How to Know What You’re Really Worth

 

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(And 11 Ways to Start Investing in Yourself Immediately)

 If you were to look at yourself in the mirror and describe what you see, how would you do that? 

Do you like what you see?  Do you feel good about what you see?  Is that what determines your worth?

It’s pretty easy to see what’s reflected back at you, but a mirror doesn’t reflect what’s in you.  And what’s in you is far more valuable. 

The value you place on yourself can be measured in three ways:

Self-confidence

Self-confidence comes from recognizing your aptitudes and strengths and trusting in them.  It relies on you being good at something, like public speaking, and it grows as your ability grows; your belief in your capability gets stronger.  Conversely, if you believe you aren’t good at something then it can be said that you lack confidence in that area.  You can be confident in some areas of your life, and insecure in others.

Self-esteem

Self-esteem has to do with the way you perceive yourself.  It often stems from external sources:  your accomplishments, your children’s accomplishments, how much money you have, how popular you are, how attractive, the way others treat you etc.  If you are honest with yourself about your strengths and weaknesses and don’t rely too heavily on others’ opinions then it can be said that you have healthy self-esteem.  Unhealthy self-esteem, however, can go one of two ways:  having too high or too low of an opinion of yourself.  The first can lead to narcissistic tendencies, the second to negative self-talk.  Both give you a skewed perspective about where you fit in this world.

Self-worth

Self-worth is the knowledge that you are lovable, valuable, no matter how capable you are at something.  Self-esteem fluctuates when it’s standard of measurement is external, self-worth should not. 

How do you determine your sense of worth? 

Some would say you have value just because you’re you

Is that really true?  Or does your value come from another source?

The best way for you to determine your worth is to see yourself through God’s eyes

The truth is, you are special…because God says so. 

Thousands of years ago a poet and song writer was inspired to write these words:

“I will praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made…your eyes saw my substance being yet unformed.  And in your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.  How precious also are your thoughts to me, O God!  How great is the sum of them!  If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; when I awake, I am still with you.”  (Psalm 139:14, 16-17)

Do you believe you were fearfully and wonderfully made?  Do you believe God planned you?  Has an incredible purpose for you?

You have tremendous value in God’s eyes

It’s true.  He’s invested a lot of time and forethought into making you unique, with your own individual talents and abilities.  He’s also made a lot of personal sacrifices so that you can have a relationship with Him into eternity (John 3:16) and He’s given you the most tremendous gift of all – grace.  (Ephesians 2:8-9)  That gift wasn’t given from any personal merit.  In fact, the best definition I’ve ever heard of grace is:

“A gift given from the goodness of the giver without regard to the worthiness of the recipient.” David Johnson: Instructor, Foundation Institute

In other words, God decided you have worth, therefore you do.

Do you fully grasp the meaning of that?  It’s God’s goodness towards you that gives you your worth, not your innate goodness.  The bible says that “We love Him because He first loved us.” (I John 4:19)  Everything that you are, everything that you are capable of, everything good about you, came from God, including your capacity to love God and others.

Does seeing your worth through God’s eyes make you value yourself more?

What makes you feel more treasured?  The idea that you were born “good “or that your goodness is the byproduct of someone who cherishes you, has a very special purpose for you and craves a deeply intimate friendship with you?  (See “Six Reasons Why You Need God”.)

God’s love for me is what pushes and pulls me through the ups and downs of life; it inspires me to keep going when I want to give up.  It tells me that life is worth investing in; that I am worth investing in.

What about you?

Do you believe that God loves you that much? 

Do you believe you’re worth investing in?

Investing in yourself means putting your time, energy, passion and sometimes your money…where your intentions are.

Can you ask others to invest in you if you’re not willing to invest in yourself?

Anytime you ask others to care for you, care about what you think feel and do, you are asking them to invest.  But what kind of message do you send if you want them to invest more in you than you’re willing to?

What does investing in you actually look like?  Here are eleven practical ways you can begin self-investing right away:

1. Identify your gifts (and then use them to serve others)

There are some things that you’re naturally good at and others that you’ve become skilled at from years of practice.  Honing and perfecting your abilities and then using them to help others gives you the opportunity to focus on self-improvement and make a positive difference in the lives of others.

2. Find the right tools

Once you’ve identified what you’re good at, or want to get better at, you need to determine the best way to do that.  Some skills require formal education, i.e. a degree, certification or a class.  Other abilities/skills can be acquired through reading books or a taking a home-study program like A Christian Woman’s Guide to Intentional Living.  Tools often cost money, so determining what you’re trying to achieve first and then deciding the most effective way to get there, will save you in the long run.  Remember, however, that the best investment of money you can make is in yourself.  No matter what people give or take from you, they can never take away your knowledge.

3. Set goals

 Intentional goals give you direction; they challenge you to be/think/express yourself in new, exciting ways.  Turning those goals into small, achievable, operational goals that can be carried out daily is what sets you on the intentional living path…a path that tells everyone around you to pay attention, because you MATTER!

4. Get creative

Creativity can be expressed in many ways; it’s not just about producing something, but about expanding how you think and express yourself. It’s about learning to get out of the mental/physical rut you’ve been in and make changes.  To do that, however, you have to be willing to push past your own personal boundaries.

5. Be open to new experiences

Exploring new places, meeting new people, seizing new opportunities – these are all fantastic ways to expand your ideas/concepts/beliefs:  about yourself and the world around you. 

6. Be a lifelong learner

Never quit learning!  Spend money on enriching/developing/educating yourself as opposed to buying things.  “Things” might bring enjoyment for a season, but knowledge lasts a lifetime and pays you back in multiple ways.

7.  Nurture (and protect) your mind and body

Participate in activities/social situations/relationships that keep your mind and body fit.  Keeping them in optimal condition is essential for both intentional living and a strong, healthy sense of self-worth.  (I Corinthians 6:19-20, Romans 8:5-6)

8. Get uncomfortable

Investing in yourself means taking calculated risks…and leaving behind the familiar zone.  Notice I didn’t say “comfort zone.”  Often what we’re used to isn’t all that comfortable.  In fact, it may be downright painful.  But it’s familiar.  And change can be scary.  Yet living intentionally means being willing to embrace the unfamiliar.

9. Reward yourself

Treat yourself occasionally with things that enrich your life (and don’t leave you feeling guilty or remorseful).  Rewards help to reinforce optimal behavior and establish the right habits.

10. Get expert help

You don’t have to know it all, so don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.  Sometimes the unbiased perspective of another is what’s needed to give you much needed insight, determination and momentum.

11.  Stop chasing happiness

Happiness is fleeting, and often driven by situations and people that you don’t have control over.  Pursue, instead, the peace of mind that comes from having your priorities in order.  Happiness will follow!

Investing in yourself is essential to an intentional life and is beneficial to your loved ones as well, because when you place value on yourself they will too.  Relationships built on loving respect, care and appreciation for each other are much healthier and stronger.

It may not feel that way at times.  You may not have been treated that way by your earthly parents or others, but it’s true nonetheless.  You are special. You are worthwhile. God’s Word is filled with examples of how much you mean to Him, just waiting for you to discover.  Once you do it will bring new meaning to the concept of self-worth, because when you place value on something or someone you take care of it.  You invest in it.

 

 

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