Self worth is a difficult concept to grasp. I find that in order to understand the value of yourself, you must first practice loving yourself.
The practice of loving yourself sounds obvious and easy, but sometimes it can seem like the most difficult task in the world.
Our world is a busy one. In fact, this is the busiest time that this world has ever really seen. With all of the advances humankind has made, opportunities are becoming endless, life is picking up the pace, and we are constantly trying to keep up. There is more competition in just about every field and we push ourselves to be at the top. We want more money, nicer cars and bigger houses. We are the generation of workaholics.
The news tells me there’s a recession in Europe but I haven’t noticed. For the past year I’ve been receiving countless job offers – one after another. I quit a full-time job teaching English, so that I could work freelance in order to keep up with all of the job opportunities coming my way. First came an opportunity with one magazine, which turned into an opportunity with four magazines, which then turned into me working for two companies, 5 magazines, and an editing position – not to mention weekly modeling gigs on the side. Oh yea, and my blog which gets pushed aside amidst the piles of work and magazines.
I feel productive. I wake up at 6, have a coffee and start my day. I come home usually around 7 (10 if I have to model after work) and try to fit in some time for my blog. But am I satisfied?
When I stepped back to answer my own question, I realized the answer was no – I’m not satisfied.
I work 10 hour days for everyone but myself. Sure, I get paid for it all but everything feels so stagnant and irrelevant. I asked myself – for what? I feel lost. I feel unworthy of appreciation or accomplishment. How am I working so hard and still feeling no satisfaction from it all? What is making me question my worth?
Aware of my motivational decrease and my lack of sense of self anymore, I booked and planned a three-month trip back home to the States to see my family again. Living abroad for several years had pulled me more and more out of touch with the core of my existence – my family. It’s been two years now since the last time I saw my brother. It’s time for a reality check and a good barbeque sandwich.
And then something huge happened. I got a job offer that changed everything. It seemed perfect – too good to be true. And the best part was, they scouted me! I wasn’t even looking for a new job; my plate was full already. A luxury designer company found me and offered me a full-time position as head of their marketing team; managing the website, all social media, and visual merchandising of all stores. What?!
This was a dream job served on a gold platter with diamond coated cutlery and it came knocking at my door.
I would have to drop all other obligations, but how could I refuse this one?!
Nonetheless, I went to the interview and spoke to the head and management of the company. They were impressed. They wanted me. Everything fit like a velvet glove. So I waited for the email to confirm my position with this new job. A week full of nerves and anticipation passed by and I continuously refreshed my inbox.
Then it came. They were impressed. They really wanted me. But they gave me an ultimatum. I would have to choose between my trip home to see my family or settling down in this position. My heart sank when I read the email.
I sat back and thought to myself for a while. I really wanted this job. I salivated over the thought of it. But I could never cancel my plans to see my family. Not now. I had developed a severe case of dissatisfaction stemming from giving myself to everyone else. I worked so hard and put my priorities last. I had been holding work commitments as the higher priorities in my life and I had started losing touch of what was actually important to me.
It was clear I would have to turn down the position. I wanted to cry. I had finally been offered the job of my dreams and I was forced to refuse it. I wanted to leave work and go home to my bed and sulk. But what good would that do?
Instead I am now using this as a lesson and as the first step towards practicing loving myself. If I continue putting my real priorities last, when will I ever find satisfaction in my life? I now have encouragement to quit giving all my time to jobs that don’t mean anything to me and start applying for jobs that do. I will focus less on making money and more on keeping relationships. I have motivation to spend more time on my blog now and more time for myself. Through loving myself, I will find satisfaction and through my satisfaction, I will find a path that I sincerely love.