5 Keys to Learning Your Own Value

RAFT Team, May 11th, 2020

How you value yourself shows up in how you treat yourself.

That’s a big statement. Let’s start with the basics. You probably treat the people around you pretty well. You drop what you’re doing to help a friend. You stay up late to make treats for your child’s school event. You volunteer for that extra project at work, and you manage to keep up with most of the chores at home. You value your friend and family relationships so much that you’ll go the extra mile almost every single time.

But what about how you treat yourself? Do you fall into bed exhausted each night wondering if you’ve done enough? Do you relive conversations or interactions endlessly and berate yourself for not responding or doing better? Have you given up your hobbies to make room for your obligations and responsibilities? These things can all be red flags that you need to value yourself a little more.

Here are a few questions to help you determine how much you really value yourself:

  • Do you ever put your own needs above the needs of others?
  • Do you feed yourself well? 
  • Do you take care of all aspects of your physical body? 
  • Are you getting enough sleep?
  • Do you make room for your emotional growth? 
  • Do you make time to develop healthy relationships? 
  • Do you consistently schedule self-care?
  • Are you pursuing any dreams?

If you answered no to more than one of these questions, don’t despair. Seeing your own value may take time. It may be a step-by-step learning process. The following tips can help you on your journey. Take it one step at a time and appreciate your progress along the way.

Don’t compare.

Everywhere you turn you’re told to compare yourself to other people. Your bodies. Age. Size. Intelligence. Financial standing. Career. Parenting. The problem is that when you compare, you’ll always find someone better off than you are and worse off than you. Comparison sets you up for an emotional rollercoaster ride. What people like and value can change every single day, which means your value can change if you base it on this approval system.

Self-worth is the only worth you can control. What you value (or don’t value) about yourself determines how you act towards yourself. There’s no comparison involved. If you don’t know where to start when it comes to valuing yourself, make a list of 5 things you appreciate about yourself. Are you kind? Are you a person of faith? Are you generous? Do you always see the positive? These are all great things to value about yourself. 

Don’t settle.

Are you stuck in a job you don’t love? Are you underpaid? Do you have relationships that drag you down? You are too valuable to stay in these places. Start looking for a new job. Ask for the raise. Distance yourself from those people. And start taking steps towards change. You deserve to be happy!

Do you get discouraged by all the achievements you see in your friends’ Facebook feeds? Do you feel like you don’t measure up or your life isn’t as exciting as theirs? You’re not alone. Studies show that Facebook and other social media sites break down your well-being. The more you scroll, the more “less-than” you’ll feel. Take a social media break. 

Practice gratitude.

Instead of noticing what others think and do, start noticing all the good things you have around you every single day. The mystery of how sunshine turns to rain and then back to sun. All the shades of green that pop out in the spring. The miracle of birdsong. Divine smells from the bakery. The roundness of an apple. The firmness of the ground beneath your feet. Make a list of what you see every single day. Review it. Remember it. When you get discouraged, pull it out and revel in it. You’ll bounce back so much more quickly when you immerse yourself in gratitude.

Say yes.

You’re continually reminded to say no and to create healthy boundaries. This is fantastic! But remember why you do this. You say no so you can say yes to the things you love. So you can make space for your own growth, health, rest, and relationships. 

Carve out time for something you love every single day, even if it’s standing outside for 60 seconds longer to breathe in some fresh air. A 90-second stretch at your desk. A 2 minute break to make some hot tea before you jump back into your day. This positive, healthy, exuberant YES can change your perspective in powerful ways.

Build a practice.

You’ll feel the benefit of each of these tips as you bring them into your daily life. Challenge yourself to build a continual practice of these things. Be intentional. Set a goal of a week to learn your own value. Extend it to two weeks, then three. If you miss a day or two, be gentle with yourself and jump back in without condemnation. Over time, this practice will transform your life and build more joy, more satisfaction, better health, and better relationships.