Defining and Finding Value
What is value? The word is tossed around economically, religiously, culturally, and in just about every arena of human thought. It carries such colossal weight despite its vagueness. This lack of clarity means it can be easily construed and misconstrued. So many of us deal with low self-esteem and struggle to find value in ourselves and what we do, and this is often because we do not tackle the word head-on.
The one word that most closely matches the aforementioned one would be importance. You must tune out all the other ideas of what matters, no matter what you may hear from friends, the media, and more, and tune in to yourself. Make a list of the things of all that is significant for you. Add notes on how each item affects you and how it affects others. What you want to look out for are the actions and behaviours that have a positive result in both of those fields. It is in those that you will find your value.
An important matter to keep in mind is self-value versus self-esteem. You have likely heard plenty about the latter. Self-esteem has everything to do with emotion – it triggers reactions in your brain to make you feel good. Too much self-esteem leads to arrogance, and more importantly, it only paints part of the picture. Self-value, on the other hand, focuses less on emotion and more on actions. When you do things that are positive for yourself and others, you add value to yourself. This is why showing compassion and care for people of great significance in your life offers more happiness than staying at home and watching Netflix.
Actions of value are critical particularly when you fall into the habit of devaluing yourself. Studies have shown that when you feel powerless or lower your opinion of yourself, the negative emotion secretes a huge amount of cortisol and is hard to balance if not fought within twenty minutes. In order to continue valuing yourself, focus on those items on your list that meet both criteria and continue to study your environment. Seek out the opportunities at school, at home, in your city, and beyond that correlate with those items.
At the end of the day, value remains a vague term. Many people will try to define it for you. If you feel powerless and have a low opinion of yourself, you will be more likely to let others make that major decision. Take action immediately to remind yourself of the things you do that add value, and seek out what other actions you could be taking. It is never too late to act, but the longer you wait, the harder value is to attain. Define it and find it.
Stosny, Steven. How Much Do You Value Yourself? https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/anger-in-the-age-entitlement/201406/how-much-do-you-value-yourself
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