I often describe self-esteem as a bucket that only you can fill. This bucket has a plug in it; as long as you fill your self-esteem bucket with positive thoughts and affirmations about yourself, the bucket fills easily. However, the moment you look to someone else to help you fill the bucket, the plug disappears, the self-esteem drains out and you have to start again. The idea is to keep your bucket full, and consider the compliments and praise coming from others as overflow.
We are trained to not know our worth, we’re taught to consider it vain to praise ourselves. People will often give me a compliment and I’ll say “I know, right??” It’s not that I’m vain. I’m often just as surprised as they are that they notice it.
A while back, my brother told me about The Dunning-Kruger effect. This involuntary pattern of thinking explains why we sometimes just don’t think we’re that great. They studied it y’all and discovered simply this:
Average people tend to rate themselves higher because they don’t know what they don’t know, while above average people rate themselves lower or average because they assume that everyone knows what they know.
Sometimes it’s just hard to see ourselves as the rest of the world sees us, and really, we know that the view others have of us isn’t entirely accurate, but it’s often much more kind.
Knowing your worth means that you put yourself on an even playing field with everyone else. You are no less than, or greater than anyone else. You simply are. You do your best. You allow others to do their thing, you do your thing and if you can help, you do, but you stop short of enabling.
Knowing your worth doesn’t come from doing, it comes from being.
As I’ve grown older, I’ve come to realize and accept that here are things I am not great at; I’m consistently inconsistent; I’m not the greatest house keeper, and I will never, ever for the rest of my life attempt anything anywhere near athletic. I’m a klutz, my memory is more swiss cheese than solid, I could go on and on….
But none of those things have anything to do with my worth. No one can measure my kindness, my ability to connect with others, my ability to understand and bring out their brilliance. I could go on and on there too.
My point is, knowing your worth means that you love yourself unconditionally, you accept your faults and possibly, dare I say it…love them. You own them, you fix them if you really want to, but if not, you work with what you’ve got and get help where you need it. Knowing your worth means that you understand that you’ll have good days and you’ll have bad days and some days your best is way better than others.
But it still doesn’t mean that you are not a worthwhile person deserving of love and all great things.
It just means that you are a spirit occupying a human body, having a human experience.
Knowing your worth means that you see your light, you feel it, you love it and you keep that damn self- esteem bucket full…because you are all that.