You Either Claim Who You Are Or Chase Your Worth For The Rest of Your Life
When Viola Davis said this sentence, it shook me to my core. That question encapsulates our journey through life and how we choose to live it.
Do you want to spend your life claiming who you are or constantly justifying your worth to others for the rest of your life?
In such a noisy world, it can be difficult to decipher between the two. When you take action driven by your soul, you can feel the difference. There is conviction behind your decisions, you have no regrets for how you showed up, and even though your voice may tremble, you speak truth.
I knew the difference. When I saw the movie Big and started writing toy companies in 5th grade, telling them to hire me, that was me speaking. When I chose to go into engineering, it was to impress my father. When I took a stable job that had good benefits, that was me listening to others because it was the pragmatic choice. When I chose to join a company that had only 7 part time employees, no business plan, yet looked like a ridiculously fun job to have, that was me choosing to follow my heart. Listening to my inner child voice lead to my 15-year career in getting to play for a living. It’s easy to look back and say I made the “right choice,” but I didn’t know where claiming who I am would lead me.
We assume these choices mostly happen at major crossroads in our life, but it is the everyday, mundane choices that determine who we choose to be.
How will I show up today?
Will I speak up even though I’m scared?
Will I take a risk even if I look stupid?
Do I listen to my inner voice or follow others because they know “what’s best” for me?
When was the last time you made a choice that you knew was you speaking?
It’s interesting that when we look for validation, acceptance, and recognition, its value is based on the comparison of others. How do my accomplishments stack up to others? How am I winning? By me winning, does someone have to lose? We have embraced this unsaid rule that “Life is a race” and your value is based on how well you are doing in comparison to others, which is absolutely absurd.
If life is a race, I see it like a Bring Your Own Big Wheel Race. Grown adults ride Toy Big Wheels tricycles down one of the windiest roads in San Francisco and even though it is called a race, there are no winners and losers. The goal is to simply experience the ride and to enjoy it.
And isn’t that what life should be? Why spend more time wondering how we are doing in comparison to other people, when people have completely different criterias for what they considered a meaningful and fulfilling life?
We are constantly distracted by “Chase Your Worth” Questions, trying to measure where we stand in the world. What do you do for a living? How much money do you make it? How many social media followers do you have? How successful are your kids? What school are they going to? What will they do for a living? And the cycle continues. Based on this line of questioning, at the end of your life people might ask, where are you going to be buried, as there is even status competition in death.
This type of winning never leaves you satisfied, as there is always someone who has more. What’s ironic is the person who has more, is not fulfilled either, so who is actually “winning?”
If money is a monitor of success and happiness, how as the wealthiest country in the world are we the least happy we have ever been according to the 2019 World’s Happiness Report?
Have you ever asked yourself what a meaningful, fulfilling life looks like to you?
We now live in an age where there are countless gurus that have 10-step programs to help you achieve a rich, successful life as a winner. How is that possible to achieve when they don’t even know what you consider a great life?
My definition of success is based on what Viola Davis said. You have lived a life exploring and eventually claiming who you are. You have found your voice. You are willing to embrace and appreciate all parts of you, both good and bad. You are comfortable with yourself, loving what makes you you, and getting to a place, where you have no apologies for being you.
Here’s an example of that:
In a world that constantly reminds us that we are not good enough, I believe, we have everything that we need right now.
We don’t need to chase our worth. We simply need to reveal our worth to ourselves.
It’s a process. A challenging, introspective journey that takes time, patience, and perseverance. Most find it easier to chase someone else’s worth. You can then avoid asking hard questions of yourself. If you are willing to travel down into the dark cavern of yourself and really see who you truly are and what you are capable of, you will come out understanding what a truly fulfilling life looks like for you. No one else can answer that question for you.
So, my Play Challenge is this.
#1. Identify “Chase Your Worth” Questions and choose not to play the game of answering them.
Chase Your Worth questions come from a place of lack, fear, and typically want to compare your worth versus others.
#2. Spend the time identifying what makes you come alive.
Claim Who You Are Questions:
- What do you most love to do?
- When have your closet friends/family seen you the most fulfilled and alive?
- How did you show up to the world when you were a kid that you wish you would show up now in that same way?
So, the next time someone asks you a “Chase Your Worth” question, simply let them know that you don’t care for the race, as you have already found what makes your life worth living. Remind yourself you have all that you need to claim who you are. You just need to take the time to rediscover it.