Advertising
Advertising

Published on June 3, 2019

3 Steps to Know Your Value and Realize It in Life

3 Steps to Know Your Value and Realize It in Life

Do you know your value? Before I get into this, I want to begin with a heartbreaking story of a woman I used to know, Mary…

Mary was a quiet woman who mainly kept to herself but was very observant. She watched, she took notes, and most importantly – she listened. When someone talked to her, she felt as if she gained a piece of their soul and she hung on every last word.

Mary had a dream. She wanted to own a book store and discuss novels with customers as they perused the aisles. She imagined offering free coffee and having support groups in the evening where people would gather, connect, and free their souls.

Mary had envisioned her dream in her mind, she had mapped out everything from the color of the walls to the font on her receipts. However, Mary would always say that her dream wasn’t feasible and that it wasn’t realistic. She would ask, “How could someone like me have a life like that?”

Mary dreamed but stopped herself with excuses. She let these resistances stop her from acting – Mary never started to create her dream…

I don’t want you to miss out on your best life like Mary did. She didn’t recognize her value and what she was truly capable of. 

This is why I’m writing this article to help you uncover your true worth to live your best life.

What is Value?

Value is importance, worth, and usefulness. It is the positive energy and contribution to leave something better than how you found it.

We all have something to contribute because it’s why we are here. You wouldn’t be here if you didn’t have a special gift to share with the world.

However, sometimes our value is difficult to find. Sometimes the world we live in makes it challenging to be ourselves. Your service may not be “trendy” or “popular” but it is a necessity. You have the answers that someone needs. Who you are, where you’ve been, and what you do is significant and it will impact the lives of many.

However, if we do not expose our worth and act on our dreams, then we cannot fully help anyone.

Please, I beg of you, DO NOT leave your value covered up by thoughts, opinions, fear, and negativity. Trust that what you offer and who you are is worthy.

You are a worthwhile investment to the world Uncover and act upon your value TODAY. Here’re  3 steps to uncovering and recognizing your value:

Advertising

1. Let Go of Resistence

There are no limits to what you can achieve and the amount of people you can help when your value is fully exposed. However, how can you truly know what you have to offer and how you can impact the world?

I know it is so confusing when we have to sift through societal norms, opinions, past events, and circumstances.

I am here to tell you – IT IS POSSIBLE. It is a process but it is POSSIBLE and it is NECESSARY to living your best life and having the energy to enjoy it.

This process is similar to an onion – peeling away the layers of resistance that have been piled on you for such a long time.

It’s a lot to ask of you, I know. It’s a feat for most people because it is not natural for us to do in this society. It isn’t always encouraged.

Sometimes, we don’t want to face our resistances because we are under this misconception that we are who we were. This mindset has to change – you are NOT who you were – you can be whoever you choose to be.

It can be exhausting to uncover your worth when it has been hiding away for some time. However, when you discover your worth, you receive peace of mind, certainty, presence – a full life that is true to you.

When you nurture and feed your value, you feel truly alive and you are in your own element – essentially at your best.

It begins with a decision.

Decide that whatever knot is in your stomach, that thing in your life you know isn’t right. Decide to unravel it.

Sometimes, that’s who we truly believe we are. This tight, closed off knot.

We sometimes give up trying to loosen up this cluster but we have to. We have to loosen the knot because our value and self-worth are in there.

Letting go can be difficult but it starts with acknowledging what exactly has been holding you back and keeping you stuck.

Advertising

For Mary, it was doubt. Mary doubted that she had what it took to achieve her ultimate dream.

If she could have let go of doubt and replaced it with faith, then she might have left the world fulfilled but instead she left with regret.

Don’t let your resistances define you! Instead, let your dream shape you into the person you will become.

Live in the present, create happy moments and dream big. Stop living by old definitions – that isn’t who you are anymore.

You are valuable and your dreams are worth your time and effort. Someone is in desperate need of you – your past experiences, your knowledge, your solutions.

If you need a little assistance, here are 7 steps to start living your dream life.

After you begin acknowledging your resistances and letting go of them, you can begin to follow what feels right – the positive energy.

Which brings me to step number 2 – your value will bring you happiness and leave you feeling energetic.

