Valuing yourself and having good self-esteem is required to truly love yourself. It’s easy to say the words, “I value myself” and maybe even believing them to some degree. You may consciously know that you deserve better but do your actions reflect how you truly feel? How does your life reflect how you truly feel about yourself? Are your words and thoughts backed up by your actions?
You might even be the most wonderful, gorgeous and amazing person ever but simply be unable to see it. You might be looking at everyone else and idealizing their traits while neglecting your own worth.
Below are some common actions that show that we don’t value ourselves much.
- You are stuck in a job you dislike. You feel your job doesn’t value you and you strongly believe you can do better and that you have the skills and talent to get a job that reflects your worth. Yet you continue to stay in this job, give excuses or hold onto the tiny rays of hope such as a potential promotion in a year, a recent raise or bonus or the fact that your boss just sent you an email saying how she appreciates your efforts on a project. You hold onto these breadcrumbs of hope to continue to push back on what you truly want in your career.
- You love your partner but deep down know that he doesn’t appreciate you. He doesn’t even want to make much of an effort in your relationship and often complains when you do ask him to make just a bit more of an effort. You know you deserve a partner who values you, appreciates your effort and can return the effort sometimes yet you continue to stay in this relationship because you love this person and hope they will change. You continue to hold onto a person who does not appreciate you in hopes that one day they may wake up and suddenly change and value you.
- Your friends are always asking you for help. Whenever they are lonely, they call you wanting to hang out but otherwise you never really hear from them. When you need help, your friends have excuses. You often drive and make an effort to see them but they do not make an effort to see you. You get the feeling that your friends don’t care all that much about you but you continue to stay friends with them to give them the benefit of the doubt. You continue to keep these unsatisfactory friendships because you are afraid of being alone and putting yourself out there to make new friends.
These are just a few scenarios where we know on some level that we deserve better, but our self esteem is so low that we simply remain in situations that do not make us happy. Having value requires that your actions match up to your beliefs. You may know that you deserve better, but if you truly believed and felt that, you would take action to ensure you get what you deserve.
You are enough. Part of the reason we may stay in situations that we do not deserve is because of the fear that we cannot do better. You might be afraid that this is the best case situation for you and that even though you feel you are worth so much more, that maybe what you offer isn’t enough. The truth is, is you are enough! Sure you have flaws, just like everyone else in the world. Yes, you may have made mistakes. True, there may be times where you mess up but that’s okay because you are enough. You are able to grow, adapt and move forward within your life. When something is not working for you, you have the strength within you to put your foot down and say no, this situation is not working for me. You have the strength to grow and become even better than what you are now. You are enough!
You can handle this challenge. When you don’t value yourself, you tend to run away from the challenges or choose the safest route to deal with these challenges. You might be afraid to tell your loved one how she is hurting you or how you need something from her, out of fear that she might leave you. You might decide to not inquire about an opportunity because you are worried about how that may look to your colleagues. All of us face challenges throughout our lives. Having self worth allows you to know that you can deal with the challenge. You can have that tough conversation with your partner. Yes, it may feel uncomfortable and there is a chance that your partner may threaten to leave rather than work things out. But you know what? That’s okay because you can deal with the challenge. Rather than staying in a situation that is making you miserable, you can deal with this hurdle and no matter what happens, you will be okay. Having self-love allows you to realize that many things are not in your control but whatever happens, you are in control of your emotions and how you deal with the situation.
Take responsibility because it’s more about you. As tough as it may be to hear, when you accept something you don’t deserve, that’s more about you. If your friends treat you badly, you can spend months and years complaining about how bad your friends are, but you ultimately are the one deciding to remain in contact with these people. If your boyfriend is neglecting you, then it’s your responsibility to walk away and say you are done with the situation. If you hate where your career is headed, it is your responsibility to get in control and take actions to further your career development. When you lack self-love you end up taking a victim mentality and pushing the blame on everyone but yourself. Everyone is against you. Life is unfair. The people you love don’t respect or appreciate you. I completely understand how painful this feels and how easy it can be to adopt a victim mindset but self-love requires that you take responsibility and own your life. Yes, maybe the situation is unfair. Yes, maybe the people you love do not respect or appreciate you. Yes, sometimes life just does not work to our plans no matter how much we try and how hard we work. True, you are worth more. That’s fine. Take responsibility and do something about it. Often times we allow a situation to go on far longer than it needs to be. If you are staying in a situation that makes you unhappy, then it is your responsibility to leave. It is your responsibility to get in control and take action of your own behaviors and thoughts. Bad things will happen at some stage and it is important to remember that you are still in control of yourself.
Accept that you don’t have control over everything. Part of self-love is recognizing that there are many things that are not in your control. You cannot control if you will get that promotion, if your ex-partner will recognize her mistakes in letting you go or if that missed opportunity will present itself to you again. The pain of the unknown can be very scary but part of self-love is recognizing that you sometimes just have to sit through the uncertainty and accept it. What is out of your control will always be out of your control and that’s okay. Accept the uncertainty of life instead of trying to actively force something to happen. Remember that you cannot control other people or certain events in the world but you can control your own actions and thoughts. Once you accept that you cannot control everything, you will allow things to fall into place naturally. What is meant to be will be. You will allow life to move forward and see what happens next.
Maintain your standards. Having self-love involves knowing your standards and not accepting bad treatment. You don’t have to accept less than you deserve. When you lower your standards for the wrong reasons, you are not being authentic to yourself and are denying what you truly want. We all need love and respect. Maintain your standards so that you treat yourself with the love and respect that you very much deserve. You do teach people how to treat you, and that applies to work and relationships.
Keep learning. When you love yourself, you know that you are not perfect. There is so much to learn and experience. When I look back on just the last few years of my life, I am amazed by how much I’ve grown and learned. When you don’t value yourself you might find yourself grasping at the same solutions and resisting change. You might be desperately holding onto something that feels comfortable even though you feel something just isn’t right. When you keep educating yourself and learning, you allow yourself to move forward, change and embrace other solutions. Work on learning something every day of the year. Read a book, have a conversation with someone new, ask for a different opinion. Whatever you decide to do, be open to learning something different. Loving yourself requires that you are able to improve yourself. Keep working on being a better version of yourself.
Share your kindness with the world. A person who loves themselves knows that they may not have all the answers, solutions or tools to help every situation but they do know what they can offer to people around them. A person with self-love does not focus on their weaknesses and on what they cannot yet provide to the world, but instead focuses on their strengths and the ways they enrich the world and the people within their lives. View your life from a place of abundance. What can you offer to your job, friends, loved ones and to other people around you? Perhaps you can offer smiles, compliments, a listening ear or to help someone run an errand. Focus on sharing love in the world and you will find that you attract love in the process.
Sometimes you might find that it is easy to lose track of your own self-worth. There may be certain situations you are in where you find yourself losing sight of your own value. That’s okay. Take the time to get back on track to loving yourself. Work on regaining your self-worth. You are worthy. You are enough.