We are in a world today where everyone has dreams and aspirations. Everyone wishes to succeed and be of value in this life. We move relentlessly toward greater emphasis on achievement and goal orientation.
When you meet someone at the party or gathering, what is one of the first questions you ask them besides their names and where they come from? For most of us, it is, “What do you do?” From my experience, this is what I have seen and been asked a lot.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not against this kind of question, and I do not mind being asked that. However, the sad truth is that in today’s society, we seem to define ourselves by our careers. What we do for a living has become such a priority that we often do not even realize how closely we attach ourselves to it. While there is a lot of merit in that sort of success, I think we need to be careful about associating our career status closely with our self-worth. We tend to fall into the trap of comparing ourselves with others around us—our peers in various industries or life in general.
I am saying this because the pressure is not pressuring any longer—it is a belief system—a total and utter allegiance to a life defined by work. A lot of it has to do with money. We are slapped with a number, entered the system, and told to do our best—or else. But should it be this way?
What is sad is even the “luckiest ones”—the ones who have worked hard and reached “the top”— seem just as doomed as the rest when it comes to letting their work lives define them.
You are not your job title—you are and will be so much more than any job title or position description. Defining your worth or self-esteem by your job title will lead to disappointment and frustration. It is not about the title—what you are called, but about the job you perform, the problem you solve, the lives you helped change, the social justice you helped deliver for those individuals in the communities you serve, those who depend upon your voice, your advocacy, your leadership, and your service. Your reputation, your future professional successes will derive from these things. Not your job title or your position. Your reputation is not always about your professional success.
The best titles in life are those that define who you truly are, not what you do. Mother, Father, Brother, Sister, Uncle, Aunt, Friend… those are titles that will always get you through the ups and downs of life. If we considered this, we would not have all these superiority or inferiority complex or the feeling of a failure or worthless or feeling so low in every sense of the world.
Because you don’t have an “outstanding” professional positions or higher education degree, it does not mean that you are a failure. Do not ever let this make you feel like you are “below” everyone around you. Because if you value that, nothing will ever mean anything in your world, you will feel low emotionally, and no matter how far you make it in your life, you will never be satisfied.
Associating your career status with your self-worth, you will always fall into the trap of comparing yourself to others around you—your peers in various industries. It is easy to compare yourself in this way and wonder where you stand. But life does not work that way. If someone is earning more money than you, or they have made their passion their career, or their job title has more responsibility, none of that means they are “better” than you. Because the amount of money people makes or the number of followers people have does not define you. Your career status does not define your self-worth.
In today’s world, with social media, everyone wants to be famous. Most of the time, many people pretend to be—to impress others or prove to the world that they have made it and others want to succeed fast because they want to prove something to somebody else—that is what makes them vulnerable. I am sure many of you know many people who look like billionaires on social media, but in real life they struggle to make ends meet.
Comparison is the thief of joy.
Slow down: stop trying to impress people, do this for yourself. Focus on your own life and vision. When it is for you, you have your whole life, but when it is for them, you try to do it today. Living your life for someone else is always a mistake, even when it comes from a good place.
Stop associating your career status with your self-worth. Be yourself and do with your life what you love because a satisfied life is better than what society defines as a successful or famous life. Our success is measured by others, but our satisfaction is measured by our soul, mind, and heart.
There is one thing that you’re better at than anyone else: being you. When you start with this mindset the world starts to look better again and the rewards are innumerable: A life lived on your terms, peace of mind, clarity of thought, the attainment of dreams and goals, the attraction of warm, loving people that will continue to elevate, inspire and care for you. I’m not talking about money or fame. I’m talking about virtues and values like faith, hope and love, peace and confidence. These all form the core foundation of where your actions spring from. No longer are you focused on where you stand relative to others. Instead, your focus and energy are placed on what you’re capable of now and how you can improve yourself.
While you may lose a job, money, or fame, you can never lose the abilities within yourself that got you that job in the first place. Detach yourself from these external things, like your career and wealth. Instead, focus on the abilities, qualities, and strengths within you—are what define you—not your career.
You could always learn from others or be motivated by their success, but the problem starts the moment you begin to compare your life with theirs. No one is more important than another, and no one has it all together; it is just a matter of you discovering your strengths and living it out instead of comparing your weakness with the strengths of another.
Feel good about yourself—God loves you. He wouldn’t have created you if you were not important. Remember that you have a unique assignment to fulfill here on earth. Don’t let the life of others rush you out of that assignment. Life is a journey, not a competition and keep in mind that there is no competition in destiny.
To recognize your worthiness, it is essential to reduce negative self-talk and replace it with validation that you are enough and valuable.
Your playing small doesn’t serve God or anyone around you.