Do You Know Your Worth?

Do you know your true worth?

Whether consciously or unconsciously, do you base your worth on your paycheck? Or your success? Or your productivity & how much you can get done? Or how many games you win if you’re an athlete? Or how other people are succeeding or what others have or are doing?  The list could go on.

We don’t base the value of someone with special needs like Down’s syndrome on how much they achieve do we? No. We value them even more because of the amazing gift they are to the world.

Why on earth then do we determine our own worth by our paycheck, our achievements, our success, what we create and produce, or how we compare to others, etc?

I have a theory. We live in a scarcity mindset when it comes to knowing our own worth. I know I do. It’s something I’m working on overcoming.

We listen to negative words about us from others. Of course the persons speaking those over us do not realize how their words can damage our spirits. We compare ourselves to others. What’s the old saying? “Comparison is the thief of joy?”

What other people say about us or to us has zero to do with our worth.

When we compare ourselves to others, all we are doing is questioning how God created us.

Another symptom of scarcity mindset is something I have observed within myself as well as others. Our first reaction when we don’t agree with someone is to label them as bad or wrong.

We devalue their worth because we don’t agree with their beliefs or religion or lifestyle. We may not do this consciously, but it happens whether we are aware of it or not. 

Our ego stuck in a dualistic mindset subconsciously thinks if we devalue someone else because they are different or do not believe what we believe then it somehow raises our own worth.

If we want to understand how we see our own worth, we have to be brutally honest with ourselves about the worth and value we see in others. In reality, all devaluing someone else does is continue to devalue our own self worth. It continues the downward spiral into even more of a scarcity mindset.

I’ve lived with a scarcity mindset about my worth and value for as long as I can remember. Part of this is due to my personality. As an Enneagram One, I have always had this inner critic telling me that I’m not good enough or I’m not doing a good enough job. I call this inner critic “little Amy.” Thanks to the work I’ve done through the Enneagram and working with my own coach I now understand that while this part of my personality thinks it is trying to help, it ultimately sabotages me.

And honestly? I’m tired of living with this scarcity mindset about my worth and value. Whether it be work or any other situation, when I go into it with the scarcity mindset that I am not good enough it gives other people permission to treat me as if I have no worth or value. I’ve experienced this very recently in a situation. Plus it keeps me in a downward spiral of being critical of others and myself.

Please don’t misunderstand me. Knowing your own worth isn’t pride when we know our worth is found in Christ. If we are created in God’s image, if we are fearfully and wonderfully made, and if before we were formed God knew us, we have worth simply because we are.

Knowing our worth may mean there will be times we have to stand up to people to keep them from running over us. I don’t think Christ meant to allow people to run over you when he said turn the other cheek. I think he meant to let go of any reaction you have to the situation. You can still take action and create boundaries without having an internal reaction to what is happening. People won’t like you when you set boundaries with them. It won’t be comfortable. Believe me I know this first hand, but it is necessary.

My worth does not come from anything external. This is knowing that my worth is based in Christ and not anything I do on my own or how I achieve or produce or perform or what other people say about me. 

As a coach I use the tool of the Enneagram to help others discover that their worth is not based on what they do or what others say or what they achieve. I love seeing people understand themselves a little more each session and discover the beautiful gifts and strengths God created them with to share with the world.

What about you? Can you see times in your life where you were living with a scarcity mindset about your own worth and value?

To learn more about coaching click here to schedule a discovery consultation! I would love to help you in your personal and/or leadership growth!

A Practice of Rest

Sabbath. It’s something that became almost sacred to me during 2020. The world was so noisy and filled with so much fear I physically needed it. I also needed it spiritually.

I needed to rest. I also needed to cease. Cease the endless chatter vying for room in my mind.

I needed to unplug from the world that seemed to have gone crazy. I could sense the fear coming from people when I went to work or the grocery store. It was suffocating.

Sabbath became a life preserver for my sanity. I refused to live in the fear I saw people living in.

Sabbath and the spiritual practice of centering prayer kept me centered.

Sabbath doesn’t just mean to cease and rest. It’s letting go of our autonomy and reminding ourselves we can’t do anything on our own. It’s trusting that God will provide even when we are still, and not producing.

When I talk to people about Sabbath, everyone says they are too busy to make practice a Sabbath.

I remember when I was a little girl all the businesses were closed on Sundays. And many businesses closed at noon on Wednesdays. Rest was a part of life.

I’m not sure when that changed. It was a gradual change. I believe it’s time we flipped the script on what culture tells us we should be doing. It’s an act of rebellion against a noisy and chaotic world when we cease our striving to produce and do for an entire day. It has the potential to help bring us back to our true self and find our purpose in who God created us to be. We are able to share with those in our lives the divine love of God when we aren’t’ thinking about what we need to be doing next. It helps us live in the present moment without feeling shame about the past or anxiety about the future.

