Is it you who gets to decide that you have value? Or have you been waiting for others to see it first?
If you allow your value to be determined for you by the judgments or standards of others, you may want to rethink this choice. Yes, this is a choice, even if it’s an unconscious one.
Somewhere along the way, you gave up ownership of your self worth to someone or something else. Your family, society, teachers, culture, group, or even your friends might be the ones you allow to decide your value for you.
If you haven’t been feeling good about yourself lately, and nobody around you is very validating to you, perhaps you need to reclaim your value for yourself.
Only you can decide to increase your value, and only you can get it back again when it’s gone.
But wait a moment, isn’t your value determined by the marketplace, or by how popular you are, or how much money you have, or whether your approval ratings are high? Isn’t your actual value based on how others see you? Isn’t it foolish to see yourself as valuable if others cannot?
The answer is a resounding ‘no’. You don’t need to prove your worth to anyone else. It’s your job to know and have it for yourself. When you know your own value, you help others to see it too. If you know that you have value, just by being you, your life will flow in an easier way for you.
If you allow your self worth to be determined by others, by how useful you are to them, you may find yourself constantly running around taking care of them, trying to prove your worth. You are allowing your validation to come from outside of yourself. Your energy will be spent proving your worthiness to others. The problem with this is that you still won’t know it for yourself.
How can you create more value within yourself? How do you raise your own worth, increase your own stature?
You have the power completely within you to decide how to see and treat yourself.
If you decide you are talented, capable, intelligent, or creative, it will be easier for others to see these parts of you. They will have permission to see this, instead of seeing you ‘being’ invalidated or wrong.
This power is self determined – you don’t need permission from someone else to love yourself, for example. If you are waiting around for someone else to tell you it’s okay to be you, you may be waiting a long time. If you know yourself and love what you know, all of it, even the rough bits, you’ll be able to create a positive self image.
If you feel you’ve failed, if you made a mistake you can’t forgive yourself for, if you haven’t yet reached your own definition of success, you might be angry at yourself. You might be punishing yourself by withholding your approval from the most important person in your own life – you. If you’ve been waiting until you’re more perfect before you decide that you’re okay, you’ll be disappointed. You can avoid wasting your energy by deciding for yourself that, flaws and all, you’re already amazing.
If you’ve been in the habit of defining yourself by what you do, and what you do has changed or gone away, you might have a difficult time of redefining who you are without it. The economic downturn has had a way of devaluing many things: jobs and real estate are just two of them. You don’t have to allow the current events to devalue you as well.
It’s easy to control a person who is invalidated and doesn’t know his or her own worth.
Many people will be only too willing to take advantage of your lack of self awareness.
Here’s another way to look at value: what has gained in value for you over the last few years? During this challenging time in our history, when so much lost its worth, did other things gain in importance for you? Have you created more of a sense of what’s real as the old ways of doing business have been stripped away?
For example, are your relationships with others more valuable now? Have you created something new in your life over the past few years, something more real and true for you than what you had before? Are you more conscious of the earth and its value? Did you already know that your body is the most amazing creation?
You are the one who determines what anything is worth, by deciding that it’s valuable to you and owning that decision. One way to do this is to practice daily meditation and to remind yourself of what’s true and real for you. Sit quietly, breathe, and be in the moment. Become aware of your own body and breath. Allow yourself to find gratitude for everything you have, and for who you are, as you already are.
The way forward to your own true life, is from the inside of you. Get to know and love yourself. Meditate, take time to breathe, spend time asking yourself the good questions, listen to your body. Know your value.
If you decide to make your own inner truth real, it will become so. By redefining how you see yourself, others will follow.
“Sometimes, I feel discriminated against, but it does not make me angry. It merely astonishes me. How can any deny themselves the pleasure of my company? It’s beyond me.”
― Zora Neale Hurston