Yesterday I posed some questions about how we may value ourselves. I am going to take each question and elaborate on it.
1. Do I value myself because of my job?
Some people are their jobs and when they retire their lives are so sad because their foundations have been based on this job. It could be their value is based on the size of the company that is built!
2. Do I value myself because of my husband’s job?
This job can give us status in the community. We have to be careful about this. Your husband is not his job.
3. Do I place value on myself because of my children’s jobs?
Can you hear someone saying my son is a doctor, lawyer, etc? But that does not make us who we are.
4. Do I value myself on how I look?
It is OK to have pride in how you look. I teach this, but if it takes you hours to get ready to walk out of the house then look inside for this answer.
5. Do I value myself on how I act?
My Granny always said, “Pretty is as Pretty does! If you do right then people will do right by you.” This is one of value systems I had instilled in my soul as a child. But the other side is a Miss Goody Two Shoes attitude that I can do no wrong. This can be unhealthy too.
6. Do I value myself on my clothes?
We all deal with peer pressure on name brands. Do you think you are only dressed when you are wearing someone’s brand?
7. Do I value myself on my portfolio?
Is your self-worth actually built upon your value of your retirement plan? If so you have had a lot of struggle with the stock market since your world has been shaken. Look at what happen in history with the crash of 1929. You are not your portfolio or how much money you make any more than you are the sum of the value of all your stuff!!! What are your real assets anyway?
8. Do I value myself on how much I saved when I shopped?
I am guilty of this one. When we value ourselves on what we save; then passing on a bargain is next to impossible. We are prosperous in proportion to what we can do without.
9. Do I value myself on how much I can spend?
Do you have ready cash that you can just blow without any thought to a rainy day? Does spending money make you feel powerful? Does your credit card limit give you pride? Watch out you may find yourself in debt up to the eyeballs with this value system.
10. Do I value myself on how much I earn?
If you are not working and making money do you feel less of a person because you are not contributing to the household. If you are working and making money, does this somehow make you a better person than if you were not working and making money? Are you always scheming to find other ways to make more money? Is there ever enough money? Could there ever be??? This hits right to core!
11. Do I value myself on how much more I earn than my spouse?
Now this attitude I have had thrown at me by an ex-husband, “I make more than you, so your opinion doesn’t count.” Do you secretly keep tabs of who makes more in your home? Or do you openly play this game? What value system are you teaching your children?
12. Do I value myself on my church work?
Doing good works is a commendable thing, but doing it to be seen in the eyes of man is not. Think about your reasons for doing things: I had to once and it was a big eye-opener for me. Examine your heart.
13. Do I value myself on other volunteer jobs?
I have heard myself in the past, list my volunteer jobs as if they were a badge of honor. If they are taking away from your family and you, then their value structure needs to be examined.
14. Do I value myself on how my house looks?
When your home is messy do you feel worse about yourself than when it is clean? I know what you are going to say, because I believe that all of us have this problem or we would not be searching for the answer to our CHAOS. We have to remember that we are not our clean or dirty homes. As you establish your routines and your home starts cleaning itself, you are going to catch yourself becoming compulsive about the cleanliness of your home. Do not fall into the trap of being fussy and yelling at your family. It is just a house and a little mess that can be picked up in a few short minutes. This feeling that the state of your home is in some way how you value yourself as a person is not a good value system either: We have all done this and will continue until we really start FLYing. Overly clean or messy is a symptom of the same lack of love.
15. Do I value myself on what kind of car I drive?
Do you have to have the latest car on the market? Or do you pride yourself in driving cars until the wheels fall off? Here we go again there has to be balance. Neither one is good.
16. Do I value myself on what kind of house I live in?
Is it brick or a cabin in the woods? Is it better than what you lived in as a child or what your parents have? Does it matter at all?
17. Do I value myself on where I live?
As a friend told me the other day: many people base their self-worth on their zipcode; Do you live on the wrong side of the tracks or do they? If you catch yourself asking this question then stop and think about this.
18. Do I value myself on how I purchased my furniture?
We love auctions and I have found that there is pride attached to how much I paid for this piece of furniture. I wouldn’t dare tell someone what I paid in a furniture store for the same piece, so I have had to ask myself what is going on here.
