Four Ways to Make Sure We Know Our Worth
NOT LONG AGO, I WAS SIGNIFICANTLY UNDERESTIMATING MY WORTH.
I still do sometimes, but I've grown so much better at self-correcting and reminding myself that I deserve the absolute best - not because i'm self absorbed, but because I'm self aware.
DO YOU UNDERESTIMATE YOUR WORTH?
I think the most interesting thing about this topic is that a year ago, during a period of time when I was most seriously underestimating myself, I thought I knew what I was worth. Could you be tricking yourself in the same ways? I learned that a good indicator of my self-worth comes from how i look at the world.
What do you think of your interactions with others? What is a common theme in the relationships you have with others? What are your expectations of people in your life? What are your fears in relationships with others? Do you get your hopes up? How do you view the world?
when i finally forced myself to answer these questions, the most common theme i uncovered is that i have deep trust issues. i had a lot of trouble expecting things from people or getting my hopes up because i was terrified of disappointment. i learned that i lived in constant fear of being played or taken advantage of.
It's safe to say that my overall worldview was pretty jaded.
So what? That doesn't mean anything about me or my self-worth right? That's a judgment about others in my life and about the world right? Wrong.
YOU SEE THE WORLD AS YOU ARE.
It was this truth that made me completely re-evaluate my conception of "self" and realize that I was on to something pretty alarming. If I view the world as a place lacking in trust, a place where everyone is out to get everyone else, where disappointment was around every corner and lack of hope was a way of life, then what did this say about me? If this is how i viewed my world, then what must that mean about my opinion of myself?
Asking myself these difficult questions made me realize that I had a serious self-worth issue that I wasn't allowing myself to see. My inherent lack of hope and trust stemmed directly from my imposter syndrome (something I talk way more about in this earlier post), or the feeling that I'm not worthy of good things.
WHEN WE KNOW WE ARE WORTHY OF GOOD THINGS, WE AREN'T SCARED TO GET OUR HOPES UP.
WHEN WE KNOW WHAT WE'RE WORTH, WE ONLY KEEP RELATIONSHIPS AROUND WHO REINFORCE AND FALL IN LINE WITH OUR STANDARDS AND SELF-LOVE.
Neither was true for me at the time. and while it hurt to finally admit this to myself, identifying this deeply rooted insecurity helped me attack the root of the issue head on.
HERE IS HOW WE CAN ALL STOP UNDERESTIMATING OUR SELF-WORTH:
1. seek validation FROM GOD ALONE
underestimation of our self worth (in my case, the imposter syndrome) more often than not stems from us seeking validation from others. anytime we allow others to determine how we feel about ourselves, we are essentially making ourselves a marionette doll with a multitude of puppeteers pulling our strings in so many different directions that we can't help but go crazy. that's how i used to feel, especially about body image. when i realized that i was constantly [gravely] underestimating what i was worth, i committed to seeing myself through god's eyes alone. any time i have a self-deprecating thought or feeling, i remind myself that god created me with my unique purpose, charm and style. i remind myself that underestimating myself would mean i am underestimating god's grace, and, well, who would want to do that?
when we learn to see ourselves through god's eyes alone, even our biggest insecurities and shortcomings - once coated in self-loathing and judgment - become riddled in empathy and love.
2. CUT ALL TIES
this sounds harsh. don't cut people off unless they're toxic, and you can read more about what to do with that here. by "cut all ties" i am strictly talking about any form of emotional dependence we have right now. we form dependencies on people, on things, on routines, on behaviors, on ideas, who knows what else. i think some levels of dependency are healthy and actually necessary, but if we are underestimating our self-worth, we need to cut all ties temporarily. one by one, we need to let go of our dependencies, because chances are they are perpetuating our lack of self-worth and hindering us from addressing the root of our brokenness. after we've cut all ties, we should reflect deeply on what exactly we were getting from those sources, and be intentional about giving ourselves all of those things.
in order to ensure we are adequately honoring our worth, we need to learn to be self-reliant. only after we've reached this level of autonomy can we form healthy dependencies on others that do not threaten our self-worth.
3. remind yourself who you are and are not
emphasis on "are not." when talking about identity, we often fixate on who we are and who we want to be. but what about who we are not? in a world that is trying to put us in its neat little boxes, resistance is revolutionary and absolutely necessary. the most basic and essential form of resistance is simply declaring who you are and who you are not. if we do not do this for ourselves, we need to understand that others will make this determination for us. we need to have a clear understanding of our identities in order to adequately advocate for our self-worth. of course, we all need reminders, even those of us who have discovered our true worth, and letters can go a really long way in helping us rediscover and feel affirmed in our identities.
get it down. just put some music on, light a candle, get in your emotions and let the words pour from your heart (my favorite way to write). re-read this letter often. re-read it when you most need it. re-read it when someone or something tests you. i promise, you will feel much more grounded after doing so.
4. Cleanse tf out of your life
excuse my vulgarity, but i feel very strongly about this one. everything needs to be up for re-evaluation. this is a remix of #2. cut all ties, but it goes deeper. we are changing by the minute. today, i am honestly not the same woman i was last week. i am learning, growing, improving, being influenced positively, becoming more connected. every few months or so, we need to ensure that the things and people in our lives fit in with our new identities. we often re-assess our wardrobe to see if our garments are still "our style" or if those jeans still "fit right," and everything else in our lives should undergo the same process. one of the most sustainable ways to ensure we are reinforcing our self-worth is by only keeping things and people around who fall in line with our standards and preferences.
we are more impressionable than we may think. the media we engage with, the people we converse with, the activities we partake in all have pretty substantial impact on our identity. the best way to ensure we maintain a healthy conception of self is by constantly cleansing our lives to fit this standard.
your worth comes from you and you alone.
Nobody gets to put a price tag on you unless you give them that power. with that being said, i understand firsthand how difficult it is to separate others' perceptions of us from the one we are working to develop and nurture for ourselves.
IF YOU COMMIT TO DECIDING ON YOUR WORTH FOR YOURSELF, YOU WILL STOP UNDERESTIMATING YOURSELF FOR GOOD.