2. Follow Your Happiness

Once you have peeled the layers and removed the resistances that have been holding you back, you can begin to follow your happiness.

Now that you are not affected by the judgement of others, crippled by fear, or [insert your resistance here] – you can begin to do what brings you pure joy.

Joy is where your value and self-worth are. This is contradictory to how we are used to living because we have been told to work hard, get our hands dirty, get a good job, pay our bills, and so on and so forth.

We have work, our relationships, all of our obligations, and then we have our hobby or passion (if there is time left for this).

We put everything before our passion and then at the end of the day, we are exhausted – completely drained.

Advertising

Work then play.

I get it – work is good. I love to work, I love to be productive, I love helping people and being a contributing member of society.

BUT, can we work and play? Can we incorporate joy, happiness, and play into everything we do? Does there have to be a separation between the two?

We can’t instruct people to take a shot in the dark at their life just because the job pays the bills. We have to lead people in the direction of their value and passions.

“Oh, he’s just a broke artist”

The way I look at it is that he’s the most successful human being on the planet because he does what he loves, he’s fanatical about it, and he’s doing what his heart desires day and night.

To me, that’s a life worth living.

I’ll tell you what isn’t a life worth living – working at something you don’t enjoy for the majority of your life to meet societies expectations.

So, whatever it is that brings a smile to your face – follow it everywhere and never leave its side. Don’t turn away from your smile because it is where your best life is.

The rest will come if you learn to let go and ignore the resistances as they present themselves.

How do you know you have found your worth?

You’ll know when you have found your worth because at the end of the day, you will be energized. You’ll know you’ve found your worth because you’ll be excited for everything you are going to accomplish tomorrow.

This article can help you find what sparks your joy: How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up

Advertising

3. Stick with It

So, you’ve let go of resistance and have started to follow your happiness. You have begun to do what brings joy into your life every chance that you get but you’re still not quite sure of your value.

The resistances are still showing up and you have a to do list to accomplish. I understand that it takes time – it is a process but slowly and surely if you let go and follow your smile a life of value will naturally unfold.

It is a fact that waiting is hard. According to Dr. Joe Dispenza, “We want immediate gratification or relief from the lack.”[1]

In other words, we let go of our resistances but we aren’t immediately gaining the life that we desire and that creates a feeling of lack – we aren’t attaining what we want fast enough.

But, we have to make this process a way of life: release and follow your happiness, let go and smile. Make this process apart of who you are.

I promise, you do not have to search for this life. You have to let it come to you.

When you feel that tightness arise, breathe deeply and choose to dismiss the feeling. Give yourself permission to follow your happiness and be diligent – anything worthwhile takes time.

Don’t look for the answers in anyone except for yourself. If it doesn’t feel right, then investigate why that is. Ask yourself important questions.

Don’t put the negativity in a closet for another time – deal with each resistance as they show up and dismiss them and release. You’ll never let anyone down pursing what you love. The saddest story is one that ends with an unfulfilled dream.

Here’re some tips to help you stick to the changes you want to make: 13 Steps To Stick To the Life Changes You Want To Make

You are so very valuable, you are needed and I know this because you are here.

You have so much inside of you that the world needs.

So for the sake of your soul and the other people counting on you – let go and follow your happiness today.

More Articles About Self-Worth and Happiness

Featured photo credit: Ammie Ngo via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Jacqueline Battaglia

Growth Coach, Blogger, and Creator of Life is Duck Soup. My approach will help you get to your next potential level, follow your HAPPY path and enjoy each moment fully.

Nothing Makes You Happy: Here’s Why and What to Do 13 Ways Happy People Think and Feel Differently 7 Simple Ways to Cope with Stress at Work and Stop Worrying 3 Steps to Know Your Value and Realize It in Life

Trending in Mental Strength

1 Why Am I Not Happy? 5 Steps to Figure Out the Reason 2 How to Use a 5 Minute Journal to Invest in Your Happiness 3 How Self Doubt Keeps You Stuck (And How to Overcome It) 4 Nothing Makes You Happy: Here’s Why and What to Do 5 How to Not Be Sad When It Feels Like Everything Is Going Wrong

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on August 12, 2019

Why Am I Not Happy? 5 Steps to Figure Out the Reason

Why Am I Not Happy? 5 Steps to Figure Out the Reason

In our diverse world, where everyone wants to stand out from the crowd and has their own opinions just about everything, there is a rather universal idea we all – regardless of age, race, location, gender — embrace…

We all want to be happy.

