You are an amazing human being.
You are a light in this world.
You are talented, beautiful, and loved.
How do these statements make you feel? Do you know your worth and accept it fully? Or are you the kind who smiles uncomfortably at compliments and deflects the situation as quickly as possible with self-crushing modesty?
For example, if you do a good job and a co-worker showers you with praise, is your response something like: “Oh thank you, but it’s because of you that this project is a success. I hardly did anything at all.”?
Or if someone says how healthy and radiant you look, is your standard comeback: “Aww thank you, but I’m still trying to lose a few pounds. Look at you though! I wish I had those washboard abs.”?
No wonder you don’t feel fulfilled or valued! So often, the eager kindness we show to others conceals our self-loathing. If the inspiring words you say to others are never directed towards yourself, the hunger for love and acceptance will always remain.
Look, you can be the most influential person alive and still feel like sh*t. You could be an entrepreneur earning millions and empowering others to do the same. You could cure cancer or win the Nobel Prize. You could be Alexander the Great, conquering the world with people worshipping you like you’re the Second Coming. The fact is, at the end of every external victory and accolade earned, we ALWAYS come home to ourselves.
Perhaps you feel unworthy without that high-flying job or people singing you praises. On the flipside, you might still feel unworthy despite the achievements and recognition. What are we to make of this “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” dilemma?
The key to knowing your worth is hidden in the belly of the beast: judgement itself.
A job, spouse, or mansion cannot make you feel worthy, because the final judgement is not in the hands of others. The power of last judgement dwells within you.
This is a power that most of us flinch away from and promptly lay at the feet of others. We want others to tell us we are worthy and valued. When that doesn’t happen (or even when it does) we judge ourselves as not being good enough. This judgment is where power lies. There are two levels to this statement:
1) Judgement is where power “lies”, in the sense that you are telling yourself untruths about your worth.
2) Judgement is where power “lies”, in the sense that power lies or resides in the one doing the final judging (i.e., YOU). Feeling unworthy even in spite of external success, shows that no matter how hard you try to escape it, the final reckoning lies with you.
You are so worthy that you have been made the ultimate judge of your own existence. The very fact that you can judge yourself to the point of unworthiness and crippling shame, shows how powerful you are. You can use this capability for judgement to tell lies about yourself, or you can cultivate this ability consciously, so that it becomes a loving dictator of personal truth.
You have the power. No doubt about it. Will you use your own flame to illuminate or burn yourself? It’s up to you to deliberately make of a certain situation what you will, and to make of YOU what you will.
To know your worth, say, “I have nice fingers.”
How can we begin to judge ourselves more kindly? It’s simple. Start with the smallest things.
A few weeks ago, my friend, Dave, called me in despair. He was dissatisfied with the fact that he wasn’t “making it” as an actor and was spending all his energy on supporting his artist girlfriend. He felt obligated to focus on her because she was just starting to succeed in the art industry and had multiple gallery shows lined up.
I told him to take a 10-minute walk. Why? Because even the simplest act of self-care demonstrates to yourself and the Universe that you are valuable, and worthy to receive. Within the hour, Dave called back, excited and eager to share his idea for a new script.
Once in a while, take steps to bask in the glow of your own compassion. Instead of passing the torch to others and making them responsible for your radiance, or being responsible for their radiance, do what you can to show yourself that you care about you.
You might find it hard to gift yourself with extravagant things. Maybe you don’t even feel worthy enough to spend a day at the spa or enjoy an indulgent meal with friends. Just start where you are. Take 10 minutes instead of five to enjoy your morning coffee. Compliment yourself even if all you can manage is “I have nice fingers”.
Every thought, word or deed is a judgement of sorts that sentences you to a certain outcome. For my friend, Dave, his moment of self-care resulted in excitement, inspiration, and recognizing the value of a story inside of him that he could share with the world. Be precise and compassionate about the things you say and do. You are the judge condemning yourself to limitation or decreeing your liberation.
The process of building your self-worth can seem like a formidable task, but remember that light feeds light. The strongest fortress starts by laying one brick, and then another, and another…So to know your worth, do the little things with great love. Whatever you can manage is enough.
And by the way, why do you think you’ve even read this far? Because you’re a worthless piece of sh*t who doesn’t deserve inner happiness? No. Deep down you know that you are more than you have led yourself to believe. The urge to read these words is your soul reaching for the self-love it knows it deserves.
© Jamin Olivencia