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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:

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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.

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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.

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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

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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

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Last Updated on January 13, 2020

How to Use the 5 Minute Journal to Invest in Your Happiness

How to Use the 5 Minute Journal to Invest in Your Happiness

I was 10 and it was a white Lisa Frank journal with a red bubble gum dispenser on the front. It also came with a heart-shaped lock and key which was a must considering I had an older brother living under the same roof who was always looking for new and inventive ways to humiliate me.

That one little journal (okay…I called it a diary back then) unlocked a world of potential to me which quite literally became my saving grace, my happy place, for the rest of my life.

Over the years, the aesthetics of my journal evolved, as did my writing subjects and style thankfully. But the one thing that’s been constant is that, no matter how sad I am or how bad things have seemed before I started writing, somehow the world and my place in it always becomes clearer and less noisy after just 5 minutes of “writing it out.”

In this article, we will take a look at how investing a few minutes a day in the 5 minute journal can lead you to happiness.

The Benefits of the 5 Minute Journal

For most of my life, I never really knew or cared why writing for even 5 minutes made me happier, I just knew it worked.

If I was feeling lost or unhappy, I’d eventually realize I hadn’t written in a while (duh!). So I’d meet myself back at the blank page and word by word, start feeling more like me again.

To be completely honest, I did (and still do) this forgetting-to-journal dance way more often than I’d like to admit. For the life of me, I don’t know why I don’t keep doing the thing I know makes me happy every day instead of waiting until I’m unhappy to do the thing. Can you relate?

I’m pretty certain it’s not just a me thing: it’s a human thing. We know we’ll be happier if we eat better, exercise, disconnect from technology, get more sleep, etc. but often times, it takes us feeling unhappy in order to put in the effort to be more happy.

A couple of months ago, I found myself in that place:

I’d hit a wall of resistance around my business and a downturn in my health that caused me to doubt what I was capable of accomplishing. I was completely confused and indecisive about the direction of my business and where I should be focusing my limited energy, so I hired a coach to help me sort through my noisy brain.

As I laid out all of my decisions and endless to-do lists in front of her, she asked me an important question:

What’s one thing you can start doing everyday that will have a positive impact on all of these things?

In other words: What if instead of having to worry about ALL THE THINGS to be happier, you could just do ONE thing and everything else would get better too?

I could start every day with a few minutes in my journal.

It’s both hilarious and embarrassing that as a coach and a writer (and a coach who works with writers), that I hadn’t thought of this myself. Alas, as the saying goes, doctors are the worst patients.

Of course, the answer was writing in my journal! Isn’t the answer almost always the most obvious thing?

But sometimes, the answer is so obvious, so simple, so free and convenient that we convince ourselves that it can’t possibly do that much to improve our situation. Somehow in the busy-ness of life, I’d convinced myself I just couldn’t spare that time to do something so…(cringe) arbitrary.

Yet, as I thought about my coach’s question and the ONE THING that could positively affect all the things, I realized that journaling for me has always been so much more than a random outlet for exploring my feelings.

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Sure, nothing actually happened but me sitting on my bed in my pajamas writing. Over the years, from breakups to big moves, my most life-changing moments–like my decision to pursue writing as a career, to uproot my entire life and move cross country, and my finally feeling ready to become a mother–happened in the quiet moments between me and the pages of my journals.

How to Be Happy with the 5 Minute Journal

The other day I was talking to a friend of mine about writing this article. I asked her how often she journals and if she thought it made her happier.

In general, she said, yes, journaling does seem to help her get things off her chest but she doesn’t always feel better afterward. And, in fact, sometimes if she’s already in a negative place, she can spiral even worse while journaling and go to an even darker place.

She told me that usually with time and perspective, she can see that just the act of writing and getting out of her head is therapeutic but, suggested that for people like her, prompts to help her not spiral into the negative abyss would be super helpful.

And so, in order to make sure you get the most out of your 5 minute journal, I’ve broken up each writing prompt based on how you’re feeling so you can let your emotions guide the best prompt for you that day to increase your happiness meter.

1. When you’re burnt out, talk to your inner hero (a.k.a the “real” you).

What’s the one thing everyone tells you about maintaining happy, healthy relationships?

You’ve gotta have great communication!

But what about your relationship with yourself? How do you connect with you? How do you continue being the hero in your story?

The same way that you have to make the time to connect with the people in your life who mean the most to you, you also have to make the time for you to hear your voice:

To remember what YOU sound like amidst all of the noise in the world. To listen to your inner hero.

For me, the only way I know how to do this, the only way I’ve ever known how to do this, is through journaling.

Our brains can go down negative spirals, especially when we’re tired and stressed.

