Being valued because of who we are and not because of what we have achieved, own or look like is one of our basic human needs.

Look at your parents

We are taught how to value ourselves and others primarily by our parents during our growing up years. They do this by the way in which they meet our basic physical and emotional needs from birth.

One way our needs could be met is with careful consideration, lots of love and good boundaries, leaving us feeling cherished and valued by the people who matter most in the world (at that stage at least). This gives us a general feeling while growing up that “everybody” values us highly and makes it easy for us to trust that others will meet our needs in relationships throughout our lives.

Sometimes our parents meet our needs grudgingly or irregularly or hardly at all. This leaves us uncertain of whether we are worthy of other’s love and attention and later in life, fearful of whether our needs matter to others and anxious of whether our needs will be met by the significant people in our lives. Because this relationship pattern is so engraved in our way of being by the time we form other relationships, we many times find ourselves connecting to people in the very same way we were taught to relate leaving us feeling unfulfilled and detached.

What now?
As adults it is our responsibility to take ownership ourselves of this need to be valued. We can start valuing ourselves by understanding what our individual needs are – those things that make us feel fulfilled and make life worth living. Valuing ourselves is taking the time to understand ourselves without judging or shaming ourselves. For example - admitting that I need to be held or touched in a certain way to feel loved without judging myself for being pathetic or needy.

Value yourself – the rest will follow
The next step involves planning for these needs to be met in a way that would serve us best. This would happen for example by choosing to make myself vulnerable and telling my partner that I need to be held or touched in a certain way to feel loved and allowing them to meet this need. This is one way we could start valuing ourselves by loving ourselves for who we truly are.

When we consistently value ourselves in this way we invite other people to do the same while developing the capacity to recognize and value them for the special individuals they are too.

Do you think you value yourself enough? Share your thoughts.