I like listening to the CDs from Success Magazine. They are always full of really great stuff. I listened to one with a gentleman named Tony Schwartz as he was talking about the importance of being valued—of feeling valued. He said that feeling valued was as important to our emotional energy as sleep, nutrition and exercise are to our physical energy. Wow. I believe it.
Most of us already know we need to sleep, eat and move in order to be at our best. We may not always do it, but we know it. I don’t think the same is true, however, for feeling valued. Imagine what would happen if we got told over and over since we were kids, on the news, at school, from our parents, teachers, through health education, etc. that in order to feel and be at our best we needed to feel valued, loved and appreciated. Imagine if we had always been told that we were inherently good and deserved to be valued. I bet we would take it more seriously and not think it was too soft and “girly” to care about. And I think we would do things differently because we would really understand that being valued not only feels great, but it also lowers our stress levels, increases our energy and adds to our well-being.
But what I really think would happen—what I would want to have happen—is this. We would begin to realize, just like with diet and exercise, that being valued is our own job; that we must be the ones to make the changes. I love when people value, love and appreciate me and what I do! And I love when they let me know it. It feels great when that happens! But do you notice that some days you just aren’t surrounded by family, friends, co-workers, teachers, supervisors, audiences, etc. who take the time, energy and initiative to tell you how much they value you? It may sound a bit dramatic, but I think it verges on abusive to base our personal value only on what others say about us. If we always wait for others’ positive reactions in order to feel valued, we simply will not be able to feel our true value in any lasting, meaningful way.
Here is your provocation for the week. On days when you aren’t surrounded by people who tell you how much they value you, or on days when they do but you still can’t feel it—then it’s your job to create that feeling from within. One of the most magical, graceful and powerful ways to feel valued, loved and appreciated is to begin to consciously, intentionally and willingly take your energy to value, love and appreciate others. Almost nothing compares with the radiant inner joy and strength I feel when I take moments—on purpose—to dwell on what I love and appreciate about people, things and situations in my world. It is as simple and profound as this: I feel my own sense of inner value grow when I take time to consciously appreciate and feel the value of others. It really is a win-win situation. This week when you notice that you have low energy or when you aren’t feeling as loved or valued as you would want, find someone or something to value. Send them appreciation on purpose. Radiate out to them a feeling of how much you value them. Focus on what you love about them. And feel how your own inner awareness of being strong, competent and valued increases.
Do you want to know something else really beautiful? The more you do that for yourself first, the more you will be surrounded by people who can feel your value, and often tell you about it. How cool!
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