Several weeks ago, Caralynn, Lawanda, and I spent some time around the conference table doing what we call “WORTH Work.” The conversations that take place during WORTH Work are heartfelt, and the passion is almost tangible, as we strongly desire for women and men of all ages to know their worth and value. On this particular week, we wanted to solidify what things we desire for young men and women to walk away with from a WORTH experience. During this conversation, Lawanda expressed this thought, “Our sense of worth will determine what we give ourselves to.” I want to unpack this because it’s worth unpacking. Beliefs or perceptions we have about ourselves (our sense of worth and value) is no small matter. It’s deep rooted stuff.
Throughout life’s stages, even in our early stages of life, experiences lead us to believe things about ourselves, which inform the choices we make. Consider these two examples:
A young child, who consistently hears arguments between her parents every time her name is mentioned, may begin to believe that she is a problem. If this perception sticks with her long enough, think about the possibilities she could give herself to. Years down the road, in an attempt to numb or avoid the problem she feels like she is, she could turn to an addiction of any kind. She could get in a relationship with someone who promises to “fix” her. She could choose to emotionally distance herself from others for fear that someone else will make her feel like she is a problem. Her sense of worth affects what she chooses to be and do.
A young man in middle school, who is picked last every game, could feel humiliation and embarrassment that leads him to believe he is a nobody. Think of the possibilities for him. He could move from stage to stage in life trying to prove he is somebody, striving hard to win approval of others at work, at church, within his family, among his friends, in his hobbies, etc. The opposite could also be true. He could choose to go through life not caring about anything—abusing his body because he doesn’t care about it, breaking off relationships with people because he doesn’t care about them (if he’s a nobody, then other people are nobodies too), or being late to work because he doesn’t care about that either. His sense of worth affects what he choose to be and do.
If we stop and think about how we see ourselves, it may help us understand why we do the things we do and choose the things we choose. If our sense of worth leans more toward worthless (negative, toxic, unhealthy), then what things do we give ourselves to in order to compensate for those feelings or avoid those feelings?
I encourage you to take the time for some soul-searching. Take time to unearth the real and raw feelings you have about yourself… your worth and value. If you are not a fan of what comes to the surface, the next big choice for you is choosing to see yourself differently. If you find this difficult, call our office at 336-629-9988 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to reach out to you!
—Mary Needham, Operations Manager