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I think it is fair to say we all seek clarity on why we are the way we are or why we do what we do … whether constantly or intermittently, whether we share our discoveries or keep them personal, it is a road we all travel.

That respective knowledge is then reflected in how we think about ourselves, how we value ourselves and how confident we are in ourselves. The interplay is dynamic, dependent on situations and fluctuates over time. The four aspects of “self” include awareness, worth, esteem and confidence. For parents, knowing ourselves is a direct reflect on knowing our kids as they derive traits from us. And for us to teach our children about the four aspects, we need to not only appreciate them, but demonstrate them (ideally the positive attributes).

Below is how I view / interpret the “four,” acknowledging there are standing definitions for each and that I am not a psychologist 😊.

Self-awareness, by definition, is knowledge of your character, motives and desires. As a military officer, I was taught that in leadership the first tenant is to know yourself. But, if you do know yourself, another challenge is acknowledging your strengths and weaknesses, recognizing the effort to achieve your goals and learning how to overcome limitations. One attribute that we also wrestle with is lying to ourselves (intentionally or unintentionally), which by most measures is counterproductive and precludes realization of our full potential.

Self-worth. In certain respects, a person's ability to achieve success is directly linked to the perception of themselves. Do you value your opinion and importance in any situation? Do you demand treatment by others that is decent and respectful? As a child of God, our value is of the highest measure, so we should never doubt our worth or believe that we "don't deserve" all that we receive.

Self-Esteem. A sense of your value. How you feel or believe in or about yourself. It is complementary to self-worth and synonymous with self-respect (my opinion). High self-esteem is relative to a positive regard / love for yourself. I believe low self-esteem can be a condition setter for accepting negativity and feeling helpless to address situations you may find yourself.

Self-Confidence. Trust in one's abilities, qualities and judgement. Unlike self-worth (or self-esteem/self-respect), this is about trusting decisions you make and actions you take. Arguably the most variable as for some of us it is dependent on circumstances, vice being a core characteristic.

I fully recognize the psychologist reading this may argue my explanations or interpretations, but I welcome those counterviews. Regardless of the nuanced differences, knowing yourself is a perpetual endeavor that requires self-reflection and honesty. Each of us should value ourselves because we are children of God. As such, trust in your decisions and actions, and I encourage you to develop a relationship with the Holy Spirit to supplement your earthly confidence with the spiritual.

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