The title and featured image of this post might appear rude at first. But here’s my point: Is it “rude” not to put a price tag on a tree or an animal? No! So why put one on human beings? When you take a walk, are you busy trying to rate the quality of your walk… or do you just walk? In the same way, we shouldn’t feel like we have to define what we are “worth” to feel like we matter as human beings.
Self-worth is a concept. One that implies we can also be worthless. One that implies we can be worth more or less than someone else. One that implies we must do something to gain or maintain worth. Doesn’t that sound exhausting? Yet this is the belief system that has thrown many of us – including myself – into a restless and often painful chase for self or external approval and validation.
Why The Concept Of Self Worth Is Disempowering
Having a high self-worth is often sold as a very empowering state of being, yet in my opinion it can be the opposite. I believe it is disempowering because the very concept of self-worth is rooted in the belief that being worthless is an option – as if that is where we would be if we didn’t keep climbing up the ladder of self-worth. It’s no different than most religions, yet “heaven” and “hell” are replaced with “high self-worth” and “low self-worth.”
Sure, the idea of heaven might sound nice, and so does the idea of a high self-esteem. But both ideas come with rules that need to be followed in order to “earn” the “privilege” of getting there. It’s a mind game, a self-imposed reward and punishment system. Do we really need to live like this?
Letting Go Of Self Worth Will Improve Your Work & Relationships
I have noticed in my own life that when I make things be more about “me,” my “self-image” and my “self-worth,” I become less productive, my relationships are less sincere, I feel less inspired and I don’t work as well. Why? Because when I am caught up in trying to prove myself through what I do, what I do is no longer a genuine expression of my heart. It instead becomes interrupted by comparison, judgment, approval-seeking, competition, self-importance or self-doubt. We don’t need any of that to express ourselves and connect with others. It actually blocks these things from happening!
When we do what we do for the love of what we do – for how our soul resonates with the message/expression that is shared – we work effortlessly and fluidly. We no longer over-think; we express fluidly and with love. We can then truly connect with another’s soul as equals instead of being run by an ego jealously wanting to prove its “worth.”
“I guess the people who are always trying to prove something are the ones who really don’t believe it.” – Matthew Lipman
Think about it: When we run around trying to get under the spotlight, it is because we forget that we have a light of our own. All we need to do is to let it shine from within. Competing or trying to prove ourselves isn’t needed when we truly know who we are.
It seems to me that self-worth is a self-rating system; a way to be shallow and superficial towards ourselves. A high self-worth is usually the result of self-imposed expectations that we have successfully met, enabling us to experience a conditional acceptance of ourselves. A low self-worth is just the same, yet without success in meeting the conditions that would grant us permission to feel at peace with ourselves. How about accepting ourselves just as we are and creating our life with this understanding?
Do you know that underneath all of our silly attempts to be a certain way, we are already perfect?
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