How do you define your own worth? If you’re like most of us, you define yourself in terms of the people around you. What does my family need? What do they expect from me at work? Your family relies on you, your employer relies on you and the problem is, that reliance can easily slide over the line into abuse. When you allow others to take you for granted, you also allow others to sap your self-esteem and make you feel less valuable than you truly are. And, believe me, you are valuable.
You need to recognize our own worth and work to make others aware of it as well. If you don’t, you will be stuck in that never-ending circle of trying harder to please everyone in your life, taking on more and more responsibility, and then feeling worse about yourself when people don’t recognize the value you provide to their lives, the worth that you bring with you into everything you do.
Failing you recognize your own worth limits your life. What if I said, “Knowing the value you bring to all around you and truly understanding it has the power to make it possible to reach the goals you’ve set for yourself? Yes, you have to have skills (or learn them) but you also have to understand your worth first and foremost.
Why Do You Allow Toxic Treatment from Others to Hold You Back?
Why? Because it’s easy. When you were a child, you saw yourself as your parents saw you. And if they didn’t appreciate your worth, you saw a skewed version of yourself. The worst part is that view is persistent, it’s far harder to change your view, and if you allow the people around you now, your family, spouse, significant other, employers, and friends see you the same way, it becomes even harder to change.
Your reaction plays a huge role in the situation. As long as you spend your time bitching about it, nothing gets done. The truth is, that you may not like it but you’ve come to accept it and until you get up on your feet and take responsibility for yourself. Fight back and make people see who you really are.
We let the toxicity of other damage our self-worth because fighting takes you well out of your comfort zone. Sometimes it’s easier to play the victim than to fight back. Stop allowing others to define who you are. Stop letting people use you.
Define Your Own Self-Worth
It’s vital that you see yourself as you are. If you let everyone else define you, it’s as though you were looking in a Fun House Mirror. Instead of seeing the capable, strong woman who you are, you see the woman who caves in and works overtime for free, the woman who allows herself to be the butt of every joke and never complains.
There’s your mistake. You are the one in control. Your accomplishments define you. All those lessons you learned, the things you did when nobody thought you would even try, those are the things that make you who you are. And who you are is damned valuable. Do I need to say that again?
You are extremely valuable.
Make Other People See You the Way You Are
I am not telling you to become a female Rambo and smash your way into your manager’s office to demand a raise and more time off. Pick your battles. Look around and decide which one are most important.
For example, you know you don’t deserve an abusive partner. You know that type of person isn’t going to suddenly realize that they made a mistake. Gather your courage, pick yourself up and leave. When it comes to work, look around. Don’t just quit, you have to eat after all, but make a plan. Do you need skills you don’t have? Learn them. Be ready when there’s a chance for promotion or find something better, but don’t quit out of hand.
Life doesn’t provide any do-overs. When you’re 90 years old, do you want to look back and say, “If only I’d done something when I had the chance,” or do you want to be able to say, “I had a damn good life!”
Look, I know that you can’t control everything about your life. The thing is, you have more control over your sense of confidence and self-worth than you realize. Reward yourself for being the special person that you are and the even more special person that you will become. Develop a zero-tolerance for cruelty and refuse to accept it. The more you practice, the easier it becomes to see yourself clearly, appreciate your own self-worth, and make others see it too.
Oh, and don’t do it once. Practice every day!
Remember, that woman you see in the mirror is made up of all the experiences that have brought you to where you are today. If you see things you don’t like, fix them. Remember, you have more power over your life than you know.
And remember what Johnny said at the end of Dirty Dancing, and don’t let anyone put you in the corner. Get out there and make the most of your life.
Perhaps nobody is perfect, but we all have value and we all have to work on making others see our value. But you can’t do that before you learn to see yourself!
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