Self-worth: Many people struggle with this issue in life.
Some people decide that they truly are worthless and in that moment they become full of self-loathing.
At the very least it is counterproductive, at its worst it is a pathway to self-destruction.
How do we live this life and feel complete…satisfied?
How can we retain a measure of self-worth when we encounter discouragement?
Are we worth anything?
Do I matter?
These are very common questions that are thrown around.
Sometimes circumstances in life lead people to question their identities and self-worth.
Others grew up being told they were accidents, freaks, or simply that they were “good for nothing”.
NEWS FLASH: These are lies still being told today to people all around the world.
You may feel as if you are all alone in this.
You may feel as though you are truly worthless and if you were to simply “disappear” no one would care.
Please know that this IS A LIE that many tell themselves.
I do not want to delve too deeply into the realms of depression today, but I do want to say that these depths can be extremely dark and lonely and that it is perfectly normal to seek out professional help in the form of counseling!
let me further illustrate the lies that we buy into sometimes in our lives before I include just 3 ways to discovering self-worth again:
3 Lies About Self -Worth
Lie #1: Your self-worth is all about where you work and what you “DO”.
Perhaps if you had a better paying job you could afford nicer things and a nice home…
people always seem to associate self-worth exclusively with where they work and how much money they make. Perhaps having more money might solve some issues in life, but when people place all of their identities into what they do they can discover that at the end of the day they still feel empty and unfulfilled.
NEWS FLASH: What you “DO” shouldn’t be who you are!
What I mean by that is this: The Apostle Paul earned a living as a tent maker while serving as a missionary. Tent maker wasn’t who he was, it was a means of supporting his purpose and calling in life. Jobs may come and go, and often times we place so much power upon what we do that in the process we lose the “who we are”. Our identity in self-worth is so much more than our place of employment. Beyond this, if you are a person of faith and a Christ-follower, our self-worth is inexplicably tied to WHOSE we are and from that the calling He has placed upon our lives…but I will get to that later.
Lie #2: Your self-worth is all about how others see you – the “people-pleaser”
We ought to make a distinction here, there is a big difference between accountability with peers and mentors and the need to constantly seek the approval of others. Our self-worth should not be inexplicably linked to pleasing people. When we connect our happiness with making everyone around us happy, we crash and burn. Being a perpetual people pleaser might provide us some satisfaction and happiness at the onset, but eventually the shine wears off and we will find ourselves constantly running for that applause and approval while at the same time never reaching any personal goals or achievements.
This is where self-care comes in. You cannot help others and be a source to others if you have nothing left in the “tank“. There must be times when you step away and seek out selfishly (in a good way) those things that will restore your energies and confidence in yourself. Jesus got away from His disciples from time to time. He prayed to the Father. I’m sure He reflected too. I’m sure He also replenished His “tank” while in the process. Don’t tie your self-worth exclusively up in the applause and approval of others. Living as a people pleaser is an empty life and will only serve to wear you out both mentally and physically. This “People Pleaser” mentality is a lie that will leave you feeling worthless and spent in an endless pursuit of utter insanity.
Lie #3: Your self-worth is all about being happy all of the time!
This last lie (and I know there are many more) attempts to force us to entertain the erroneous notion that all is not well if we are not happy all of the time. If everything is not candy canes and lollipops something must be wrong. In the Church this lie is sometimes perpetuated by people who think all Christians ought to be smiling and cheerful all of the time. We even sing songs about being happy all the time. The truth is we cannot be perpetually happy every moment of every day…and THAT’S OKAY! Self-worth shouldn’t be about “am I happy all the time?” Happiness is much different that being content. Contentment doesn’t mean that you are constantly cheery and everyone thinks you shine like the sun. Contentment means there is a peace within us. It means that we have found a “sweet spot” in life and we live within that sweet spot. It doesn’t mean there won’t be bad days. It doesn’t mean that we won’t experience sadness either. Being content is vital – being happy all of the time is not…it’s a lie.
Understandably we ought not look like the character Eeyore either, where we’re just mopey and down every moment and we tend to bring other people down…But self worth is more than just experience happiness and smiling so much our jaws ache.
So where does our self-worth come from?
How can we recognize the lies being told about self-worth while striving for a genuine self-fulfilled life?
I am happy you asked.
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s edition as we jump into the 3 ways that we discover this important characteristic in all of us.
Until then ponder these words:
“It is difficult to make a man miserable while he feels worthy of himself and claims kindred to the great God who made him.”
-See you tomorrow!