Finally Understanding Self-Worth

There are moments in life that creep up on us where we learn huge and unexpected life lessons. If there’s one thing I’ve most recently been introduced to it’s understanding self-worth and how it can help foster a healthy and very important foundation for self-confidence. For those who know me, they will tell you that I have a pretty sarcastic and sharp sense of humor. In times of stress and trial, the sarcasm turns into self-deprecation which is only funny for so long. You’re probably thinking, “Lucy what on earth does this have to do with self-worth?” Well let me clue you in. Mindset shapes exactly how you look at yourself and therefore shapes what you believe you deserve in life.

I’ll never give myself an ounce of credit, but love to celebrate the accomplishments of those around me. For example, right now, every single one of my roommates is killing the game when it comes to figuring out post-grad life. I mean job offers, job acceptances, grad school admissions - the works, and I couldn’t be more proud of them. But, when I look introspectively I mentally wreck myself for feeling as though I’m failing right now in life. Realistically, I’m the furthest thing from failing, but as humans, we are all our own worst critic and it’s about time I told this mentality to take a hike.

This past weekend it dawned on me, like an absolute brick falling on my head, that I am so much more than I give myself credit for. I’ve been the obstacle standing in my own way. It’s incredible how mindset changes everything. Expelling the self-deprecation allowed for the vision of my self-worth to become that much more clear.

When I finally visualized how I should see myself, rather than how I was for the past few months, it also became abundantly clear what I deserve in life and also helped me realize some things that I shouldn’t necessarily tolerate. Fully grasping the concept of self-worth should be taken into account with every friendship and every relationship. It should help you determine how to use your time and who and what is worth dedicating your time to.

This realization was months in the making, I still can't determine if it was the result of self-actualization or a mental breaking-point, but regardless, how necessary!! 🙌🏻 There were a few key things that helped me reach this mindset. A life cleaning, faith and journaling.

When I say a "life cleaning" I don't mean I started bagging things up and throwing them out, I just started to assess what was really necessary and what I really cared about. Starting with feelings, I started thinking about what makes me happy, what puts me on edge, and what brings me frustration. Once I thought through these things, I asked myself "what can I do without and what's unavoidable?". From there, I started making changes. If x makes me feel this way, do y instead. If y takes planning to accomplish, here are steps a,b,c and d to help get there.

I also thought about who makes me happy. As I look down my current path of life there are a good handful of faces that I see always being there. Friends and family that I know I can rely on and have relied on in the past. I also think about the friends and family that I constantly keep up with, those are the people worth keeping close in life. I also thought about people that I know that are real inspirations. Grabbing coffee or lunch with them to get to know them better will also help change a negative perspective into a positive one.

I also thought about what do I look forward to each day or each week. One thing I look forward to is always seeing my co-workers at the library. So, now I intentionally seek out more meaningful conversations at work. I also enjoy wine nights with my roommates. We wine and dine together, catch up on our week, joke around, make TikToks or watch The Bachelor. It's always something I look forward to, so staying off the phone or scheduling nights with my roommates is more important then it was before.

From there, I started relying on my faith. Growing up Catholic, faith was always around me. For me, it's the foundation that my whole being stands on, so while for others this step might not be as necessary, for me it was essential. I started paying attention to smaller blessings in life: a sunny day, a friendly face on campus, or an unexpected joy in life. Paying attention to smaller things, counteracts sweating the larger things.

I also started praying with intention each day. This could be in a form of quiet prayer, mass on Sunday, reading the Bible - whatever form of prayer you partake in, just make sure you do it with intention. I do this by first saying prayers of thanks before asking for anything. Thank God for what you currently have. Think of every thing you possibly can. List things as obvious as friends and family, but also make sure to think of smaller things like the interaction you had with a friend earlier or a moment of peace during a stressful part of the day.

Once you list all of the things you're grateful for, then say prayers of intercession for those around you. Pray for others before you ask for things for yourself. Ask that the stranger you saw crying in their car has a better day tomorrow, that that your best friend does well on their test, that the person who said something hurtful learns to adopt a peaceful and tolerant soul.

After thanking God and praying for others, then ask the Lord for the things you need in your life. Material things are not work asking for, but guidance, calmness, peace of mind, a clearer path, relief from pain, and patience are gifts the Lord provides. Right now, I'm praying for patience and reassurance. This method of prayer will help you recognize the gifts you already have, the importance of people around you, and then what you really need.

Finally, I started journaling. I never pegged myself as the "journaling type", but then I thought about Daily Dose of Prep and this is basically an online journal in itself. This journal is for you, whereas my journaling is just for me. To my surprise, I have learned to actually really enjoy this. It's nice to have a place where you can admit things to yourself, support yourself, sometimes yell at yourself and just generally get thoughts down on paper. Seeing your own thoughts physically on paper shifts perspective entirely.

One piece of advice is to just write about feelings, not instances. People and events aren't important to write about, I would say write about how those things impact you. After all, nobody's reading this, you don't need to provide a background section on the plot of your life. There's no grade to be earned here, just write about what you learned, hope to learn, how you feel, what you hope to gain or how you see self-improvement. It's (to me) shockingly therapeutic.

These three things really helped me come into a great mindset of self-worth. And here's the incredible thing, it's about nobody except you. It's also for nobody except you. It's extremely hard to not let the opinions of others sway this image you have for yourself but if you understand your capabilities, foster healthy relationships with those around you and adopt good character traits then you lay a strong foundation for self-worth, which can only be created and maintained by you. Once you start on this path of positive self-worth you'll be amazed at what it will attract. Once you understand how amazing you are and what you deserve, you will start to see positive changes in your friendships and relationships, interactions with others, and general mindset on life.