We want to feel that we matter, are loved, appreciated, problem-free, care-free, and financially secure. And this has become one of the most obsessive quests of our society—to be happy, at all cost, by all means.

Happiness has undisputed benefits—supported by countless studies—to about pretty much everything in our lives—from our mental or physical state, to careers, relationships, finances.

Although the self-help industry is still having a sunshine moment with its advice on how to get to this coveted state, no one (that I’m aware of) has come up with The Magic Potion—that one thing or action or thought—that can make us all content and whole for good.

Of course, we also all are knowledgeable enough to recognize that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. And that it’s often a combination of things that each one of us should intentionally do daily in order to reach that enchanted place where everything is intensely bright and upbeat.

The reason that there are multiple antidotes to feeling gloomy is that there may be a million different explanations and their nuances of why someone is unhappy. It’s pretty much a different cause, path and experience for everyone.

Top this with the “hedonic treadmill” phenomenon[1] —and you end up with an incessant (and rather tiring) pursuit of something that, quite frankly, no one has been able to define in concreate measurable terms.

The second problem with happiness is that all of us become so hung up on the goal itself—that utopian state that we want to get to “one day.”

Naturally, you can spend your whole life waiting for happiness to finally come knocking on your door, hoping, anticipating, existing in perpetual discontent—and the moment may never come.

And then, looking back, you may ask yourself—was I truly that miserable or did I fall a victim of the happiness craze?

That is—how can you know if you are really unhappy, if happiness means different things for everyone, it’s impossible to measure directly, and it’s rather fleeting?

So, let’s start from the beginning— and examine the cause of why you’re unhappy, the symptoms and the treatment.

Symptoms of Unhappiness

According to the wellness site Mind Body Green, some of the most common manifestations you are not happy are:[2]

  • Feeling like you’re not as good as other people
  • Feeling like a victim of circumstances that are beyond your control
  • Feeling like your daily life is meaningless and task-driven
  • Feeling helpless, hopeless, or pessimistic
  • Protecting your heart with steel walls
  • Trying to fit in and belong, but rarely feel like you do
  • Feeling beaten down by the challenges you face in life
  • Feeling depressed, anxious, or chronically worried
  • Feeling like you’re not appreciated enough

If this sounds like you, on a regular day, then you are not a happy fella, my friend.

Reasons for Feeling Unhappy

The most important indication that things are not great (at least in your mind) is the sense of “something missing.” You may not know what it is, but you feel hollow, incomplete. And you are aware that something needs to happen to make you come alive again.

Of course, finding the reason for your woes is vital to prescribing (to yourself) the right steps to make it all better.

Advertising

So, here are some of the most common reasons why you may feel heavy-hearted, or “like the joy has been sucked out of my life.”

Lack of Meaning

Everyone who’s someone in the happiness-advice trade will tell you that this is one of the main causes (of not THE biggest) of feeling blah. Especially relevant for our professional lives, lack of significance can be a dream-downer.

An excellent piece in the New York Times talks about Harvard graduates who make $1.2 million a year in salary, but still feeling miserable and trapped in what they describe as “wasting my life” existence.[3]

Simply put—you may feel unhappy because you need the “Why” in your life, as I also wrote in a previous post How to Get Unstuck in Life and Live a More Fulfilling Life.

Happiness Disruptors

Even perceived problems can feel quite real to many of us. Undeniably, though, any personal, financial, career, physical complications can make your happiness aspirations plummet.

The constellation of all the issues or walls you can run into can be quite vast. For instance, you don’t like the way you look, you don’t make enough money, don’t have any friends or significant other, your health is fragile.

All these can be serious impediments to an undisturbed-joyfulness type of life.

Lack of Self-Esteem and Self-Respect

Few years ago (2003), a paper by the psychologist Roy Baumeister rocked the science world. Titled “Does High Self-Esteem Cause Better Performance, Interpersonal Success, Happiness, or Healthier Lifestyles?” it presented the idea (supported by research) that self-esteem and happiness are linked.[4]

Specifically, high self-esteem leads to greater happiness.

