Category Archives: Inspirational

Self-Worth

Read time: <7 minutes

Self-worth is the first topic that jumped out in my head after thinking about what to post on here next. I hope to explore questions such as:

  • What is self worth?
  • Where does self-worth come from?
  • How to increase self-worth to OVER 9000 and maintain a true, unshakable sense of self-worth (it’s easier than you think!)

First, let’s tackle what self-worth is. Just googling “self-worth” and the first thing that comes up is: “In sociology and psychology, selfesteem reflects a person’s overall subjective emotional evaluation of his or her own worth. It is a judgment of oneself as well as an attitude toward the self.” I agree with the second part but I see the first part as being way off. I do not see self-esteem as being a reflection of self-worth. I see them as two very different things and just because you have high self-esteem does not necessarily mean you have high self-worth. I want to differentiate between self-esteem and self-worth as I see a lot of people thinking the two terms are one and the same and I see them as quite different.  I see self-worth as a person’s inherent view of themselves, basically how much they value their worth as a person whereas self-esteem is confidence in your abilities which is more extrinsic in nature. Society places a high value on achievements and this extrinsic factor while I believe having a high intrinsic self-worth is better.

In order to talk about where I believe self-worth comes from, it may be easier to first question some common places which people attribute to adding to self-worth.

Does true self-worth come from looks? Oh hell no! And for several reasons. First of all you can’t control your looks besides expensive plastic surgery, and even then your looks WILL eventually fade. If you base your self-worth on how attractive you are, what happens when you are 60+ years old and you lose your attractiveness? Also by basing your self-worth on something you are born with and that is an extrinsic factor, you are basically always comparing yourself to others to maintain your self-worth. What happens when someone comes along that is more attractive than you, which will happen! Even if you are labeled the most attractive person on the planet, that is only a temporary title, you cannot hold onto it forever. By basing your self-worth on something that is outside of your control, extrinsic in nature, and will eventually fade; you are setting yourself up for eventual misery down the road and at the very least, ultimately questioning your self-worth.

Does true self-worth come from your physique? Again, no and I will explain how this differs from looks. Your physique is similar to looks except you have more control over this through proper exercise and nutrition. Looks is your physical level of attraction and physique contributes to this because you can have an amazing body but still be “ugly” according to society’s standards. Again, while it may be a boost to your self-esteem to be disciplined enough to maintain an amazing body, what happens if you “let yourself go”? For any number of reasons; physical injury, sickness, thyroid issues, laziness, depression, age, etc you can lose your figure to any number of reasons. Again, if your self-worth is partly or mostly made up of something extrinsic such as physique, it can all be taken away at any moment.

Does true self-worth come from your talents and abilities? Again no and no! Let’s say you are an amazing piano player naturally. You practice and practice and become one of the best players in the world. By basing your self-worth on extrinsic factors like your piano playing ability, you could lose it all at any moment. This even happened to someone I know. She was an incredible organist but then got a hand issue at a young age which caused her to pretty much lose her ability to play; at the very least severely hamper/limit her current and future ability. This has happened to others as well like sports players who get injured. If they based their self-worth on their abilities, what do you think happened to it once they lost that ability in an instant? Also you are again comparing yourself to others. Even Michael Phelps loses and someone will eventually break his records in everything given enough time.

I feel as if I’m beating a dead horse some, but basically I can name any external factor that people base their self-worth upon and eliminate it because of its extrinsic nature. Money/possessions, relationships, even beliefs and accomplishments can all be taken away at any time and should not be the basis of our self-worth.

If self-worth should not be made up of any of these things, then what CAN self-worth be attributed to? How can we maintain an unshakable level of self-worth despite what happens to us?

The answer comes from within. There is one thing that every single person is best at being in the entire world. The answer is being ourselves. Being our true selves. No one is better at being ourselves than we are. Finding what interests us and makes us happy and being true to ourselves cannot be taken away. Even if someone thinks another person’s interests or quirks makes them weird or uncool or is bad, that is merely an opinion and criticism. It doesn’t change who they are. Discovering and living as our authentic selves and being the best version of ourselves make up our self-worth. It doesn’t compare to anyone else because there will ALWAYS be someone “better” in some way. This is why our self-worth must come from within and from being our true selves, because nothing can take that away from us.

