Three Tips for Finding Value in Yourself

These three tips for finding value in yourself need repeating. Furthermore, no matter how much we grow as individuals, finding our self-worth will elude us at times.

Are You Devaluing Yourself?

Sometimes it’s easier to consider the opposite of a positive characteristic, because it is more familiar to us.

Maybe these are some ways we show a lack of value in ourselves.

  1. Saying ‘Yes’, when we mean ‘No’
  2. Difficulty asking for help
  3. Placing higher value on other people, pets, or things

How to Start Valuing Yourself

Here are three small steps to help you change your behavior. Does one speak to you more than the others? Start there. Then add a second step the next week or sooner if you feel ready. Above all, be kind to yourself.

  1. Start writing Morning Pages
  2. Look at a situation from a different point of view
  3. Do something special just for you

Delving Deeper

Point of view has several meanings. Consequently, I want to make it clear I’m using this definition:

  • the position from which something or someone is observed

In life, we tend to use the same point of view all the time. Most noteworthy, our direct observance is clouded by all the thoughts in our mind drawn from a lifetime of judgement and beliefs.

An Exercise in Point of View

Imagine this scene. A man is walking down a sidewalk with a hedge of plants to his left, listening to music on his iPod. Suddenly, a masked man steps out of the bushes behind him with a shovel in his right hand. He hits the man on the back of the head with the shovel. The man falls to the ground, bleeding from the back of his head.

Chances are, in your default point of view, you placed yourself across the street and observed this attack in horror.

In contrast, let’s try using a different point of view. Pretend there are two birds perched twenty feet up in a tree just on the other side of the hedge. I’ll name them Heckle and Jeckle. Perhaps they observe the same scene this way.

“That man is walking with white strings coming out the sides of his head.”

“Now a second man comes out of the bushes behind him, with a black covering over his face. He holds a big twig with a shiny flat part on the end.”

“The second man moved the shiny part and came in contact with the back of the first man’s head, who falls on the ground.”

“There is red liquid coming out of the man on the ground.”

Different Points of View

This point of view from Heckle and Jeckle is detached, without judgement, a bird’s-eye view observation. Two more possible points of view are the characters in the scene; the man with the iPod, the masked man. And don’t forget the “just the facts” view.

By looking at this fictional scene in different ways, you are practicing changing your point of view.

Do you want to take it one step further? Use different points of view to dissect a scenario from your own life. Extra points if you have strong feelings about this personal circumstance.

Final Thoughts

Don’t forget the third way to start valuing yourself – doing something special, just for you.

Are you doing something special, just for you today? Take a moment to brainstorm one thing you can do for yourself this weekend.

I’d enjoy readIng your ideas in the comments.

Sending love from my heart to yours,

How to be a Hero in Four Easy Steps

What do you think makes a hero? Is it someone who risks their life to save another? What if it’s their job to risk their life to save others – are they still a hero? How about the person who shows compassion in a smile to a dirty, disheveled, homeless man. Are they a hero? Do you have to be a hero to one person or many to qualify?

The Requirement to be a Hero, in a Single Word

Compassion. All heroes have compassion. This quality could be innate, a natural personality characteristic. Or it might be something they desired to have and they worked on it. Do you have compassion? Is it reserved for those you know and love?

How Hard is it to be a Hero?

The average person probably believes they are incapable of earning the title, ‘Hero’. Yet, I know how easy it can be. In addition to compassion, the hero knows how to observe and identify pain or need in others. It is easier to see the need in those close to you. After all, you know them so well. Perhaps you want to expand your ability to show compassion outside those you know. How do you do that?

Picture a Fictional Character Who Needs Help

You’ve probably been struck by a character in a book or a film who needs saving, redemption, or a little compassion. Let’s play with that idea.

Close your eyes and imagine a thin, young woman sitting alone at a table in an outdoor café. You are a few tables away. All the other tables outside are empty. You are watching her with no real feeling attached. She is staring into her steaming cup of coffee. Now imagine that she is thinking about her loving grandmother who passed away exactly one year ago. The two of them enjoyed many cups of coffee at the same table the months before her passing. She looks up. A smile broadens your own face as you remember happy times with your own grandmother. You naturally have sadness, but also love and compassion for yourself. As your eyes lock with the stranger, that love and compassion is an energy that naturally flows between the two of you. Her eyes brighten just a bit. The corner of her mouth starts to lift, ever so little. Your own smile responds.

“Good Morning. Lovely day, isn’t it?” She nods slowly.

That is being a hero, changing someone’s life for the better, if only for a moment. There is no expectation of a reward for the hero. Knowing someone else is better off is all they need. You don’t know how this moment will continue to unfold for her. But it is a fact that positive energy will affect others in a positive way.

How Can You Build Compassion for Others?

There are many ways to deepen empathy that are particular to your personality and how you see the world. One way that really helps is seeing a situation from a perspective that is foreign to you. Try walking a mile in their shoes. My mother used this euphemism many times when I was a child and it made an impression on me, perhaps because I already had an empathetic personality.

A Real Life Example

I was a stay-at-home mom when my two sons were in elementary school. Their best friends’ moms both worked. We all lived in a rural area on a lake with woods nearby, a wonderful place for them to play. After spending hours building forts and staging battles, the boys would get thirsty and head home for refreshments. The working moms didn’t allow them in the house, even once they came home from work. The kids would have to wait for their mom to bring water or else drink from the garden hose outside. Their homes were kept neat and clean in anticipation of anyone stopping by. My philosophy was quite different. I’d clean once a week, giving most of my attention to my kids, to cooking, and to the kitchen garden. For me, a little dirt from the shoes of the neighborhood boys on my carpet was a natural consequence of living in the country in rural Florida. They were always welcome inside any part of my home.

Twenty-five years later, Tad, one of the neighborhood boys, told me how much he appreciated the welcome I extended to him and his brothers. He said I was a kind of hero to them, because that wasn’t what they experienced anywhere else.

How did I come to feel that it was okay for them to possibly dirty up my floors? I simply imagined how thirsty they must be. It was also a top priority for me to stay connected with my kids, to be part of their world. So I thought, “It’s just a little dirt.”

I simply tuned into how they were feeling at the moment (hot and sweaty!) and reminded myself of how I felt as a kid. I responded in a way I myself would have appreciated.

Four Steps to Being a Hero

Become a people-watcher, keenly observing people and situations around you.
Imagine yourself in the same condition – that is, ‘Walk a Mile in Their Shoes’.
Feel what you felt in a similar situation in the past, or imagine what you might feel under similar circumstances.
Respond in a way that feels genuine, doable, and meets your own need to care for yourself

It’s really that simple. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. You can follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or Linkedin below. If you’d like to receive my newsletter, which comes out about twice a month, you can sign up here.