Yeah, yeah, I know. According to those adverts we are all completely worth it. You apparently deserve some hair dye. So knock yourself out.
But what do we really think we are worth?
I mean, really?
In the first chapter of my book Digging for Diamonds I discuss what it means to really know we are valuable. Sure, we know that according to the Bible that our worth is beyond rubies and gold and that we are loved and valued unconditionally by God. We might even know that other people value us, even if they sometimes forget to show it.
So what’s the issue?
The reality is that every day, pretty sane people who know in their heads that they are valuable human beings, are still hung-up over their sense of value. Often our confidence is stalled as we ruminate over harsh-self-analysis or relentless perfectionism. We compare ourselves to the pretty people, the powerful people and the persuasive people and feel the weight of our own inadequacy.
Deep down, it seems that many of us are still subconsciously striving for approval. We are desperately trying to prove ourselves as worthy to ‘that person’ and we feel we don’t measure up to the impossible standards we have now imposed upon ourselves.
But what is this mindset costing us?
- The ability to take risks. You and I only grow, develop mastery and confidence once we have allowed ourselves to take risks with the accompanying possibility of failure. Yep – the F word. Failure. Not only is it an option, it’s a necessity. Let’s get used to being less than perfect. Embrace and it and get better at stuff in the process. Nobody gets everything right first time, right?
- The potential for intimacy. If we are really afraid that deep down we are not that likeable, then we will protect ourselves from the rejection that would hurt us so much. The only hope we have of building vulnerable and trusting relationships is accepting that we are actually okay. We are doing our best. We are designed perfectly and worth getting to know.
- The possibility of valuing others. If we either elevate others to hero status or diminish them to make ourselves feel better, then we miss the precious opportunity to deposit value into others. Everybody needs encouragement, intimacy, accountability and development. As we accept our own value, so we will feel able to spot and bring out the value in others. However, we won’t invest in others if we still feel our own opinion doesn’t really count.
You definitely are worth it. And the ‘it’ in question is loving, encouraging and developing. And you, when you know your own worth, you are a powerful tool to help others to know they are worth it too.
- Even the most apparently confident person can struggle with knowing they are valuable enough or able enough at times. Has that been your experience?
- What does trying to gain the approval of others cost you? Time? Energy? Worry? Focusing on the wrong things? Trying to be somebody you are not? Have an honest conversation with yourself.
- How can you help somebody to feel valuable today? Can you write a note? Chat to a shop-worker? Take time to talk? Invest in somebody? It’s not hard to show somebody they are valued. How have others done this for you in a meaningful way?
I’d love to know your thoughts.