Value is such a weird concept. I know how to value things. I know what I should pay for shoes or jewellery. I get that diamonds are more valuable than plastic. I can at least ballpark a value for my laptop. But when it comes to valuing myself – it’s just so much trickier.
The thing is, valuing yourself is really important. Part of my job is to work with young people. I’ve spent a lot of time on projects, seeing how they work and what matters to them. And I’ve noticed this – the lower their self-confidence, the more stuck they get on tasks. It’s as if they already believe they’re going to fail, and they decide it’s all pointless. Unfortunately, if that’s what they believe, they will never try. If they never try, they never realise that what they do matters.
The worst part is, I see myself in them all the time. I remember moments when I gave up before I even tried, or was so sure I’d fail that the task felt pointless. I watched my friends succeed and compared my life to theirs. I never came out feeling good about myself. I had to find a way to value myself and my life. A friend suggested naming one thing a day that felt worthwhile. So, I gave it a try. I soon realised that my life was full of worthwhile moments.
I’ve come to realise that the small things matter as much as the big things. Sometimes it was seeing a kid at work succeed. Or stopping to help a friend through a problem. Or something as simple as just making a cup of tea for a colleague. When I focused on these things, I started to believe I am capable of doing the big things too. Now, I always make an effort to try. I always push myself to see what I’m capable of. I got sick of feeling like everything was pointless. When we value ourselves, we really can do anything.