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Thursday, February 21, 2013

"Know Your Worth!"

Welcome to Archived Thursdays. There's so many articles on the Virtue site that I thought it would be fun to have a day simply dedicated to back articles. 

Hence, Archived Thursdays! Enjoy.

Over the past few weeks, there's been a nagging feeling tugging at my mind. Conversation after conversation, I've found myself talking about self-worth. At first it came up in a conversation about a friend's relationship. 

She was questioning why women constantly settle for men who aren't interested in offering much, 

therefore making the woman in the relationship change her standards and just accept what's given to her. My answer to her inquiry, "I think it's about knowing what you're worth and what you want in your relationship." Once you know that, you can compare your current relationship with what you want and then make a decision.

Check. One conversation solved.

But then it was my turn. I was on the phone talking to my ever-wise mom about a job position I desperately wanted. It had all the bells and whistles; non-office environment, great benefits, flexible work hours . . . everything that an introverted, creative person could dream for. As the days loomed on and I didn't receive a phone call and my self-worth began to plummet. 

It seemed like a slap in the face. 

I went out on a limb applying for a job that was recommended to me by a friend, only to get somewhat put up on a shelf.

I was distraught.

They didn't want me.

That's when my mom shared one of her oh-so-wise thoughts,

"You're sitting here wondering if you're good enough for them, but are they good enough for you?"

I was stumped. She was right. As I sat stalking my phone and email, I secretly hoped that I was good enough for their company and that they would want to hire me. 

Not once did I consider myself good enough for a higher position or pay grade. 

I was settling, just like so many other women.
That's when I knew it was time to take action. It's imperative that we as women start realizing our self-worth. Not only in a relationship, but in our careers, and families. 

Here's what I mean:

Career: After graduating from college, I took a job as a teacher. The pay was very low, but hey, I was a recent college grad and just happy to have any sort of income. Fast forward to today and I realized my mentality still hadn't changed. When applying for a job that paid in the upper-forties I was shocked that they wanted to pay me so much. 

Was I even worth it?

Looking at my resume, I realized a week or two later, I was more than worth it. In fact, I was worth a whole lot more. I was going into applying for jobs as an entry-level college student but I'd long surpassed that. 

I had become a professional, with real experience, and references to back me up. If I was going to move from college student pay to professional pay, I'd better know my own self-worth. 

The point? 
1. Know your level of expertise in your career. Don't just settle for the bare minimum when you can go after the top prize.
2. Know what your resume says about you. You may be more marketable than you think. 

Family & Friends:Growing up, I was one of four children. To my disadvantage, I was the second child which automatically placed me in the middle. (Not to mention I was the second girl followed by the "golden prized" baby boy) I think it's safe to say I was the black sheep of the family. I spent most of my time in my "cave" (bedroom) as my family referred to it, reading books, dreaming, and just thinking about my family politics. I didn't talk much so that only made the situation worse. I was constantly criticized for being too private, secretive, anti-social but I never saw myself as any of those things. I saw my privateness as time of creativity,  my secretiveness as loyalty, and my anti-socialness as time of rejuvenation. All in all, I was wayyy too old for my age. 

Fast forward to today and all of the qualities I was criticized for have become my greatest character traits. While I may have been the middle child, it gave me an awesome opportunity to develop and grow in ways that I could have never in any other position. Today, I know my worth in the family as being the one who will speak up, give sound unbiased advice, and just all around care for others. After I could accept my so-called character flaws, I became not only valuable to the members of my family, but to the friendships I created with others.

The point?
1. Don't accept the labels others place on you, take those things and use them for your benefit.Your past doesn't have to keep affecting your future.
2. Know your worth in any family position; as a wife, mother, sister, aunt, you're not just there to serve, you're worth so much more than that.
3. Develop friendships and relationships with your family that are an equal give and take.

Dating & Marriage:This area seems to be the biggest problem for most women. (Believe me, I fell into the trap one too many times). The thing is, we get into relationships with the best intentions. The guy seems so great, caring, funny, handsome, but then that all changes. We start seeing things we never noticed before. He just completely becomes someone else. Heck, and most of the time so do we. The great honeymoon period ends and we see our list for what we want in a guy dwindle into almost non-existent. Instead of going after what we've always wanted, we settle for what is given to us. 

Which most of the time is the bare-minimum. (Especially if you're being intimate but that's an entire topic in and of itself).

The point?
1.  If you don't know what you're worth or what you want, you'll settle for anything.
2. There are certain things you should expect in a relationship. They are non-negotiable.These aren't pleasantries, they're what you deserve.
3. Make a list of what you want in a relationship, what's your worth? If the guy is not living up to it and you've discussed it with him, then what are you doing?

All in all, do yourself a favor and put a worth on your life, career, and relationships.

After all, it doesn't matter what people think about you, it matters what God says about you.