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Many of your finest attributes must be developed, but you were born knowing your self-worth.

Unfortunately, as you got older, your natural sense of self-worth probably eroded as other people’s comments, expectations, and attitudes start chipping away at it.

By the time you reach adulthood, you may no longer believe that you are capable and deserving of your goals and dreams.

Fortunately, if you’ve lost your sense of self-worth, you can build it up again. But you can’t do it by turning to other people or external factors.

What happens when something shakes your model to the core?

Have you ever built your success or happiness on a model of life that is predicated upon another person’s approval, behavior or the permanence of a relationship? Or on having certain material possessions?

If so, you may had had that foundation pulled out from under you. Such as when somebody left you or denied your raise, promotion, or loan. Maybe someone disapproved of something you did or said. Or perhaps somebody important to you died.

When that happens, your view of who you believe you are and what you are worth and deserve in life begins to crumble.

You start to question your intelligence and capabilities. Your confidence wanes. You stop speaking up, taking chances and acting on your goals and dreams.

But when these kinds of things happen, it doesn’t have anything to do with your inherent worth. Instead, it has to do with coupling your self-worth with the wrong things.

Self-worth doesn’t come from having more money, more friends, or a fancy car and big house. Self-worth comes from within.

Ways to bolster your self-worth

Increasing self-worth is one of the best weapons you can have to thrive in each area of life.

That’s true whether you don’t believe you can achieve your goals, or you’ve already accomplished much in life. No matter who you are or what’s on your resume, increasing self-worth should be a continuous endeavor.

Here are 20 things you can do to appreciate yourself more and bolster your sense of self-worth:

1. Read a personal development book for an hour each day. Reading helps you come to know who you are at your core and live in a way that reflects that truth and your capabilities.

2. Practice speaking up for yourself. Recognize that you and your voice matter.

3. Each night, write down something you accomplished that day that made you feel proud, even if it’s something small, such as making a phone call you’ve been putting off.

4. Take pride in your appearance all the time, whether you’re at home, out with friends, running an errand or going on a job interview.

5. Start saying no to things you don’t want or have time to do. Don’t be mean or rude about it; do it in a kind but clear way.

6. Trust and rely on yourself to make decisions about your life, rather minor or major.

7. Do your best and take pride in everything you do—no matter how small, simple or mundane the task may be.

8. Face and walk through one of your fears. Then, face another and another. Your self-esteem will soar.

9. Throw your shoulders back and walk faster than the average person.

10. Invest in you every day by taking time to do something that makes you feel good or something you’ve always wanted to do.

11. Forgive yourself and others.

12. Stop associating with people who are dragging you down or gossiping about others.

13. Develop your strengths and gifts.

14. Celebrate your successes.

15. Do things to help others or make them feel better about themselves.

16. Take risks and recognize that it’s okay to fail.

17. Accept compliments and help from others instead of deflecting or shying away.

18. Start changing the story you tell yourself. Instead of automatically thinking you can’t do something, say “I’ve never done it, but I’ll give it a try.”

19. Stop making your self-worth contingent on other people and comparing yourself to others.

20. Spend time in silence. You become better acquainted with who you really are and what you are meant to do with your life when you sit in silence regularly.

It’s not “one and done”

Self-worth is integrally related to knowing who you are at your core and living in a way that reflects that. However, knowing who you are is a lifelong process.

So try not to let any opportunity to improve yourself pass you by. The more things that you learn, the more confident you become. And the more confident you become, the more you believe in yourself and that you can do the things you set out to do.

I encourage you to look over the strategies above again and pick a few to act on right away. Try them for a while and then pick a few more to work on.

Notice the effect each strategy has on your thoughts, feelings and results. Incorporating these ideas into your life will remind you of who you are and help you work toward becoming the best version of yourself.

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