KNOWING YOUR WORTH AND REFUSING TO COMPARE

Finding your "self" and being content and confident in that role is a journey. It involves a lot of soul searching and figuring out what's really important. #value #selfworth

WHAT GIVES US A SENSE OF SELF WORTH?

Today I'm up to "W" in the List of More and lately I've been doing a lot of thinking and re-evaluating in the area of Worth - I've been asking questions like: "Where does my self-worth come from?" and "What happens when external factors change - does that impact on my perception of my worth?" and "What is the measure I use to determine my worth or value?"

Leaving the workforce behind has been a major factor in re-thinking the whole idea of who I am and what my self-worth is based on. If I'm not financially contributing to our marriage, if I'm not defined by my job, if I'm just floating along happily, then do I still have worth? Am I still as valuable as I was when I was part of the rat race? What do I bring to the table these days?

SEPARATING SELF-WORTH FROM THE EXTERNALS

The question for me ultimately was "Who am I when all the externals are taken away?" Am I still valuable if I'm retired and don't play the game any more? All my life I'd tied my sense of self-worth to external factors - what I did for a living, how well organized my home was, how well behaved my children were, what my husband was doing or how he was feeling, how sociable I needed to be, how many outside-of-work activities I was involved in, and a myriad of other hoops to jump through and navigate around.

Now I don't have most of those externals playing a part in my life, leaving the difficult job behind was probably the last hoop I stopped jumping through. There was such a sense of relief, but also a gaping hole in my understanding of who I was and what I had to offer. It took months of thinking things through, talking things out, and re-picturing myself in an entirely different light before I could grasp a sense of it being okay to just "be me" and not judge myself based on all the extraneous stuff. It involved clearing a lot of clutter from my head - and losing some people along the way - both IRL and online.

SOCIAL MEDIA'S IMPACT ON OUR SELF-WORTH

Erica Layne from The Life On Purpose Movement shared a great post on why she's unfollowed a lot of people on social media and it's something that resonates strongly with me. I've chosen to not open an Instagram account because I have no desire to see any more curated pictures than I absolutely have to. I am soooo tired of seeing women with strangely smoothed faces and weirdly sparkly eyes, I don't care about what you're eating, or what you're wearing, or what product you've been given to spruik. I know that makes me sound dismissive, but I really, really don't need all that stuff shoved in my face when I go online.

spend less time watching other people live their lives and spend more time enjoying your own

I've also unfollowed a lot of people on Facebook. I love Facebook for keeping in contact with friends, seeing little snippets of their children's weddings, grandbabies, and life events, but now all I seem to see are hundreds of travel pics, food pics, "look at me" pics, soft-focus glam pics from their phone filtered selfies, and so many other things that do my head in. My Facebook feed is very limited and quick to scroll through these days - and that's more than enough for me. Highlight reels and special effects invite comparisons and I'm not interested in competing. I just want happy and friendly and positive - and that's done by hitting the "unfollow" button regularly.

RE-INVENTING MYSELF AND RE-DISCOVERING MY WORTH

Finding my new "self" and being content and confident in that role has been a journey for me. It's involved a lot of soul searching and figuring out why I tied so much of myself into things that really didn't define my "true" self. I had to work out why I placed importance on earning an income, or being liked by people, and I had to figure out why I worried about the opinion of others so much - especially when they probably didn't have an opinion about me at all. 

I think when your self-worth takes a hit, there's a recovery process that needs to be gone through. I needed to re-evaluate what was truly important to me - drill right down to the basics of what my foundation was, what I valued, and who I was at heart (minus all the external noise). Once I found that centre, once I stopped worrying, comparing, and over-thinking, I finally found peace and a new version of myself that is probably the most authentic I've ever been. Sometimes we need to lose who we thought we were to discover who we really are - that's certainly been my experience.

Sometimes we need to lose who we thought we were to discover who we really are - that's certainly been my experience

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

Have you attached your self-worth to external factors? Is the noise around you drowning out who you really are? Would your self-worth take a hit if you lost something major in your life?

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Finding your "self" and being content and confident in that role is a journey. It involves a lot of soul searching and figuring out what's really important. #value #selfworth
Finding your "self" and being content and confident in that role is a journey. It involves a lot of soul searching and figuring out what's really important. #value #selfworth

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23 comments

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. You're so right Donna - I think we have to let go of who we thought we were sometimes to discover a that we're a better person and with a better life than what we had before. It's certainly been the case for me - I love this journey and where it's taking me x

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    2. Hi, Leanne - This is me having a do-over. I just reread my comment and realized that it was poorly phrased and hard to read. I'm glad that you understood it! I look forward to following your jourrney and seeing where it takes you!

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  2. Leanne, living a life of authenticity is the best shield against external influences. It is smart advice to eliminate ANY influence that erodes your defenses and contributes to a decline in self-esteem.

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    1. I think as we get older we get better at figuring out who we are and what we value Suzanne - and that allows us to step away from all the external white noise and begin living a life that resonates and feels good. I'm just starting to settle into this and it's amazingly rewarding isn't it?

