Often we want to be heard, understood and valued. We desire to be appreciated for who we are and what we do. But a painful reality of this world is most of the eight billion humans have nothing to do with you; they are full of themselves. And you can’t really blame them because self-interest and self-preservation is natural and necessary in this world.
How then could we feel worthy without depending on others to honor us?
Step 1: Recognize what matters to you
Write down who or what really matters to you. Is it the principle of sacrifice or humility or gratitude? Or maybe integrity or truthfulness represents you? Surely your inner voice-the conscience- speaks to you, at least sometimes, about your role in this world. Your contributions are not only unique, they are precious. You are indeed special, and you can leave behind a legacy. Others may not love you, but you have little control over them. Ask what you love to do and what do you really want to offer or achieve? When you become aware of who you really are, and what really matters to you, you’ve taken the first big leap forward. If you have done this exercise already, congratulations! You are now connected to yourself. If no, take out some time and ask these questions, “What do I really want in life?” or “Who am I”?
Don’t worry if no one around you is asking these questions; it’s surely the best thing to ask or desire. It’s all right, and you are allowed to connect to yourself. Remember it’s your life, and therefore ask who or what’s really important to you, and face these questions bravely.
Then list down the various things that you could do to help you connect to your life’s purpose. It could mean serve at the community center or spend time with family or learn a new skill. At this stage don’t worry if your present schedule makes it impossible for you to do those things. Imagine you had no time, relationship or resource constraints; you could do what you want. Don’t be tempted to ask, “But what about my ‘so many needs’ that makes me slog like a donkey? I have to pay my bills and what about my mortgage?” Assume for the time being that all your other needs are met. You are now independent. If you could do what really matters to you, what would that be?
Remember self-awareness is the first big step in developing self-worth. To know what you really want to offer to this world is the best discovery you could make. Mankind may pride in Columbus discovering America, but yours is no mean achievement either. Begin the voyage now, go to a forest, mountain, a lake or an ocean side, and spend time with yourself.
To be continued….