Knowing Your Worth
Have you ever walked away from a situation, a job, a relationship because you could not stomach the way you were being treated, spoken to, or just they way they did things? Have you ever asked for way more than you thought an employer would give because deep down you knew that it would take that insane amount of money to get you to do the job – and they gave it to you? Have you ever refused to settle even when you felt pressured to?
Or did you stay? Avoid asking? Maybe, you settled?
Knowing your worth keeps you in the first paragraph. Not knowing, relegates you to the second. And sometimes, walking away, or asking for that raise, or refusing to settle is hard. But, doesn’t it seem that the alternative is a lot harder for a lot longer?
The Job I Didn’t Want
Years ago, I applied for a job I really didn’t want. The location was bad, I wasn’t interested in doing it. And the pay was garbage. But I was desperate. So, I asked for 250 times the average rate of pay at the interview. I thought it was an impossible ask. But they matched it. They thought I was worth it, but I didn’t know my own worth.
The Principal Of It All
I’ve known people to walk away – on principal. Even after the person came around to offering what they wanted, just the fact that they were not valued after having shown their worth – was worth walking away for.
Head Held High
One thing I’ve always tried to impress upon my kids is that their value does not come from without. I’ve told them that they should surround themselves with people who recognize their value. Even more importantly, they should know when to cut and run. And, for the most part, they have all learned how to walk away. It hasn’t been easy. Sometimes they fought and kicked and screamed. But, eventually they learned that the pain of staying in a situation where you are not valued far outweighs the pain of leaving.
Why Is It So Hard?
Why is it so hard to recognize our worth? What keeps us from seeing what the people who love us most see? Most often, it’s because we base our worth on something external instead of internal. Perhaps we base our worth on our jobs, or academics, physical attributes, or what others think of us. But that’s not what gives us value. We are valuable because we are all human. That’s it. Nothing more – nothing less. Everyone had value because or lives themselves are valuable.
This was a hard lesson for me to learn about myself. I hadn’t realized before my accident that I had valued myself in large part on my ability to think, to be smart, to teach. After my brain injury, when I could no longer find the words I wanted to use, follow simple conversations, figure things out, or follow simple directions – I was shattered. I felt worthless. I hadn’t put much stock in my appearance. I wasn’t ever fashionable either because of medical necessity, finances, or comfort. But my brain – I was proud of that. And, when I lost my former abilities – it shook my confidence and I had to redefine my worth. It was a traumatic lesson, but very valuable because, when I finally regained my mental faculties after years of hard work, I knew that my brain function was not what gave me worth.
The consequence of knowing that my worth resided in my humanity and not in what I looked like, my brain, or profession was that I was more free than I had ever been. I Refused to spread myself too thin for things that didn’t matter. I was better at saying no. For the first time, I recognized that it was okay to prioritize myself and my needs.
So take some time today to reflect on the fact that you are valuable because you are you. Your worth isn’t determined by others, by your appearance, or by what you can do for others. Your worth is a given.
Be blessed and keep thriving!