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Self Words: What Do They Mean?

Content and Happy Woman

What is self acceptance? Is it self love? Does it have to do with self esteem? What about self confidence? There are so many views on this, and it can get really confusing. The way I see it, self acceptance is accepting yourself for who you are, flaws and all, unconditionally. Self love means you love and care for yourself. With that being said, one would think that if you can accept yourself unconditionally, you would be more likely to love yourself. However, in my experience, that isn't always the case. Just because you love yourself, doesn't mean you would necessarily accept yourself conditionally. They aren't interchangeable.

Here's where it gets more tricky. Self esteem is defined by Webster's Dictionary as, "a confidence and satisfaction in oneself". Basically it means that you are happy with who you are as a person. Then you have self confidence, which is more your trust in your abilities. I find that these two are often confused with one another, and also are not interchangeable. You can have self esteem, but not necessarily self confidence, and vice versa.

The last one that I will discuss, and one of the most important self words, is self worth. I don't hear this one as often, but without it, having the other self words is really hard. Worth is your value (not satisfaction or confidence) of yourself as a person. If you don't value yourself, it's difficult to accept or love yourself as well. It would also make sense to struggle with self esteem, though I have seen people who have self esteem, but low self worth. I have also seen people feel that they can accomplish things, but don't feel they are worth anything at all.

One thing all the self words have in common, is that if you are struggling in one of them, you aren't necessarily 100% happy. Figuring out which one you are struggling with the most is going to help you figure out how to tackle it more effectively. Sometimes it is hard to do this on your own, though it also depends on which self word you're talking about. If you feel you may need a little extra support, it's okay to ask.

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