When I said yes to my first job out of college I questioned if they should have offered it and if I had what it took.
I was offered the role December of senior year and didn’t start until June so I harbored these feelings for months. Right before graduating the pressure finally got to me on a road trip with two friends to NYC. Suddenly I was sobbing in the back seat to them, what if I can’t do it?
And then the real fear came out,
if this job doesn’t work out I’m a failure.
My friend Brie told me, ‘You’ll do fine. But even if this job doesn’t work out, you’re still worth it. You know why, right?’
I looked at her. I honestly had no idea where she was going.
‘Because you’re YOU. That’s why. This job doesn’t define you. Having it doesn’t make you worthwhile. You’re worthy for who you are.’ It was like a lightbulb went on.
I wish I could say I changed my philosophy that day but it was more like the seed was planted and it was a longer journey.
Here are some things I’ve mistakenly based my self worth on since sitting in the back of that car:
on a relationship
on a job
on things I owned
on my success as a blogger
I didn’t realize I had leaned my self worth against these things until something fell apart.
I dated a guy for three years whom I deeply invested myself in. As I mentioned here, when he left it affected my sense of self worth for some time after.
Another mistake I made was leaning my ladder on my blog.
It felt great to get messages from fans and get told I had style. It also felt good to make money from blogging after the hard work I put in. But it was another mistake, which I started to realize as blogging hit its peaks and valleys. On weeks where I didn’t get as many brand collaboration offers, likes on Instagram, affiliate sales, etc. I started to question my worth. And instead of stopping and reflecting, I just worked harder to get out of that valley to the next peak. Finally the pressure got to me and I took the break I needed to reflect.
I realized I was letting blogging define who I was and more dangerously, leaning my ladder on something that could shift very quickly.
There are other examples that come to mind, but what I learned from them all is that I needed to base my worth on something that can’t fall apart or be taken away from me.
So what do I lean my ladder on today?
on the Lord. I am a child of God and worthy because I am made in His image.
This is the most important thing that defines me. Beyond that, I choose to lean my ladder on what’s inside instead of what’s outside:
on my strength, tenacity and ability to handle each new challenge
on my commitment to do my best with the responsibilities I’ve been given and keep working to be a better version of myself
Have you thought about what you lean your ladder on?
Just remember, you’re worthy because you’re you. And if you lean your ladder on that, you’ll always be able to safely climb it. <3