What's the difference between 'self-esteem vs self-worth?'

This week on Instagram LIVE, Natalija and psychologist Alison Riddell chatted on "the difference between 'self-esteem vs self-worth". 

You can watch the video here, or read the transcript below.

Q: What is the difference between Self-Esteem and Self-Worth? 

The differences between Self Esteem and Self Worth are very subtle. 

And their features can overlap. 

So what’s the difference? 

Self-esteem is your what you think and believe of yourself in different areas – like your intelligence, personality, appearance, success.

If you have good self-esteem, i.e. a good opinion of yourself, you feel like ‘I am worthy’. ‘I am lovable’

However, If you have bad self-esteem you tend of believe ‘I am NOT worthy. I am NOT lovable. 

I think of Self-worth as more how about how you feel about yourself on a deeper level and the value you place on yourself.

Someone with high self-worth believes in themselves, even if they have made a mistake. They can tolerate that this happened and move on from it.

Their things do not define them. They can enjoy external things, without forming an attachment to them.

Poor self-worth looks like a person who may put others before them.

And of course if we have low self-worth we are more likely to have low self-esteem. And vice versa. Self esteem and self worth as integrative to who we are as people.


Q: Why is it so hard to love ourselves? 

Good question - I think if we widen the lens we can see how our culture of comparison plays a role in how we see ourselves.

It’s really hard to measure up to the images that we see in social media. Or to the fictional ideas we have about others having it easier than us.

In her book Daring Greatly, Brene Brown refers to this as having a mindset of scarcity where we tend to have thoughts of not being enough; we worry that we are behind others; lacking in some part of our lives.. & at the end of our days we go to sleep burned by these thoughts of not being enough. 

And of course this has an overarching influence on how we feel about our self-esteem and self-worth.

I have 1 female client who comes to mind. She’s in her 30s. She is beautiful, kind, works hard and has good friendships. And yet she feels unhappy. She doesn’t feel attractive enough. She feels other have a better job than her? She worries about making the ‘right’ decisions. Why? Because she compares herself to others and doesn’t trust that she is enough. So, she pulls back and disconnects. 

And in a world where we are wired for connection – this doesn’t work.

B/c when we compare or fantasise about other’s lives we lose sight on what we have. Right in front of us.


Q: How can I help to feel my true worth? To love and accept myself as I truly am?

I really believe that what we need is within us and all we need to do is find a way there. 


Have courage to face uncertainty.

It’s only through ‘getting into the arena’ in life where we learn what our resources really are. And this shapes our self esteem and self worth.

Find a way to get grounded. To find stillness.

And this can be found through meditation, walking, swimming, yoga, running. As long as you connect to your Breath.

Ref meditation from my Insta page of breathing in love, acceptance, light and breathing out self-doubt, judgment and conflict

Check your thoughts.

If they are negative, ask yourself IS THIS REALLY TRUE?

And try to change the vibration to thinking more positively - I really like the I AM app for daily inspirations. 

Stop comparing

Find your tribe - surround yourself with people that you like & love!



As always, if there’s anything you’d like us to talk about, please reach via email. Every question is treated anonymously, and with respect to your privacy.

If you would like to reach out to Alison, email riddell5@gmail.com

Should you, or a loved one, require immediate support:

  • 24 Hour Mental Health Line: 1800 011 511
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  • eHeadspace. 1800 650 890. Open 9am-1am daily (AEST).
  • Lifeline. 13 11 14. Phone support all day, every day. Online support 7pm-4am daily (AEST).
  • Beyondblue. 1300 22 4636. Phone support all day, every day. Online support 3pm-midnight every day.



Every month we speak to women in our community on different topics with the intention to inspire us all in being kinder to ourselves, and to live more authentically. It is an initiative that's part of our ongoing commitment to our brand mission. 


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