I had this epiphany the other day that should not have come as such a shocker. But it did, because of the way we define value. It came out of conversations I had with several friends around charging for services we provide. All of us love helping others and thrive on knowing when we have made a positive difference in someone else’s day.
So when it comes to putting a value on the service we offer, we get caught up in the thoughts around how much we think we know compared to others and how easy or difficult we find it to extend that service. We then tie the answers that arise to our own self-worth. This seems to especially be true, when a monetary exchange is supposed to take place. It can also happen, when you do a friend a favor and they offer to take you out as a thank you. Suddenly all our insecurities about the skills we have can creep up and we downplay our own worth.
What we forget in this process is that the service we offer, isn’t at all about us and how much we feel or not feel we are worth. If we have a gift or talent that we are sharing, the other person is engaging us to help, because they do not possess what we have to offer. Or maybe they just don’t make doing what we can do for them a priority in their lives and need our help, so they can focus on living the life they want to manifest for themselves.
Therefore the value we place on what we have to give might be completely skewed by our self-image. We might be in our heads, comparing ourselves to the people we aspire to be like and constantly see the mountain we still have to climb to be the version of ourselves that we strive to be.
Yet the person on the receiving end of our gifts might have a completely different experience. To them it doesn’t matter how we look or what other people know. To them it matters that we are our best version in that particular moment in time to provide them with something they need to progress in theirs. This can be consciously or unconsciously, as sometimes what we offer does not manifest itself for the other person until long after we both have already moved on to something else.
What we might deem as small favor or not even worth mentioning, could have been the one thing that kept somebody else from giving up on life. Whatever you do is of value to someone around you. Whether it is your kids, who need you to take care of them for their well-being and survival, because your easy tasks are still insurmountable to them. Whether it is your neighbor, who would have not eaten that day, if you wouldn’t have brought them some food. Or the client, who needed to hear your words to move into alignment with their being.
If all the ways we show up in the world can have an impact on the people around us, then us simply showing up each day makes us invaluable. We might have something to offer that the next person might be in need of.
This brings me back to the sentiment that so many of us hold that it would be selfish to invest time in ourselves and that we should spend our energy in being there for others. Here is where I think self-worth comes into play big time. It is true that every time we show up for people, we have the capability to expand somebody’s life. But if we are so depleted and drained ourselves, because we spend most of our time questioning our skills and abilities, there will not be much left to share.
Therefore it is crucial for each of us to invest in ourselves and our talents. There is something that only we can give to the world and we have the responsibility to attend to it and grow it, so that when we do show up for others, we can do so out of a place of abundance. Sure, there will always be more to learn for us. But the person who seeks us at that moment in time will be in need of what we have available to give right then and there. So make it the best you have to offer at that moment. But make sure it leaves you with what you need and does not deplete you for yourself or for the next person seeking your help.
So when as professionals we look into how much our services are worth, we should look into the value we are providing for the person receiving the services and determine how high they value having what we have to offer in their lives. This is also true for being a friend, family or community member. We have the opportunity to create value in all these places. How much we can show up, depends on how often we allow ourselves to replenish our own resources, so we are ready to share our gifts with the world, no matter how big or small.
Go ahead. Take time for yourself. YOU ARE WORTH IT!