The ways in which we are encouraged to think about—and care for—ourselves can feel innumerable. Each year, the “self-fill in the blank” trends seem to expand and contract, folding in on one another to encourage you to create a whole scope of spaces where you ensure you are getting what you need to exist in this world. Over the past year we’ve shared quite a few ideas ourselves about what to focus on in your pursuit of wellness:
Self- Confidence Self- Kindness Self- Forgiveness
Self- Love Self- Care Self- Nurture
Just like you, each of those facets of self are unique in the way you acknowledge them, in the care they need and the work they require. While all aspects of self are valuable, there is one inherent to the way you can engage with them all: how you value yourself.
What does it mean to value yourself?
Your self-value is built on the foundation of your self worth. Much like currency, a unit of measure must be established in order to begin exchanging it for things. Your energy is your currency and to use it effectively, you must determine its worth. What is your time worth to you? How about your love? Your laughter? Your tears or pain?
Your worth is the currency, and your value is found in how you spend it. Your value is what takes the wheel when you turn away from something and say I can’t spend my worth on this. I owe myself more. Your value is what you honor when you look at something new with a lightness in your chest (and maybe a little fear too) and say I am investing in this part of me with my excitement and energy.
Your value is rooted in your worth, your self-esteem and your own commitment to honoring them both. To value yourself means you must compassionately acknowledge your worth actively and relentlessly in the choices you make and the way you think.
Banish the just
Do you struggle to recognize your skills and give them the merit they deserve? If you’re quick with the self-criticism, ready at a moment’s notice to review the ways you want to improve, you should work toward applying that same speed to validating your skills. It’s easy to dismiss the things you’re good at as just who you are or just a small thing.
But that’s not true.
Your skills are a part of who you are. Even if you enjoy them, they have taken work. You’ve honed them, spent time on them, developed their use and application.
Just good with words? Just speedy with math? Just organized?
Those skills are important and inherent parts of who you are. Valuing them for being exactly that is a huge part of not only valuing yourself, but expressing your value for others to recognize.
Being, not doing
Valuing yourself will come much more easily if you can tabulate and recognize the things that make you feel confident in your ability to take up space. While there is much value in the things you can do (and they deserve not only your recognition but your celebration as well), you are not a sum of your abilities.
Doing the work of recognizing your skills is important but the key to valuing yourself will be found in the emotional experience of recognizing yourself. You are a whole person, full of valuable and precious thoughts, ideas, experiences and expressions. Spend time with those things. Piece them out, pick them up, hold and inspect them. See how uniquely you each part of your being is in the same manner you inventory the things you can do.
Variable but constant
How you experience your own value will change from moment to moment and profoundly across the span of your life. Through your recovery journey, you will encounter moments where it’s difficult to value some parts of who you have been as you move into yourself now. Even those struggles bring value, if not in what they were, then at least in what they taught you. Not everything happens for a reason but that doesn’t mean there isn’t reason to be found in everything.
In every transformation there is variation. What parts of yourself you value you most, or the ways you express that value, will change. The constant in this process is the unshakeable truth that you deserve to feel valued not just by those around you, but by yourself first and foremost. If you’re looking for guidance on finding it, on finding you, and in learning to not just see but celebrate your own value, it can be found inside you. If you need a little support from the outside as you journey inward, we’re here for you.