The subject of self-worth isn't something I ever gave that much focus to until a few years ago. And the entire topic of self-worth is something that's so incredibly personal and how we find best to measure it is possibly one of the most individual things we can do. For so long I measured how much I thought I was worth by how much I was working and at its worst how much I was earning. Last year I made the decision that I wanted to stop doing this because it was making me incredibly unhappy and I knew deep down in my heart that wasn't how I wanted to measure how much I thought I was worth so I found other ways to measure it and it's made a huge difference in my overall happiness. After writing a post over a year ago on the subject of being average it really was the catalyst for this whole thought process and it's been something that I've been itching to write more about ever since. So here is why I stopped measuring my entire self-worth by what I do to pay the bills.
Way before the whole self-care and Hygge movement on the internet we were all about the hustle. If you were working a crazy amount of hours in the week, not having time to eat, shower and see your loved ones but you were seen as hustling then it was seen as almost like a badge of honour. And if you weren't working those hours or constantly exhausted then it was like you were lazy and obviously weren't as good as the other people doing that. Whilst I think often self-care and such can be a little grinding as we all have to work hard to some extent to pay the bills telling people they need to be hustling constantly is just as bad. Working yourself into the ground can be great for a short time as ticking off those to-do lists and feeling like you're pushing forward with your goals is wonderful but in the long run, it's dangerous. Becoming constantly mentally and physically exhausted can lead to numerous health problems and dealing with ill health will put a big dampener of making progress and can sometimes stop it completely.
I completely understand why telling someone who has to work multiple jobs to slow down and take care of themselves is utterly ridiculous and redundant. They probably don't want to work that many jobs and would love the chance to slow down in an evening but life doesn't always work that way. But the people who are addicted to saying they're busy to prove a point to society is where I think the problem lies. Saying you're constantly busy has become completely normal now, we're too busy for everything and half the time it seems like we're just busy saying we're busy. When really we aren't that busy at all but just want to prove a point.
WE'RE MORE THAN JUST OUR WORK
I come from a working class background, I wasn't raised where money was ever in abundance. My upbringing taught me the value of money and how hard you have to work to make a living just to make ends meet let alone having savings and afford special things. My parents always told me that work was just what you did to pay the bills and that we all have to work and that's all I ever knew. Having a dream job was never something I thought about. But when I went to university and started this blog it showed me how other people live and their relationship with work and how it consumed their entire life. When you love what you do that's almost going to naturally happen but I think even if you're completely in love with your job it's nice to take a little bit of time away from it and do other things in life.
One of the first questions we ask anyone new in our lives is what they do for a living and I feel like we're incredibly judgemental over someone's job. Especially online I feel like if you're not working your dream job then you're obviously not doing that well which is obviously complete nonsense as we can't all work our dream job and make a living from it. What we do for a living obviously does take up a huge amount of time and is a part of who we are and it's awesome to be proud of your work. But we have so much more to offer to the world or to a conversation than what we do for a living. I never want to be just judged on how I make money as I find it's a dangerous path to go down as ultimately I am more than that and there are so many other things that I'm interested in.
YOU DO YOU
A phrase that I use way too often is 'you do you and I'll do me' and it's something that can be used in nearly every element of life. And it's something that is so important when it comes to how we measure our self-worth. Just because I'm sat writing this post about how I stopped measuring my own based on what I do for a living doesn't mean anyone else should do that. Because if you're truly happy then that's all that matters. The biggest reason that I decided that I needed to stop measuring my own worth with work is because it was making me miserable and I was missing out on so many things in life that were making me happy. Like my family, friends and my relationships because I was so obsessed with looking like I was working a certain way to the outside world when really I didn't care what they thought. I felt like I was constantly trying to prove a point to everyone else because things had happened in my life that put me "behind" on reaching those standard goals that society makes for us.
NOTHING LASTS FOREVER
Finding happiness beyond work and material items has been a big deal for me. Especially the latter as I'm someone who had a terrible relationship with emotional shopping but I've learnt that none of those feeling we get from material objects last forever. And whilst the thing we bought might last forever the feeling quickly fades and then we have to get our next material item fix and it's just a vicious cycle. How you feel in yourself without a tonne of other outside influences is a long journey and not a simple one by any means but it's one of the most important things we can do. Being deeply unhappy is something that can easily happen to all of us and to the outside world, we all look fine but aren't. Our feelings are something that lasts longer than any type of material item or job as they can be gone in an instant but we are with ourselves for a long time.
HOW I CURRENTLY MEASURE MY SELF WORTH
I thought it was important to share how I value my own self-worth after talking about how I stopped measuring it for so long and here is how I'm currently doing it:
- Are my physical and mental health doing ok? Am I doing all I can to help them?
- Do I have a good relationship with my boyfriend, family and friends?
- How do I feel in myself? Am I happy or are there things bothering me that could be sorted?
- Is work ok? [I have stopped measuring my entire self worth on work but it does still play a small role which I think is fine]
- Am I progressing?
DON'T LISTEN TO EVERYTHING THE INTERNET TELLS YOU
It's probably very ironic that this is my closing sentiment but listening to everything you see online can be very dangerous. No-one online will ever know what's best for you and none of us have to do something to prove a point to complete strangers online or in real life for that matter. The most important thing is that we're doing all we can and living the best way we can in that moment, life is so complex already without adding unnecessary stress to it.
How do you measure your self worth?
Check out: Sophie Anne Taylor