In my last Lifehack article about finding motivation, I walk you through some questions you can ask yourself about whether you’re playing the role of victim or hero of your story. Definitely check it out if you’re really on the brink, or in the midst, of some serious burn out.

Essentially, if you’re burnt out, you’ve somehow let your circumstances take control of your life. In other words, you’ve started to act like the victim instead of the hero.

Luckily, just 5 minutes in your journal can help you find your inner hero (your true voice) and reclaim your right to live your happiest life.

Write down these questions in your journal and answer them one at a time–permission to be 100% honest granted:

  • What do I believe is the #1 reason I’m feeling burnt out?
  • Who or what did I blame in my last answer?
  • Taking 100% responsibility for my own life and decisions, and casting blame on no one (including myself), how can I improve this situation?
  • What decisions am I currently making to stay in these circumstances (how am I choosing them)?
  • What new decisions can I start making to get closer to where I want to be?
  • What do I need to let go of in order to get my energy back? What do I need to say “no” to?

When you start to own your role of hero, you start to realize how your current choices and limiting beliefs may be holding you back from living the happiest version of your life.

The great news is once you realize your past choices have brought you to your current circumstances, you also realize that you can make different choices to bring you to a happier place.

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2. When you’re doubting yourself, write off the gremlins.

Whenever I’m feeling down on myself, it usually has less to do with what’s happening on the outside, and more to do of what’s happening between my ears. In other words, how “I’m” talking to myself.

We all have little shame gremlins (I call mine “Mean Girls”) who live inside of our heads and tell us we’re dumb and ugly and worthless. The only way to combat those noisy buggers is to expose them for the liars they are.

Writing down these lies makes them powerless. Once they’re out of your head and on paper, you realize how ridiculous they truly are (even though they were completely owning you just moments before).

I like to write out all the nasties and put them in their place (which is on the page and out of my head, pronto). Then I can go back to living my happy truth.

Here are some powerful questions to ask your inner gremlins (perhaps better known as you being a real jerk to yourself). Write down each question and answer them in your journal.

Ask your gremlins:

  • What are you saying about me? (Don’t hold back. Really write down all of the terrible thoughts you’re having about yourself)

Then ask:

  • Is anything true about each of the things I just wrote?
  • Repeat this same exercise for each of the nasty things your gremlins are saying about you and expose them in their lies once and for all.

When you’re done, answer these powerful questions:

  • Knowing what I know now, what’s one thing I can do to improve each of these areas of my life?
  • Knowing that the voices of the gremlins are strong, what are 3 new beliefs or positive affirmations I can say daily about myself to drown out their negativity?

For example, let’s use a fictional character of a guy named Sam. Sam’s gremlins are telling him “you’re a lousy parent, a terrible spouse, and mediocre at work.”

If Sam asks himself, “Am I really a lousy parent?” Maybe his answer is “No, I love my kids and I’m doing the best I can. I just wish I could be more attentive when I’m with them instead of so distracted by work.”

So maybe Sam decides to not bring his work computer home with him anymore and really unplug once he leaves the office so he can give his kids his full attention.

Sam decides that his new daily affirmation is: “I’m a loving father and am fully present for my kids. I save the best of me for my family.”

Imagine how much better you’ll feel when you start to take back control over your self talk and program in the messages that empower you and get you closer to the person you strive to be.

3. When you’re indecisive or afraid, talk to your fear.

Those same shame gremlins or mean girls inside of our heads feed off of fear. It’s like a good piece of gossip they can’t help but spread and exaggerate.

Luckily, when we write out how we’re feeling and what negative thoughts are spiraling, we can generally recognize when it’s actually just our fears talking.

You’re probably wondering how to tell if it’s fear talking or your intuition, right? This is where exploring your feelings comes into play.

Are you feeling powerless? Are you feeling anxious or sad? Everyone’s response to fear is different but it’s never a positive feeling.

If you’re at peace and calm but feel nudged that something isn’t right, that’s most-likely your intuition talking. But if you’re in a glass cage of negative emotions, you can bet fear is the culprit.

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Don’t hate on fear too much though. Our fears are just trying to protect us from something–the rub is they also usually keep us from something even better in the process.

I like to use journaling as a way to have a little talk with my fear, understand where it’s coming from and then decide if it’s worth listening to.

Here’s your journaling prompt for hashing it out with your fear:

Again, write down these questions in your journal one at a time and answer each one:

Ask your fear:

  • What are you trying to protect me from?

Once you answer that, ask:

  • What are you preventing me from having if I listen to you?

If the thing you really want is on the other side of your fear, then you know what you have to do next (luckily journals are a great place to make to-do lists as well)!

My last and favorite questions to ask fear is:

  • What’s the absolute worst-case scenario?

