Recently I remembered something I hadn’t thought about in years. It occurred to me that when I started dating my husband five years ago, I owed the IRS close to $30K. Now, the reason I forgot about all of that nasty mess is because I found a way to stop letting things determine my worth. Today, I no longer let that THING define me, or torture me, or even matter when it comes to how I feel about myself as a person and as a human being, having HUMAN experiences. You know, where we inevitably, royally screw something up on practically a daily basis.
How to Stop Letting Things Determine Your Worth
It’s probably a safe bet that most of us think it’s these THINGS that define our worth. It might be your weight. Weight is just a number on a scale, and that does not determine your worth, unless of course you let it. You may be thinking about your debt. But your DEBT doesn’t define your worth either. Renting a home instead of owning one doesn’t make you worth any less. Your income doesn’t define your worth. Mistakes aren’t part of your worth, and your PAST definitely is not your worth. In order to feel good and become a magnet for love, you must find a way to stop letting things determine your worth. Trust me, I know all about it. I did it, too.
For a long time, I allowed the debt, and my past, and my mistakes to define me, define my definition of value. It was me who LET things determine my worth, whatever those things were. My jean size, my weight, my IRS debt, and the list goes on. What do you think happened when I focused on the jeans that didn’t fit? Of course, I felt like crap. Whenever I focused on that huge sum I owed the IRS, I felt like crap. If I focused on the number that I USED to see on the scale, I felt like crap. And when I focused on mistakes I made or bad judgement calls, I felt like crap. Judging myself and allowing things to determine my own worth was NOT helping. At all.
I Had to Redefine What Self-Worth Meant to Me
It wasn’t until I OWNED my past and OWNED my debt and OWNED my bad judgement calls that they didn’t have any power over me anymore. Then my self worth started to climb UP, in the right direction, and I began feeling better and better about myself. It started with putting each “thing” in a box – unattached to me. Just one thing at a time. Like these things, for example.
These are some of the things we commonly mistake for what determines our self-worth. When in fact, they do not:
Debt is just a dollar amount. Right? I mean, there’s no way I was getting out of paying the IRS, and I wasn’t planning on getting out of it. They were going to get their money. It wasn’t like I was deliberately trying to NOT pay taxes, I just needed the money more than they did at that particular moment! I needed that 30%, thank you very much. I was raising two kids, starting a new business, and my cash flow was not exactly “flowing” if you know what I mean. Kids grow out of all their clothes like every ten minutes! And I wasn’t even splurging. The only things we did for fun were FREE – Libraries, parks, $1 movies. It’s not like I was planning some big escape to another country and screw Uncle Sam out of 30-grand. So, why then was I beating myself up over this thing and making myself feel unworthy? Just because I had a freaking debt to pay? Screw that.
I had to take control of what I could, and let go of what I couldn’t.
So I set up monthly payments, whatever I could afford. They were automatically deducted from my account on the 1st of the month and then I was able to stop focusing on it. And honestly, I did not think about it at all. When that self critic BITCH in my head started to think, “You have a huge debt, you have a huge debt, it’s going to take forever to pay it off, you should be ashamed of that, you shouldn’t tell anyone that, no one will want to marry anyone with that much debt.” I said, “STOP. It’s going down, it’s going down, it’s going down, IT IS ZERO, IT IS ZERO, IT IS ZERO,” and focused my thoughts and attention on the END GAME, the ZERO. Focused on the celebration I would have when that last statement reflecting ZERO would finally arrive.
Next, I visualized what I was going to do with the extra money when that debt was ZERO. Go get a massage! Some new jeans! Take the kids to that cool movie theater where you push the button and order terrible food that’s way too expensive! But it’s so fun so who cares!?!?!?! THAT’S the change, the focus on the END, the focus on the celebration, the ZERO. Not $30,000. ZERO. It’s zero NOW.
All that time I felt stressed and ashamed of that number, I’ll never get one minute of that time back. I could have focused on the ZERO and the celebration and what I was going to do with the money THAT WHOLE TIME! I wish I had started earlier and felt better EARLIER. Learn from me and my mistake, and start FEELING BETTER TODAY! Stop letting things like debt determine your self worth. No matter how much debt you have, put it on autopilot. Don’t think about it again. If you think about it, think about it being ZERO! Think about the vacation you’re going to take when it’s ZERO and you have extra money! WHOOO HOOOOOO! I strongly suggest MAUI.
