How Leaders Can Develop Self-Worth

Self Worth

Self-worth can be defined as understanding ourselves as “authentically strong.” We are talking about insight that gives us access to the real power that resides in each one of us—not something that is given to us by others.

Our personalities begin experimenting with emergency solutions in early childhood—we all had different ways of coping with not getting to play with the red ball in the playground.

Our Self-Concept

The ego is our self-concept—the way we see ourselves—and thus it is subject to misconceptions. That’s why ego is often referred to as our “false-self.” Most of us are not the imposters we’re pretending to be. In fact, only by seeing beyond those false perceptions can we be truly authentic.

Self-worth is  not something to be created—it is something to be discovered. 

Eckhart Tolle referred to this process as awakening to the way that the ego misuses our power and strength. The ego has told us lies about ourselves from a very early age.

On Love and Respect

My ego told me that I could not be loved and respected unless I excelled and earned praise for my exceptional performance. This lie can be traced back to my childhood experiences while learning to ride a horse and work cattle on our ranch in Wyoming. Horses and cattle were our business, not a hobby, and so there was pressure to perform as a cowboy starting at the age of six.

What started out as an emergency solution has evolved into the way I see myself.

The need to perform for praise, which led to acceptance and love as a child, has stayed with me throughout my adult life.

Most spiritual leaders and therapists will confirm that there is nothing on which people are so fixated as their self-image. They are literally prepared to go through the gates of Hell just so they don’t have to give it up.

Your True Identity

The question is:

Do we have the freedom to be anything other than this role and its image?

The answer is yes.

Many people are attracted and drawn to the spiritual life because they want to disarm internally and abandon the defenses of the self-image that they’ve created for themselves.  The bad news of the human condition and fall from grace can be replaced by the good news of redemption.

Layers of “Truth”

Layers of TruthAs an FBI agent, I learned to disarm my suspects both externally and internally. Taking a gun away was the easy part; scraping away the layers until the truth could be uncovered was the difficult part. Truth is not discovered; it is uncovered because it’s been there the whole time.

We do not have to invent it or create it.

Authenticity is the experience of our own personal dignity and worth. It is an awareness of the way our personality has come to terms with its environment. As leaders who lead in every part of our business and life, we need to be authentic if we’re to genuinely believe in our self-worth.

Three Questions

Here are three questions you can ask yourself to uncover how your self-worth has been misused by your ego:

  • What’s an unproductive pattern of behavior that keeps resurfacing in your life?
  • What’s the impact of these negative patterns on yourself and others?
  • What is the source or origin of this behavior?

Once you become authentically strong, you have self-worth; if you have self-worth, you are empowered to live life on purpose rather than by accident.

Don’t let others tell you who you are.

Authentic Strength

Authentic strength comes from understanding your self-worth

It helps to:

  • Deepen your understanding of yourself
  • Defuse negative emotions that can derail your daily life
  • Gain clarity on your projects and life
  • Acknowledge your conscious and subconscious fears
  • Heal relationships that are broken

Leading with a sense of self-worth helps us to land on our feet when confronted with the unknown because we’re responding from a place that is strong—authentically.


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LaRae Quy is former FBI Agent and Founder at Your Best Adventure
She helps clients explore the unknown and discover the hidden truth in self & others
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9 responses to “How Leaders Can Develop Self-Worth

  1. When you understand your own personality type and the type of your associates, you can speed up the development of self-worth. Personality type training is a powerful force assisting teams in working together.


  2. Pingback: How Leaders Can Create Self-Worth | LaRae's Blog·

  3. Hi Pam

    I agree with you on the importance of understanding our personality type. It helps so much in developing the self-awareness needed to empower ourselves to be the leader of our own life. I’ve worked with Myers Briggs and the Enneagram as well as others . . . all very useful tools.

    Thanks so much for stopping by!


  4. Fantastic post. Those who have found their authentic voices are the leaders best positioned to thrive through unforeseen challenges, in my opinion.

    I think their own journey toward authentic self-worth – those who have distinguished Self from self-image – are the most capable of understanding where others may be on their own journey (even if those others haven’t even taken the first step). This ability to generate compassion for others may figure strongly in their leadership, and I certainly suspect that at the very least it engenders them with a high level of trustworthiness.

    Thanks for this post – it’s quite thought-provoking.


  5. Hi Jonathan

    Thank you – I’m glad you found value in the post!

    I agree with you that those who have begun to distinguish ego (or false self) from authentic self have an advantage in developing their leadership skills. It not only generates compassion for others, but when we’re operating from a place of authenticity, we are also operating from our best self.

    Have a great week!


  6. A very nice and insightful piece on a very important subject. The ego is the great trickster from the shadow side and it tends to show up with all our disassociated small selves at just the wrong time. Developmentally, (my opinion and I could be wrong) the path to self worth, self-knowledge, and finding out, who we are, really is a serious personal commitment to consciousness growth. We all have different worldviews and as a result, we do not just see things differently, we live in different realities. This is a developmental issue that gets very little attention because we (our ego) prefer to focus on external things that do not threaten or upset our self-esteem at the ego level. We prefer to project those parts of us that we do not own onto others. Through dedicated self and shadow work, we can transcend the ego and if we work hard enough we can grow to be authentic in presenting our highest self in our life and work. Thanks for the learnings. Very nice work…


    • Hi Doug

      I absolutely agree with you about the ego! You’ve put into words exactly what I’ve been thinking. The ego doesn’t want to engage in transformational work so it focuses on external things that don’t threaten the status quo.

      Many people shy away from working with the shadow but the only way to know what is there, along with cleaning it up, is to shine a light on it. Thanks so much for your comment.


  7. Are we ready to speak about the dissolution of the ego? [grin]


  8. Hi Stan

    I think ego is a great future topic, don’t you? And I love shining a light into the darkness . . . I love that parable, too! Happy Easter.


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