Getting A Hold of Your Self-Worth

July 08, 2017

"Your value doesn't decrease based on someone's inability to see your worth."  - Unknown

I took about a month break from social media. The past few months have been tough in every aspect. I started to lose grip of many things I had put so much of myself into, the things I enjoyed were no longer interesting to me anymore... all around, I just felt worthless.

In the 5 months prior, I was on this happiness high. From spending most of my life being depressed, I was finally at a place where I felt like I was kicking life in the ass. An amazing job, amazing friends, an amazing relationship... for once, everything was good. I had purpose. I mattered. I didn't hate myself, I didn't hate my life. Then... one by one, things came crashing down.

Life has ups and downs. Many of them. Unfortunately, we can't all live on this high all the time. Sometimes your highs are really high. Sometimes, your lows are really low. One thing I realized is when my life was at a high, so was my self-worth. When my life was at a low, well, what was the point of me being here.

I'm on the verge of 20 and for about 9-10 years, I've had extremely low self-esteem. Which might seem weird considering I plaster my face and thoughts all over the internet. But it took me a long time to get here. It's something I still struggle with it everyday. I was bullied in school, often told I wasn't good enough, pretty enough, no one would ever love me. Because of this, my insecurities grew and my self-worth was based completely off of material things in my life and what others thought of me and how they viewed me. My level of beauty depended on whether or not I was in a relationship or whether or not a boy liked me. My intelligence depended into how well I was doing in school. (4.0 GPA or you're an idiot.) The greatness of my personality/likability depended on how many friends I had. My success depended on the job I had. My love for myself depended on if someone else (usually a boy) loved me. All of these things tied into my self-worth. So you'd imagine in the past being single, out of school, unemployed, with little to no friends - I essentially believed I was a waste of space.

I took this break because I started to fall back into that cycle. I realized it was an incorrect way to think. I can't suddenly believe I am not worthy of love because someone may not think I'm worth loving anymore. I can't suddenly believe I'll never be successful because I failed. Yes, I'm a perfectionist but that doesn't mean I should punish myself over things I cannot control. I do matter. I am not a waste of space. I have the ability to do great things. I can get through anything. I have a right to feel and be loved, cared about and respected - by those around me and myself.

I have a habit of apologizing where it is not due. "I'm sorry I expressed it that way. I'm sorry it came off that way. I'm sorry if I put you under the impression that I--" Blah, blah, blah. You get the point. All this really translates to "I'm sorry I expressed my [very valid] feelings to you and you felt a way about it." The second I felt I had stepped on anyone's toes [regardless of the reason/validity], apologies rolled off my tongue.

If you are someone who does this, please, stop. This takes the blame off of the person who wronged you and reverts it back to you. Often the person will end up forgiving you and telling you it's okay and will continue this behaviour for the duration of your relationship. The relationship then becomes emotionally abusive as your feelings are always seen as irrational and invalid.

The thing is, that's complete bullsh*t. Your feelings are valid. You have a right to your feelings and emotions. You have a right to feel secure, safe and heard in your relationships. [Romantic, platonic or otherwise.] You have a right to walk away from situations where you do not feel you are being treated how you deserve. No questions asked. You have a right to happiness. You matter.

It took me a long time to realize this. I have a hard time letting go, even when I know I should. I hold on to hope that one day the person will have an epiphany and realize that I am worth something and I deserve to be treated better. But that is hardly ever the case. If you find yourself waiting for someone to treat you better, that's a sign something needs to change or it's time to leave. However, sometimes no amount of talking or action can convince one to change. And that's okay. It's okay to realize your own self-worth.

Of course, it's a process. Easier said than done. This is something you will have to remind yourself, over and over for a long time. But once it get a hold of that self-worth, no one will have the power to treat you less than you deserve. Nothing and no one can make you feel inferior without your permission.

Image credit: Unknown | Tumblr.

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