The Christmas season is in full effect. People are running around town, shopping until they drop, and holiday gatherings seems to be a daily occurrence. With all of this excitement, also comes anxiety and pressure. Having three kids, this time of year can be exhausting. My family hadn’t been to church in about 6 months. I guess Sunday was the day I was supposed to return

While at church, the topic of the sermon was self-worth. The pastor went into great detail about how humans determine their self-worth. I sat still and quiet as I listened to him ask the following questions:

“What did you see the last time you looked in a mirror? Did you see black bags under your eyes? A receding hairline? Perhaps you saw a body you love, or one that causes you anxiety and shame. Did you see someone who has it all together, or someone who is holding on by a thread? How do we determine what we are worth?”

I myself have had some issues with what my worth is lately. I have been working on my writing career, while “busting hump” as my father would say with my full-time job. I have three kids, two dogs, and currently one husband to look after. I would say my worth is a composite of many factors. The problem becomes, we see and hear what others are telling us and we judge our worth based on others opinions and lies created by our subconscious. Take a look at these 5 factors that were outlined in his sermon that people use to determine their worth.

5 Factors For Determining Self-Worth and my Response

1. Financial success: Most people judge their worth on how much money they make. If I base my burgeoning writing career on my current financial status, I am a failure. I have been paid in Hot Pockets, Fruit of the Loom underwear, and a total of $350 over the past 14 months. So if you break that down, I have made less than a dollar a day. I am not even going to tell you how much I have spent on my burgeoning writing career. I have however gone from zero views on my website in October of 2014 to over 110,000 views to date this month.
2. Physical Appearance: I have more gray hair, wrinkles, upper lip hair, sagging skin, and gravitational-y challenged breasts than I had last year. I can look in the mirror and find at least 100 flaws. I can also look in the mirror and see that I am alive despite a third surgery this year. My wrinkle lines are a prize of hard work and determination, and the breasts, well I have absolutely no control over those. They did feed three children.

3. Facebook Status: I have a mild Facebook addiction. I scroll through my feed looking into the lives of friends and family. I see their smiles, new cars, fancy dresses, new houses, and nausea inducing messages to their spouses. I see the perfect picture. Like a Thomas Kinkade landscape, simple perfection. It is hard to remember that is not the whole picture. These updates are just what people want us to see. It can be so depressing to see how much better others are doing. But please, don’t judge Facebook by its cover. We are all hiding something. People don’t want us to know that they silently suffer with hemorrhoids, that their kid was suspended from school last week, or that they hate their in-laws.
4. Families: With life going by at a million miles a minute, it is hard to remember that my kids are just that, kids. They throw temper tantrums in public at times. They need constant attention that leave me physically and emotionally drained at times. They make poor choices and tap dance on my last nerve like someone is paying them good money to do it. They also bring me more joy than anything else on this planet. Two out of three of my kids can read now. Two out of three are potty trained. All of my children love me right where I am in my journey.
5. Marriage: My marriage has had quite a ride this year. Major ups and downs. We have had conversations that made my head explode. I have gone to bed quietly crying, so my husband couldn’t hear me. I have also learned more about him than I have in the past 20 years. We have grown closer as a couple. We have become better spouses to each other. We have become better parents than last year.

If determining your worth is based on a composite score of the above five topics, I am doing pretty great. The problem is I am my biggest critic. I give myself undesirable ratings in these categories on a daily basis. I need to learn to lighten up and give myself a fair shake. I advise you to do the same. Take a look at these aspects of your life. Compare where you are from last year to today. Have you changed? Have you grown? Have you learned anything over the past year? My guess is yes. My guess is that you are worth way more than you give yourself credit for. My guess is that you are doing so much more right than you are wrong. We all have worth. Don’t rob yourself of the value that you have cultivated over your lifetime. Celebrate it and enjoy the gifts you bring to the table. You are worth more than you will ever know.