Self Worth - How much do you cost?

Wednesday, 16 February 2011
So I'm driving to work this morning, moving through my usual morning routine (leave the house at 8am, get half way to work remember I've forgotten something important, turn around and go back home and then arrive at work 45 minutes later than I should have) while thinking about what to write about today. Last night I received the reminder that it was my turn to blog today and I can't lie it sent me into a slight panic. The idea that I have to share something personal with the wider world openly knowing who I am kind of freaked me out, as until now my inner thoughts have always remained between me, my pen and the paper their written on. I couldn't help ask myself 'what could I say that has any value?'. I guess subconsciously I had already chosen my topic as 'value' is something I battle with every day in work and in life. Indeed, we all question the notion of value on a daily basis when it comes to life. For example the simple things such as, which supermarket gives me the best value for money on my monthly food shop? Is that car that I like really worth what they're asking for it? what's the value of me going back to university to study? Of course these are just examples and for you there may be different questions of value that you ask yourself on a daily basis, but they are questions nonetheless. Yet where we question the value of material things or things that may benefit us and assume our own answer, sometimes it is hard to value ourselves.

Let me ask you this. If there was a price tag on your forehead how much would it read? Before you answer read on...

I am the proud aunt of 7 nieces and nephews. All of them are beautiful and have their own characters and when they're all together they bring me a joy that is indescribable just watching them interact with each other. Of them all I worry most about my youngest niece 'mini me' who is just 14 years old. She's a beautiful vibrant young girl with a big heart and though she's become a bit to friendly with mascara and eyeliner for my liking (protective aunt speaking) I can't deny she has a beauty that radiates every time I look at her. So much so that she's now finding my lengthy lectures about valuing her beauty and self worth tiresome. However, I hope as she matures she'll understand it's all done out of love. You see in today's society there are so many external factors that contribute to the way we see ourselves. Our depiction of ourselves can sometimes be affected by our negative experiences in life and unknowingly cause us to undervalue ourselves in work, in friendship, in family and too often in love.

As a young black woman I have sometimes struggled with my own price tag and all too often the underpricing of myself has left me coming up short changed in all of the above. In my younger days society taught me that the colour, or should I say shade, of my skin tone made me less marketable, unattractive, ignorant and less likely to achieve anything in life. In the second instance (all too often in the work place) sometimes someone would feel it was their place to remind me of mine. Thirdly, falsified friendships and relationships clouded my judgement of what real friendships and relationships should be. For a while, all of these things left me trailing behind myself as I knew what I was capable of but didn't place enough value on myself to be able to achieve. It wasn't until I took a Kit Kat break to really think about my life that I truly began to understand what the term my value really meant to me.

What am I worth?

The unfortunate way things are today means that all too often we as young women are made to feel we need to look, act or live a certain way to get on in life. We can be scared to break the mould because we're worried that we may be excluded from a social circle or not fit in with our peers. As people in general, we can believe that if we represent ourselves in a certain way then others will set the price tag for us or form better opinions of us. How we choose to represent ourselves of course is entirely up to us as individuals but all too often we follow what we see. As a young girl the representation I saw of black women in the media usually meant they were scantily dressed & loud amongst other things and even although I saw they were the same colour as me, they never truly represented what or who I really was, yet it was all too easy to imitate them; yep that's right, up in the club waiting for a thug (yes I know those are the wrong words but you follow me). It wasn't until I fully experienced and understood the negative connotations of this lifestyle that I questioned what is was really doing for me. I realised that it was ok to swim against the tide and try doing something different. It was ok to want a successful career. It was ok to want a loving relationship that didn't mean I had to compromise myself in ways I didn't like. It was ok to just be me! In fact it was so good just being me, that me, myself and I have been getting on great ever since. Yes we have our occasional fall outs but what's fantastic about my relationship with me is that I have learnt to love me in a way that I didn't know I could and everyday that gets stronger. So strong in fact that I value the time I put into me. I value the gifts that I give to me and what I get back in return and I value the people, experiences, opportunities that we experience as they are a blessing. The biggest blessing of it all is that I have learnt not to take me for granted. Don't get me wrong, I'm only human so by rights I have to slip up occasionally but knowing how valuable I am means that I like to make sure that I stay happy, so I do what I can to make it that way. That means I keep positive people around me, invest time in my career no matter how hard it may be to reach the end goal. Stay right and in love with my family and my relationship with God and love where it's deserved because my heart is my kryptonite and you can't put a price on that.

If there was a price tag on your forehead how much would it read? Mine reads Invaluable because I stay believing I'm truly Gifted and Highly Favoured.

D ;)


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