There’s an old saying that goes like this, “If you doubt yourself, the whole world will doubt you.” I feel this statement holds true for so many other variations as well, one of which is, “If you don’t value yourself, the whole world will take you for granted”.
It’s really strange to me when I see people self-deprecating themselves all the time, and for what? Either to get a few laughs or to make themselves the ‘victim’ to attract attention towards themselves.
Well, making fun of yourself scarcely is fine, but if you make it a habit, you are only making the whole world feel that you are insecure or something. And to play the entitlement game, to make yourself look weak so that the world should come forward to lift your spirits is just plain stupid.
One of the other major issues is the practice of comparing yourself all the time. The thing is the more you compare yourself to others who are way ahead of you in the race, the more you are gonna value yourself less as they are gonna keep on reminding you about your own flaws and shortcomings all the time.
SO, without further ado, here are some ideas I want to discuss on how you can restore your own image and increase your value.
1. Play your best game to increase Value
When it comes to life, there are mainly two kinds of people that you are gonna find.
The first kind of people do something and care about the end results.
You know like if they are going for an interview, they won’t be able to stop worrying about whether they will get the job or not, whether they will make a fool of themselves or not, whether they are good enough for the company or not, whether the interviewer will like their tie or not and a host of other irrelevant things.
If they are playing tennis, they’d worry about whether they’d be able to win the match or not, whether they’d be able to secure that sponsorship or not, whether they’d be able to come on the cover page of that XYZ magazine, whether they’d be able to boost up their rankings or not and things like that.
On the other hand, the second kind of people do things for the love of doing it without worrying too much about the end results.
If they are going for an interview, they’d fixate all their attention on answering any and every question to the best of their abilities, they are gonna care about whether their preparation for the interview is top-notch or not, they’d focus more on how they can be an asset to the company instead of daydreaming about getting a corner office to impress their friends.
If they are playing tennis, they’d focus more on playing their best game possible, perfecting each and every shot they hit, ensuring that they are ready for any kind of response from their opponent, without caring much about if they are gonna win or lose.
Notice the difference. The first kind will focus on everything outside their control, while the second kind will focus on everything inside their control. And that’s how you increase your value in your own eyes.
It’s quite simple to understand what’s going behind the curtains here. See, if you are valuing yourself over something that’s not even in your control, then how in the world can you ever have a high sense of worth?
Winning and losing are dependent on a bazillion factors the majority of which you wouldn’t even know about. So, isn’t it absolutely ludicrous to measure yourself over something you don’t even control?
2. The Right Way to Measure your Value
Unfortunately, most of us measure ourselves in the wrong way and as a result, our sense of self-worth is really fragile.
If we lose, we immediately start bitching ourselves about how pathetic we were, or how tragically we played. We beat ourselves not because we didn’t play our best, but because we are gonna miss out on all of those external validations we had our eyes on.
If we win, we immediately put ourselves on a pedestal and bloat our ego. We got everything we were aiming to get after all, so why shouldn’t we celebrate right? Well, the celebration is not the issue, the issue is the cause of celebration.
Undermining yourself when you lose and overestimating yourself when you win are traps you should stay away from.
Here’s the thing, if you are either lowering your value or uplifting your value, based on metrics that are out of your control, then that according to me isn’t gonna hold up for long and it would cause more harm than good.
For instance, let’s say your skills are X and you are competing against someone whose skills are 5X. Now, let’s say you tried your level best and you even extended your skill sets to up to 1.5X to even 2X but you are still pretty likely to lose because your competitor is just way ahead of you.
And that’s fine. Think logically. Your enhancing your normal skill level and performing better than usual should be enough for you to be proud of yourself and raise your value. Screw the external validation if you know it in your heart that you gave the best performance you ever could.
I know losing sucks and nobody likes losing, but you know what sucks more? You not valuing your efforts and focusing only on the end results.
And on the contrary, let’s say your skills are 5X and you are competing against someone who’s only at X, and even if you won then you shouldn’t celebrate or balloon your ego just yet. Because it’s pretty unlikely that you put in your 100%.
Now, you might have won, and everyone loves winning, but don’t let it get to your head because it’s pretty likely you didn’t even get to try your best.
The right way to measure your value is by unbiasedly seeing how hard you tried, how much you pushed yourself, by what margin did you extend your boundaries, and how relentlessly you were in your pursuit of playing the best game you possibly can.
3. An interesting Irony on Winning
We have all heard of the saying, “May the best player win”, and in the majority of cases, that’s what happens. The best player indeed wins.
But the irony is, the person who cares too much about winning is more likely to lose than the person whose sole motive is to just play his best game possible.
It’s no rocket science to comprehend this concept.
See, when are you more likely to play better? When your mind is absolutely clear and calm with no pressure of winning, or when you have overloaded your mind by bombarding it with a ton of things that are gonna happen when you win?
It’s pretty obvious. If you are saying anything in your mind that’s not related to the actual work, irrespective of whether it’s positive or negative, good or bad, about the past or the future(outcomes), they are all ultimately just distractions that are gonna keep you from playing your best game.
But if you are thinking about the game, about the tactics you are gonna apply, the methods you need to master, the tips and tricks you need to learn, the preparation and all, then that’s obviously gonna come in more handy in order for you to win the game.
Now, I know, exceptions are always there. Some people work better when they put that extra and unnecessary pressure on themselves, but generally, the more you hype up and give importance to winning in your mind, the more pressure and fear you are gonna instill in your mind and the sheer thought of “What if I lose?” will eat you up.
And those who don’t desire to win, won’t also fear the loss. Their sole aim will be to, like I said before, just focus on their goddamn game. If you win the game well and good, and even if you lose, you’d at least be content that you put in your 100%.
