“The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely.”
― C.G. Jung
It’s so very easy to doubt your own worth. In a constant barrage of beautiful, successful people, it is quite normal to feel unable to fit in or to fit the mold. Every comment, every rejection, every judgement only serves to make you feel more and more worthless. People can be cruel, dismissive and sometimes hateful. And we are faced with these types of people every single day – often our friends, colleagues, and sometimes, our lovers.
The truth is that we allow people to treat you the way they do. Nancy Roosevelt was quoted as saying: ‘No one can make you inferior without your consent.’ Your energy, confidence and attitude is the currency that others will transact with. I know many people who have settled for less, and accepted the cards dealt because deep inside, they don’t believe they deserve more. They seem to have it all together in their life, but when it come to relationships, they just can’t seem to shake the habit of dating cruel or unloving people.
When I look at my life, I’ve created and controlled my bubble of career, friendships and community. I adore my tribe and place huge amounts of reliance on this bunch of oddballs that I have chosen for myself, whether for a season or a lifetime. I choose who I invest my time and energy on, and when, and I place value on that time. I am blessed with wonderful friends and my inner circle is sacred and thoughtfully selective.
However, in my relationships with men, I haven’t always placed the same kind of value on my time, energy and emotions. I’ve tolerated men who don’t appreciate me, who don’t value my heart, who take and take, who don’t call back, who have disrespected me — I’ve allowed men to not treat me what I’m worth and not really placing a value on my own worth. I’ve made excuses, justified and eagerly re-entered the game of push and pull with men who clearly don’t really value me much at all, chipping away the low self-esteem that got me there in the first place.
It has taken me years of heart aches, heart tramples, picking up that phone when every cell in your body knows it’s the unhealthy thing to do, obsessing, infatuating, idealizing, for me to finally realise that all I am doing is de-valuing myself.
Self-love takes time. But with each babystep I grow in confidence and contentment in my relationships, as I have in other areas of my life. I’ve stopped apologising for who I am and have learned that I am enough. I embrace my imperfections both physically and within my personality, recognising that those imperfections are part of the beauty that makes me, me. I am less likely to put up with behaviour that brings down my feelings and emotions, and I have become better at calling out people when they do such a thing.
Know your value and don’t accept being treated in a way less than you deserve. You deserve to be treated the way you treat others, and vice versa. The minute you negotiate your self worth and accept less, you say to the universe that you don’t deserve any better. Change for yourself but don’t change out of the wrong reasons to appease someone or in hopes that they will like you more. If they judge you for who you are now, they aren’t your fit.
The moment you start recognising your own worth, you will find it much harder to stay around people who don’t.
Know your worth and add tax.