I would like for you to imagine you’re holding a brand new $50 bill. You could neatly place the bill in your wallet and maintain its crispness, crumple it up in a ball and shove in your pocket, or, if you’re feeling daring, imagine yourself stomping on that $50 bill or even ripping it in half. The money can be taped, the dirt can be wiped off, and even if it is a crumpled the store clerk will still recognize the value of the $50 when you go to make a purchase. If you deposit it, your bank account will still show an increase in funds in the amount of $50 even if the money has a tear in it. Regardless of what you choose to do with the money, the value remains the same. The value of the $50 does not change if it is folded, crumpled, if it gets dropped in a rain puddle, or has coffee spilled on it. The value does not change if the money goes through the washer or if part of it gets ripped.
If the money does not lose its worth or value, then why as people do we so often believe that we can lose our worth? Our own value? Maybe you feel ignored, rejected, or abandoned. You may feel abused, stepped on, or forgotten. It’s possible you feel taken advantage of, that you’ve been hurt, that you too feel like you were put through the washer. In response to the treatment you have endured, it’s likely that you have or presently do question your own value, ponder if you are enough, and allow others to determine your level of worth.
The value of the money does not change due to its appearance. We as a society have placed value on it, we know that if the money is crisp, crumpled, or torn it still has value. The amount of worth has not changed; it still has a purpose.
Know your purpose. We all have a purpose. You’re here for a reason, your life matters, you do have value. Yes, you may have gone through some difficult times in your past. Maybe this current phase of your life is a challenge and some days you question how it can continue, how much more you can take. The experiences in your life do not define you, the experiences you have are situational. Life is full of circumstances that affect you and that have a significant influence on you but they do not define you. Our life experiences are not the conclusion to who we are or who we are capable of becoming. There is not a situation that can take your worth and value away.
It is up to you to define your worth and to know your value. Choose to pick yourself up, choose to heal, to recover, and to repair. Do not let other people determine your worth, do not allow others to create the standards for “good enough.” Stop trying to implement change, hoping someone else will notice and your work will finally be recognized. A confident person does not need to be recognized. A person who knows their value does not compare themselves to others; they know their worth.
Stop apologizing for who you are in this moment and learn to embrace your present self. Perfection does not exist. We all have imperfections, so start accepting that in this moment you are “perfect,” right here, right now. This is the best that you can be and that is enough. Choose to participate in the life you want to have to create value in each daily moment. Start refusing to settle for less. Know your worth, create your value.
Humans are people pleasers, we want to be accepted, liked, and appreciated. So, very often we sacrifice ourselves and our own wants and needs in an effort to please others. If you continue to allow others to determine your value and worth then you will never feel good enough or be enough. If you are unable to recognize the value and worth in yourself first, you will continually struggle to develop and maintain healthy relationships with others in all aspects of your life. It would be similar to constructing a home with no foundation. Without a strong base, it will all eventually crumble.
The minute you negotiate your self-worth and accept less, you say to the universe that your value has decreased, that you don’t deserve better. When we let others determine our own value based on their expectations and preferences, we stop valuing ourselves and who we are meant to be. Know your worth, know your value, and stop letting others’ thoughts and feelings about you change how you feel about yourself. Stop letting others’ beliefs interfere with your personal growth.
“Life doesn’t give a damn about what you want. It’s up to you to connect what you like with how to get it, and then have the courage to push it through,” Ray Dalio.
Life will throw curveballs, it is unpredictable and, quite honestly, unfair. Bad things happen to good people. Each and every one of us has experienced pain or hurt. So many people compare their low points in life to others’ high points. Stop comparing and stop measuring your life by someone else’s standards. Stop living to please someone else or some organization while sacrificing yourself in the process. Take the time to accept who you are in this moment, explore your strengths, develop your level of worth, and determine your value. Discover your purpose in life and then find the courage to push through and achieve it based on your own personal measures of self-worth.
Rachel Velishek is a licensed professional clinical counselor with Fisher-Titus Behavioral Health, Fisher-Titus Medical Park 2, Suite C, 282 Benedict Ave., Norwalk. Her office can be reached at 419-668-0311. For more information on Fisher-Titus Behavioral Health, visit fishertitus.org/behavioral-health.