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  3. Oh yes. In fact one of my Facebook memories today took me back to a blog post I wrote a few years ago in which I talked about this - what I felt I'd achieved / not achieved in life and how I felt as if I SHOULD think of myself as a failure for stuff not achieved, rather than wanting to feel like that. (If that makes sense!)

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    1. I know exactly what you mean Deb - we put so much pressure on ourselves and in the process lose a lot of the joy that small achievements bring. Living a life that isn't exactly as we imagined it can actually turn out to be truer to our "real" selves than what the world tells us is important. Grasping that means we fail a lot less than we think we do!

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  4. I love Instagram & find it an invaluable resource for planning travel, finding new books to read, photographs to take, food to cook. I don't tend to follow celebrities (other than a couple of chefs like Nigella & co) or "influencers". I also love following other people's travel through it. It would, though, be so easy to judge someone's life (and find your own wanting) solely through the lens of the 'gram. These days I'm rarely on Facebook mainly because too many people have an opinion to spruik (says me spruiking an opinion now) & the most innocent comment can deteriorate ito a melee. It's a tough one. Your final quote really resonated with me. It's similar to how sometimes we need to lose our balance in order to find it again.

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    1. Jo my trouble is that my self-esteem is shaky enough that it takes a hit every time someone else's highlight reel waves itself in my face. I do the 30 days unfollow of people on FB (even good friends at times) when their life makes mine feel less, and I figure that I don't need travel or cooking inspo atm so I'm keeping well away from I?Gram!

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  5. That first quote is a good one Leanne! I understand your thoughts here and my feelings of self worth fluctuate with how I'm going at any given moment. I sometimes tend to live in a bubble but am happy with my lot and I enjoy seeing how others like you are negotiating these issues. Thanks for a thought provoking post. #lifethisweek

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    1. Hi Deb - I'm feeling more settled with my choices these days, but there are so many people out there living LOUD and spending copiously and their lives are just so full on that it exhausts me just seeing it on SM. My solution is to filter what I see (like famous people do about themselves - I just do it about other people!)

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  6. I have to say I really love some Instagram action, mostly because I follow so many dogs! I think I have a reasonable self imposed filter that cuts though all the very curated images but I've found so many wonderful people, experiences and places through the social channel. That said, I've never loved it enough to let it determine my worth, that's more about my energy and life force and it totally comes from within. At least that's how I like to think about it :)

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    1. I think looking at dog pics on IG would be quite a lovely and edifying hobby Sam. I find that SM takes over my world if I let it and I don't have enough going on in my life to make an IG feed interesting, so I don't begin what would be a stress to maintain, and in the process I have less exposure to all the stuff that does my head in. I'm working on my energy and life force - I'll use you as my role model :)

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  7. Wise words Leanne. I have unfollowed people over time too if they are 'me-centred' and are making me feel any emotion other than positive ones. Thank you for joining Life This Week, next week's optional prompt is 46/51 Gift Idea For Teachers 18/11/19. Sure hope to see you link up again. Denyse.

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    1. I think we all need to do what's best for our mental health Denyse - I'm learning that comparison is a killer for me, so if I notice I'm feeling "less" I choose to make choices that stop that in its tracks!

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  8. Thought provoking, Leanne! Hitting my forties has made me re-evaluate what I value in myself and the significant others I let into my life. Yes, apperances and things matter less than values and integrity as a human being.

    SSG xxx

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    1. I'm finding that appearances are so often deceptive or they show someone who spends more time on thinking about how they look or how their lifestyle looks, than they do showing some of the kinder and more authentic traits that I'm coming to value as I get older. Looks fade but a good heart lasts forever.

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  9. Isn't it interesting that our topics this week are similar - eg social media and it's effect on you. As usual I love the quotes you find and also your words. You always dig deep and express yourself so well Leanne. I really need to unfriend and unfollow a lot of people across my social media. Too many body beautifuls making me feel inferior is the main thing I fall victim too (my own fault). I just haven't found the time to do it but I will eventually. xo #TeamLovinLife

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    1. Hi Min - I think this is a topic that resonates with a lot of us as we come to the conclusion that we don't have to be bombarded with all the highlight reels of social media. I unfollow people who are living wealthy or excessive lives - not because I think they're showing off, but because they take their lifestyles for granted and they are way out of my league. I find that the less exposure I have to all the fierce fashionistas, world travellers, and "influencers" the happier I am.

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  10. This is a wonderful post that everybody should read!
    I imagine it would be quite difficult to find your self-worth today with all the social platforms screaming at you.



    My Corner of the World

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    1. I think young people start with a stronger self image than we did Betty - we get bombarded by SM but without that strong foundation, so I think we have to work harder at not listening to the voices around us and trusting in our own worth.

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  11. I've had to think about this as in many ways I feel my self-worth is something I allow to be too influenced by outside sources. But... a lot of the most negative feelings I have come from how I feel I'm not achieving / doing what I think I should be etc So, kinda internally imposed.

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    1. I have the same dilemma Deb - but I also wonder how much of it has soaked into me over the years from hearing it from other people and from comparing myself to their external appearances. Often when I get a chance to see beneath the veneer, there's a lot less to envy - and I'm a lot more grateful for my own life.

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