Best Life: Owning Your Value

Whether you’re doing big things or little things, who you are in this world makes a difference every day, in countless ways.  Maybe you knowthis intellectually.  But, do you really, really feel the value and worth of your individual magnificence?   Do you own it in all areas of your life?

There are so many influences interfering with our capacity to really OWN our value.   Advertisers love to remind us that we’re not quite enough — yet.  We’re not smart enough, beautiful enough, educated enough, productive enough, successful enough, happy enough, wealthy enough, on purpose enough or complete enough.  Of course, their product or service promises to help you finally feel great about yourself.  Right?

We’ve also got bosses, clients, employees, family, parents, children, spouses, teachers and co-workers always wanting and expecting MORE and MORE from you.  We’re taught to keep striving and accomplishing, always aiming for more.  This is further exasperated by the culture’s value on humility, and giving selflessly.  Spiritually, we’re taught that any self-acknowledgment inflates the ego and takes us away from enlightenment.  All this makes it easy to minimize ourselves, our efforts and our results.  Not good.

If these influences aren’t enough to stimulate feelings of  “valueless” or worthless, we have our own inner critics to contend with.  We can focus on our flaws, dwell on the areas for improvement, where we’ve fallen short, or compare ourselves to others.  We may be extraordinary in several areas of our lives, but won’t allow ourselves to feel great because we’re harshly judge the less extraordinary areas.

It MAY feel motivating to “prove yourself in the world,” to grow personally and professionally, so that you can finally feel like a valuable, worthwhile member of society.   It may feel noble to strive to create more value in the world, and do your inner work.  I see numerous clients on these treadmills.  However, not only is it exhausting, it’s more difficult to powerfully create when the assumption is we’re not already valuable and whole.  And, it’s quite miserable to live in this way.

Let’s think of someone who really GETS how valuable they are.  They feel great about themselves.   They don’t have anything to prove.  Their cup is fulleth, and they have energy and power to offer the world.  They are confident of their strengths and expertise.  These people tend to be clear about their boundaries and don’t have to compromise their integrity.   These people express themselves authentically and boldly.  Based on “laws of attraction,” they are more apt to attract people in their lives who do recognize their value and appreciate them.  Their sense of value grows and expands.  They inspire others.  They aren’t caught up trying to fill a void within themselves.  They simply enjoy life, contribute, create and evolve.

Many of you may already feel you’re doing a great job at “owning your value.”  Congratulations!!  For those of you who relate more to some of the other paragraphs above, or who simply want to DEEPEN the idea of “owning your value,” read on.

How do you OWN your value?

STEP 1.  TAKE INVENTORY. There are probably countless areas of your life where you have an opportunity to OWN your value.  Each answer below offers a piece of yourself to OWN more fully.

Whose lives do you affect everyday?  Your significant other.  Children.  Clients.  Customers.  Friends. Neighbors.  Employees.   Strangers.   Do you make them smile or laugh?  Do you love, acknowledge or empower them?  Do you believe in others or hold a vision for a team?  Who do you lead?  How do you make others lives easier?  How do you touch others simply by being you?

What have you created, developed or accomplished? What skills have you mastered that serve others?  What knowledge, wisdom and innate talent is yours?  What results have been influenced by your participation?  How does your business or career affect others?   How do you make the world a little better place to live in?  What contributions have you made physically, energetically or emotionally?

How do you inspire others?  What qualities, traits and strengths shine every day?  What contributions of time and energy have you given?  What makes YOU special?  What makes you unique?  What makes you, YOU?

What gifts have you given yourself?  Your commitment to health and self-care?  How have you honored your integrity and inner guidance?  How do you share openly and authentically?  How have you pursued your dreams and goals passionately?  How do you meet your needs and values?  KEY:  Focus ONLY on the positive aspects, NOT the shortcomings.

STEP 2.  STOP and ACKNOWLEDGE YOURSELF.  Breathe.  Yes, stop, pause, and reflect on each answer.  OWN it.   Feel into it.  Acknowledge what is true.   Hearthe positive feedback others have offered.  Take it in.  It MAY feel uncomfortable if you’re in the habit of minimizing yourself, or quickly moving on to the next task.  However, taking the time to “be with” these valuable aspects of yourself will ultimately shift something inside of you.  Allow any lingering sense of unworthiness to melt away.  This isn’t about becoming egotistical or conceited, it’s about acknowledging the reality of your genuine value.

STEP 3.  REMIND YOURSELF.  Keep the above questions handy, and check-in with yourself periodically.  Make a list of elements you’d like to own more fully.  Remind yourself often.  One of my colleagues reminds herself by visiting the client letters or testimonies she receives.  I notice in clients (and myself) how quickly we forget the landmark accomplishments and great aspects of ourselves.  Remind yourself — often.  Find a coach, team or partner who will assist you in the reminding.

STEP 4.  OWN IT IN THE MOMENT.  Look for ways you create value, as you move through life.  Embrace the compliments and acknowledgments FULLY — as they are being delivered.  Notice any resistance, then STOP.  Breathe into it.  Take a few moments longer to allow yourself to fully feel an appreciation.  When someone offers a compliment such as, “I really appreciate your leadership on that project,” catch yourself minimizing with an, “oh, it was nothing.”  Instead, thank them for noticing, and work on OWNING their positive observation.

STEP 5.  GROW FROM A PLACE OF WHOLENESS.  Know that “owning your value” doesn’t mean that you’re done growing.  It doesn’t mean complacency is around the corner.   It simply means you’re building your future from a “complete” and “whole” present moment.  When we live from a minimized and devalued place, it’s like living in debt financially.  Every acknowledgment may boost us temporarily, but we never feel 100% whole.  It’s difficult to feel good about ourselves and build on a “less than” foundation.  The good news is, there is no external condition that has to be met (relationship, debt-free), in order for you to OWN your value now.  It’s a choice you can embrace NOW.

Remember the Christmas classic, It’s A Wonderful Life? Before George took his life, an angel allowed him to revisit his life — and see, up close, all the big and little ways he made a huge difference in so many people’s lives.  What would your bumbling angel reveal to you?

Are you ready to OWN your value in the world? Make it a new practice.  Have fun with this process.  Find more and more qualities to OWN about yourself.  Embrace your wholeness.  You deserve it.