If someone freely gave you a crisp, clean $100.00 bill would you take it? Most people would. Now, let’s say, this same person took that $100.00 bill and they crumpled it up in front of you and gave it to you, would you still accept it? You are saying, “heck, yeah!” It’s still worth a hundred dollars and you would still be able to use it to buy something. Well guess what? You are that $100.00 bill! You are worth something. There are times when we don’t feel like we are worth something. Maybe someone told you that you were stupid, ugly, fat, etc., or sometimes we even say that about ourselves. Maybe you’ve gone through some awful experiences and, during those times, felt like you were being “crushed”, just like that $100.00 bill. Well, you are still of value no matter what.
We all have a desire to be loved and accepted and sometimes we want so much to be with the “in” crowd that we do whatever to fit “in” but what happens if that ruins your full worth? Or think about when you make fun of someone who doesn’t seem the same as you. They are another $100.00 bill, just like you! We need to see each other and ourselves as people of significance. We all have treasures that we can give to others and to ourselves (talents, personality, gifts, etc).
According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, which is a psychological theory that addresses what human physical and emotional needs are, gaining love/belonging is not the ultimate need or goal for humans. Beyond this is the need for esteem (self-esteem, confidence, achievement, respect of others, respect by others), and then the ultimate goal of self-actualization.
Self-actualization involves knowing one’s moral self, creative self, ability to be spontaneous, acceptance of fact, and lack of prejudice. In essence, Maslow was saying we need to accept ourselves and others as we are in order to reach our fullest potentials as human beings.
We all must have our basic needs met as humans, but if we look at others with prejudice and measure our self-worth up to the standards of others, we are preventing ourselves from reaching our potential.
It is really hard to say no when your friends or family want you to do something and you think “if I don’t, they won’t accept me or love me”. Are they looking at you as a person – full of value? Do you look at what you are worth?
Your worth comes from inside and you are a unique person who deserves to see your full potential. So be you, be accepting, and be amazing! You’re worth it!
Submitted by Kristi LeBeau, MA, LLPC and Laura Hitt, Stephen Minister
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