Where Have You Put Yourself on the Self-Worth Scale?

The way you judge others is a reflection of the way you judge yourself.

Do You Know Your Self-assigned Self-worth?

Most of us would say we do. We believe we know what we’re worth and we often demand to be treated, paid, or acknowledged in comparison with our worth.

The problem with tallying up our worth this way is that it’s mostly associated with conflicts, with the value people have assigned to us. We don’t agree with their assigned value so we defend ourselves. These matters make up our associative worth, or the value we collect by associating with others.

Our self-worth is based on our constant worth or the ‘maximum best’ we allow ourselves to ever feel.

So, how do we specifically identify what we believe our constant worth, or self-worth, to be? It’s shown by how we prioritize others.

For example: Someone at work complains about not getting a holiday off for the third year in a row. They want to go to HR. You find them ridiculous and annoying. You believe they should keep their mouth shut and accept that the employer makes the schedules, fair or not. You’re lucky to have a job. Until you own a company you need to do what you’re told and not complain.

This thought process is based in a constant self-worth pattern.

Ideally, spending holidays with family or in other personal ways would be a happy and welcomed choice. Making choices about the things we love and honor without interference improves our quality of life, our inner peace, and our overall happiness. Employers can sometimes interfere with our ability to be fully autonomous-beings in pursuit of our own happiness. You’re allowed to both acknowledge that and be upset by it.

We convince ourselves that we must surrender some autonomy in pursuit of our happiness in order to attain survival.

Jobs are required to purchase survival needs, so we believe if a sacrifice needs to be made, namely time spent with family, it’s in the interest of ultimately meeting survival needs.

Instead of prioritizing our happiness and the pursuit of our ideal life, we shame ourselves into hiding from it. We convince ourselves that our desire is frivolous, unimportant, small, or something negative. People would judge us harshly, therefore, before we give them a chance to, we judge ourselves harshly. Before we give our employer the opportunity to deny us our desire, we hold it back and tell ourselves it’s not even worth the pursuit.

Holding this belief about yourself and your own needs means you will then judge others harshly for how they respond in those moments.

If your coworker speaks up, goes to HR, and ultimately gets their time off, you may even see them as a problem. They complained, went above management, and got their way. But, why not be happy for them? They were able to continue meeting their survival needs—not lose their job—and simultaneously continue pursuing their ultimate happiness—prioritizing the thing that makes them feel fulfilled.

When we shame someone else for prioritizing the things that make them happy, we’re reinforcing the idea that we’re not worth the pursuit of our own happiness.

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How to Find Your Self-Worth

So how can you discover where you’ve placed your happiness on the priority scale? What self-worth have you assigned to yourself?

  1. Pay attention to the pursuits of others that you consider to be frivolous or unnecessary and ask yourself why.

  2. Acknowledge when you’re forcing yourself toward a conclusion (“If I ask for time off, I’ll lose my job.”)

  3. When you’re faced with a choice, ask yourself which outcome makes you feel happier (regardless of outside obligations, ignore them, pretend none of them exist.)

  4. Identify criticisms you make either of yourself or others that sound like, “that’s cheesy, it’s unrealistic, it’s not going to happen.”

  5. Pay attention to how often you fill the narrative for others, “She’s just busy, she didn’t mean to sound so short.”

When you pay attention to these micro-moments, you may discover that you’re having more negative thoughts, more shameful thoughts, than good or uplifting. Many of us have been conditioned to believe happiness is not possible without ultimate, obvious, and unmatched sacrifice. We believe that the greater the sacrifice, the greater the happiness but we’re wrong.

Life happens moment by moment. We’re not in a dress rehearsal. Life is happening while we’re waiting to accomplish our goals and reach our dreams and build our realities.

If we don’t pursue happiness at each and every stage, in the end, what will our lives have been filled with?