It’s all-too-easy to get caught up in living up to the expectations of others, real and imagined. You want to be a good friend, lover, parent, sibling, child, human being, etc. Then, looking at the actions of others and seeing both good and bad, you hold yourself up to them, and question, “What’s my value in this world?”
I know where you are coming from. I have spent a lot of my life trying to live up to the expectations, both real and imagined, that I have encountered. This is an ongoing process, with both good days and bad days. I get concerned about the impression I make, how what I do impacts others, and whether I am worthy or deserving of living the best that I can.
The truth is that we are all worthy and deserving of living as best we can. Nobody is here just to merely survive — you and I are meant to thrive. Living in a fear-based society chock-full of mixed messages, this can feel like an impossible task.
Who should you prove yourself to?
How do you see your own worth? How do you feel deserving of being content, even happy in this life? Let me ask you this — who do you have to prove yourself to?
There are three very distinct judges our society looks to for determining worth and value in humanity. They can conflict, cause strife, dissent, and even have led to numerous wars.
These three judges, in no particular order, are:
- You yourself
- Other people, from friends and lovers to total strangers of varying degrees of importance
- God, the Universe, or whatever conscious higher power a person may believe in
This can be really daunting, because the judgments of others and a higher power you may or may not believe in are completely, totally, and utterly out of your control. Because they are outside of you, there is no way to know just how they think or feel about you, if at all.
Since you can’t know what it’s going to take to prove yourself to these outside forces, why allow their judgment of you to dictate your feeling of worth and overall value? Look how unhappy people are because they are struggling every day to live up to the unknown metrics established by other people or unseen entitie(s) for being worthy and deserving of anything at all.
Outside validation is fleeting, frequently conflicted, and is different from each and every outside person or being. What’s more, while you might prove yourself worthy to one of them, that proof may not apply to another.
This is why the person that you need to prove yourself to is you yourself.
You are the only one in your head
When we allow these people or entities outside of ourselves to judge our worth and value, we ultimately are devaluing ourselves. Like perfection being in the eye of the beholder, what you are worthy and deserving of comes down to believing in yourself.
When we judge ourselves based on expectations outside of ourselves, this is hard. If you suffer from depression, anxiety, or any other mental health issue, this gets even harder. This is why practicing mindfulness makes you aware of your thoughts and feelings, and helps you be more capable of recognizing your worth and value.
You know right from wrong, good and bad, and what makes you happy or unhappy. You are the best and only valid judge of you. Learn to trust yourself, and work with mindfulness to be the best you that you can be.
You are worthy. You are deserving. There is nothing you have to do to prove yourself to anyone.
Recognizing your own value not hard, but it does require action
Knowing that the only person you actually need to prove yourself to is yourself, you can work to better see how worthy and deserving you truly are. When we stop letting the known and unknown opinions of others dictate how we value ourselves, and we work with mindfulness on recognizing our worth, we ultimately empower ourselves. When we feel empowered, we become more aware and mindful and tend to spread that feeling to others around us. As such, we can build more positive feelings and positivity.
We can use the positive feelings this generates to dissolve negative feelings. When we eradicate negative feelings, we open up space to let in more positive feelings, and that is something we can be grateful for.
Gratitude leads to happiness. Happiness is the ultimate positive attitude. An attitude of gratitude is a positive attitude that begets even more good energies, and that, like you, is always worthwhile.
Originally published at http://titaniumdon.com on May 27, 2019.