Hey there! Ashley B Chacon here--
Welcome to the Worth from Within Blog—home to the Worth from Within Podcast, a show designed to help you discover your self worth and create success from the inside out.
As an entrepreneur, life coach, and a mom, I’m always looking to hit the next level--whether that’s in business, fitness goals, or mom wins.
However something I personally struggled with was that we live in a world today that influences us to believe that thin is beautiful, money is success, status is significance, and without any of those things you’re not worth much.
The values of the world have taught us that instead of appreciating our strengths, we must try to fix all of our weaknesses which means we end up hustling to lose another pound, make another sale, or get one more comment on our selfie because without this worldly approval we struggle to feel adequate.
The unfortunate truth here, is that when we tie our personal value to our ability (or inability) to land the promotion, win the competition, ace the test, or receive the invite to that exclusive party, we’re suggesting that our personal value is conditional upon external circumstances.
I knew this wasn’t true, but I struggled to figure out how to change this. How do we stop chasing after this brief “high” we get when we receive external validation?
Today I’m going to share with you the 3 truths that finally allowed me to stop hustling after the next big thing simply to prove myself, and how I overcame my own “what if I’m not good enough” fears, and claimed the worth that had been mine all along.
Truth #1: YOUR WORTH IS UNCONDITIONAL
As a kid I moved around alot and in 7th grade I went to 4 different schools. In the last one I noticed kids were especially cliquey. It seemed everyone belonged somewhere based upon their extracurricular activities. There was Shelby the cheerleader, Brooke the dancer, Lindsley the swimmer, and then there was me, Ashley the----nothing.
I was a friendly person, but my biggest fear on the first day was that I’d have to eat my lunch alone in the cafeteria. I decided that if I was ever going to be somebody, the solution was to join a group. So I decided I wanted to become a cheerleader. I’d have instant friends, be well liked, and have a family outside my own family. It was the perfect plan.
Now this wasn’t a mere thought. This plan, idea, desire, became my first big dream ever for myself. Before this time I’d never danced in my life, I couldn’t do a back handspring, and I honestly couldn’t even keep a rhythm, but I was determined.I told myself that if I could stick my mind to this this and make it happen,I would prove to myself that I could do ANYTHING. So I enrolled in a dance class, started taking tumbling lessons, and at the end of 8th grade I went in for my first cheer tryouts.
Not to anyone’s surprise, I didn’t make the team. It was such a bummer. But after spending a little time feeling sorry for myself, I knew I had to try again. I had three more years to make my dream a reality, so I got to work! I took more dance classes, paid extra for private tumbling lessons, and practiced everything I learned. However, each year I fell short and got cut. When senior year came around, I knew this would be my last opportunity to see this dream come to life. I’d worked hard for years and had given it my very best and knew there was nothing more I could possibly do to get better without more time.
When I received the letter with the names of all the girls who’d made the team,I was hesitant to open it because I knew before I’d read the list, that my name wasn’t on it.
To say I was crushed would be a massive understatement. I was destroyed. My identify, self worth and confidence had just been smashed into a thousand smithereens. I’d blown it. My last opportunity to join the team was gone, and I felt like all those years of hard work and practice had been for nothing.
A The worst part about not making the team wasn’t just that I didn’t prove to myself that if I worked hard enough, anything was possible. It was that the story I told myself after not making the cheer team was “my best will never be good enough”.
Now I tell you that story because during my high school years I had unknowingly attached my good-for-somethingness,--or my worth to my ability to achieve and became what I call “a chronic overachiever.”
It wasn’t just the cheer team I had to be apart of;--it was the high honor roll, the athletic teams, the choir, and the theatre company. I felt like I had to have a huge list or a resume of accomplishments in order to prove to the world and to myself that I was worth something.
Maybe you can relate?
I felt like my achievements were evidence that I had significance, I was good for something, and my life had a purpose. But the downfall with this way of thinking meant that when I didn’t achieve--when I came up short, when my best efforts were met with FAILURE---it must mean that I WASN’T worth something.
Do you see the problem with this? Listen, this is what I’d wished somebody would’ve told my 14 year old self:
Your worth is NOT Conditional.
This means that your worth can’t be earned, achieved, given, received, decreased or even increased because it’s not dependant upon any circumstantial situation, it just unconditionally IS.
Truth #2: YOUR WORK DOESN’T DEFINE YOUR WORTH.
Let’s talk about that for a second.
If a new mother is up all night with colicky baby and he spits up and ruins her favorite sweater, is she going to love that baby less? Or how about a few years later when that same child who comes home with an F on his report card because he failed his math test? Or what about when he’s a teenager and he gets into trouble with some friends using drugs and alcohol and ends up having to spend some time in Juvie?
Is this mother going to feel disappointed, frustrated, or upset by the conditions or choices of her child? YES! But is there anything her child could do that would make her love him any less? Of Course not!
SO why is the Standard different for YOU??
The unconditional love you feel for your kids, or your spouse, or your loved ones should be the same standard you have for yourself.You can not judge yourself, love yourself, or even hate yourself based upon what you do, and I’m going to tell you WHY.
Because you are a human BEING, not a human doing----and this mere description alone is enough to let you know that your worth isn’t derived from what you do--it comes from WHO YOU ARE.
So let me ask you this.
If your hard work and accomplishments don’t make you any more valuable, then why make the effort? Why work towards the executive position? Why work to lose the extra 20 pounds? Why volunteer at the homeless shelter? Why bother trying to improve your life or serve others at all if it doesn’t make you more valuable?
IT MAKES YOUR LIFE EXPERIENCE BETTER.
Experiencing life at its fullest means you are learning, growing, and striving to become better every day because it makes your overall human experience better, not because it makes you more worthy.
Truth #3: YOU ARE NOT THE OUTCOME
Often we attach our confidence and self worth to our results and abilities (or possibly the lack thereof). However when things don’t go as planned, we can’t let the outcome make a statement about our identity.
If you’ve ever tried out for an athletic team, launched a business idea, or maybe even asked someone for their phone number, you’ve likely experienced some form of rejection or failure. After these failed efforts, you may have also struggled with feelings of inadequacy, failure, or felt you failed because you just weren’t good enough in some way.
But what if your failed attempts and rejections don’t actually say anything about who you are?
Listen, when a scientist is running tests in his chemical lab, he is going to test a lot of variables before he finds one that produces his desired results. If after every unsuccessful experiment, that scientist took the failure personally and believed HE was the failure, instead of the test, imagine how long it would take to make any scientific progress!
As we learn to shift our view from being the failure, to having failures, our shortcomings simply become learning experiences to propel us forward, instead of mental blocks that destroy our perceived self worth.
Growth is an essential part of our happiness. There is almost nothing worse than feeling stagnant stuck, and unfulfilled. If we never failed, we would never grow and have the opportunity to realize the greatness that we’re all capable of.
When we embrace these three truths, we’re granting ourselves permission to pursue great things without jeopardizing our identity, and without the need to compare and prove ourselves to the world. This newfound freedom allows us side step the hustle and let go of the fear that we’re not enough.
“You can either walk inside your story and own it, or you can stand outside your story and hustle after your worthiness” —Brene Brown
You are enough just as you are without the awards, recognition, or validation. None of them are required to simply own the worth that’s already yours.
I’d love to hear your stories about how you might currently be defining your worth. Which of these truths resonated with you the most?
Drop your thoughts in the comments below and let me know. I personally read and respond to each one!
Always cheering for you,