Start the New Year by Adding Value to Yourself
Why can’t people see potential in themselves? Why can’t people believe in themselves? Why don’t people add value to their life on a consistent basis?
The main problem is that people don’t see value in themselves. Therefore, they don’t add value to themselves. People will never go beyond their belief system in themselves. No matter what you may think you are capable of doing, if you don’t invest in your growth, you will not go beyond those limiting beliefs. Another way of looking at this is in the area of self-image. On a scale 1-10, if your self-image is three, you will never raise above two.
In his book, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, John Maxwell explains in “The Law of the Lid in order to be effective in leadership, you must raise above the lid – those limiting beliefs to be effective.”
With my own story, I should’ve been a negative statistic—a black kid in the ghetto. Born one of ten children in the great city of Newark, N.J., I lived in abject poverty and was raised by a single parent who worked multiple jobs to keep her family afloat. Statistics said I should’ve been in jail, on drugs, or dead, but I’m not because one day I took a hard look at myself in the mirror and asked myself, am I’m worth it? You’re damn right, I am! That self-talk did me good, and my life changed. I became the first in my family to graduate college with a Ph.D. and the first to finish a career in the military and retire honorably. Now, I’m a senior Department of Defense civilian in the areas of logistics, acquisition, and contracting along with my entrepreneurial ventures—speaking coaching, and training. All of this didn’t happen overnight. It happened because I believed in me and in my self-worth. Wayne Dyer says it best, “Self-worth comes from one thing- thinking that you are worthy.”
I needed to change my direction. Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see.” I took an assessment of myself and saw a few areas of weakness. I wanted to change my direction and destiny. Like John Maxwell said, “Tomorrow’s destiny becomes today’s direction.” I did what it took to succeed – increased my learning power by taking classes. I got around the right crowd of people. I fed my mind with pure and powerful thoughts along with reading those books that outline the destiny I wanted. How did I change my direction?
- Change my thinking towards my self-worth. I reprogrammed my thoughts towards pure and powerful thoughts, and I guarded what I read and listened to. One of my favorite Bible verse is Proverbs 23:7, “As a man think in his heart so is he.” In James Allen’s famous book “ As a Man Thinketh, he says, “The soul attracts that which it secretly harbors; that which it loves, and that which it fears. It reaches the height of its cherished aspirations. It falls to the level of its uncharted desires- and circumstances are the means by which the soul receives its own.” You are the master of your thoughts. You are the planter of the seeds you have sown in your mind, and you are the harvester of the fruits your mind will reap.
- Stop comparing myself to others. This is your journey and no one else. When this became a reality to me, I didn’t have to be like Johnnie, Billy, or anyone else. I had to be myself, which took a lot of weight off of me. “Your life is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life,” Steve Jobs once said.
- Go beyond my limiting beliefs. The Bible verse in Romans 8:37 says, “But in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who love us.” God doesn’t see us as defeated. Why should we see ourselves as defeated? Get rid of the negative thoughts and fill your mind with pure and powerful ones.
- Add value to others as you are adding value to yourself. If you want to lift your spirits, make a difference in someone else’s life. John Maxwell said, “It’s hard to feel bad about yourself when you’re doing something good for someone else.”
- Practice consistently and persistently small disciplines in your life on a daily basis. If your life is overwhelming with health, work, family, or something not mentioned, try tackling those overwhelming circumstances a little at a time daily. How do you get rid of the elephant in the room? A little at a time. Be consistent in your efforts. Be determined, motivated, and focused. Be disciplined.
If you want to change your life, you must take control of your life and make positive changes. Yes, I was born in the ghetto, but it wasn’t born in me. I changed my thought patterns daily. Now, I am successful in everything I do. You can do this, too.
So, in 2020 take a look in a mirror, see value in yourself, add value to yourself, and then add value to others. I am a true believer that whatever you sow into others you will reap. If you want value and self-worth to become your reality, invest in someone else’s life the same way.
Derrick Darden, PhD
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