I had a rather tough email from, what I expect was, a young lady on my blog over the weekend. She had a simple question but added that she was worthless onto the end of her email.
I wish I could thank her for reminding me that I have to address this as video number ten of my Foundations series. However before I do that, I wanted to address it today. It’s a topic that can’t be talked about enough.
We all have to find our own self worth or it is impossible to live a happy and healthy life and even more impossible to be in happy and healthy relationships. However, the great thing about life is that we all have worth if we understand what it means. If you are looking for someone to give you worth, it will be a never ending search.
So what is worth when we are talking about life? Well it isn’t comparing ourselves to others. There will always be someone prettier, more handsome, have more money, a more glamorous job, be doing more work, having more fun, have more friends, be more in the public eye, seem happier, seem more put together, seem more articulate, seem smarter, or any other “more” your mind can come up with. Comparing yourself to others is a sure first way to create problems with negative self-talk.
One of the funniest google searches I have done recently is “How do I find self-worth”. I read countless pages all telling my how to improve my self worth and not a single one explaining how I might start out this journey. Where do I begin? As well as that issue, almost all of the sites had monumental issues with their advice. I will write further on this when I do my video on the subject.
I am going to give you what I did to find my worth. I think, personally, it’s the most practical method and it avoids so many pitfalls I’ll speak of later.
First thing for me was to understand that unlike what all those websites are telling me, I am NOT unique. I am but another grain of sand on one beach, on one planet, in a universe of beaches and planets. Does this mean that there are other people out there exactly like me? No, what it means is that there is no one thing about me that is unique. That which is has come before.
So how is that going to help you or me find my self worth? Because it keeps me grounded in the truth that I am not a special snowflake. I will not get caught in the trap that I should be treated special because I am unique. I will never have an over inflated ego. I will also know that my shortcoming are not unique to me. I understand that if all the other not unique people can lead happy and healthy lives so can I.
So what do I mean there is no one like me but at the same time say I am not unique? There is not one particular trait about me that no one else possesses. There might not be someone else that combines those traits in the same combination as me. The combination may or may not be unique, but any one thing about me certainly is not unique.
So now that I understand that, how does that help me value myself?
First is that it stops you from comparing yourself to all those other not special grains of sand on the beach. Now you can instead work on finding out what your combination of traits and talents are and work on those. We all have them. My worth is about what I might be able to bring to the table through my interactions with others.
So now I have defined my value as what I bring to the table in my interpersonal relationships, be they friends, lovers or partners I am then motivated to try and improve my value proposition. Not because I compare myself to what others do, but because I want to be the best combination I can be for myself.
It also allows me to be human. I know that, like everyone else, my combination of traits are going to consist of some that others will value, and some that others do not. My combination will also include things I want to work on, and things I am content with as they are. I do not need to be “the best” at any one thing in comparison to others because I know the whole concept of “the best” is an illusion. I just want to be “the best” that I can be for myself. I want to do that because it increases my sense of worth to myself and thus increases the chance that others will value those things.
Think about what I am saying here. It means that as a human, I am placing my self worth not on my appearance, or intelligence, my physical abilities, my natural musical talent, or my ability to be humorous to others. Instead I am valuing the combination of what I am and bring to the table. For me, maybe it isn’t my appearance, or my intelligence. Maybe instead it is my combination of the ability to make others smile, my empathy for others, and my social nature that brings people together.
It allows me to work on any one trait I think I am lacking in without that lack meaning I don’t have worth. For me, I can know that patience is not my virtue and something I need to work on without thinking that because I become frustrated easily it means I am less than others.
Conversely, it avoids my getting too big of a head. I might want to start to believe that I am smarter than most people, but my belief systems reminds me that doesn’t say anything about who I am even if it were the truth. It also reminds me that there is always going to be someone smarter. I am not unique.
I hope this gives everyone something to think on today, especially any that are struggling with their own identity and ideas of self worth.