Self-worth based on productivity (and how to change it)

Once upon a time there was a young woman who was raised in a masculine-dominated world. Although she was a woman, for most of her life she believed that she should aspire to be more like men, or how men and the society wanted her to be. And so she learned to glorify masculine attributes such as discipline, control, strength, giving, providing, being productive, well organized, and tough. She had a tendency to work hard and please everyone, acting as if she needed to constantly prove her place in the world. Over time she started to believe that she is only worthy if she has some results to show. In other words, her self-worth was based on her productivity.

Here’s the thing with self-worth: it cannot be earned, it can only be recognized. You either believe that you’re inherently worthy without having to prove yourself in any way, or you spend a lifetime trying to convince yourself that you are good enough because you have accomplished xyz. 

If you identify as a woman and noticed that you have a tendency to run the extra mile under the illusion that it will make you feel loved, accepted, and simply good enough, I have news for you: it won’t. What will make a real difference in how you feel though, is when you finally start fully accepting who you are, and begin to believe that you’re a good person.

Let’s take babies as an example. They don’t do anything besides sleeping, eating, pooping, and being cute, yet we love them. They provide value by who they ARE, and not by what they can DO. I want you to take out a piece of paper and split it into two columns. In the first column write down activities you usually do in order to make people accept you (e.g. I make breakfast for my partner/siblings every morning). In the second column, write down a positive personality trait that you have, or a natural skill you possess that makes you special (e.g. I am compassionate, I am a good listener, etc.). Then fold the paper so that you can only see the personality traits.

My invitation for you for this week is to remind yourself that you have so much more to offer that just what you can do. Your mere presence is a gift, remember that <3 If you notice feeling stressed and burned out, ask yourself: who am I trying to prove my worth to? Then pull out your folded piece of  paper, and remind yourself that who truly makes you stand out and be remembered is not what you do but who you are.

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