One of my oldest habits is to keep a running tally of all the things I do. My accomplishments, lists of checked off items and the responsibilities I’ve handled. These were the ways I learned to value myself. If I did well in school, I was recognized. If I did well at work, I was promoted. The math made sense. It should all add up to feeling worthy, right?
What if it doesn’t?
What if you do all the things and get all the praise, but something still feels off?
Brené Brown calls this hustling for worthiness. It’s the tendency we all have to base our opinion of ourselves on the external validation we receive from the world.
Now, I’m not knocking external validation. There’s a lot to be said for being recognized and awarded, but those things do not prove your worth. The fact that you’re a living, breathing human on this planet is the only requirement for worthiness.
That’s a big paradigm shift, I get it. This isn’t a switch that happens overnight, and I don’t believe in big dramatic change, anyway. What I do believe in is planting seeds and taking small steps. Maybe reading this planted the seed that you don’t have to work yourself to the bone, have a perfect house, immaculately groomed children, and make partner to feel worthy. Maybe you have all of those things and are wondering when the feeling of worth will kick in.
Let it kick in now. Let yourself start to believe that you’re worthy. Notice where you find yourself trying to prove that to someone else or yourself, by rattling off all you’ve accomplished or checked off your list. Take a breath with that feeling, and put your hand quietly over your heart for a moment. Feel that? That breathing in and out? That beating of your heart? That’s your worth. Right there in all of its beautiful vulnerability. Available to you at any moment. It’s always been there, waiting for you to come home.