Net Worth vs. Self-Worth

When the economy was really down a few years ago, when there ere so many layoffs and foreclosures, and so much semi-employment, a lot of people ended up feeling down about themselves because they start mixing up their net worth with their self-worth.

"Net worth," for an individual, is defined as the value of all assets (long term assets) minus the value of all liabilities.

"Self-worth" is defined as the sense of one's own value or worth as a person; self-esteem; self-respect.

It's easy to say that your self-worth should not be based on your net worth, but I don't believe that's realistic.

For one, it's easier to measure your net worth.  Secondly, most of us tend to put more stock in tangible things rather than intangible things.

I’m not going to say that both net worth and self-worth shouldn’t accompany one another.  For instance, if you're a parent, your ability to provide for your kids is obviously going to affect how you feel about yourself.

And let's face it - if you cannot provide for yourself, that incompetency will impinge on your self-esteem as well.

What I'd like you to do however is to simply remember that your net worth doesn't define your self-worth; and that there's so much more to your self-worth than your financial assets. There always will be.

Your self-worth is mainly about the love you give out and receive, the kindness with which you treat people, the integrity with which you behave, the dignity with which you carry yourself, and all the other intangibles that make up your heart and your character.

Even when I was poor growing up, I had a high sense of self-worth; I definitely think that helped me build my career because I felt I deserved to be successful. That feeling helped fuel my ambition.

If you're feeling down due to some negative fluctuation in your net worth, that's okay; but only for a little while.

Eventually, you’ll need to realize the other ingredients that go into your self-worth are weighted much more heavily in the long run.

The bottom line in life is that when you do good, you feel good. When you do bad you feel bad. That's how self-worth is measured.

What about you?

Are you measuring your self-worth by your bank statements –or by how you carry yourself, and how you feel inside?



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  • Want to see how self-worth and net-worth are completely different? Watch these moves: The Wolf of Wall Street, The Big Short and Wall Street (1 and 2)

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