GATEWAY TO HAPPINESS
Being an honored person is dependent on your behavior towards others and not on other people’s behavior towards you. Why feel any lack of self-worth just because someone acts disrespectfully to you? Keep your focus on your behavior towards others. When someone does not treat you with respect, it is his problem, not yours.
2. Regardless of how anyone else values you, you still have the ability to have self- respect. Anyone who sincerely works on being a good person has virtues that make him valuable. Never judge yourself as a person based on anyone else’s opinion of you. Ultimately, it is your mind that decides on how you will consider yourself. Even when you rely on someone else’s judgment, it is your own choice.
3. A low self-image is usually obtained at an early age. A person might have had excessively critical parents or teachers, failed to get along well with other children, or received low marks in school. Though this attitude was formed at a young age from external sources, the only reason it lasts in the present is because a person keeps repeating it to himself. He has the ability to tell himself, “It might be true in the past I judged myself to be inferior, but I will now think for myself and appreciate my true value.”
A person who worked on self-improvement came to the Baal Shem Tov (1700-
and complained, “I have tried for quite some time to become a better person.
But I am still very plain and simple.”
“To be aware that you are plain and simple is an accomplishment in itself,” replied the Baal Shem Tov. “Take pleasure in that.” (Midrash Rivash Tov)
Don’t allow mistakes to rob you of self-worth.
Your feelings of self-worth need not depend on any external situation. Every
human being has intrinsic value regardless of what he does. If you make mistakes and transgress, do not feel discouraged and lose your feelings of importance. There is no greater danger than that. Rather, when you have transgressed, strengthen yourself and elevate yourself above those transgressions. Keep your mind focused on your great potential for accomplishment. Regardless of how much wrong you have done in the past, you always can elevate yourself. (Rabbi Noson Tzvi Finkel of Slobodka; Tnuas Hamussar, vol. 3, p.273)
REALIZING ONE’S SELF-WORTH