Take a moment to think about this: What defines your worth? Does your intelligence, your talents, your success, your money, or your looks define your worth?
Does this mean that if you fail, lose your money, get old and lose your looks, or start to be forgetful as you grow older, you lose worth as a human being? Is your worth defined by externals or by your enduring internal qualities, such as kindness, devotion, compassion, warmth, honesty, openness to learning, sincerity, integrity, commitment, reliability, and so on?
Is your worth defined by your natural abilities, or by your willingness to work hard for what is important to you? Is it outside validation or the inner love of learning that you value the most about yourself? Do you have to succeed to have worth, or can you fail and still find joy in the process of learning and improving?
Now take another minute and think about this: Who defines your worth and lovability?
Is it your parents, your children, your partner, your friends, or your employer who decide whether or not you are good enough? Is it one person who defines you, or is it the important people in your life, or is it everyone - anyone you happen to meet?
Take another moment now and think about this: How and why would any of these people know your true intrinsic worth? Why would any of them have the authority to define your goodness or your worth as a human being?
I used to believe that if someone didn't like me or was upset with me, it meant I wasn't good enough. Everything changed for me when I realized that no one actually has the authority to decide this for me!
So who does have the information and authority about my intrinsic worth?
God, Spirit, my own Higher Self, my spiritual Guidance - whatever I tap into that is beyond my programmed mind and the programmed minds of others.
Unfortunately, our programmed wounded self believes that our worth is defined primarily by our achievements, and sometimes by our looks. The wounded self often believes that our abilities - such as our intelligence and our particular talents - are fixed quantities. Since they are fixed, why make any particular effort to learn and grow? These false beliefs of the wounded self stop our essence - the part of us that loves to learn - from tackling hard tasks, such as learning Inner Bonding and connecting with our spiritual Guidance. "I'm just not good at this," says the wounded self, "so why try? If I try and fail, then everyone will know that I'm not as smart or as talented or as enlightened as they think I am. If I were good at this, it would be easy for me. It's not worth taking the risk of failure." Since, to the wounded self, failure mean "I am a failure," the wounded self often refuses to put forth much effort.
However, our essence is like all small children - intensely curious and wanting to learn about EVERYTHING! But if, in our families and schools, we learn that our worth is defined by our success rather than by our intrinsic qualities, and we are taught that our abilities are fixed rather than can be developed with effort, we might give up making effort fairly early in life.
It is never too late to change your mind about who and what defines you. You will find yourself motivated and excited about life when you define yourself by your internal qualities and re-discover the joy of learning!