THIS IS A BIG ONE, LADIES. Everyone has that “lowest number” they’ve ever seen and they wish it was that number every morning for the rest of their lives. And if it’s higher, you feel bad. Does this hit home with you? I USED to let a scale determine my mood for the day. I USED to deplete my body of carbs and calories to get a certain number. You know what the lowest I’ve every weighed is? 157. I’m 5’10” and I’m built like a boy (ask my Grandpa). I’ve got Danish blood and Viking bones. At 157, I was probably eating about 800 calories a day. Intermittent fasting, no carbs of any kind, no fruit, no grains, no sugar, no joy, no happiness, no life, no energy, just starving and skinny. Sounds awesome, doesn’t it? No! I am just as worthy of love and happiness at 157, 177, 197, no matter what that scale says. Comparison truly is the thief of joy, but I used to always see that as – don’t compare yourself to anyone else. I never thought about how I was always comparing myself to my own self! I am my own worst critic.
I had to stop giving things like numbers power over my self-worth.
How did I STOP letting that number have any power over me? First I threw the scale away. I have one again now, because I’m working with a nutritionist and doing a little trimming the right way. But I don’t weigh myself every day like I used to. In fact, she posts her own weight every day so we all can see how even the experts who are “perfect and ripped” fluctuate on the scale. Weight always fluctuates! on everyone. Good lesson to learn. She’s helping me find out what foods work best with my body. And I stopped putting so many rules on myself. She has taught me that we make too many rules, we’re not going to be able to follow them 100% of the time and then we feel like failures. I drink less coffee. Believe me, I love coffee. I could drink it literally all day long, but I DON’T because what I’ve found is that after two cups, it does change my mood and biology. After two cups I tend to feel anxiety from too much caffeine. So now I limit my coffee to two cups a day.
Take the focus OFF that THING you think is determining your worth, and focus on taking care of that beautiful body. Shift gears. Take charge of that brain of yours, and just say NO! STOP! That scale doesn’t matter! It’s a daily practice of self care and kind self talk. I work daily on speaking kindly to myself and about myself. I work on hitting my nutrition targets and getting some kind of exercise every day. I’m not perfect because I let go of trying to be “perfect”. That word doesn’t mean anything and really needs to removed from our vocabulary. I don’t cut out anything; I don’t follow a strict diet. That stuff makes me go crazy. I just focus on my targets for the day and get close! Your food determines everything that happens to YOU! Everything. So you need it. You need the right kind of food. The better my nutrition, the better I FEEL, the better I SLEEP, and the lower the STRESS, the better the BRAIN WORKS! It’s all determined by the food you EAT, not the food you DON’T EAT.
Almost the same thing as above, but slightly different. Do you have some jeans in your closet that are too small and some size you think you “should” be? I sure did. In my book, I talk about the Most Powerful Jeans in the Universe. When I was that skinniest I’ve ever been [for about 5 minutes] I went to Atlanta on a work trip to meet with clients. We walked into this super swanky boutique that was way cooler than me, and I bought the most awesome pair of jeans I’d ever seen. They had little gemstones on the pocket. Not like Miss MEs, although I had those too and I totally dig them. These were subtle, with red lining on the inside. The sales gal said that they were all the rage in Hollywood and every famous actress was wearing them. You GOTTA LOVE A GREAT SALESPERSON! And this was all before anyone had heard of Instagram influencers. Since I’m in marketing, I LOVE to be sold on something. I almost bought two pairs!
Things like the size of your jeans do not determine your worth.
There’s only one trick for resolving the issue of your jean size determining your WORTH, and that is give them away! That’s right. I would see them and I would feel bad. Not ok. Simply donate them and get them out of your closet. Some skinny bitch at Goodwill will LOVE THEM! No really, give them away. Treat yourself to some new jeans that fit your curves. Curves are good! You’re the only one in the Universe with that beautiful body JUST LIKE YOURS! If you have a pair of jeans or any piece of clothing that makes you feel bad, you gotta get it out of your house! Your size, including your jean size, is NOT your worth. You are beautiful and deserve real love at size 0 or 10 or 20. It doesn’t matter and we need to stop letting anyone talk down to us or talk negatively to us, especially ourselves.
Your debt is not your worth! Your weight is not your worth!
It wasn’t until I stopped focusing on these things and took my power back, that I was able to build my own self worth little by little, one step at a time. I felt myself feeling better and more confident, happier, and I slept better. It was THEN that my now husband noticed me and saw me for the first time, even thought we had already known each other for six years. It’s all about the work on the inside. It’s ALL about taking care of that girl in the mirror. Once I started taking care of HER, the magic happened. Then I became a magnet for love in ALL areas of my life. And you can, too. Be kind to yourself. Know your worth. Believe in yourself. Give yourself and compliment. Focus on just improving and your progress! It’s a journey, and the more I focus on progress, the better I feel, so maybe you could try it and feel a little better, too!