When we stop comparing ourselves to others, we can live as who we truly are and can become the best we can be. No one is better at being themselves. The hardest part in this process is discovering what it means to be true to ourselves and living a life that reflects our most authentic self without reservation. This is no easy task and the vast majority will never experience living with 100% authenticity. We let what others say affect us and influence our decisions.

Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t think having a high self-esteem is a bad thing. It is perfectly fine to be confident with ones’ abilities and achievements and to regard of themselves highly. It’s when we place this false sense of confidence (which can be taken away at any time) as being more important than being true to ourselves is when we have a problem. When we care more about what others’ think, when we change who we are due to someone else’s opinions, when we don’t take our own selves into consideration first, we experience a low sense of self-worth and all the issues that comes with it.

Only you know what makes you truly happy. As long as this happiness doesn’t involve hurting others or taking from them, you should be happy to pursue your interests to the fullest. Once your own needs are met, you are in a much better position to help other people get their needs fulfilled. There is nothing we want more than to get our needs fulfilled and to help others get their needs fulfilled.

So to wrap up, how do we obtain a high sense of unshakable self-worth? Live as your most authentic self. Only you know who that person is. Stop comparing yourself to other people and don’t allow their opinions and criticisms to affect you. Be the best version of yourself you can be. True self-worth comes from within and is not based on anything you can DO. It is based upon BEING. Living every day in the present moment and simply being the person you want to be. That is all any of us can ask. Just because we aren’t a world record holder or gold medalist doesn’t make us any less of a human. Simply being and having a positive impact on the tiny slice of the world that we experience each and every day is enough.

Worthiness

I have made a goal to write way more often and just want to improve my writing in general as well as get into the habit of writing.  I’m shooting for 25 min per day minimum and also plan on incorporating the Pomodoro method into my life to increase my productivity.  I’m not sure how I will have enough topics to write about, but I am planning to pump them out, whatever topic they may be.  I understand the articles may be a bit unorganized and scatterbrained, but since I am just writing on the fly, I hope I can maintain some sort of structure.

Today I wanted to talk about worthiness.  I honestly feel that a lot of people do not meet various goals in their lives because they feel unworthy of achieving them.  Let’s start with one of the biggest desires and wants people have – the desire for more money.  Ask literally anyone on the street if they’d accept 100k right there on the spot with no strings attached, and I’d say everyone would say yes.

The problem is that while pretty much everyone wants more money, they couldn’t handle a large sum like that and would most likely spend it.  Deep down they would feel unworthy and undeserving of the money, and would spend it all to return to homeostasis.  Generally speaking, the more money you have, the more VALUE you have provided to the world.  Simply looking at jobs, there’s a reason why doctors and engineers make more money than cashiers and floor sweepers – they are providing a more valuable skill to the world and are thus worthy of greater compensation.  The same can be said about the richest people in the world.  They have provided a valuable product or service that has helped millions of people in some way.  Whether that’s writing books about a teenage wizard, developing a software company, or creating a social platform online; these billionaires are worthy of their riches.  They have given an insane amount of value to millions upon millions of people the world over.

Do you think the cashier who lives in mom’s basement and plays games all day feels truly worthy and deserving of a large sum of money?  Even if he were to win the lottery, do you think he would be able to hold on to, or even increase his winnings?  Highly doubtful as he would not feel worthy of the money and would do whatever means necessary (spend it) to revert back to the status quo.

The same can be said about relationships.  Let’s say you are someone who is very socially anxious, and has never had a girlfriend.  Again, you stay in your parents basement playing games day and night, are extremely overweight and are mildly depressed. Let’s say an amazing person somehow drops into your lap, is drop-dead gorgeous, fun to be around, amazing personality, the total package, and this person falls madly in love with you.  Even if you go along with it at first, eventually you would think to yourself, “why does this person love me?” You would begin to question their love because you would feel unworthy of it.  You have nothing to offer them.  Nothing of value.  You would eventually either directly or sub-consciously sabotage the relationship because you would feel unworthy of this person.

Most people want to blame someone or something else for their problems.  They blame their parents, society, the government, the media, being bullied or abused at a young age, growing up poor, and on and on.  While most people do have some skeletons in the closet, the key is total acceptance

When it comes to feeling worthy of any of our wants and desires, we must first and foremost be completely accepting of ourselves.  If we do not love ourselves fully and without reservation, how can we expect anyone else to do likewise? Even if you are not your ideal self now, you must be fully accepting of who you are, where you are in life, and have a positive vision of your life for the future. You must let go of the past and accept where you are in this present moment.  Just by making the decision to take full responsibility of your life situation, you will be in the position to better your life.

