I’ve been run down by one of those hideous, can’t-see-it-but-it-still-hurts colds. The kind of cold that gives the illusion of not being so bad but in reality, feels like your brain is too big for your head and is trying to squeeze its way out.
I hate being sick. Everyone hates being sick.
Usually people hate sickness because of the icky symptoms. The relentlessly runny nose, the scratchy sore throat, the pounding head and watery eyes. It’s a cocktail of discomfort that nobody likes to swallow.
But secretly, if I am being truly honest, the reason I hate being sick is that I can’t do anything.
In my weakened state I am forced to lie down, to rest my eyes, to drink cups of soup and watch old re-runs on TV.
And somehow, deep down a little part of me still gives into the lie that says my self-worth is determined by my productivity.
It’s why I currently dread Mondays so much. While everyone else sets their alarms hideously early and gulps down their coffee so they get to work on time, I wake up and am reminded that I have nowhere I need to be.
It feels like a kick in the gut every time. It sends me into an absolute funk at the start of each week.
I feel like a kite that has come loose from its string. Untethered and floating aimlessly. No purpose, no meaning, no value.
But the stupid thing is, I AM still being productive, my guilt is misplaced, my shame is invalid.
Right now I am doing some online study, I am writing for my blog, I am curating content and connecting with others. I am not wasting time and yet I feel this strong sense of unworthiness.
I blame this on the messed up world we live in, with its endless hustling mentality, with its thirst for collecting accomplishments, with its need to seek approval from everyone else.
It’s just too easy to get sucked into those wonky beliefs.
But I have to say, I am mighty tired of feeling like a failure for not quite matching up to these expectations.
More and more, I am needing to shrug my shoulders into grace like you do a sweater. Right now, especially, I am needing a reminder of who I am, what makes me valuable and where my worth comes from.
So as much for me as for you, here is some encouragement for your heart today.
3 lies about your self-worth you need to stop believing…
Your worth doesn’t come from your work.
Your value is not measured by how much you get done each day. You cannot simply work more, hustle more or stretch more into each day to make yourself of greater importance.
As a type A personality, I always struggle with this one. I like that if I put in effort, I can see the results. I like knowing that my hard work pays off. The idea that I can’t earn my worth is difficult for me to wrap my head around.
But coming to a place of understanding that productivity does not make you whole is a huge relief.
If doing more won’t make us more worthy, then doing less won’t make us less worthy. Therefore, I can rest. I can just BE. I can slow down and enjoy life without feeling guilty.
I’ve always liked that quote that reminds us we are human BEINGS not human DOINGS.
We don’t have to earn our rest.
Your worth isn’t related to your career.
There has been such incredible progress for women in this area. Nowadays, there are so many opportunities for us to excel. There are so many ways we can make a living, so many things we can do to keep ourselves busy.
But with all this progress, I feel an underlying pressure to pursue the sort of career that the women who came before me couldn’t.
I feel privileged to have the choice but that being said, it should be a CHOICE.
Whether we stay at home and raise sweet babies, bake cakes, and cultivate beautiful gardens. Or whether we wear snazzy suits, have a personal assistant and the only way to see us is to make an appointment. Or whether we split our time between home and the office.
Regardless of our choice, we are worthy.
Your worth isn’t determined by your success.
Time and time again I feel the thorny fear of failure tightening around my chest.
So often this fear is what puts us off even trying something. We are so scared that we might fail and therefore be a failure.
But simply failing doesn’t make you a failure. Failing means you were daring enough to even try!
The thing is, no amount of awards or accomplishments will give us meaning. Successes and failures slot neatly into the boxes of wisdom and experience, useful to draw out for future endeavors but completely irrelevant in terms of our value as human beings.
Win or lose, we have purpose here.
And while we are on the subject, here are some more lies you shouldn’t be believing about your self-worth.
Your self-worth is not determined by…
Others opinions of you.
What you wear.
How thin you are.
Whether you went to college.
How much you know about politics.
Whether you can throw a rugby ball.
How good you are at dancing.
On and on we could go.
These are just the lies that shame feeds us, keeping us small, keeping us tame, keeping us from reaching our full potential.
Because here is the truth: your worth is innate, intrinsic, a part of you regardless of anything else.
You cannot earn it. You cannot lose it.
I don’t know about you, but that makes me feel free. I can do or be anything. I can try and fail at anything. I can wrap myself in love because grace says, no matter what…I am worthy.
Ah. I understand everything you wrote here, because I struggle with it at least once a day! Even when I’m super productive in ways that benefit our family–cleaning the house, preparing for Baby W, taking good care of myself and being a good family member + friend–I always think, “but I’m *not really* doing anything because I’m not [making money/furthering my career outside the home/putting things on my resume/whatever].” It’s so silly, isn’t it? We always are finding reasons why what we’re doing isn’t a good use of time and feeling guilty about it. Thanks for putting this out there. It’s such a good reminder, for me + I’m sure for many others too! xxApril 18, 2019 at 5:23 am
Yes I feel you. My dream has always been having a family and taking care of the home but I feel such pressure to create some kind of career. It’s nice to know someone else feels the same way!April 22, 2019 at 11:42 am
You don’t know how much this was needed here. THank you <3April 18, 2019 at 11:38 am
I’m so glad I could encourage you Emily 🙂April 22, 2019 at 11:44 am