Personal Worth

- POSTED ON: Mar 06, 2012

Recently I've been thinking about the concepts of Personal Worth,
and or feelings of Worthlessness as they apply to me and to my own
endeavors with food, weight-loss, and maintenance of weight-loss.

I'm rather fond of the psychological concepts of Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT),
and also of Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT).

One of the concepts of REBT, is that
...if intrinsic value exists at all...
we get it because we CHOOSE, we DECIDE to have it. 
It exists because of our own definition.
We are "good" or "deserving" because we THINK we are,
and not because anyone awards us this kind of "inherent value". 

When persons can call themselves "worthwhile" just because they decide to do so,
they will tend to lose their desparate need for the approval of others. 
If we reduce our need for the esteem of others, 
we will find it easier to stop rating ourselves as persons,
and will come to value ourselves simply because we are alive. 

A philosophy of "worth" and "worthlessness" leads to disturbed feelings
of guilt, shame, and self-loathing, and we'll be better off with the concept
that we are not "worthwhile" because of our effectiveness,
or "worthless" because of our ineffectiveness. We merely EXIST. 

Self-acceptance means fully accepting oneself,
one's existence, and one's right to live and to be as happy as one can be,
--- no matter WHAT traits one has, or what acts one does. 

Self-acceptance doesn't mean self-esteem, self-confidence, self-respect,
or self-regard, because all of these terms imply that one accepts onself
BECAUSE one does something well, or BECAUSE other people like one. 
Unconditional self-acceptance means that you accept yourself
because you are alive and have DECIDED to accept yourself. 

Unconditional self-acceptance makes several minimal assumptions 
about people's intrinsic worth or value. These are:

  • You exist

  • By continuing to exist, you can probably achieve more pleasure than pain,
    thus making it desirable for you to keep living.

  • You can help reduce your pain and increase your pleasure.
  • You decide that you will try to live and make your life as pleasurable 
    and as unpainful as you can make it...  You can choose to strive for achievement
    and approval, but not to prove your greatness as a person, but only because
    you PREFER to achieve and to be loved. 

For those interested in learning more about these concepts, 
I recommend reading "A Guide To Rational Living" (1997) &"
"The Art & Science of Rational Eating" (1992) by Albert Ellis, PH.D.

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