One pleasant morning, Mark was off to work, completely confident and happy. There was no reason to not be happy. He had a job he loved and had friends and family he loved very much. He reaches work and found out something that completely killed his self worth. His colleague who started with him had got a big promotion. From the moment he heard this news, he started questioning what he didn’t do right. He completely lost the smile on his face.
Mark didn’t really need to lose the pleasant way he was feeling about himself just because someone else was doing well. He knew this, but it still bothered him. Why do you think this is?
People tend to value others based on their earning potential.
“I was a nobody. To be a somebody, I need to make X amount of money.” This is how we interpret success in life in the most basic form. It is time to evolve from this method of measuring your value.
I do believe financial soundness is relevant to be able to give you access to more opportunities and feel a sense of security. But, it is important to think beyond just financial success.
How should you value yourself then?
1. Based on personal growth goals
Comparing or modeling your heroes or mentors is a good thing to help get started. But, to truly be a different person, you will need to stop comparing yourself against others around you. You need to measure yourself on the basis of some personal metrics you have set for yourself.
Within your personal goals, there can definitely be financial goals, career goals and relationship goals or any other specific goals you think are important. The point is you need to define what you consider is “success”. Do not let others define it for you. If you follow this with all your energy, you will definitely gain what you aimed for.
In the end of the day, you need to reach your highest potential. No-one else can define that for you the way you envision this in your mind.
2. Based on the number of people you serve
The more people you serve, the more you grow as a person. As a child you start out dependent on parents and others to take care of you. As you get older, you have to become independent. Then, the more responsibility you can take up for others around you and the more compassion you can show towards people around you, the more value you bring to the table.
This does not simply mean charity. I mean helping your neighbor out or a friend. Helping communities around you and being in a job where you help you peers and others around you. The more you make life for people around you better, your value keeps rising.
3. Based on your ability to maintain positive relationships
Being able to keep your differences aside and genuinely connecting with people is important. When you only keep relationships that feel good and ignore everyone else around you, it means you haven’t mastered yourself. Being able to give out a positive vibe to others even if aspects of their character is unappealing would improve your value tremendously.
4. Based on how you feel when you are alone
As Sadhguru puts it, “If you feel unhappy when you are alone, you are in bad company.”
You need to be able to handle being by your thoughts. You need to be able to forgive yourself for not the best version of yourself. Being an introvert, this seems to be easier for me. But, the number of negative thoughts that cross my mind when alone is disturbing. The more you are with yourself and learn to handle your thoughts, you will be able to transform considerably.
5. Based on how you treat others as your situations change
All of us go through ups and downs. It is important to treat everyone equally when you are at your highest point. It is equally important to be able to see others as equals when you hit rock bottom. Where you are in your life situations should not influence the way you treat people around you.
Confusing ego with positive self worth
Value is supposed to mean usefulness or worth. If your self worth is coming from how you get ahead of everyone else around you, you are confusing self worth with ego.
Some think ego is needed to attain what you want. The best reason I have heard is that ego is helped people focus their energy to attain what they want from their previous experiences. This does not mean that ego is good. There is something in you which will allow you to achieve what you want even without driving yourself simply with ego.
To wrap it up
To understand your true value, there is no need to count everyone’s feedback. You just need to believe in what you are doing. As long as you are following your purpose with integrity, that is all that matters.
Whenever you feel like you are not doing well, it is always good to remeasure what your idea of self worth is. Your value should not be stuck on to one particular aspect of life or another. Try to push your boundaries in all the the different possible ways you can.