Now we think that rest is earned. But what if we shifted our mindset from earning the rest to working FROM a place rest? 

What if we changed our perspective on Sabbath? If you are uncomfortable with the term Sabbath, call it a Practice of Rest. Whether you are religious or not, it can be a life changing practice. We don’t have to be legalistic about it. We can set our intention to rest and prepare for that intention as best as possible. The point is not to follow a set of “rules,” but to set an intention in our heart. We set our intention to cease striving just for that day and find delight. Your delight might be in gathering with friends. It might be enjoying a hobby or visiting with family. It might be literally resting and just reading.

My challenge to you is to start your practice of rest small. Maybe set aside 6 hours one day a week and do not think about work or chores or what you need to be doing and instead do things to just simply be. The point isn’t to follow a bunch of rules, but to do something that brings you rest and delight. Something that brings you life so you can work FROM rest instead of earning rest. Not only will it have an impact on your emotional and spiritual help in a profound way, it can also impact your physical health in positive ways.

These books have been helpful in my study of Sabbath and establishing the practice of a day of rest:

Garden City by John Mark Comer

The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry by John Mark Comer

The Sabbath – Abraham Joshua Herschel

Sabbath – Dan Allender

Annie F. Downs has also shared a great deal about Sabbath and this video from her shares more.

Joy

Joy cannot be found outside of ourselves. It can only be found when we are following the way of Christ and are present in the moment.

You often hear people talk about joy and how it is different that happiness. And I believe this is true. Happiness is dependent on outside forces. Things we cannot control. But joy is a deep inner peace.

How many times have you heard a sermon or message in church on joy? Having grown up in church I’ve lost count. But of all those sermons and messages on joy I can only remember it being said to abide in Jesus. But what does that really mean?

I was told it meant to do certain things: Read your bible more. Pray more. Be more involved at church. Give to the church more.

Supposedly doing these things more would bring you “MORE” joy. I’m not saying any of these things are bad. I’m not saying that at all.

But what do you do when you’ve done all those things “MORE” and you don’t feel joy?

Personally, I’ve found there was one key piece missing in how I was taught to “abide in Jesus.”

When I learned to walk in the way of Christ that Jesus lived, something shifted.

If we pare all the rules of religion down to simply the way that Christ taught, we see that he lived truly in the present moment almost all the time. He loved, but didn’t condemn. He didn’t base others worth on what they did or didn’t do. Jesus knew how to just simply be and be present in the moment right in front of him.

Look at the verses about the flowers of the field and birds of the air in Matthew 6:

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[e]?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Think back to the times where you truly felt and peace and a deep sense of joy. Were you worrying about the future? Were you replaying something from the past that caused you shame or stress? No. Most likely in those moments of deep joy you were present in that very moment.

Think back to the times where you truly felt and peace and a deep sense of joy. Were you worrying about the future? Were you replaying something from the past that caused you shame or stress? No. Most likely in those moments of deep joy you were present in that very moment.

I believe we don’t experience deep joy because we don’t live in the now as Eckhart Tolle calls it. When we learn to be present without wishing it were any different than it is, that is when we experience deep joy. Wishing the moment were different than what it is is being resistant to what is. Yes, this can be hard to do when the moment is painful or frustrating or something we consider bad. But it is what it is and by resisting it we get stuck and use our valuable energy on wishing it were something other than it is.

When we have moments that are so enjoyable and experiences we consider great, we have a tendency to cling to those moments instead of letting them flow through us as Michael Singer puts it in Living Untethered. Clinging to these moments can keep us from experiencing the moment and experiences right in front of us. We can be so focused on wishing what we are experiencing was as good as that other experience we are clinging to that we are blinded to the goodness right in front of us.

Resisting and clinging both keep us from experiencing true joy.

Just Simply Be

Do we know how to just be?

My contemplative book club just finished Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth and in the last chapter he talks about learning to just be.

He talks about how in old age in previous eras the elderly were respected because of their wisdom, but in our modern culture not so much. “Because in old age, the emphasis shifts from doing to Being, and our civilization, which is lost in doing, knows nothing of Being. It asks: Being? What do you do with it?”

My daddy knows how to just be. Yes, he’s always been a hard worker and has built and repaired more things than I can possibly imagine, but he also knows how to just sit and take in nature. You can find him sitting on his porch almost every day at some point marveling at the hundreds of hummingbirds that surround his feeders during the warmer months. We swear he puts a little extra sugar in the homemade nectar he fills his eight feeders up with every day. (Yes, they empty his feeders every day.)

