Worthiness is evenly distributed, but unequally received. It is not determined by works, background or circumstance. It is not earned or pursued. It cannot be added to or taken away. From the moment you are born, to the moment you die – you are worthy. Worthiness is a permanent state of being. Irrespective of how you entered the world, it is your birthright to acknowledge it.
In full transparency, accepting this truth has been historically difficult. I have struggled deeply with the idea of worthiness, which has often manifested in my confidence and the way I navigate opportunities. I have found it hard to accept compliments that I do not believe myself. I’ve also readily embraced criticism that perpetuates self-deprecation.
This struggle is not foreign. Often, the way we define worth determines the way we approach and receive it. For example, if you define worth as the sum of your circumstances, you will only feel worthy during the “good” times. So when life hits you (as it always does), it is easy to fall into soul crushing cycles that are further heightened by the experience that you may be facing. If you define worth as a constant however, it can change the way you interact with different seasons in your life. You will realize that you are worthy whether you’re employed or in transition, single or married, thin or thick, and the list continues.
The biggest indicator of how you define your worth is rejection. Being told “no” is difficult to process, but how do you conduct yourself in the face of rejection? For instance, if you’re unsuccessful in a job application process, do you start to feel unqualified? If a person you’re interested in does not reciprocate the way you feel, do you think you’re less lovable? If someone dismisses your vision, are you quick to abandon it? If the answers to any of these were “yes”, you may have to assess how you have been defining your worth. Rejection does not mean you are not worthy, it often means that the opportunity, the skill and the time has not aligned for that particular situation.
There is an important distinction between worthiness and entitlement. Realizing your worth recognizes that no one deserves anything more than you, and at the same time you do not deserve anything more than anyone else. A true understanding of worthiness recognizes the value in all people, and leaves space for humility, service and gratitude.
During this new series, I’ll explore what it means to be “born worthy” and to come to the understanding that you are enough. For those of us who have spent decades thinking otherwise, I am hoping it will be the beginning of a beautiful journey. A journey that declares you’re worthy simply because you exist, and you exist for a worthy purpose.