It took me a long time to understand my worth and figure out my value. This was because I would look to others to validate my worth. What a mistake!
Perception isn’t Always Reality
The only person who needs to know your worth is YOU. Once you believe in yourself and what you bring to the table, you can begin to live a different kind of life.
There are many reasons why you may undervalue yourself. Contemporary culture makes it tough to feel good about yourself. Every day we are slammed with ads, pictures, and online content that misleads us about reality. Everyone looks so perfect. But the images are Photoshopped to eradicate imperfections and flaws, the photos filtered and specially lit to magnify beauty. What we see on our screens and in magazines are not real but perfected images.
I recently watched a Chelsea Handler documentary about Silicon Valley. Chelsea led a roundtable with several other A-list celebrities including Khloe Kardashian and Leah Remini. They discussed technology and its impact on us.
Khloe shared an app she uses to filter her pictures. The app provides the perfect light so that in her photos she looks flawless. Chelsea asked if people would prefer to see genuine, untouched photos. Wouldn’t fans want to see Khloe or Leah having a normal day, or even a messy moment? Leah said she believed people want to see the perception a celebrity creates, the image everyone wants to believe is real. She and Khloe agreed that people only want to see what they think your life is about rather than what it may actually be like in reality.
Chelsea said she thought this was pretty messed up. I agree. But, sadly, lots of people share Khloe and Leah’s perspective. I call this the perfection illusion.
The perfection illusion can get in the way of loving yourself. It serves as a disruptor if you constantly compare yourself to that which is not real. This makes it too easy to lose sight of what is real. The perfection illusion plays a significant role in diminishing self-esteem. Thinking others are perfect and such perfection is achievable negatively impacts the way you evaluate your self-worth.
Don’t Believe the Hype
The disconnect between loving ourselves and expecting physical and lifestyle perfection has increased. This is because what society values has changed. We all think we should live a celebrity life. Even though such lives are not real.
You can see this disconnect just by watching so-called reality TV. Reality shows commonly feature individuals who tear others down. Viewers watch relationships evolve between people who are depicted in their most vulnerable, violent, and stupid moments. However, what viewers don’t see is how these shows damage the lives portrayed, as well families and loved ones.
Another example of how the culture has changed is the social media phenomena of cyber-bullying. Real time access to others’ intimate and lowest moments has created monsters online.
In contemporary society, too many people place a high value on the external rather than the internal. There is too much emphasis on material things, status and success. What is lost in the process of obtaining the external are the fundamentals for healthy self-esteem, which is internal. No matter how big your diamond is when you get engaged, you may not have a happy marriage. Education, high-paying jobs, and being attractive don’t necessarily attract your soul mate or even someone of good quality. Being favored, followed, or looked at on social media by more and more followers does not mean you feel connected. Yet it is our basic instinct to connect with others.
However, we all need to connect with ourselves first in order to build a quality connection with others. This truth is being overlooked.
Falling in Love with You
A lost connection with yourself leads to a loss of self-esteem. When this happens, we look to others or to material things to make us feel better about ourselves. This is destined to fail because someone else cannot fill the gap in you. A diamond or a new house, a car or a new lover will not make you love yourself more.
You need to fall in love with you.
When you learn the power of you and the value you bring to the table, shift happens. Your life is literally transformed. This process begins with improving your self-esteem and valuing who you are. This means changing your inner dialogue. You need to monitor what you fill your mind with in order to focus on what is real. You must change your subconscious thoughts as well.
The first step to this transformation is to stop focusing on the things you do not like about yourself. Instead, focus on what you love about yourself. Start with one trait you really like about yourself. Take note of this trait and start a list. Think of your other positive attributes, adding them to your Love Yourself List.
The next step is to remind yourself daily of your own worth. Look in the mirror each morning and again before bed. Tell yourself the following:
- You are smart.
- You are beautiful.
- You deserve love.
- You are lovable.
- You are not damaged.
- You are fine just the way you are.
Focus on building yourself up from the inside out. Although it is important to look good and feel good, this is not just external. It comes from within. You will need to be at peace with who you are as a person. This means being positive and kind, and it entails reaching out to help others. The better you are as a person, the better you’ll look to others.
Finally, stop comparing yourself to others—especially celebs. You are the only one who is living your life. Everyone has challenges, even the famous. The important thing is for you to focus on your challenges. Pay attention to your own life. Be authentic to you. Live in your truth. This is the game changer. It’s ok to be you.
As you change your inner dialogue, you will begin to look at your own self-worth in a different way. This is a process and it takes time. You may have setbacks. When you do, write down the negative thought, then counter it with what you believe makes you worthy. Putting your thoughts to paper can make them feel less daunting. By taking a negative thought and combining it with a positive thought about yourself, then another good thought from your Love Yourself List, you can overwhelm it. Doing this over and over helps you move ahead as you fall in love with yourself.
Change your narrative. Comparing yourself to others and not living in your own truth is self-defeating. Remember, all those celebrity images are fake. Don’t look to them for your own personal worth. Always keep in mind your true value.
When you know who you are and how much value you have, others will be able to see this too. Then they will fall in love…with you.
Share Your Experience
Let’s talk. I want to hear ways in which you raised your self-esteem. What rough moment did you face in life you had to overcome? How did you make yourself mentally strong? What is your success story?
Please share your comments. We can learn from you.
***You are capable of receiving love. There is a relationship that will work for you. Sometimes all you need is a nudge in the right direction. If you are struggling with your current relationship, newly divorced and looking to get back in the dating scene, or single and trying to find the right person for you, maybe I can help. Reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or sign up on my website to receive dating tips and relationship advice. For fast advice, read my book The Relationship Investigator’s Fast Guide to Successful Dating.