The Importance of Your Self-Worth | Reclaiming Zen

The Importance of Your Self-Worth

The Importance of Your Self-Worth

The fact that someone else loves you doesn’t rescue you from the project of loving yourself.” -Sahaj Kohli

 

What’s the one thing no human on this planet can live without? If you answered oxygen, you’re correct. We rely on many things for our survival, and the most basic of them is oxygen. 

 

You can survive for a few days without water, food, or shelter, but you can’t stay alive for more than a few minutes without oxygen.  And it isn’t enough to just breathe oxygen; it has to be clean as well. 

 

Yes, we can survive on polluted air, but we pay a hefty price for it in the long run. The absence of clean air to breathe shows up as a significant lack in performance, affecting our focus, energy, and sharpness. It also leads to a variety of illnesses.

 

While oxygen is necessary for the survival of your physical body, your emotional and spiritual wellbeing relies on what I view as another form of oxygen—something that goes beyond basic survival. 

 

It’s the knowledge that you are worthy, invaluable, and indispensable. 

 

This knowledge is the oxygen that sustains your mental wellbeing, allowing you to optimize your quality of life. The clearer you are about your inherent value and purpose, the more effectively you can step into your responsibility and fulfill your purpose. 

 

Your individual value and worth can never be fulfilled by someone or something else, because they’re part of YOU; they come from your core self, not from outside influences. They come from G-d putting you here for a purpose. This is what makes you inherently worthy. 

 

Can there be anything better than realizing your inherent value and no longer needing to seek it from the world around you? I sure don’t think so. For me, that sense of worthiness is priceless.

 

The less clear we are about our inherent worthiness, the weaker we believe ourselves to be; this affects our determination, resilience, drive, and sense of self. 

 

Living with a lack of personal clarity is similar to breathing polluted air. It weakens our performance, affecting our energy and mental clarity. It also creates many forms of emotional pain, discontentment, and loneliness. 

 

Sounds pretty detrimental, don’t you think? By taking steps toward change, you can clean your daily intake of oxygen and live in ways that are more congruent with who you’re meant to be. Not only can this help you create a meaningful life, it can also help you cultivate peace, joy, and internal calm.   

Seeking Worthiness

There are two essential ways we seek out a sense of worthiness, and the particular path we choose has enormous implications for our quality of life. 

We either seek worthiness from within, or we seek it from without. 

When we seek worthiness from within and become aware of our inherent value, we become emotionally and spiritually healthy and strong. Basically, we become unstoppable, only relying on our inherent selves to know who we are and what kind of life we’re meant to live. 

We become more focused and attuned to our personal purpose and mission. We ultimately become calm and centered creators of our own destiny, living in a world that’s controlled by internal forces rather than external circumstances.

When we seek worthiness from outside ourselves, we depend on the people, things, and circumstances around us to tell us we’re worthy. We become dependent on everything and everyone, hoping they’ll soothe our internal struggle

We worship people, material objects, and financial success like false gods, hoping they’ll provide us with the oxygen we so desperately crave.

Just as we must have oxygen to survive, we must also have a sense of worthiness; our emotional and spiritual survival depend on it. And just as the quality of the oxygen we breathe directly affects our physical health, so it is with the quality of our spiritual and emotional oxygen. 

When our worthiness is based on outside sources, our oxygen source is polluted and we tend to feel unhealthy. Relying on external rewards as motivation keeps us beholden to the people around us. 

When we can find ways to internally derive our worthiness, we feel better about ourselves and are much less likely to strive for meaningless relationships, stay in jobs we hate, or act in ways that don’t reflect who we truly are. 

The great American poet Robert Frost wrote in The Road Not Taken, “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” 

Which road will you choose?

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Ilene Cohen

Ilene Cohen

Ilene S. Cohen, Ph.D. is a psychotherapist, blogger and award-winning author of the popular self-help guides, When It's Never About You and It’s Within You. Her work regularly appears in top psychology publications.

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