Many people I speak with are coming into a time where they are questioning why and how they have found themselves repeating various patterns throughout their lives.
Since there are about as many reasons why we do this as there are different personalities and stories, one of the tools I like to use to discover key information is to look at the building blocks of self worth/self value.
Building Block #1: Awareness
In the beginning, we don’t know what we don’t know, right? Awareness is about revealing and identifying our value. It’s about getting curious and asking the right questions to illuminate and test what’s hidden beneath the surface of the self identity we have come to know and believe.
Some great questions to start with are:
WHAT? What am I putting out there? What beliefs, moods, words, opinions, support, information, thoughts, ideas, etc. am I sharing with the world? What, therefore, is the value I hold in the lives of the people with whom I interact? Is this congruent with who I feel I am, authentically, and who I want to be?
HOW? How do I want to put what I have out there? What is my authentic approach (feels most natural and good)? How do I want what I have to share to be seen, received, considered and valued?
WHERE? Where do I want to focus my output (energy expenditures)? In other words, where will my value be most valuable for both myself and others? What type of environment do I create? What type of environment do I need to best support my what and how? Ideally, these environments should sync up. We want to determine where our value is best utilized and also best honored, respected, supported and received.
Building Block #2: Acceptance
Once we have begun to build some awareness of our value, the next step is to enable it. If we don’t accept who we are, how do we, honestly, expect others to? Building acceptance of our value is about embracing and owning what we have to bring to the table. This is important so that we can share what we have to give to the world and have it show up powerfully and beneficially. After all, if Superman didn’t know he could bend steel & fly, would he be in his full capacity to serve? Could other’s benefit as much from what he had to offer?
Building Block #3: Intention
I talk often about the difference between expectation & intention. Expectation is about the outside world and how I want it to show up for me. Intention is about the inner world and how I want to show up for myself so that I can fully show up in and for the world. Intention is about setting a course. It’s about knowing what and how we want our value to be in the world and making plans to put it there.
Building Block #4: Communication
Okay, so what is the point of having awareness, acceptance and intention if we aren’t communicating our value to others? Many believe that positive talk about oneself is akin to bragging, boasting or egoism. Of course, it depends on how you communicate what you have going for you. Knowing your gifts and being confident in speaking about what you have to give is best done with the intention to serve. When you regard it in this context, it becomes a matter of doing your duty and showing up to offer what you have, naturally, to bestow.
Similarly, if we are afraid to speak up about where we aren’t being valued or if we cannot remove ourselves from situations where what we have to give is being squandered, then our gifts cannot be delivered where they will be best utilized, either. For these reasons, effective communication of what we know our value to be is crucial.
Building Block #5: Discernment
There is a big difference between judgment & discernment. Judgment is about our perception of something/someone not measuring up to certain standards. Discernment is about creating, upholding, believing and seeing to our personal standards within our own lives. It is about making sure we allow in what will support and protect our value. It is also about letting go of and not letting in what does not. We can do this without judgment. It simply becomes a question of what is needed and most fitting for us. This is where boundaries are important. Knowing what best serves you; what is and is not okay for you. It is what allows you to protect, preserve, grow and practice your own, authentic value.
Building Block #6: Commitment
If you were to interview successful individuals, one of the things most would share if asked to list the key core values/practices that have led to their ability to get ahead, commitment would be at the top of that list. Commitment keeps us on course by allowing us to tap into our authentic passions & purpose. It is the dedication to showing up in our value – no matter what – and reaching for what it is we say we want and stand for the most.
Building Block #7: Trust & Faith
One of my favorite Facebook shares over the past few years is an illustration of Jesus kneeling down in front of a small child who is clinging to her prized possession, a very well-loved and worn teddy bear. In one hand, behind his back where the child cannot see, Jesus holds a much larger, new and beautiful teddy bear. With his other hand, he is reaching for the little bear that the child holds. The caption above his head reads: Trust me.
In order to allow for the flow of all things towards their desired and intended places, we must have trust and faith. This is a letting go and deep knowing that all will work out. It’s a cognizance that if we have built the awareness, accepted, intentioned, communicated, practiced discernment and applied commitment, then we have done all we can do. The rest is up to what’s left beyond our small power of control.
Keeping each of these building blocks in mind will help to increase your value and sense of purpose, which ultimately leads to greater fulfillment in life.