One of the greatest obstacles faced when meeting the challenge of unemployment is standing up for your own sense of self-worth. If you are measuring your self-worth with zero income and a mountain of debt, it is no wonder that you feel bad. You think things cannot get much worse… and then they do. The car breaks down. The electricity gets turned off for non-payment. Emergency expenses pop up all over the place. On top of all that, since 90% of all illness is caused by stress, you get sick. When you are sick, and tired, and feeling like a failure, the more you stay and wallow in that feeling, the harder it is to get out of it. There is nothing wrong with feeling bad when that is how you feel. It is just hard to feel good when you’re feeling bad.
The good news is that there really is a seed of equal or greater good in every moment of adversity. You will grow the seeds you plant. If you want a different life, then you have to start nurturing the seeds of thought that lead to that different life. You can do that by making new decisions.
Stop equating your self-worth with the amount of money that you have.
You are not your bank account or the amount of cash in your pocket or the amount of money that you owe to others. You are a person. Money has an influence on what you are able to buy and when you are able to buy it. It does not define who you are as a person. Nor does money define what you can achieve in your lifetime. Money will come and go in your life. You are here for your entire lifetime. When you go through a period of time when you are not employed, equating your self-worth with the amount of money you don’t have, leaves you feeling worth-less. It is really hard to find a job when you feel worthless. Employers are hiring the value a prospective employee will add to their company, not just filling a position with a body.
Do you know how hard it is to feel worthy and deserving when you have no money, no job, and feel like a complete and total failure in your life, for your family, and for yourself? As long as you continue to measure yourself as a reflection of your finances, you will not be able to see how much value you really have.
Take a break from beating yourself up over what you have not accomplished, how much you haven’t earned, and how much you owe. The quickest what to stop equating your self-worth with the amount of money that you have, is to take an inventory of what you do have. Interrupting the flow of negative feelings that feed a constant state of dis-ease will give you an opportunity to feel better. When you feel better, you make better choices. When you make better choices, you support better decisions. When you make better decisions, you take better actions. When you take better actions, you get better results. There is nothing wrong with feeling good when that is how you feel.
What can you do today?
Take an honest look at how you measure your self-worth. How much are you worth? Next, take a sheet of paper and make a list of your real self-worth. These are the things that you like about yourself. Things like honesty, sense of humor, natural talents, skill list. Include everything from replacing a faucet to driving a car to writing poetry or playing music. What do you love to do? What are you good at? What comes easy to you? Are you a good listener? A good talker? A good reader? A good writer? A good organizer? A good shopper? A good cook? You get the idea.
Now dig into your skills. What jobs have you held? What tasks did you complete in those jobs? What did you learn in those jobs? What do you do well in the household? What do you help your friends with? What life lessons have you learned along the way? Stick to the good stuff. The idea here is to start planting seeds that will lead you to building your self-worth that has nothing to do with the amount of money you have or don’t have or owe. If you are having trouble with coming up with good things, ask your friends. Just make sure they know that you are listing only things that build your sense of self worth.
Now how much are you worth?
© 2011 Ellen Brockway All Rights Reserved.
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