In addition, according to the famous American author and speaker Gary Vaynerchuk, the main reason people are unhappy is because they lack self-respect—that is, they value others’ opinions above their own. Of course, it makes sense—and surely, it rings true with many of us too.

Personality

Linked to the above is another hindrance to becoming relentlessly upbeat, which may prove slightly challenging to overcome, if even possible—your personality.

Of course, not per the self-help industry which thrives on the assumption that you can, with your own willpower, become a different person altogether. Namely—a much better version of the current you.

But what the Wise Men also tell us is that you are either born to be a silver-lining kind of person or you are not.

You can, of course, work on yourself to start seeing the glass half-full (vs half-empty). But you may never reach the gregariousness of someone who is just born with a more care-free temperament.

Unreasonably High Expectations

Having high expectations of yourself can be beneficial, according to research.[5] It leads to higher performance—a phenomenon called the Pygmalion effect.

Having too high expectations of yourself, though, may be counter-productive. You can run into all slew of mental health issues—depression, self-sabotaging, self-punishment, etc. And it can spill over all areas of your life.

It’s certainly a case for future investigation.

Advertising

Social Trends

It will take perhaps at least few articles to list all the reasons why we can feel unhappy (a book even!).

So, some of the other causes of being disgruntled with your life can be: long hours at work, “always-on” culture bread by the internet, increased screen time,[6] or boredom with one’s life (i.e. lack of excitement).

Addiction to Unhappiness

Apparently, you can also develop an addiction to unhappiness[7] —that is, some people like negative feelings and are “happy to be unhappy.” Rather disturbing, indeed.

Unexplainable Reasons

Or, sometimes, you just can’t put your finger on one thing, or on anything, for this matter—you don’t know for sure what makes you feel unhappy, nor what will make you happy. It feels like it’s everything—your whole life is a mess.

But that’s not the end of the story. The most important questions you should be asking yourself are:

Why? What’s the cause of my unhappiness?

Because you can’t fix it when you don’t know what’s broken, right?

5 Steps You Can Take to Figure Out The Why

So, if you tick most of the symptoms above, it’s very likely that you are not living in Dream-land right now.

Here is my advice on how to find your lumps in the batter.

1. Mull over What “Happy” Means to You

Happiness can take different shapes—hedonic pleasure, life satisfaction, desire fulfillment.[8] All of these—separately or together—can deliver to us sprinkles of joy.

And because our lives are so diverse, the above will translate into different pursuits for each one of us.

For instance, my hedonic weekend happiness means reading a book or writing, while for someone else—it’s socializing, taking a walk, or going on a shopping spree at the mall.

Or, my life satisfaction can be to have a big family and leave a mark in the world this way. For others, it may be going after fame and fortunes. But either way, don’t fall for the society’s “narrative traps”[9]—that a bigger pay check, house, a certain job, person, etc. will give you a never-ending stream of bliss. It won’t, science confirms over and over.

So, once you know what your happiness vision board looks like, you will have a better idea of what’s “missing” in your life.

2. Re-Visit Your Expectations

As I already mentioned, unreasonable expectations you or others have set for yourself can be deterring you from feeling gleeful.

For one thing, aspirations often can become outdated. What you wanted ten or five years ago (or even six months ago) may not be relevant to your situation today and will need to be filed into a mental cabinet.

Another issue is that our culture is putting an exponential pressure on all of us to perform more and better, to try and stretch the 24-hours a day into 30, to chase kudos and recognition. Any outcome that has earned less than the gold is punishable by exclusion for the cool crowd, by receiving less in perks, bonuses, and appreciation even.

Advertising

As a result, anxiety, depression and all their dark friends start creeping into our minds and tint everything else that may be giving us joy and satisfaction.

So, taking periodic audit of your expectations—their validity and importance place on your happiness list, is pivotal to stopping unhappiness spread into your life.

3. Examine Your Way of Thinking

At the heart of the so-called Rational Emotive Behavior Theory (REBT),[10] which was established by the American psychologist Albert Ellis in 1956, is the idea that it’s never the actual event that upsets us.It’s our interpretation and thoughts about it. By inference, changing our thoughts will reduce (and hopefully remove altogether) our anxiety.

