Determining Your Self-Worth

Do you know your self-worth?

I’m not talking about how much you make, what you have saved, or how many things you own. I mean what value you as a person bring to the table—be it the conference table, referee’s table, or kitchen table. Some struggle more than others to figure out what that is, but everyone has something they’re good at.

My next question is: who determines your self-worth?

If it’s not the person you see every day in the mirror, it may be time to do some serious self-examination. (Notice I avoided saying self-reflection.)

There are plenty of people ready and and willing to form your opinion for you, and it’s all too easy to listen. Over time, the negativity can overwhelm anything good you once thought about yourself and you forget that there ARE good things somewhere inside.

Maybe it’s one too many rejections from agents or publishers. Maybe you got laid off. Maybe your spouse left you. Any of these things are reason enough to question your worth, but events do not make a person. Others’ opinions do not make a person.

I have a core group of people in my corner who cheer very loudly right when I need it most, and I keep their words close to my heart when people who don’t truly know me try to tell me what I’m worth. I can tell you that I wouldn’t have gotten through the past couple years without them, and I only hope that each and every one of you has at least one person who always has your back. Or restraints when they know you’re tempted to stoop to the naysayers’ level.

Trust in yourself that you DO have value and your opinions DO matter. If you feel like no one understands you, find new friends. The world is too big to waste another minute on people who only see you as a doormat.

About Melanie Hooyenga

Writer. Designer. Jock. Reader. Wife. Puppy-Mama. SCBWI member since 2015.


  1. Great post, Mel! It’s easy to devolve into a hot mess when faced with rejection or the hundreds of little digs that “well-meaning” people can throw at you because they’re cool like that. It takes strength of character to nod and smile, then realize they’re not worth the effort of your energy.

    I’ve got your back, Sugar – always will.


  2. Having friends at your back is a big part of the puzzle…the other part is allowing yourself to trust in them. I’ve seen some lovely people who just can’t let go of the hurt and accept the good. I always wish I could do more for them, but it has to be a personal decision for someone to realize they are worth something in this world and deserving of love and support. So glad you’ve found that! 🙂

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