by bonnie azoulay

Worth. I’ve been thinking a lot about that word. More importantly I’ve been thinking about an extension of worth—Self-worth. What it means and how we can achieve it, or if it’s something we can achieve at all. Evidently, like its name suggests, self-worth comes from yourself. Only you can feel worthy or make yourself feel worthy. I think people, women especially, forget this. Instead, we base our worth off of other people’s views or projections of us. And if we’re not getting self-worth from ourselves we’re trying to find it elsewhere. We base it off of how many boys like us or how many likes we get on instagram. Some people base every ounce of their worth on compliments.

 It’s important to remember though that your worth isn’t based off of exterior factors. Your value or worth shouldn’t change after rejection the same way your beauty doesn’t change whether someone told you you’re beautiful that night or not. Worth. I've been thinking a lot about that word. Some people look at worth this way: we are only worthy of ___ if we are ___. Or we only possess worth if we do ____. Or, my favorite one: We are not worthy or don’t deserve something because we did ____. And that’s why it’s more important than ever to be self-sufficient, not rely on someone else or their views or their compliments to determine your worth. Knowing truly how great you are regardless of any exterior factors. Which is difficult.

 Because I don’t think self-worth is innate—I think it’s something the environment makes or breaks for you—it starts at home. It comes from your parents constantly complimenting you and letting you be you and still loving you. It comes from outsiders. Friends, lovers, the people around you. I guess we can’t possibly feel valued without other people valuing us. But I also think we have to meet our outsiders halfway. By still feeling like you deserve the world even after you got fired from your last job. Or that you’re beautiful even if society’s perception of beauty is based off of People’s magazine's latest celebrity poll. 

  Worth. I've been thinking a lot about that word. How It’s healthy to try to emulate someone’s character but I think when we constantly put other people on a pedestal we disregard how much we’re really worth. It's okay to say, I want to be more modest like her. But to say you want to to be exactly like her would undermine all the good that is you. When we’re intimidated by people around us because we’re in different social rankings or status, what we’re inherently saying is that we’re not good enough or that someone else is better than us. Women know too well how it feels to not be good enough and have to prove themselves in beauty or brains. But why should anyone be better than you? 

   Worth. I've been thinking a lot about that word. And so I discussed this subject matter with a friend. She was harping on about someone never calling back. She was sure he would call and we both couldn’t understand why he didn’t and so to make her feel better, I said flippantly, “He’s not worth it.” My friend responded by saying, “It’s not that he’s not worth it. I'm just worth more than that. And if someone really knew their self-worth you’d know you’re worth a million dollars and wouldn’t be distracted even by a couple thousand.” Sometimes we settle. We settle to be with people, we settle with jobs. We don’t ask for a raise. We don’t strive to work for a certain company or try talking to a certain boy. Again, I think that all comes down to self-worth, which is the antithesis of self-loathing. And I think people who have really grasped their worth are the ones that don’t settle or put limits on themselves, but the ones who are happiest and who turn out to be more successful in life. 

Worth. I’ve been thinking a lot about that word.