self-esteem video, I talk about ways of identifying your good qualities when you believe you’re worthless.
1The Via Survey. (n.d.). Retrieved October 13, 2015, from http://www.viacharacter.org/www/The-Survey