When I am delivering sessions on well-being I come across a lot of people who put themselves at the bottom of the pile. Not intentionally, but mostly because they put other people and situations above themselves.
On first reflection this might mean that they are kind, generous, and selfless and indeed they no doubt are but it can go too far.
Somewhere down the line they are risking burnout or breakdown on some level or at the very least a lack of fulfilment in life that might turn into a resentment.
I guess it comes down to what we mean by value. I think of it as a care and appreciation of something that is considered of worth. So if I apply that to myself then to value myself I must think that I am worth caring for and appreciating, by myself of myself. I could then extend that to reflecting upon whether those in my life value me in that way too. Do they see me of something of value that is worth appreciating and caring for?
I also extend that to how much I value others. Do I value their worth enough to appreciate and care for them in an ongoing way, so that I don’t slip into taking anyone or thing for granted.
We all know people that can take others for granted and perhaps you have some of those in your life where you feel the relationship is a bit one sided. The irony is that sometimes you might get annoyed about others taking you for granted or not valuing you but you miss the fact that you don’t value yourself and if you don’t value yourself it is likely that you will allow others to take you for granted.
There is a lot of talk these days about narcissism and often a narcissist makes everything about themselves. They appear to suck the life force out of any of those that are in their world, usually unintentionally and often completely oblivious to both the narcissist and to those on the receiving end until they have nothing left to give…..or that the narcissist has moved on to another supply. Both the narcissist and the one they feed off probably have a lack of self value and self worth…the narcissist gets their self worth by being the centre of attention and bringing everything around to being about them, whilst the one giving to the narcissist gets their self worth and value by ‘being needed.’
If you value yourself enough to care for and appreciate yourself I highly suspect that you will take better care of your own wellbeing. You will quit negative self talk and feel happier and more fulfilled. I suspect your relationships with others will come into better balance too. Valuing yourself makes life sustainable and your life choices will reflect your value.
So the question is, do you value yourself? And do you value others?
Next week’s blog will reflect on what values we choose to live life by.