Don’t you wish there was always someone around to remind us how to conduct ourselves respectfully, and show people how we should be treated? Well we do, it’s you and I. Embarrassingly, not too long ago, when I found myself in a situation that required me to show I was aware of my self worth I was incapable of doing so. At any given moment, I expected my fairy godmother to magically appear and do it for me. Not to mention, I didn’t understand why I had to do it in the first place. Naively, I assumed because I am a nice person people would always behave appropriately. But, I guess they didn’t get the memo. I also thought expressing my feelings wasn’t always necessary, and would justify the thought by imagining people probably could not relate to how I felt. What I’ve learned is, regardless if people understand you, your feelings always need to be important to yourself. If not, you can safely bet they won’t stand a chance of mattering to anyone else. Acknowledging your value and making others do the same is not reserved for the fearless or entitled, it is simply a practice that should be non- negotiable for everyone.
If you are reluctant to accept it’s significance like I was, let me explain why you have to take this stance. Think about how much everyone loves to get a good deal while shopping. Even if we know what we are buying is worth more, not many of us would insist on paying above what is being asked. Being fair is not our job. It is up to the seller to set a price that accurately reflects the value, and stick to it. Similarly, you can see how many could use the same strategy when deciding how to behave with people. If they can get away with treating someone poorly, even if they know the person deserves better, they still would. It’s up to the person who is being mishandled to reject the behavior and insist on respect. At the end of the day, ownership and responsibility of ensuring this happens falls on the individual.
Our self- value also plays a critical role in determining the goals we set for ourselves. Do we aim high or do we only go after what is easy and requires little effort? Additionally, it acts as a guide and allows us to limit interactions with people and circumstances that don’t appreciate who we are, or add to our well being. Until we have a high level of self- worth, it will be a challenge to whole heartedly go after and expect the best to come to us.
Whether it’s having success, finding true love, or maintaining good health, we are the one’s that first have to believe we are worthy of them, and then everyone else will follow.
Rachel Bryant Lundy