I know it’s way easier said than done. It’s incredibly difficult to get over your personal issues and most people never fully will. The thing you need to understand is that you are worthy of love, if you can come to love yourself. Striving to be the best version of yourself will put you in a better mindset to feel worthy of accepting all the things you want in life.  For people to achieve the goals in their lives, a huge part of that is having the proper mindset in order to do so.  Mindset is key.  Having the right mindset can pull you from your bootstraps out of a life of misery, but that is a deeper topic for another day.

TAN: For now, just get in the habit of practicing daily affirmations.  Look into the mirror and tell yourself, “I am worthy of love, and I accept myself where I am at completely.”  I know it sounds a bit silly, but by doing this you will start to change the negative thought patterns that go through your head.  What we tell ourselves whether out loud or in our heads is incredibly important.  The universe is completely unbiased; whether you fill your subconscious with positive or negative thoughts, they will literally create the reality you live in and I have seen it in my own life and others directly. This is not some new age frou frou crap. This is a fact and I can point to countless real-life examples. Your thoughts are incredibly powerful.  Once you begin to shift your mindset, you will get to the point will you will feel worthy of receiving your greatest desires.  And you will attract them into your life.

Nobody’s Perfect and Everyone is Mostly Full of Shit

Read time: <4 minutes

Do you have a particular blogger or two that you look up to? Possibly a few facebook friends who you are jealous of? Ever wish you were someone like Bill Gates or Warren Buffet?  I’m here to tell you that most, if not all, people try and paint a rosy picture of themselves online or even in real life and declare how great their life is and how many breakthroughs they are having in their life and on and on and on.

I’m here to say it’s mostly bullshit.

Whether it’s facebook, a blog, or even face-to-face, people generally won’t tell you what’s really up in their lives unless they are really close to you or very open. They won’t say what problems they are having in their relationships, jobs, health, or in discovering their life purpose. Social niceties drive me up a damn wall and I feel as if I’m trapped in my own personal hell with the same routine of “How are you?” “Fine, and you?” blah blah blah ad infinitum/nauseum

Well enough ranting, but generally the more people try and show off/brag/etc. the more insecure they really are. If my life is amazing, I don’t have to tell people that my life is amazing. It just is.

Let me get to the point. Stop wishing you were someone else or had their life. Their life is far from perfect. They have their own issues to deal with just like everyone else. They shit and wipe their ass just like everyone else. The next time you find yourself putting someone on a pedestal, imagine them sitting on the toilet taking a shit and then wiping their ass. Literally, imagine it. They are human too with many faults, flaws, insecurities, and issues. Accept the cards you’ve been dealt and make the most with what you have. Our choices ultimately shape who we become and what kind of life we will live.

I know, I know. It is much much much much easier to watch tv, drink pop, eat mcdonalds, talk about the weather instead of real life issues and settle for the status quo. It is a constant uphill battle to fight laziness and entropy. And I’d say the vast majority of people will give up, accept mediocrity, and become part of the 99%. Be the 1%, and I’m not talking about getting rich in a monetary sense necessarily. Live a rich, fulfilling life and appreciate every moment. No one is perfect. You can choose to live the life you want by changing your actions.

TAN: First of all, you have to accept the cards you’ve been dealt in life and get over the poor me bullshit. Ok, you weren’t born Paris Hilton. So what? Accept your circumstances and realize that you can improve your circumstances through changing your actions. Take full responsibility of your life. Only when you take full responsibility of your life can you improve upon it.

Second, analyze which areas in your life need to be improved. Rate each area (health, money, career, relationships, spirituality, etc. on a scale of 1-10. Get all areas of your life to 9 or 10. How to do it is relatively easy. For health, stop eating shit and exercise. For money, stop living outside your means and spending your money on stupid shit you don’t need. For career, learn more about any subject for free by using the library or internet. Learn tangible skills that make you more marketable to employers. For relationships and spirituality, those are entire articles/books in themselves, but you get the point. Getting off your lazy ass and getting to work is the hard part. Make goals with deadlines and go for it. Write them down. Look at them daily. Get an accountability partner. All these things will add up to improve your chances of success.

