We sometimes find ourselves in relationships with people who make us doubt our self-worth. We allow someone else’s opinion of us to define who we are. We accept for ourselves less than we deserve because of how worthy someone else sees us. But what is self-worth? Who decides our value? And how do we know if our partner knows our worth?
When you have something valuable: how do you take care of it? You probably keep it secure and safe. You make sure it is constantly polished and cared after. It is always in your thoughts, and constantly part of your consideration. You probably would not take any risk of losing it, right? Do you feel that way in your relationship? Do you feel prized?
Know what makes you feel cherished. What does your spouse need to do for you to feel valued? What needs to happen in your life for you to feel esteemed?
We all feel treasured in different ways; attention, time spent together, affection, physical contact, or material gifts. How do you determine your partner’s level of appreciation of you? Question whether you are only aware of your worth through other people’s actions towards you, or if you already value yourself. Ask yourself if you are seeking appreciation or validation –and be mindful of the difference between the two.
Sometimes our insecurities and low self-esteem lead us to pursue substantiation of our worth from others. We try to prove ourselves to someone else. We make excuses and give reasons.
We lose confidence in our decisions. We question our behavior and character. And we end up being caught up in trying to prove our worth to someone else. So make sure you are demanding appreciation for your worth, and not seeking validation for it.
Some people will take you for granted just because they are comfortable and feel secure enough with you, or don’t see the need in making the extra effort to show gratitude. Those might just need the encouragement to be more expressive, and be reminded of everything you contribute to the relationship.
In other instances, a partner might be projecting their own insecurities on you. Your spouse may lack confidence; feel inferior in some area of their life, or simply have a need to feel in control of others or to have power over them. There are numerous reasons behind someone belittling and undermining others to feel secure and confident. Have enough self-assurance to know that their opinions of you are shaped by their own internal struggles. Have conviction in that your worth is not determined by anything external. It’s all from within you.
Recognize that self-worth comes with self-awareness. It stems from knowing who we are and appreciating ourselves: from acknowledging our strengths and accepting our weaknesses. We need to know our own worth before demanding of others to see it.
So to determine your value, get to know yourself. Acquaint yourself with the kind of person you are, your preferences, your passions, and the path you chose for yourself. Recognize what you have to give and to offer. Do not be influenced by other people’s views of who you might be, for everyone has their own viewpoint. Remember that other people’s perceptions of you do not make it a reality. What others see in you is a reflection of parts of themselves. Our insights on the world and others are influenced by our unique personal perspectives, meaning only you know your own truth. Accept yourself fully with confidence and that is when you will know your worth and value.
Alia Nasr is a Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), Hypnosis, and Time-Line Therapy Practitioner, certified by the American Board of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (ABNLP), the American Board of Hypnotherapy (ABH), and the Time-Line Therapy Association (TLTA). Through the tools of NLP, Alia works on coaching individuals in adapting and creating change during and post the divorce experience.