Do you have enough self-worth to value your life as much as someone else’s? If you can’t articulate your value to the world, it’s time to build self-worth so you can discover your great purpose.
Personal Development Tips: Build Self-Worth
There’s an interesting exercise in ethics I’ve taught commonly called Lifeboat Ethics. This is based on true stories where people on a sinking ship have to decide who should get a spot on a lifeboat and who should go down with the ship and face—at best—extreme uncertainty of whether or not they’ll survive. Most likely, they face certain death.
I was always curious about the people who volunteered to give up their right to petition for a seat on the lifeboat. Why are they doing that?
‘Because it came from my heart’ is one I heard a lot—the idea of sacrificing your life for someone else. That’s kind, but is that coming from truth? Or is it coming from a desire to be seen as “self-less” for reasons that have more to do with, say, a learned behavior of other people’s expectations that may not actually be serving their truest interests?
Here’s another one: single, unmarried people gave up their seats to people who had families. They didn’t want kids in other people’s families to have to grow up without parents like they did. In other words, other peoples’ kids and families were more important than their own well being.
Does that ring true? How does that kind of thinking work out outside of this theoretical game?
Do You Consider Other People More Important Than Yourself?
The thread that runs through all these answers is that the people who gave up their seats considered other people more important than them. Their lives had more worth. For those who think, “I’ll give up my seat for others,” well … it’s pretty obvious that complacency and a lack of self-worth could actually kill you!
You’re a thief, literally. That’s because you’re robbing the world of your gifts. Never forget that you have plenty to give. Every single person on this earth does.
Learn to Build Self-Worth by Articulating Your Value
In our Lifeboat Ethics experiment, a vast majority of people who chose others to live did so because the people they chose to live were able to articulate specific value in some kind of way. They mentioned the contributions they would make, not only to themselves, but also to the world.
The criteria for such a choice depended on whether or not they were able to state their case and their commitment to their purpose.
Don’t ever let someone try and take your seat from you! I’m not talking about Hunger Games, fight to the last person standing. I’m saying, come from an authentic place where you know exactly what you’re supposed to be doing, how you’re supposed to contribute to this world, and why it’s important that either you or your mission (bigger than you) needs to live.
There’s only one entity that can take your life from you, and that’s the One that gave it to you in the first place. It’s not up to you or anybody else to take you out.
Your contribution is essential. If it wasn’t, you wouldn’t be breathing right now. Nobody takes your seat again once you build self-worth and discover your value.
When you are inspired by a great purpose, all your thoughts break their bonds and transcend limitations. Your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great, wonderful world. Dormant forces—your faculties and talents—come alive. You discover yourself to be a greater person, far greater than you ever dreamed you would or could be when you build self-worth.
Your turn! Given the same choices as our “volunteers” in Lifeboat Ethics, would you still give up your seat? For what reasons? To build your self-worth, try articulating what values you have to offer. Remember, there are no right or wrong answers. I love hearing (and even learn) from each and every one of you so make sure to leave me a comment below!
For Your Freedom,