Pennie Hunt: What Is Your Value?

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By Pennie Hunt, Columnist

Do you believe you have value? 

I don’t mean a monetary price tag. I mean a value of importance and worth to family, friends, coworkers, employers and your community. 

Do you believe you hold value to them? Do you value yourself?

Hmmm. Maybe you never thought of that.

We can become so caught up in our daily lives that we begin to go through the motions of work, school, caretaking, commitments and obligations ¬– all the things we believe we must do. 

We can become so mechanical in our actions that we don’t think about what value we are adding. We just move from one task to the next.

This can desensitize us to feeling the emotions that attach to our movements and the people we are moving for. 

We can block the acceptance of gratitude and appreciation from others because we don’t see the value we have given them. And they don’t tell us. 

Our self-worth can settle into a space much lower than it should be because we have blocked the energy of value from others that would feed our worthiness.

If you asked someone what value you bring to them what would they say? A teenager may say things like, “You take me to school and cook for me.” A coworker may say, “You get your work done on time so I can get mine done on time.” 

These kinds of answers make us feel competent but might not make us feel valuable. What would your spouse or partner say if you asked the same question?

Wouldn’t it be great if the answers were, “When you cook for me it makes me feel loved and cared for,” or, “When you get your work done on time you make me feel supported and that we are a team that can trust each other. Your value to me is the mutual trust and support we share.”

Could you answer the question if someone asked what value they bring to you? It works both ways. If you want to feel valued, you must communicate to others how you value them. 

Action and body language communicate as deeply as words. When someone you care about walks into the room, look up from your computer or phone and show interest and happiness. Show that you value them enough to give them your full attention.

In business we talk about “value-added” and how we can add value to our product or service. Can we use this same concept in our life and interaction with others? Can we pay attention and really think about what value we are adding? Can we pay attention to what value others are adding?

Feeling valued and expressing how you value others becomes a dance of complicated simplicity. 

It is simple to tell people how important they are to you and why. It is simple to express your gratitude for them. We seem to make it complicated by couching our feelings in words of task accomplishments instead of words of value, appreciation and gratitude for having them in our lives.

Begin telling others today what value they bring to your life. Use words of feelings and emotions. You may be surprised how they will reciprocate by telling you what value you bring to them. 

You will begin to understand the value you hold, and your self-esteem and self-worth will grow. Your confidence will expand. Your relationships will flourish. 

How you value yourself will become an important compass for your life. You will know you have value.

Pennie’s Life Lesson: Express to others why they are valuable to you and your life. Believe you add value to them. Always, always, value yourself.

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