Our world is so busy and noisy and moving at such a fast pace we have forgotten the wisdom of just being. We are rushing here and there and every where getting kids to their activities, pushing them to get their homework done, and on and on it goes. Why are we so busy? We’ve bought into the thought that if we aren’t doing something we aren’t successful. What are we sacrificing in order to be seen as successful?

Our spaces don’t encourage us to just be either. How many homes have front or even back porches these days? The farmhouse trend certainly is bringing the front porch back, but not near as many homes have front porches now. I am thankful my home has a back porch. I spend a lot of time on my back porch reading and just being.

I think learning to just be is a state of the heart just like I mentioned in my previous post about hurry. Our heart has to learn to just be. We have rebel against what culture and the world tells us to do. We have to stop striving and doing. Learn to be still. Learn to sit in silence. Learn to experience solitude. Practice Sabbath rest.

I’ve come to believe that it’s essential we take time to rest and slow down so we can hear God in our noisy and hectic world. When we learn to just be we will be more attentive and receptive to God. As we become more attune to just being we become more comfortable with the silence, and as St. John of the Cross once said, “Silence is the first language of God.”

What are some ways you can “Just Be?” What are some activities (like sitting and watching the sunset or others) that you do that bring stillness and being to your spirit?

Starting September 15th, I’ll be sharing a “Just Simply Be” challenge. I’ll be sharing 7 days of activities over on my social media that you can do to slow down and simply be. Subscribe to my email list and I’ll send you a list of even more activities to give you ideas of ways you can slow down and simply be. I’d love for you to join me as we discover ways we can slow down. You can follow Growth Essentials Coaching (@growthessentialsllc) on Instagram and Facebook.

Learning to “Just Be” is one of the things I help clients discover through Enneagram and life coaching. To see if Enneagram coaching is right for you, I offer a free consultation where we will discuss how you want to grow, what your next best steps could be, and if coaching is a good choice for you. Whether we work together or not you will have a better understanding of what you can do to move toward your highest potential with purpose and peace. Click here to schedule your free consultation.

In a Hurry

I was on my way home from work one recent Friday & traffic was heavier than usual. The university students were moving back in after summer break before rush week. Public & private schools started back the next week plus the university’s summer graduation ceremony was happening that weekend. So a lot of traffic and a bit of a shock to the system when you’ve been used to the summer pace of traffic.

I was in the right lane and was needing to get over to the left lane before my left turn coming up. I put my blinker on and was just starting to shift lanes when in my mirror I saw this truck quickly speeding up in the left lane, almost out of no where, so I stayed in the right lane. The truck flew past me.

The first thing that popped in my head was the Alabama song “I’m in a Hurry.”

I’m in a hurry to get things done.

I rush & rush until life’s no fun.

All I really gotta do is live and die,

But I’m in a hurry & don’t know why.

I shook my head & wondered why he was in such a hurry. He didn’t have his caution lights on so I’m assuming he wasn’t rushing due to an emergency. And his tag said he was a firefighter. But here’s the funny thing. There was a traffic light up ahead, and when I got to the red light guess who I pulled right up behind? Yep. The firefighter in a hurry.

I have a friend who drives the speed limit. She never hurries when she’s driving. It’s one of the things I respect about her. Anytime I’m feeling rushed to get somewhere I think about her and slow down. I also remind myself of information I’ve seen about traffic lights before: that if you drive the speed limit you will hit most green lights. Sure you might hit a red light, but for the most part you will get mostly green lights. I’ve tried it. In Birmingham traffic and I have to say I hit mostly green lights. So I think there is something to it.

What would happen if we were intentional about slowing down with everything? What if we slowed down and were very present in our work tasks. I know for me personally I almost always end up making a mistake when I’m rushing to get through the task. What if we stopped and watched the sun set or watch a butterfly flit from flower to flower? What if we took a deep breath and calmed our minds and slowed down?

You see rushing and hurrying aren’t going to get us where we need or want to go any more quickly in life. We will still get caught by red lights, literal & figurative, no matter how fast we are going. Maybe if we stopped rushing and stopped to take in the extraordinary moments that happen in our every day ordinary lives then those red lights in life wouldn’t cause us so much frustration. And who knows. We might not even experience some of them because we are not rushing around trying to get to some unknown moment in the future. What if we went the speed limit not only on the road, but in our actual lives.

When we hurry, we are rushing to a future moment and cannot be present in the here and now moment. Hurry is a state of the heart. It keeps us from seeing the people and moments right in front of us. It tempts us to look at people as nuisances instead of a person made in God’s image. It keeps us from seeing nature as God’s beautiful creation. Most of all, it deafens us to God’s voice. God’s voice is not in some future moment that hasn’t happened. God’s voice is always in the here and now, but we can only hear it if we slow down. We can only hear it if we are present in the now.