You matter more than you think, and here’s why – every one of us has unique gifts, insights and energies to offer. Sound implausible in your case? In this article I explore exactly why you matter far more than you think. This is not about stroking your ego and helping you to an inflated view of yourself, but rather creating something grounded that you know comes from a place inside you that is honouring, loving and true.
The importance of knowing that you matter
Consider the idea of your life being a ‘work in progress’. Taking this theme further, consider also the idea that as you go about in life that you touch others also moving through their life as ‘works in progress’. As you can be touched and positively influenced by the thoughts and actions of others, so you in turn are important to the ‘progress’ of others. You may receive no obvious evidence of this or feedback, you may touch someone else’s life fleetingly, nevertheless you will have made a difference to them.
What keeps you from knowing that you matter?
If it’s important that you matter, but it’s hard to believe, let alone live that truth, then let’s have a look at what’s stopping you. I suggest that we can break this down into four key areas:
1. Keeping yourself small
If you tell yourself that you don’t matter, you can keep yourself small. If you do that then you don’t have to stand for anything or show up in a particular way. That’s fine in one way, after all we all want to avoid feeling vulnerable, however, on the downside it prevents you from shaping your life how you really want it to be.
2. Your belief in yourself
Creating positive beliefs about yourself, rather than swallowing the image of the self that you see reflected back through any negativity around you, helps you to gain a greater sense of yourself. Creating positive affirmations about yourself and what you can do, means that you are more likely to feel that you have something to contribute and to connect with others with.
3. Understanding what is right for you
You may share similar beliefs with others or you may not. As you move through life as a ‘work in progress’, you have the opportunity to experiment with what feels right for you and of course this may change over time. This need not be rushed, it’s important to ‘test’ out whether something feels right and to choose it when you feel confident that it is.
4. Creating your boundaries
When you have a much better idea of what is right for you, the next step is to start getting used to creating your own boundaries. Right now do you have any boundaries? Do you really know when to say no or to express a contrary view? Can you remain certain in your own rightness of something, even when others find this challenging? Given all of this, it isn’t surprising if you want to ‘people please’, to fit in and keep your head below the parapet for an easy, though perhaps less meaningful life.
Having identified some of the common areas that might prevent you from knowing that you matter, lets turn now to some of the things you can do to change this around. Take it in steps:
Step #1 Change the stories that you tell about yourself to yourself
Whilst stories help us to make sense of the world and our place within it, it doesn’t mean that our character has to stay the same, year in year out. Similarly, if we have been affected by are particularly challenging life experience, we don’t have to remain shaped by it forever. Instead, by changing the energy that continues to come through from the past, over time, it is possible to begin the process of redefining ourselves rather than staying ‘victims’ of our past. Of course not always easy to do when the situation has been highly traumatic, and the help and support of a trained counsellor may be necessary.
Step #2 Become used to believing something different
One way of doing this is to look at the ways that you communicate with yourself and others. What words do you use to describe yourself and what you do, how do you interact with others, do you give yourself time to convey what you want to say?
Some people easily command attention, they do it by tuning in to a rightness about what they have to say. There are of course people who take control of conversations, debates and idea formation by using these tactics and we can remember that there are just that, tactics.
Some of our great orators and leaders – people like Martin Luther King Jnr, Mahatma Ghandhi and Nelson Mandela – all had to overcome challenges. In the face of these they all had to stay true to their convictions that something different had to happen, before their voices rose to the surface and they were able to assume the mantle of leadership that their truth urged them forward to follow.
Step #3 Decide what you really need and like
When we are much clearer about what we really need and like, then it is much easier for us to connect. We have a point of reference and boundaries, which help us to be clear about who we are and how we might choose to interact with others. We also have a clearer perspective about what’s important and therefore when a stand needs taking – being guided by what feels right.
Step #4 Start living from your truth
Even when you falter or trip over or think to yourself this is bulls**t, pause by all means, reflect by all means, but do go on, take that next step, regardless of what anyone else thinks. Become used to listening to your inner wisdom and bit by bit grow more confident in acting from it.
Matter and make a difference
You matter because you make a difference, and that is the crucial point. As you become used to connecting with the truth of this, then you will automatically find yourself connecting, and in all the ways that are right for you. And that is good for us all.
Over to you… it would be great to hear from you on this. Do you know that you matter and what does this enable you to do? If that’s more illusive, what would help you to feel at a deeper level than this and that you are important? Do share in the Comment Box below.