4. Don’t be a puppet if you wanna increase your value
If you let winning get to your head, you’d essentially become a puppet who will always be controlled by his external situations throughout his life.
When you win, you’d feel like you’re on cloud seven, everyone’s gonna be congratulating you, you’d be showered with blessings and gifts and accolades, and yada yada yada.
But when you lose, you’d feel like burying your head in a hole, you wouldn’t want to talk to anyone, the people around you would feel disappointed, and so on.
Now, is that a really smart way to live? No doubt you won’t value yourself if you are letting someone else value you for you. I mean, are you really gonna spend your entire life feeling what the world wants you to feel, acting how the world wants you to act, thinking how the world wants you to think, believing what the world wants you to believe?
Don’t know about you guyz, but I can’t live my life like a puppet where my string is in the hands of anyone but me. And since most people are ok with that, they find it hard to value themselves.
The nature of the world is that they can put you on a pedestal and then thrash you into a sewer, all in a fraction of a second, literally. This is why you’d have noticed that there are so many celebrities who have achieved way way more than 99.9999999% of people can even dream of, but still, some of them are depressed and a few even commit suicide.
The reason is what I have been rambling about for all this time. They don’t know how to value themselves and only value themselves from the eyes of other people. And since they don’t value themselves, they might even be ready to do the thing they don’t love doing but have to because their fans will apparently “love them” for it.
I remember Quentin Tarantino said that he made his first film not to impress the audience but to fulfill his own desire. And that’s how he directs each and every film of his. He could have cut certain scenes from his films to make them short and crisp, to make them more appealing, but apparently, he makes movies for himself. And that’s what makes him who he is today.
When you keep doing things for the sake of others at the expense of your own happiness and principles, that’s where you start devaluing your worth in your own eyes and there will come a point when the line between real and fake would get blurry.
So ask yourselves do you wanna be a puppet in your life or do you want to live your life according to your own terms?
5. Don’t break the Rules
There are many people around the world who are bloody damn successful, but they don’t value themselves in their own eyes.
Why? Because they know how many corners they cut, how many principles they compromised, and how many ethics and morals they overlooked.
You see, even if you think nobody’s watching, there will always be this one guy who would never leave you and would follow you like your shadow till eternity. He is none other than you yourself.
No matter what you do, you’d always know what you are up to. So, you might be rising up in the eyes of the world but you’d only be self-deprecating if you are breaking the laws, cheating others, and using shady techniques that you know are wrong.
You might even pretend to surround yourself with this really fragile bubble of name, fame, and money because you are getting the results but still guyz, deep down you’d know you didn’t do it the right way and you won’t be able to value yourself for that.
It’s far far better to compromise the results but keep your value intact by not breaking your morals and principles, than getting so blind in your pursuit of chasing the results you want that you’d be ready to break your codes and ethics.
If you lose yourself in the process, it’s not worth it. Besides, your self-worth is gonna touch a whole nother high when you play by the rules and put your values and principles above the outcomes, and that’s something worth relishing.
6. How you see yourself is how the world sees you
You must have noticed this countless number of times, two people who went to the exact same college, studied the exact same course, from the same teachers and the same materials, but 5 years later, you won’t be able to trace a single piece of similarity between the two.
There is a difference between Apple and other smartphone companies, Louis Vuitton and other fashion companies, Tom Cruise and other actors, Federer and other tennis players, and so on. Every musician has the same 7 keys to play with but there is only one Kanye West.
The reason for the difference lies in how they value themselves. Keep in mind that either of them might be doing the exact same thing and are getting the exact same results but one of them is valued much much more than the other.
And the way you value yourself is not by ballooning your ego in a fake manner by saying the fluffy good positive stuff about yourself in your head all the time, you increase your value by following what I talked about in the previous 5 points: by playing the game for the love of it in the right manner.
Mozart is valued because he mastered his arena, DaVinci is valued because he painted like never before, Federer is valued because he took his game to the next level and it’s just a delight to watch him on the court, Dicaprio is valued because of his superior skills to bring the emotions of the character out on the big screen, Rowling is valued, well, because you know who, I mean, why.
Don’t tell the world that they should value you, show the world your passion for your field of work and they’d value you without you even asking them.
You’d know you value yourself when you don’t want things for free.
You’d know you value yourself when you stop praying for things to get easy and start striving to become strong instead.
You’d know you value yourself when you don’t shit about yourself, even when you are alone, and don’t let others shit on you as well.
You’d know you value yourself when you don’t break the rules even and are ready to lose with your head held high.
You’d know you value yourself when you don’t look for shortcuts all the damn time.
You’d know you value yourself when you stop asking for things and instead work upon yourself to make yourself more deserving.
You’d know you value yourself when you stop blaming society, parents, friends, and families and take responsibility for your own fiasco.
You’d know you value yourself when you don’t try to push others down and instead help others rise because only a person who doesn’t value himself will get into the habit of belittling others.
You’d know you value yourself when you don’t lie to yourself.
You’d know you value yourself when you do the right things in life, irrespective of how painful or hard it is, instead of succumbing to the activities that only ‘feel good’ and give you instant dopamine hit.
You’d know you value yourself when you keep the promises you make to others and even more importantly, to yourself.
You’d know you value yourself when you start focusing on changing your inner dynamics instead of trying to change your external situations for all your life.
You’d know you value yourself when you don’t gossip about someone behind their back.
You’d know you value yourself when you realize that you are not perfect, and neither is anyone else, so you quit undermining yourself by comparing yourself to others and just keep on pushing harder than before.
You’d know you value yourself when you are constantly growing and learning from your experiences and becoming better than before.
So, on a scale of 1-10, how much do you value yourself? And what you are gonna do to bump up that number?