Throughout my life I have definitely been guilty of throwing out phrases that downplay what I do. For me it was essentially because deep down I wasn’t very proud of what I was doing.
Not because I felt it was immoral or unethical but because I just didn’t think it was prestigious.
I was a wife and mother of three kids. I thought that wasn’t as important as my friends who had started their careers in corporate America or were climbing the ranks in government. But now that I reflect back on that time I realize that there has never been a time in my life when the role I played in this world was small and the same holds true for everyone else.
Years ago, I was talking to my cousin on the phone and referring to herself she said, “I am just a stay at home mom”.
I immediately corrected her and told her what I had learned almost a decade ago
“You are not just anything!”.
I further explained to her that by prefacing your status with the word just she was diminishing the value of what she does.
Then years later I heard myself say it.
“Oh I just have a little part-time job working in customer service”.
Then I thought:
‘Wait, what, hold up… Did I just hear myself downplay what I do in this world?!?’
I immediately had to do some self exploring and correct myself.
You see, I argue it doesn’t matter where you work, where you live, what you do at work, where you go to school, what you study, whether you are a homemaker, breadwinner, caretaker, or spouse one should never from their own mouth undervalue the contribution they bring to this world.
Recently, while sitting in a coffee shop having lunch with a business acquaintance and she confessed to me that she felt like all her friends were either married or engaged, had children and were excelling in their careers and she yet she was a failure in life.
I immediately explained to her to never compare your path to someone else’s, And that she should never measure her success and worth in by the standards she described. She just shrugged her shoulders and shook her head in disbelief of my assertion. I said okay using your standards for success what have you achieved over the past 5 years and she starting to tell me about the her bachelor’s degree and how she mustered up the courage to leave a toxic relationship and go on to find a part-time job in the career field of her dreams. I told her how there are people who go their entire lives never doing any of the things she mentioned and who would admire the things she had accomplished.
Recognize that there are people who work by the sweat of their brow who wish that they could be home more with their kids.
There are people who are home with their children 24 hours a day who desire to join the workforce.
There are people who have no children who wish they had a child, then there are others who do not know how to care for the children they have.
There are people who are in school who despise their studies, and then there are others who are unable to walk the halls of university.
Not valuing your current station in life is a sure-fire way to find yourself on the path of devaluing who your worth.
Many of us have this funny tendency to equate our worth with what we do. I think this is because in our society there are many who are taught there is a direct correlation between your pay status/job title and your self worth.
I think there is a huge fallacy in the aforementioned line of thinking.
For example, I have an aunt who I admire greatly who has taught me a great deal about love, kindness, nurturing, cooking, and family. I don’t recall her ever working a regular 9 to 5 job. But I remember spending summers and holidays with her, I remember her showing me how to make biscuits from scratch and teaching me other recipes, she taught me the importance of sending a thank you card and remembering special occasions that were of great importance to others, I watched her care for her three kids ,and I watched her show me how a wife takes care of a husband. And in my 33 years living I have never heard my aunt raise her voice or yell when she was upset. She always spoke in a clear and calm voice.
This is a woman who played a significant role on this earth that should not ever be diminished. And there are many more people just like her who don’t hold a prestigious title or have a bank account overflowing with abundance who are abundantly valuable nonetheless.
I also personally know someone who is handsomely wealthy and who has excelled in their career path. This person is not kind to others, mistreats people, and is hard to get along with. Now while I argue that we are all valuable and none of us are worthless, I assert that my aunt contributes more positive energy to this world than the millionaire.
Does the millionaire have value and worth?
Of course he most certainly does, WE ALL DO! Some of us may not be using our gifts and talents or may be operating in a place of negativity but at our core beings we all have worth, value and purpose.
Nevertheless, I would rather spend a life time in the presence of my aunt than a second with the millionaire.
So learn to be content with your current station in life. You are exactly where you are supposed to be, you simply need to embrace your now. If you hear your self saying “I am just working at XYZ “or “I only do ABC” pause and recognize you don’t just do anything.
Furthermore, don’t feel down on yourself because it appears to you that everyone is doing things in their life that you aren’t. Sometimes we find ourselves in some low places in life. Always remember the place where you are doesn’t define you. Speak highly of yourself. If you are ashamed of what you do, people will often downplay what you do in turn. But when you speak with pride and confidence about what you do, people will be less likely to try to diminish it. And even if they do, when you are confident in who you are what others say about you has an inability to make you feel worthless because you will not be in a position where you base your worth off of the opinion of others.
Love where you are and embrace your season. Because I promise you there are people who wish they “just” could go back to a previous time in their life and believe it or not there is someone out there who wishes they have something that you do.
© Renata Pittman and RenataNicole, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Renata Pittman and RenataNicole with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.