Society defines us all in one way or another. Whether that standard could be based off your intellect, your looks, your connections, your wealth, or your power, most of us are all conditioned to judge before we even realize what we are doing. The word judge is defined as “forming an opinion or conclusion after careful consideration.” The action of judging in our society, however, is without any consideration whatsoever.
Sometimes when I’m talking to my friends, I realize I start off my sentences with, “Don’t judge me, but…” This made me question how much importance we hold in the way we view one another. Society claims that your self worth as a person is not measured by status, intellect, looks, or the material things you possess. So then, why does it seem like that’s all people in society do?
Your worth is not represented by your job or career. You may not be in the field you’ve always wanted to work in. Or maybe you’re working to make ends meet until you can find another opportunity for something you enjoy. The world doesn’t function by everyone constantly “following their dreams” immediately from the beginning. Some people have to start at the bottom, due to circumstances or luck, and work their way up. I encourage you to follow your dreams, just understand that it may take longer when you’re working your way up the ladder. But just remember, it’ll be that much more meaningful when you reach your destination.
Your worth is not represented by your grades or academics. Yes, it is important to work hard and give your best efforts. But let’s face it; some people are smarter than others. And that’s okay. Sometimes, you have to work a little harder to get where you want to go, and that’s completely alright. Don’t drag yourself down with the occasional bump in the road, especially when you’re trying to build yourself up for a greater goal in the end. A path with no obstacles won’t lead you anywhere worth going.
Your worth is not represented by your defeats. Success is funny concept. When I was younger, someone once asked me, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” And my reply was “to be successful.” Our society has drilled into our minds the idea that trying something without succeeding as unacceptable. But most individuals fail hundreds of times before they succeed. Success is rare, but always possible. And it’s not easy, but nothing easy is worth gaining anyway.
Your worth is not represented by your mistakes. Believe it or not, I am a human being. I personally make more mistakes than I’d like to admit, but that’s the beauty of being imperfect. Mistakes provide a learning experience, so stop dwelling over past mistakes, and plow forward. You are not meant to be perfect, but don’t let your mistakes define you either.
Your worth is not represented by your insecurities about yourself. Our generation’s obsession with fame and beauty has reached an all time high. Some of us don’t realize that celebrities are regular people who look normal, without the pounds of makeup they are expected to wear all the time. We see the pretty, glossy magazine covers, and define that as beauty. What we don’t see are the hours of hair, makeup, and lighting (not to mention Photoshop) that go into just one picture. That’s just how the entertainment business works, but we shouldn’t confuse ourselves with its standards of beauty. Everyone has a few insecurities, but we shouldn’t let those doubts overcome our self- image. As cliché as it sounds, we are all beautifully different in our own ways. So why try to look the same?
So then, what is your worth represented by?
Your worth is represented by the people you love, and those who love you back. Your worth is represented by the effort you give in hopes of changing something or someone for the better. Your worth is represented by your hopes, your aspirations, and your beliefs. Your worth is represented by the lives you touch. Maybe each of us have our own definition of self worth, and I have mine. But just remember what it isn’t represented by.