For example, let’s say you’re terrified of breaking ties with a client who is making your professional life miserable. You may answer this question with something like “My client blacklists me and smears ugly rumors about me all around town and not only do I lose one client but my entire business goes down.”

Eeesh. That does sound scary. Now ask yourself:

  • What are some steps I can take to ensure the worst case scenario doesn’t happen?

And then:

  • How likely is it that the worst-case scenario will actually happen (especially if I use the plan above)?

Maybe, when you think about it, the client is actually preventing you from bringing in new business because they’re taking up so much of your time.

And maybe that client doesn’t even have the best reputation so the chances of them being able to bring you down are pretty small.

What if you spent one hour a week for the next 3 weeks working on bringing in new business to replace the the income you make from that client, and figure out a way to end the contract in a very respectful, classy way to hopefully make the odds of them making a stink minimal?

Now you have a plan! But there’s one more question to ask yourself:

  • If the worst case scenario happened, what would you do?

Maybe you realize that if you really needed to, you could always go back to your previous job; they loved you and beg you to all the time. Or you could get by for a couple of months until you were able to bring in some more clients, especially if you cut back on expenses.

Once you stare your fear in the face, it magically loses its power. Left inside of your head, it can destroy you; but taking a few minutes to look at it and use it as a friend who’s showing you where you may need to implement a plan in order to protect yourself, you can take back the reins of your happiness and realize that fear really isn’t all that scary at all.

At this point, it needs to be said that journaling isn’t only good for getting out the nasty feelings, it’s also super useful for recording the good stuff of life which leads me to the fourth writing prompt.

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4. When you’re in a funk, focus on gratitude.

Just about any happiness book or article you read will tell you that being in a state of gratitude dramatically increases your happiness. For me, having a place to get down to the truth of my life and what’s actually going really well and what I’m grateful for helps put everything into perspective, especially when I’ve got a case of the blues.

Here are some of my favorite gratitude prompts to help get me out of a funk and focusing on the sunnier side of life.

Write down these questions in your journal one at a time and answer each one:

  • What is something good that happened today?
  • What made me laugh or smile today?
  • Who am I grateful for today?
  • What am I grateful for today?
  • With my “gratitude glasses” on, how do my problems or the funk I’m in look in relation to all of the good things I have in my life?

Take a look at this article too to learn more about keeping a gratitude journal: How a Gratitude Journal and Positive Affirmations Can Change Your Life

Shifting out of a funk and into gratitude shifts your energy out of “woe is me” and into “yay for me” which means, based on the Law of Attraction, you’ll begin to attract more of the things you want and less of what you don’t. Seriously, yay for you!

5. When you’re uninspired or bored with the status quo, let it flow.

One of the best and easiest ways to tap into your inspiration and feel a little bit of creative magic in your life is through stream of consciousness writing.

I dare you to put your pen on a blank page for 5 minutes and do nothing but make sure the pen doesn’t stop moving.

No thinking. No judgements. The only thing you’re not allowed to do is overthink or judge your writing. It’s all good. Everything that comes out is good (even if it’s total crap).

When I was in grad school, I took this awesome class on creativity and in it read a book called From Where you Dream by Robert Olen Butler. The book is mostly about fiction writing but essentially, he says that the best time to tap into your subconscious (where your “flow” lives) is when you first wake up in the morning. Since you’re fresh from dreaming, your brain is still tuned to that frequency, so to speak, and not clouded by “reality” from your day-to-day life.

So my last and final 5-minute journal prompt for you, uninspired one, is to wake up and let yourself keep dreaming on paper.

Here are your instructions:

  1. Set the timer for 5 minutes.
  2. Open your journal.
  3. Pick up your pen.
  4. Keep your pen moving until your timer stops.

What I love about this is it requires releasing all expectations and giving yourself creative freedom to let whatever needs to come out come out.

Become Happier in 5 Minutes (or Even Less)

Giving yourself a safe space to not expect anything other than to just show up and be honest is incredibly liberating.

In a world where there are endless things we are supposed to be doing, and ways in which we’re supposed to be doing them, I love showing up to a blank page with no requirements other than to just let my hand move.

It’s free and requires nothing from me other than just showing up wherever I am–talk about an endless source of grace!

Plus it gets my myriad thoughts out of my head and allows me to release them from my body, which research at top universities has shown can dramatically reduce stress.[1]

You don’t need to change EVERYTHING in your life all at once (it doesn’t work anyway, trust me, I’ve tried).

Start with giving yourself the gift of reflection in your journal every day and see how your life starts to change. I guarantee you’ll feel more connected with yourself in the process and over time everything in your life will start to be a better reflection of you and what you value.

And that, my friends, is the key to lasting happiness.

More Journaling Ideas

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Harvard Health Publishing: Writing about emotions may ease stress and trauma

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