I feel like there’s two layers in really building and maintaining our own self worth.
Layer 1 is external validation. So mainly – praise, compliments etc from others. It can also include that lal boost of self-esteem we get when we’ve really helped another (or donated to Save the Whales or summat.)
This is the layer that we tend to spend the most time and energy focussing on in modern life – however, it’s also the one which we have little to no control over.
The first aspect, praise/compliments from others, can be taken away at any time. It’s removable. And if we try to control it, by constantly seeking approval and validation, the energy awkwardly spirals out from us – like a kid on Halloween, running from door-to-door and grabbing candy before running home to sit with his/her haul. Other people naturally pick up on this energy (and in its more exaggerated form, the behaviour we’re displaying), and this often causes the very comments we’re craving to dry up.
What’s more, it can also swing the pendulum the other way – and attract the haters. Then woah, we’re getting validation alright – or rather, our inner gremlins are!!
The second aspect, which is feeling like we have more worth when we help others, is not quite as potentially detrimental. It’s still a form of external validation however – so having this layer without the layer underneath causes us to feel kinda ‘hollow’, or temporarily better about ourselves. It’s like there’s something missing (there is chuck, it’s Layer 2).
What if all the whales were saved? What if no one needed your help because everything was sorted?
We cannot rely on any part of this layer to support us.
Layer 2 is the one we should be directing our attentions and energy into (by the way, I’m not saying fuck helping other people here, I’m talking purely from a perspective of building self-worth healthily. When you have worked on and built your Layer 2, you have a way better foundation to go help others and get a little bit of Layer 1 love as an added bonus.)
Layer 2 is the layer we should be teaching every girl on the planet to build and invest into.
This is the internal layer of the Self. In many of us, this layer is like a derelict barn. With some proper work, it could be a Grand-Designs-style barn conversion – but meh, we don’t know where to start, it all seems a bit overwhelming and so we play it safe and buy a semi on the outskirts of town instead.
But if we really work on building our own self-worth, from within, we’ve created a sense of our own value that is not reliant on anything external. It’s stable and it’s much stronger. In fact, the more this layer develops within us, the more we exude a sort of calm, powerful ‘presence’ – this in turn can actually influence others into acknowledging and appreciating the value that we have as a person.
So how do we start to build our sense of our own worth and value?
- By connecting with our own, unique, inner power.
- By knowing ourselves, better than we know anyone else on this planet.
- By getting our hands dirty and doing the deep work.
- By trusting and listening to ourselves.
And finally, by changing how we look at our perceived ‘weaknesses’. Usually, these can become some of the aspects of ourself that bring the most value – if we choose to look at them from a different angle. What if they were your greatest strengths?