Do you value yourself?

22 Aug

I’ve learned something about myself in the last few years – I am constantly looking for places outside of myself to determine my value.  While I notice it in all aspects of my life, this searching for value by judgments made by others is most evident in my romantic relationships.

Everytime a relationship has failed, no matter how dysfunctional the other person was, I repeatedly told myself that I was not valuable and that is why it ended.  Why am I so hard on myself?  Why don’t I love myself? My value should not be determined by others, it should be determined by my own love for myself.  

 I know this began with my relationship with my parents.  As a child, I was constantly looking for my parents approval.  Am  I good girl? Did I do a good job?  Are my parents proud of me? Do they think I am a good student? Am I being a good big sister?

As a teenager, I looked to my peers for my value. Am I cool? Do I have a lot of friends? How do I fit in with my friends?  Do they want to call me and hang out with me enough?

At the office, I looked for value in what my boss thought of me, my clients and my colleagues.  Does my boss think I’m good at my job? Do my clients think I represent them well? Do my colleagues respect my work?  In my profession, I always hear other people say “he’s good”, “he’s terrible,” “she’s not technical enough”.  There are constant judgments to be made about a colleague.  It sometimes seems that what people say about a colleague is the truth.

As a parent, I’m looking for my value in what other parents think of me.  Of course, I am even more worried about what they think of me since I am single parent.

As an adult, I have been looking my value in my romantic relationships.  I told myself time and time again that if I had value than some man would love me.  I feel  like I have failed at romantic relationships.  I was married for a short period of time and divorced.   I blamed myself for the failure of my marriage for a very long time.    I told myself I had no value because I was divorced.  If I had value, I would be married.  As we discussed before, what we say to ourselves is very important because it becomes the truth to ourselves.  My diminished value became my truth.

I have worked hard to recover my belief in my value.    Recently, with the end of this very recent relationship I told you about, I started to question my value again. I believed that if “he” valued me, he would not have let me go so easily.  I have been struggling to stop this thought running through my head.  It has been difficult.  I’ve been searching for value outside myself for 34 years.   It is not easy to change.  However, I can no longer allow anyone else to decide my value.  I must let my truth be that I AM VALUABLE.   In order to do that I have a list of things that I think about each time I have that negative thought about myself.  I remind myself of all that I have accomplished in my life.  I need to show my son that I know I am valuable and I need to teach him that he cannot base his value on what others think of him but only on what he thinks of himself.   

It is what we think of ourselves that is most important because that is what others will think of us.

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