If you looked in the mirror, right now, and asked yourself, “what am I worth?” what would be your answer? Are you worth a million dollars? Are you worth your house? Are you worth a lot? A little? Do you have a good sense of self worth? Or does it need a bit of a work out? Maybe you weren’t even aware, until now, that asking yourself these questions is a completely normal exercise. Great news: it is! Let’s dive in to creating a positive sense of self-worth today by looking closely at the life you’re presently creating, and asking yourself if it looks like the future that you dreamed of living? With each decision you make, you are constructing your future. And, whether we realize it or not, inaction is also action.
Seriously? Who reads self-help books?
There was a time I snickered when I walked through the “Self-Help” section in Barnes & Noble. I’d think to myself, “who really reads these books?” Can people really be taking the title, Starting Over, Again and The Magic of Thinking Big for real? Do people really need books to figure out their lives? I was convinced those people who bought self-help books were just completely unstable. Little did I know, I was about to be one of those people.
A Big, Much Needed Slap of Reality
Three months into starting out as a budding entrepreneur, I was laid off. I was a mix of happy and sad. On one hand, I wasn’t thrilled about my job, so I wasn’t sad to lose it. On the other hand, I had lost my job without already having another income stream to support myself. I realized, wow layoffs are real. There is no such thing as “job security.” Guess who found herself in the Self-Help section of Barnes & Noble? This healthy dose of reality continued twice more before the message really sunk in for me. It was like the Universe was trying to tell me something, and I kept saying, “yeah yeah, not now.” Finally, it slapped me and said, “Tonia be your own boss!”
Being laid off three times was emotionally and financially devastating. I was raised to be a confident woman, but now I was second-guessing myself continuously for the first time in my life. Was I good at my job? If not, then what was I good at? What would I do with my life if couldn’t be a graphic designer? Or even hold a “steady” job? People often link self-worth to our jobs and careers. Our jobs are our comfort zones. Society has long taught us to hold a steady job, work hard, make money, move up in the ranks and be successful. And, success equals self-worth. But at what cost?
I’m sorry, and congratulations!
We are all exactly where we are supposed to be based on our actions and decisions up to this point. Great news, right? You may think you’ve made some pretty questionable decisions in your life, but, in my humble opinion, all decisions are good ones. Though they may feel wrong, in hindsight, they have led us to this very moment. When I became an entrepreneur, I was asked all the very same questions I’m asking you. Honestly, they shook me up. Up to that point, I had equated my self-worth to the job I was holding. So, I was worth my salary. When I didn’t have a salary, I wasn’t worth anything. But, that also didn’t quite hold water with me. Something inside said, this doesn’t make sense. The more I pursued my entrepreneurial career, the happier I was. Wasn’t I worth this happiness, even if it didn’t come with a bunch of zeros attached to it?
The point I’m trying to make here, is that your sense of self-worth can also be tied to happiness, and not just money. Sure, money can provide a catalyst for happiness to occur, but in most experiences, it’s not necessary. The number of zeros in your paycheck, the amount of overtime you rack up, the number of vacation days you don’t take, these things do not create a good sense of self-worth. You are more than the title you hold.
Ok, So What’s Next?
I’m certainly not suggesting that you quit your job. Unless of course, that speaks to you. Quite possibly, this is the blog post you needed to read to make the leap into the next phase of your life; the one that will increase your self-worth in the best way possible. What I am suggesting is that you evaluate your self-worth. What is creating it? Is it good? Take time to reflect on where you are and the direction YOU (not your parents, not your boss, not your significant other) want to go in your life. Which way will help you develop that positive self-worth?
Becoming a student of personal development provided me with the arsenal I needed to bounce back from these early setbacks relatively quickly. And when I say quickly, I mean over the span of three and a half years. After all, reigniting your life does not happen overnight, C’mon now. I realized my self-worth was worth leaving the comfortable confines of a standard job I wasn’t passionate about, creating the job I’d always wanted, and figuring out how to make it my life. I’m not there yet. We are all a work-in-progress after all. But, I’m getting there, and I know that my self-worth is worth all the work.