Some time ago, I had the privilege of having conversations with lots of fellow young, bright people. In the end, every conversation boiled down to one question: “What are you worth?” It is a question I regularly ask myself, which comes with great insecurity. Am I aiming to high? Or too low? Will I be perceived as selfish for raising the bar in life? In this post I’d like to help you to set your value. Human beings are by definition diverse creatures. We are valuable in relationships, at work and, if you really manage to push the bar, in your community or even around the globe.
Value = activity (but activity is not always value!)
The value you represent is by definition defined by your activity. Loads of good ideas will not make you valuable if you don’t share or execute them. Whether you are in a relationship or a job, your activity will determine your value. Instead of asking yourself what you are worth, ask yourself what you do and what the value of your activity is to your environment. If the answer is not to your satisfaction, reflect upon your activity. Changing your activity is often much easier than improving your self-image. By changing your activity and positively evaluating your value, your self-image will change along the way!
Value determination by your values
Your values are the moral standards by which you live your day-to-day life. What are your values? Once you have a set of rules you aim to live up to, it is much easier to measure what you’re worth. If one of your values is “speaking the truth to people”, you can look at yourself in the mirror with pride as long as follow that rule. If you break your promise, you have reasons to be disappointed in yourself. If you have clear principles you live up to, life becomes easier. Although principles can limit you as well, the right set of values will give you a moral framework by which you can behave. Generally, people with strong principles who live up to their standards are highly appreciated. Not just because people admire you for it, but also because it provides the people around you with better understanding of what you stand for, and what they can expect from you.
Aim too high
Each now and then, media and experts try to calculate how much damage a certain event does to the economy. Whether it’s a hurricane or the cost of obesitas, we are somehow interested in how much money society spends on the impact. It often makes me wonder what the economic impact is of unused potential. It makes me wonder even more what the emotional impact is of unused potential! An estimation by gut feeling tells me it must be of gigantic proportions…
Why don’t people use their full potential? As I wrote in my book How To Live Wow!?, I believe it has a lot to do with poor education, in which we do not teach people to reach for their full potential. But it is never too late to aim high, to reach for the top and to shoot for the stars! It’s better to aim high and fail, than to aim low and succeed. Because after all, you never get to know yourself at your best.
Keep control over your own value determination
Most people evaluate themselves by the evaluation of others. This seems noble, because it appears to be more objective. It also makes sense, especially if they are people you love or at least care about. But are they always fit to determine your value? They might not be able to do so, or they might have hidden agendas they are not even aware of themselves. They might consider you worth less than themselves because they have issues with their self-confidence. They might not see all your qualities. They might just be in a bad mood.
Bottom line; keep control over your own value determination! You set your value, no one else. Doesn’t mean you should ignore the opinion of others, as an outsider’s view on your personality can be very refreshing. But eventually, it is just one ingredient of the image you have of yourself, and certainly not the main ingredient.
Lack of confidence and a lack of understanding of our skills undermines our day-to-day lives. A structure to evaluate what you are worth will definitely help you to see that you are an important person to your environment, and eventually can help you to be a stronger, happier and more stable person. Live Wow!