Somewhere along the way, I’ve managed to adapt this outlook that my time isn’t as valuable as other people’s time.
It starts with a particular problem I have in saying no. Someone asks for help, I say sure without thinking. Then I spend my time helping them get their goals accomplished and at the end of the day mine remain unfinished.
Why do I put myself in this situation? Then I end up mentally beating myself up over my inability to get my own projects completed. I review my list of projects and my schedule. Right between editing and writing there was this black hole of time that I gave to individuals requesting help. I know friends have warned me about this. They’ve pointed out to me that I need to learn to say no yet when the ‘friend in need’ shows up, I give in and say yes.
It’s my own fault, not theirs. After all if you could get someone else to do your work for you, wouldn’t you give it a try? I might try, but then again that perfectionist part of me would have to micromanage everything they did to a point that I may as well do it myself, then it would be pointless.
Since I can’t convince my children to do their chores, and the household things I am willing to hand off to others, the remaining items on my to-do list are things that I wouldn’t trust in anyone Else’s hands. Which leaves me responsible to handle them. *sigh*
New rules are going into effect as of today.
REVELATION #1: My time is valuable.
REVELATION #2: If I don’t make myself a priority no one else will.
REVELATION #3: Everyone has the same number of hours in a day.
From this point on, I am going offline for my designated writing/editing/rewriting time. After all if I worked in an office environment, then I would not be online during my work day.
A couple weeks ago in a marriage counseling session, the counselor asked me if I felt valued. I was stumped. I thought about that, and felt backed into a corner when he asked. In my mind I had a replay of the scene from Blade runner. Yes, it’s complicated. I didn’t respond that way however, even though I felt suddenly panicked to give an answer. After several minutes he decided to move on – thank God!
But it made me think. Why is it that I value what other people do and other people for that matter over myself and my goals? What is it that makes me feel less valuable?
So here I am still pondering this point. Value is a tricky little word. for me it’s loaded down with a ton of baggage. Baggage that is stamped with ‘worthless’, ‘less valuable’. I’d like to say that it’s not the case but it is. Otherwise I wouldn’t have the issues I do. Actions speak louder than words, and my actions are those of a people pleaser that feels less valuable. Value speaks of dollar amounts and self esteem. It speaks of moral and spiritual significance, and how we fall short of the mark.
In thinking about it over these past few weeks, I am just as valuable as anyone else. The difference is in my own perspective. Sure things I went through as a kid, life experiences colored my perspective but the bottom line is we are all in the same human condition.
Who I am has value. Who you are has value. What we do has value. Our work has value. One of the projects that I was involved in for some time was Storytime Trysts. I still believe that the premise of the blog was a great idea, and a great vehicle for gaining an audience for new and inexperienced authors. However, some of the authors didn’t feel the need to raise their bar to work with others. some of the authors on the blog are exceptional.
There is a point though, when giving away your work for free cheapens what you do. You wouldn’t go to your job and work for free for even one week, would you? No, you expect to be payed for services rendered especially when it is the hard physical labor of your own sweat.
Coming to terms with my false misconceptions about my own value was eye opening, and shed light on why I’ve done certain things. I hated the counselor that night, but now . . . I get it. I’m glad he made me confront my demons. I’m sure we’ll get to the dysfunction of my mother/daughter relationship eventually. I’ll just see if I can’t divert the focus on something else for as long as possible. After all, self examination is a painful experience and I don’t get any anesthesia.
I am valuable. My work is valuable. I matter to at least 3 people – my husband and daughters. It’s high time that I gave myself the same respect I give others.
What about you? Do you value yourself? Do you feel inferior to others? Are you always saying ‘sorry’? Are you always doing things for other people and running yourself ragged? How do you handle it? If you don’t have any issue or struggle with low self esteem, can you tell me how you handle the barrage of requests?
Please leave a comment – I’d like to get other people’s input here!
Write on my friends and know your worth!