Do you frequently try to prove your worth to others?
If so, I sympathize. For much of my life, I tried to prove my worth to others by being smart enough, sweet enough, good enough, holy enough, beautiful enough, or “whatever” enough.
It was exhausting.
And then two realizations changed this.
First, I realized one day that I could be as smart, sweet, good, holy, beautiful, etc. as humanly possible, and it wouldn’t be good enough for some people. That is because some people have a critical and judgmental heart about everyone and everything.
I also realized that there were people with kind hearts who loved me unconditionally even when I messed up badly. This made me realize that people’s opinions about my worth were primarily a reflection of their own hearts and not really a reflection of me.
If you have people in your life that constantly make you prove your worth through your actions or appearance, this is about them and not about you. (You might find this post helpful: Sticking Up for Ourselves)
Second, I realized that we don’t think that babies, cats, dogs, trees, and flowers have to prove their worth. We realize they already have worth–their worth is their “babyness”, “catness”, “dogness”, etc. It is that special thing that makes them unique and originally beautiful, and we do our best to nurture them so their unique worth can shine.
Grown ups possess this special uniqueness and beauty, too. You have it, and so do I. This worth is the seeds of goodness and love that are present in all of our hearts and will grow if we give them a chance to do so. We don’t have to prove our worth because we already possess it.
So instead of trying to prove your worth to people who may or may not see it because of the state of their own hearts, try relaxing into and nurturing the worth you already have.
If you enjoyed this post, please consider sharing on social media.
Published by shellypruittjohnson
My name is Shelly Johnson, and I am a writer and philosopher with a Ph.D. in philosophy. One of my primary personal and philosophical interests is how we can learn to love ourselves and each other better in order to cultivate personal and political resilience. I teach ethics and a variety of other courses at a local college. I am the author of the blog Love is Stronger. I am also the author of three logic and critical thinking books for high school and middle school: _Argument Builder_, _Discovery of Deduction_ (co-author), and _Everyday Debate_, published by Classical Academic Press. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
View all posts by shellypruittjohnson