Living Your Worth vs. Knowing Your Worth

by P. Braithwaite

So for twentysome years I’ve struggled with ideas of self-worth: am I enough? Am I too much? Can I be confident? I wish I was prettier…blah…blah…blah…

Then, around 22, I came to the realization that I WAS enough. I was pretty obnoxious about this revelation, and I shared it whenever I could. I communicated my “worth” by constantly saying the phrase: I know my worth!

Oh! I know my worth!

The thing is, however that the phrase was followed by silent questions/comments like: you see my worth too, right? You don’t? How can I show you? Please give me a chance to show you!! you still don’t see it? Well than I must be wrong about myself Ahhh, I’m sorry, you’re right, I AM worthless!!

So where does that leave me now? I am confident that I can articulate my wroth, but as I find myself knocking on 30’s door I am finally understanding that there is a difference between KNOWING your worth and LIVING your worth.

For example: You can KNOW you deserve the (organic, farm-raised, grass-fed) filet mignon of life but proceed to eat shit that people serve up every single day. You will eat crap and fill yourself up with worthlessness while knowing fully that you deserve better, But when you LIVE what you deserve…that’s it. You don’t eat shit. You don’t even smell it. You’re not outraged when someone offers it to you…you just know that it doesn’t nourish you. It’s not even on your radar…

So how do you pull “the knowing” out of your head and down into your arms and legs so that you can live it?

1. You stop trying to PROVE it.
In my other life I may (or may not) be an English instructor. In my (possibly nonexistent) classes we talk about thesis-driven essays. Here’s a quick overview for you: your thesis is an arguable position that you take (I’m simplifying) and your paper is an attempt to prove that position.

In my class that’s fine. Prove your point: A+.

The thing is, your worth is not an opinion. When you set out to prove it, you are making it susceptible to debate. It’s not up for debate. It’s a fact. Act accordingly.

2. Ask yourself WWID?
(I apologize if this is blasphemous), but ask yourself: what would I do? Jesus is awesome, but perhaps you his way isn’t the best way for you. Turning the other cheek, while advisable, might get you slapped twice. So instead of using “J,” use yourself. What would YOU DO?  I’d even add: what is the most loving thing I can do for MYSELF in this situation? Usually, the most loving thing for yourself is ultimately the most beneficial for everyone involved (though it may not seem like it at first).

3. Abandon the need to be right.
This fits into the first two. For example, I recently had a conversation with someone I KNEW was lying to me. Now, I KNOW my worth, right? This means I KNOW I don’t deserve to be lied to. That’s completely valid, but LIVING my worth means I don’t need to waste time and energy trying to convince this person that I know that he knows that he’s a liar! Sometimes, choosing to not to engage communicates more about your self-worth than any conversation ever could. When we let go of being right, we can open ourselves up to living more completely.

That’s all I have for now, but what about you guys: how do you live your worth??