Let’s take this a stretch further. Positive (not delusional) thinking has been long proclaimed to be a winner when it comes to mental health. If you find yourself going down the spiral of negative inner dialogue, you must stop yourself immediately. It’s unhappiness trap.

But it’s not easy-breezy, of course, to do such conscious policing all the time. It can become a habit, though, psychologists tell us. We can teach ourselves to quell negativity, and there are many things that can be done: How to Have Happy Thoughts and Train Your Brain to Be Happy

And don’t forget to be grateful. It’s the best happiness shot there is.

4. The Good Old Pros and Cons

Although it may appear to be a less fascinating way to figure out whether you are unhappy or not, the pros-and-cons list has been around for a long time—and it’s still an excellent tool to let you examine things closely, evaluate alternatives and come to satisfactory answers.[11]

Interestingly, as history tells us, this invention is credited to Benjamin Franklin in the 18th century. Notorious for his productivity, he applied the pros-cons exercise to almost everything in his life.

The beauty of the method lies in its simplicity too. So, go back to the drawing board and start penciling down the things that you like and don’t like (make you unhappy) about your life, and the things that you know with certainty to make you happy today.

Of the “things-that-make me-unhappy-about-my-life” subset, have a think what you can do to move these along the continuum—to the brighter side.

You may be surprised to discover that you have much greater say in the building of your own happiness than chance, circumstances or others.

5. Mental Cleansing

Mental health is in the limelight quite often these days. And rightly so.

The way we care about our bodies and minds directly links to many of our life outcomes.

Mental clutter can become a well-being stumbling block. Overthinking, old grudges, past events, can all make it very challenging to feel elevated and content.

Doing a mental cleanse once a month can be the remedy to set yourself on the path to happiness recovery.

Pay a visit to the past to confront your fears, get rid of the people who bring you down, free yourself from any emotional baggage. It will help you silence the bully in your head.

Take a periodic stock of all the things that make you anxious and declutter. Why hold on to the things that you know to bring you grief anyway?

Advertising

Unless you are one of those unhappiness addicts I mentioned above (which calls for a more radical intervention), carrying emotional baggage without doing anything to unload it, is a anti-glee behavior.

Bonus Advice

Finding our Achilles’ heel of happiness can sometimes be a tall order. It takes time, conscious efforts and an honest desire to make it better. It also alludes that we are ready to take the plunge into the self-help territory and take actual steps to improve our situation.

But it’s not a lost cause, the research tells us. It’s possible to make yourself happy on a consistent basis.

Here are few universal suggestions:

One of the things you can do is to inject some meaning back in your life. And the best way to go about this is to flip the narrative. Case in point—the story of John F Kennedy’s visit to NASA in 1962. He ran into a janitor and when asked him what he was doing, he replied: “I’m helping put a man on the moon.”

The happiness guru Gretchen Rubin tells us that there are two major path that lead a more fulfilling life:[12]

One way is through our relationships—having strong bonds and feeling that we belong.

The other route is through developing better self-knowledge—i.e. what things make us us, or glad, or sad. And base our way of living on our own values and goals, not others’.

The feeling that we are not making progress is a definite joy crusher. We should compare wisely, find our passions, and diversify our experiences. These are not magic pills but more so opportunities to make our time here worthwhile and fulfilling.

Final Thoughts

Happiness is notoriously hard to pin down.

There is no one definition of contentment, nor one way to ‘fix’ it. It’s one of those things that you can’t quantify and it’s idiosyncratic.

More and more we hear a murmur from the science world that perhaps the best way to happiness is acceptance—of your failings and shortcomings, of the fact that life is imperfect.

Knowing what makes us disgruntled is, of course, needed to find the right remedy for each one of us. Feeling constantly unhappy is not good and necessitates closer examination.

Finally, beware of the narrative trap that if you are unhappy, there is something wrong with you. It may be normal, for a while at least. Otherwise, how would you appreciate the highlight moments of your life if you don’t see them against the backdrop of the gloomy times?

Or, as the great singer Leonard Cohen tells us:

“There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”

More About Staying Happy

Featured photo credit: Andrew Le via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next