Have you ever done a review of how much you are worth? A few years after I first started working, I made an appointment to meet with my financial advisor who did a preliminary assessment of my ‘net-worth’.
A few years after I first started working, I made an appointment to meet with my financial advisor who did a preliminary assessment of my ‘net-worth’.
My Net Worth
I was worth about $500k roughly.
So that was how much I was worth.
Not bad, I thought to myself, considering I barely had enough to spend every month on my meagre salary.
All I knew at that time was that I had no credit card debts, no loans or mortgages. Even though I was free from debts, I was living from paycheck to paycheck.
But then, an INTERESTING THOUGHT CAME UP.
Real Worth Of A Person
Then a query appeared in my head.
How would a $500k person think, feel or act?
$500k is not a small figure but I have never felt like an expensive person.
Especially when all this while, I was living like a reckless young adult who finally got her freedom to earn and spend her keeps would usually do.
And when I realised that question came up, my whole persona changed.
Something in me twitched and I subconsciously stood taller, talked louder and felt more sense of control, power and confidence.
You see, in our community, we are always comparing with others, with the girl sitting beside you, with a younger person, with our friends, sometimes even cousins. How many people in the world can we compare against?
When I was given a figure to tag myself on, it was as though I had something to lean on and reference to. And with a six figure net worth, it was quite empowering, considering I was in my early 20s and not earning as much.
Then I started asking more questions.
If what I was earning then meant how much my net worth (self-worth) was valued at, what about when I get older, earn more and have assets?
I was asking myself, why not a million? How do I become worthy of a million?
It was the beginning of a messy emotional-financial entanglement which got me into a self-persuasion loop that I needed to earn more to feel more confident and stand taller against whoever I was standing beside.
I was basing my value of a person on the amount of monetary wealth I have accumulated.
So I tied in the value of me as a person, to how the market sees me as an individual.
To feel more satisfied with myself, I started accumulating luxury bags and branded jewellery because these kind of stuff are visible and tangible. My relationships were not visible, nor was my health or my kindness to people around me.
All I knew was if I have more income, I would feel more powerful and confident.
But I was not happy even though I was worth that much.
A Never-Ending Loop
I didn’t go for second assessment because later on, I realised how self-destructing that was.
It made you feel great for a while because initially, you’ve never thought that you could be of so much value, but it gets you into a fix of thinking that you have to be more to feel better.
As I did, I was pursuing more and more material stuff but I didn’t really feel happier or better about myself.
What I also realised was buying luxury goods, watches and jewellery did not make me a notch higher in social class. In fact, when I got more in my wardrobes, I kept asking myself what’s next…
It boosted my confidence for a few days, but it has never brought me lasting satisfaction like I did when I gave tuition to my students or spent time playing with children at voluntary organisations.
New Perspectives on Worthiness
No, a higher (market) net worth, higher earning power or more collection did not change my self-worth.
I was still the same old me who prefer to wear T-shirt and shorts than dressing up on weekends. I still cringe at social events. I still need to return to my introverted nest after a week of socialising. I still prefer jogging to group activities. I still face insecurity when I gained a kg. I still prefer hawker centres than forcing myself to dine with poise and leave with a barely filled tummy. I still prefer cinemas to galas.
What Makes Me Wealthier and Worthy
What I did realise was I was happier when
I accept myself as who I am, not caring too much or stressing about that 1 kg, and
I decide to do something about my issues,
I get to spend quality time with my family, and
I have time for myself,
I learn new things on regular basis through reading or courses,
I was constantly trying out new things
I have the chance to travel not to meet new friends or taste delicacies, but to see places and find myself in the journeys,
I set and finish my own challenges
I realise that I have my limits and temper,
I know I have my good and bad days,
I know when to stay in my introverted nest till I’m ready to socialise again,
I say, “No, I’m not free cuz I want to go jog tonight” because I know my priorities,
I take care of my well being first and I feel good about myself.
I found my way of showing love and care to myself and then, others,
I go for my jogs four times a week and feel healthy
I don’t workout jog for few days in a row and I feel down
I am myself, the real me who stands up for my own opinion and not get personal with others’ comments
That’s what made me feel like I was living my days full, rich and satisfied.
NET WORTH ≠ SELF WORTH
Net Worth is NOT EQUAL to SELF Worth.
It is a measure of how much physical tangible assets you own as an individual, but it can never measure your self-esteem, self-worth, value, character, personality, confidence, talents, dreams and your capabilities.
Self Worth is worth so much more!
So many people kept saying that they don’t know who they are, don’t know what they want, hate living or are always depending on others to give them love them to feel worthy.
When you acknowledge yourself and know that you are worth much more than a figure that’s tagged on to you, you don’t need any validation from anyone else really.
Because I learn to understand myself, love and care for myself, I don’t depend on others to tell me whether I’m worthy or not.
I was able to show myself love when I needed it, instead of clinging on to some people or material stuff.
I don’t feel like a million dollars now but I feel lighter, happier, more peaceful and contented with myself for I know who I am and understand myself, I know what I want, and what works for me.
If you want to be happy, set your own worth instead of waiting for people to put a tag on you “WORTHY” or “NOT WORTHY”
If you want to be loved, love yourself first.
If you know who you are, go ahead and be who you authentically truly are
If you don’t know much about yourself yet, go and try new things (make new friends, try new food) , explore places (travel in and out of the country, visit museums, galleries), find new interests (arts/crafts/paint/music/sing/draw / read/ climb/swim/cook/bake/cycle/run a marathon) or take up new challenges (learn new languages, travel solo, create something from scratch, etc)
Remember that you don’t need approval from others to be happy
(More Read: Be In Your Happy Space)
If you are holding back on doing something good for yourself because of someone at some point, who gave you label as not worth it, useless, stupid or piece of trash, you are giving them the permission to put a tag on you when you know, deep inside you are not.
If you want to be at peace, don’t compare yourself to others.
It’s true when they say life is a race against yourself.