Stepping into Your Worth

What’s value got to do with dating? Everything. Dating and relationships get exponentially harder when you don’t value yourself; because, instead of having your self-worth and value as anchors to guide you, you make your choices from a place of insecurity, fear and scarcity and you’re left “thinking” your way into what to do next instead of acting from a place of secure knowing.

Will he or she like me?

Will he or she leave?

Does this make me look needy?

All of these questions stem from a place of not knowing your true value, and they leave you questioning every move you make. Rather than knowing how wonderful and worthy you are, you wonder how the other person will react and how you’ll be perceived.

It’s one thing to consider someone out of respect, it’s an entirely other thing to consider them out of fear of losing them or being too vulnerable.

On the flip side, relationships and dating get exponentially easier when you naturally value yourself.

So what does it mean to value yourself? It comes down to the 3 A’s

Admiration of yourself and others.

Acceptance of what requires your loving attention (ie. the things you want to “improve” about yourself).

Appreciation for your life and all the aspects of you.

 

Putting this into practice looks like the following:

1. Admiring your strengths:

Take time to think about and write out what your strengths are. What are you naturally great at? What do people compliment you on? What are the best aspects of your physical appearance? What are your emotional strengths? What do you do well? Seeing these clearly stated on paper helps you to fully acknowledge your greatness. Once you identify your strengths – play them up!

For example, if connecting with people is one of your strengths then consider attending more networking events or joining meetup groups that interest you.

2. Accept and embrace what you don’t do so well:

As a conscious person, you’ll undoubtedly become aware of some aspects of you that may require your loving attention. When these come up, take a deep breath in, tell yourself that you’re doing amazingly well, and decide the one next thing you will do to help improve this area of your life. Then let it go, and return to step 1. Always put the greater part of your focus on what you already do well. This leads us perfectly into my next point.

3. Make lists of appreciation about yourself:

Yup, that’s right. Gratitude and appreciation can extend far beyond being thankful for your family, friends and home. They can (and should) begin with all the aspects you appreciate about yourself. The good news is, as you get more comfortable with appreciating yourself two things will happen:

  1. You will find it that much easier to appreciate others.
  2. People will reflect back to you the appreciation you have for yourself.

A big part of knowing your worth is setting and respecting, your boundaries. If you look up the definition of the word, boundary, this is what you’ll find:

A line that marks the limits of an area; a dividing line.

To put this into context with respect to your love life, think of it as a line that creates a cocoon around you. Inside of that safe cocoon are your core values, your energy, your love. To keep from poking too many holes in this cocoon and risk leaking out all the good stuff and letting the negative energies seep in, you need to keep that boundary line strong and, simultaneously flexible with your judgment.

The undeniable truth is that if you want a good relationship, with yourself and other people you need to know what your boundaries are, why they matter to you and why they’re worth sticking to. Bringing it back to the concept of relationships as mirrors, if you do not have or respect your boundaries, you will attract partners who highlight this lack of boundary setting within yourself.

To help you set your boundaries, here are a few guidelines and questions to ask yourself.

1. Clarity

This is your opportunity to get clear on what your unique boundaries are. Some prompting questions to help you:

What is appropriate to you when it comes to relationships?

What is inappropriate to you?

What uplifts you in a relationship experience?

What depletes you?

What boundary(ies) do you need to set so that you feel safe, secure and energized within the relationship?

Some examples are:

  • You need at least one night alone every week
  • You expect sexual monogamy
  • You speak to each other using respectful words, no matter how upset you are with one another.

To help with the clarification of your boundaries, write them down and review them.

2. Communication

While boundaries may sound like you’re putting a hard line between you and your partner, or the person you’re newly dating, they’re actually intended to protect your union and bring you closer. When the need comes up to communicate a boundary, such as when it has been crossed, this presents a beautiful opportunity to foster emotional intimacy (more about emotional connections in chapter 6 and communication in chapter 9!).

By honoring one another’s boundaries you foster deeper love and respect.

3. Discernment

With knowing and respecting your boundaries comes the conversation about discernment. Having boundaries doesn’t necessarily mean you have to end the relationship when a boundary is crossed (though, this is obviously necessary and appropriate at times), it simply presents an opportunity to practice conflict resolution and let each other in on what matters to you in a partnership.

Setting boundaries comes back to self-love (chapter 1) and self worth. By setting your own standards and treating yourself with respect and appreciation, you show others how you expect to be treated – and how you will treat them!

If you’re single:

When you meet someone you really like, as exciting as this time can be, you’re likely also starting to experience all the woes of this beginning stage. It feels tricky and confusing, but it doesn’t have to. While there are no hard set rules to follow, what you can do is know your value – and act from that place.

Sounds too simple? Think about it for a minute. If someone doesn’t respond to you, is it really because you sent a text asking how their day’s going? Who knows what the reason is. It could have everything or nothing to do with you at all; but it’s definitely not because of that one message. When you’re finding it hard to know what to do next, act from a place of high self-worth: be kind but never desperate.

This is the key.

The more you love and value yourself, the easier and more intuitive it is to make the right decisions for that person you love…you. And when you act from a place of dignity and self-worth, you won’t worry about every little action or word because doing so only keeps you spinning and disconnected from reality – which leaves very little room for real connection.

So let’s break it down with a few practical examples:

  1. If you’re the one doing all the calling and texting (this goes for any of your relationships), does this hold to your value? NO.
  2. If you message someone after he or she treats you to a lovely dinner to say thank you and let them know that you had a nice time, does this hold to your value? YES.
  3. If the person you’re seeing is being distant, avoids your attempts of contacting them and yet you continue to chase after him or her, does this hold to your value? NO.

    When you can separate your sense of worth from how someone does or doesn’t react to you, then you can simply act based on your values and your value.
If you’re in a relationship:

Are you being valued in your relationship? What’s your part in what’s going wrong?

These questions can get a little trickier to answer when love and years of commitment come into the equation. The questions of should you stay or should you go get all muddled up in emotions and nostalgic memories.

Once again, your self-worth and value act as anchors for you here. You can step into your value and out of the victim role by acknowledging that you have three options:

  1. Stay in the relationship and make peace with things as they are.
  2. Change the way you see things or change the way you approach them.
  3. Leave the relationship.

Whichever you choose, you need to be prepared to do the following: Give to yourself what you continue to ask for from your partner.