Third, reap the benefits. Life is not a competition to be won. He who dies with the most toys/experiences/lovers/followers still dies. Despite what people tell you, I am a firm believer in this. You must let go of other people’s expectations to be happy. I’ve known people living in complete poverty who were still relatively happy compared to someone who is super rich but miserable. This is all internal. Only you know what makes you happy. Do the things that make you happy (as long as it doesn’t hurt others, obviously). You don’t have to show off or require anyone’s approval but your own. You are accountable to no one but yourself. Once you realize this, you will truly be free. And happy. 🙂

All Dogs Go to Heaven

Read Time: 2.5 minutes

I remember back when I was in middle school sometimes wishing I was our dog, Freckles. I’d say to myself, “Man, I wish I had it easy like Freckles. She gets to lay around all day and has no worries.”

Recently, I was at church when the pastor started talking about how glorious heaven was and how awesome it will be once we get there. I believe he even went so far as to say, “Just take me now.” I even have a good friend who will sometimes comment how he wishes he were dead (he’s not suicidal) just so he could go to heaven and all would be well. It doesn’t even have to be as drastic as death; you could wish you were a celebrity, rich person, more attractive/popular/athletic/funny etc.

This is a dangerous mindset to have. You become an “escapist” and daydream of a “better life” without taking action. This is also where substance abuse comes into play. Drinking your sorrows away or escaping into video games all day long. These are coping methods that don’t get down to the root of the problem of acceptance of yourself and your situation.

When I think about these situations, it saddens me. It saddens me that we would think our problems are so great, we would rather take the easy way out. Whether or not you believe in an afterlife, we should all make the most of our very limited time here.

There truly is no “easy” way (unless you are extremely lucky!) to achieve results in every aspect of life. It takes work to improve yourself and your life, and especially to live a life you can look back on and be proud of all that you have achieved.

While it is important to be happy in the moment and appreciate what we already have, we should always be moving forward. Improving ourselves and the world we live in so there are less people wishing they were something or somewhere else. There is no better place than this present moment! Enjoy it and create for yourself a fulfilling life!

Take action now: First of all just stop and take a moment to count your blessings. Think about all the good things you have in life. Whether that be as simple as a bed, food, and a roof over your head, you are way better off than most of the people in the world if you just have these things! Not to mention the freedom to do things without persecution, relationships, education, the list goes on and on. Having a gratitude attitude really helps to put your life in perspective and realize that things are not as bad as they seem.

Second, take the time to make your life better so you are not wishing you were not yourself. I have mentioned 30 day trials many times and will continue to do so. Get an accountability partner. Join a meetup.com group that focuses on personal development. Get out there and stop wishing your life was better, make it better through your actions!

Tying the Knot

Read time: 90 seconds

I said my vows just over a week ago and I’d like to share a little insight on this thing called marriage. Before getting married and up until now, I have been bombarded with any and all advice relating to marriage. I’ve had people telling me “how it’s gonna be” and what to expect and on and on.

I just want to say right now that a lot of it is crap. If you can recall from my article on congruency, I have been getting a lot of advice from people who are not married, or even in a relationship. I have received advice from people who have been divorced and are not in happy marriages/relationships. You think I’m going to take their advice on how to have a successful marriage or what I “need to do” to make a marriage successful?

Hell no.

Cheap advice is the most abundant thing on the planet. I am going to say right now that this is not going to be your typical co-dependent, need the other person to be there every waking moment, marriage. Apparently it’s taboo to hang out with single people of the opposite sex if you’re married. I am still going to hang out with single friends of either sex unlike what typically happens once you join the marriage club and I expect DW to do the same. I expect generally the same level of freedom and will give DW hers as well.

I started a site called socialunconditioning.com and want to use it to help troubled teens, those with low self esteem, those who have been bullied, ridiculed, etc. and need to know that we have all been conditioned to believe what we do and it’s all a load of crap.

Basically, you don’t have to fall in line and believe what everyone else does. You don’t have to accept what is “cool” and “politically correct” or any other dogma out there. You don’t have to be the person that people will try and make you conform to. Just like the so called expectations in my marriage.

If my marriage doesn’t stand the test of time then you can call me out on my own incongruency 😉

PS: Here is a link to the awesome slideshow I made for the wedding.  Not too bad for my first time I’d say!