Do you recognize your worth?
Too often we confuse our worth with our position in society. But our worth has nothing to do with our power or lack of power position. We have worth whether we sweep the floors or own the company. It is not our position that defines us. Our value is intrinsic- it is who we are within rather than what we do for a living or how we are viewed by others.
We are our story- the good, the bad, and the ugly. We are our passion, our values, our vision, and our life experiences. Other people may be part of our life, but they do not define us. We do not have worth because someone decides that we do. Our worth and our value comes from who we are as unique individuals, not from the judgments of other people.
Nilofer Merchant refers to our uniqueness as our onlyness. Merchant states, “Onlyness is that thing that one individual can bring to a situation. It includes the journey and passions of each human.” She points out that we should not deny our history, perspective, and vision, for those things make up are onlyness- they are part of who we are.
Merchant goes on to say that we need to celebrate our onlyness, both the dark and the light sides of our experiences. Like the keys on a piano, it is the dark and the light that make the song complete. She says that although our experiences may not be as “perfect” as we would like, those experiences are a source of what we create. She gives the example- a person who has a younger sibling with a disease may grow up to work in medicine to find a cure.
Merchant discusses how companies may miss out on valuable feedback and cutting-edge ideas because they often only listen to the people in power positions, assuming the low guy or gal on the totem pole has nothing of value to offer. With this mindset, valuable contributions are missed, including what might have been the answer to an ongoing problem.
No matter our job or our position in society, we all have value. We all have worth.
Nilofer Merchant talks at TEDxHouston about onlyness. It really is worth watching…
- Onlyness (e1evation.com)