19. Do I value myself on good grades in school?
Good grades do not make us anything but smart. Yes it is fine to praise a child for good grades, but their self-worth is based on so much more. Do they become less than if they don’t understand a subject and struggle? Having to struggle makes us stronger.
20. Do I value myself by my friends?
Do you have lots of friends or none? Do you feel bad because you don’t know anyone or do you have more friends than you can actually be friends with. You know what I am talking about: being pulled in many directions and having squabbles over nothing.
21. Do I value myself on my hair?
Wow this one hits home. My hair used to be down to my waist. This was 32 years ago and my whole self-worth was in my hair; kind of like Samson. When I got it cut it, I felt bad about me. We are not our hair whether it is short and sassy or long and beautiful. It is hair; nothing more and nothing less. Now we need to keep it combed and looking nice so we don’t scare ourselves when we look in the mirror and see our mothers, but don’t overdo it.
22. Do I value myself on my nails?
Been there and done that! 20 years ago I had grown my nails long and kept them painted and manicured because it was part of my job as a beauty consultant. I couldn’t very well sell nail polish without having pretty nails. The problem came when I would break a nail and how I would hide my hands so people would not see my imperfections. How sick is that. When I realized that I was not doing things I loved because my nails might get damaged then I cut them all off and said this is for the birds.
23. Do I value myself on how well I do one thing? Motherhood? Staying married longer than your mother?
What happens when your babies sprout their own wings and leave the nest? Do you have to deal with empty nest syndrome by overspending to get them home occasionally or to buy back their attention? What happens when all your self-worth is bound up in being a mother? Who are you; after they leave home? Don’t lose yourself in being just a mother; you are much more than this honorable profession.
My parents stayed married for 12 years. When I married the first time my goal was to stay married longer than them. What do we put ourselves through for these mistaken value systems? What does it do to our children to see two people going through the motions and not really loving themselves or each other? How sad to live this way. It would have been much better for everyone if we had had the courage to say enough and we all deserve to be happy.
24. Do I value myself on how well I do a sport?
How sad is it that young high school student’s best days of his or her life are excelling in a sport? What have they got to look forward to? I prided myself in being a good flyfisherman, but that was not what I was best at. I loved the teaching of flyfishing or shall I say teaching. I don’t have to teach or flyfish any more to have a sense of pride at what I am good at, but my whole life does not revolve around this.
25. Do I value myself on how much weight I have lost?
We have all gained or lost weigh in our lives. It was only when we adapt a new lifestyle that we can eliminate the diets all together. We can get off the roller coaster and focus on our health. Is your self-worth based on your dress size or the number between your toes?
26. Do I value myself on how punctual I am?
Do you beat yourself up when you are late or do you take great pride in being on time that you continually put others down for their tardiness? Look at your control issues here on both sides of the coin.
27. Do I value myself on how I manage my time?
Do you go right by a schedule and you cannot veer off course at all? How does it make you feel when you don’t have time or you cannot make the time to squeeze something in. Are you rigid, flexible, or overly spontaneous? There has to be a balance to this or you are not much fun at all.
As I have examined all of the ways that we can put value on our lives, I have come to the conclusion that to everything there is balance. The extremes are not a good value system, but maybe it is the culmination of all of these characteristics that make us whole and our value system is not on one currency but many things. Kind of like a foundation is made up of many bricks and these parts of our personality are just one of the many bricks that build us up. When one of these characteristics gets out of whack then our foundation will begin to crumble. We have all heard that a chain is as strong as its weakest link. Don’t let your foundation of your self-worth be built upon one brick that can crumble and shake the structure.
In all my mulling over, I came up with my test for me as to whether my foundations are on a firm ground. This may not work for everyone, but this is how I judge myself.
When I lay my head down on my pillow, can I fall asleep easily or do I lay there and replay the day, dwelling on a problem or am I trying to fix things so there will not be problems tomorrow. If I cannot sleep or wake up in the middle of the night with a thought then I have to deal with it. Now don’t email me complaining that you have a sleep disorder and this won’t work for you. I said this is how I judge myself. It is up to you to find your personal test for your firm foundations.
I want for you what I have; Peace and this peace came from FLYing: Finally loving myself with all my warts. When I do this; I don’t need anyone to affirm me. I get to do it all by myself and am very happy!