We live in a world of participation trophies and “everyone’s a winner” slogans. But, you know that it’s all lies. Out in the real world, there are winners and losers. You are going to lose sometimes. How do you handle losing? If you have a good sense of self-worth you will be disappointed, but you will not be crushed. But, if your sense of self-worth is based on what other people tell you, when the bad times come, you may not have the strength to get back up again. There are three reasons it is essential for your success and happiness that your sense of self-worth come from you and you alone.
1. People Suck
If you get your self-worth from other people you are in for a world of hurt. People suck. They don’t care about you the way they care about themselves. People, even the ones you love the most, will let you down. They will forget to compliment you. They will be too busy with their own concerns to pat you on the back.
Other people are even worse. They will see you trying to get your self-worth from external sources and set out to destroy you. They will try and hurt you. Your self-worth must be something that comes from inside you because you cannot rely on other people.
2. Your Own Source of Motivation
Your car can only drive as long as it has gas in the tank. If you want to keep going you are going to stop and refuel the car. This causes delays. What if you could just carry your own fuel? What if you could top off your gas tank while driving?
This is exactly what happens when your self-worth comes from you alone. You are the source of your motivation. You can keep driving and refueling while your competitors are taking pit stops. You don’t need the praise of gatekeepers or bosses. Instead you know you are good enough and you keep moving forward towards your goals.
3. If It’s Not Yours It Can Be Taken Away
A basic law of the universe is that if something is not internal to you, it can be taken away. If your self-worth is based at all on external things like prizes or people, your self-worth can be damaged or even taken away by external sources.
True self-worth has to come from inside of you. That means it is safe. That is how people can fail spectacularly and still get back up and try again. Their self-worth is not tied to external rewards.
Life will knock you down. You will fail several times before you ever find success. You have to be tough. The only way to develop the toughness you need to survive long enough to succeed is to know your worth. Self-worth that comes from you and you alone can be cultivated. But, it first requires that you stop seeking validation from other people and things outside of your control.
Where does your self-worth come from and what are you going to do about it?