How to Feel Better: worth

How much did you get done today? How many tasks did you mark off your To Do list?

And how do you feel about yourself? Are you someone who feels good when you get lots done, but not so great when you’re less productive?

Because here’s the thing: Your worth and productivity do not equate.

It took me a long time to figure this out.

For years it went like this: If I got a lot done, I felt great about myself. If I didn’t get much or enough done (and really what is ever “enough”?), I felt lacking. Maybe a little lazy. And sometimes even kind of lousy.

My self-worth got tangled up in how many To Dos I marked off my list. I felt like I needed to be busy all the time.

If I wasn’t getting something done (doing dishes, writing a blog post, running errands, coaching a client), I felt I wasn’t doing enough.

But here’s what I know now: You are worthy. Just as you are. Just because you’re you.

Your worth has nothing to do with your performance or productivity. It has nothing to do with being busy or getting things done. Your worth and productivity do not equate.

You are worthy regardless of what you get done—whether at home or at work.

  • If you sleep in and then spend the day reading, you’re worthy.
  • If you leave dirty dishes in the sink and take a walk, you’re worthy.
  • If you spend the afternoon playing with your kids instead of cleaning the house, you’re worthy.
  • If you do your job, but don’t volunteer for every project or work yourself to the bone, you’re worthy.

Many women are pursuing worthiness with a long To Do list.

Does that describe you? Are you hoping if you mark everything off your To Do list you’ll feel good about yourself, complete, enough?

If so, you know that feeling is elusive, and a vicious cycle. Because you can’t do enough, produce enough, get enough done to truly feel like you’re enough.

No matter how many things you mark off your list, it’s never enough. No completed project brings the lasting feeling of worthiness you were after. Each completed task only triggers new To Dos, and there’s always, always more to do.

Here’s the problem with equating worth and productivity: No amount of busyness will make you feel like you’re enough if you don’t already feel like you’re enough.

It’s what Brené Brown calls hustling for worthiness.

When you hustle for your worthiness, you’re constantly performing, perfecting, pleasing, and proving. And you very likely let your To Do list dictate how you feel about yourself.

So how do you untangle worth and productivity?

Well, for starters, simply start noticing when you equate the two.

Start noticing…

  • how often you “should” yourself for not doing enough
  • when you’re not really present with friends and family because you’re mentally making a To Do list
  • how often you forego play for productivity
  • when your self-esteem is dependent on your To Do list

Noticing won’t necessarily bring about a big change right away. But all change begins with awareness, so it’s a great place to start if you’re ready to untangle your worth from what you get done in a day.

And if you need a reminder that your loved ones don’t love you for how much you get done, read this: Don’t look now, but there are dishes in the sink

Your worth and productivity do not equate. What will you do with this invitation? 

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