One major obstacle to happiness is self-worth. It’s challenging to be happy if you don’t realize your worth, and it’s even harder to recognize your worth if you’re unhappy. Here are 8 ways to fight for your happiness.
“Learn to value yourself, which means: fight for your happiness.”
– Ayn Rand
I Experienced Self-Worth Issues Recently
The 2020 pandemic began right around when I planned to start a job search after my severance period following a lay-off. Due to the pandemic and my (admittedly) rusty skills, I had difficulty finding a job. When I say “Difficulty,” I mean it took me a year and a half of applying to at least three jobs per day to find one.
Even though the job I finally found paid about half what I needed to keep our home, it was okay at first. However, I soon realized I had too much responsibility for tasks I had no authority over. How a sense of control affects your happiness is another chapter!
I was highly frustrated, and the only job I could find paid about half what this job offered. There I was, 50 years old, with a college degree and 30 years of IT experience, and I was about to begin earning lower wages than my daughter’s high school friends made at their part-time jobs.
Suffice to say, my feelings of self-worth were at an all-time low. Like Ron Weasley after the dementors raided the Hogwarts Express, “I felt weird, like I’d never be cheerful again.”
Loved Ones Reminded Me of My Self-Worth
Luckily, my wife was there to remind me of where she valued me. She reminded me of all that I did for my family and that I delayed my job search because I was helping my dad and step-dad after the passing of my mom and step-mom.
Even with her help, feeling worthy felt excruciatingly difficult. She and my daughter helped me keep fighting, though.
What did I do? I kept plugging away, searching for jobs, tweaking my resume, staying physically active, and trying to eat nutritiously. I kept meditating, writing, and reading.
A few weeks later, I got an email that a friend had recommended me for a job in his company. About three weeks later, I started the new position.
As for most people, times still aren’t easy. My family still struggles to make ends meet. Still, I fought through that lowest of times, and I’m fighting through this current challenge. When I felt at my lowest, I didn’t realize I was fighting for my happiness. I was just fighting.
How Happiness is Relative
If I hadn’t experienced that lowest of times, I’d probably be miserable now. However, since I’ve been lower–way lower–this current challenging time seems pleasant in comparison. Furthermore, I’m excited about a couple of new projects I’m working on.
“Any rough patch you endure will help you appreciate the good times more when they finally arrive.”
9 Ways to Fight For Your Happiness
I don’t know how to make you fight. I can only suggest things for you to do:
- Maintain a consistent sleep schedule
- Spend quality time with loved ones
- Eat nutritious food
- Work daily on something important to you
- Practice gratitude
- Serve others
At present, I know now that life can continue to improve. More importantly, I know that times can take a turn for the worse again, so I keep fighting.
If things are going well for you, keep fighting, so you have that sense of worth when times get tough.
Remember, your focus shouldn’t be on happiness. Focus on helping others, building or producing something, and maintaining healthy habits. Then allow contentment to arrive from the warmth of friends, the pride of work well done, and your body’s having what it needs to be energetic and healthy.
Exercise to Build Your Self-Worth
Exercise provides many benefits, probably more than described in the countless books on the subject. I recommended exercise in two separate chapters in my book, The Happiness Infinity Gauntlet because it benefits your mind, body, and soul in multiple ways.
Maintain a Consistent Sleep Schedule
Sleep is so vital to your health. It isn’t easy to think clearly when you’re sleep-deprived. Furthermore, there are physiological processes that help your body function well that only occur during sleep. You’re not creating time by sleeping less; you’re robbing yourself of quality time.
If job stress (or any other stress) keeps you from sleeping well, check out The Best Cure for Insomnia Caused by Job Stress.
Spend Quality Time With Loved Ones
Time with friends is more than fun. It helps you realize you’re a part of something bigger, that you have the support of others who value you. Spending time with people who value you is a great way to increase your feelings of self-worth.
I wrote extensively in The Happiness Infinity Gauntlet about the benefits of spending time with loved ones and how to get the most out of that time.
Your body is mostly water, so you must stay hydrated. Any time you’re feeling grumpy or tired, chances are you didn’t get enough sleep or are dehydrated.
In a recent episode of my travel podcast, All Things Travel, we covered the importance of staying hydrated and ways to help you keep the water flowing. While we were talking specifically about flying and traveling, the same tactics will help you at home and work every day.
Click here to see the blog post or listen to the episode with the player below!
Eat Nutritious Food
It’s hard to feel well if you feed your body junk food, so nutrition is crucial for happiness. Read the Nutrition section of How Max Out Your Happiness Accounts for things to do and things to avoid to maintain proper nutrition.
Surely we know by now that diets don’t work. The philosophy that works for nutrition also works for happiness. Fads don’t work. This is why we should treat happiness like nutrition.
Meditate to Fight for Your Happiness
If you take the time to pay attention to the thoughts that deny your self-worth, you’ll realize how ridiculous those ideas are. The problem is that you’re too consumed with those thoughts to consider their lack of validity. That’s why meditation is vital for happiness.
While those thoughts seem to dwell on reality, the truth is they’re a distraction from reality. Please read how meditation can break you out of that rumination and help you escape into the moment, not from the moment.
To ensure you’re not too hard on yourself if you struggle with mediation, here is a humorous trip through a Typical Meditation Session.
Work Daily on Something Important to You
It’s easy to spend too much time at work and begin believing that you have no life outside work. Next, even though you’re obviously valuable to your company or they wouldn’t need you so much, you start to lose appreciation for your value. That’s why you need something to do that’s important to you.
Read why something to do is one of the 3 grand essentials to happiness.
When you focus on gratitude for what you have, you open and awaken your mind. Check out 3 ways that gratitude boosts your power.
A daily gratitude practice is the best way to learn to appreciate what you have and boost your happiness. This giant list of gratitude journal prompts will jumpstart your contentment and creativity!
What higher value can there be than service to others? Everyone can find something they can do that someone else needs. Knowing you helped someone else will feel better than getting paid!
For excellent reasons and ways to help others, check out Fulfill Needs and Be Somebody’s Miracle.
Question: What is your biggest struggle with self-worth?
- If you struggle with self-worth, I curated these 261 quotes that will inspire you to start fighting and keep fighting.
- Inspiring quotes are a way to encourage fighting when we don’t feel like it. Enjoy this giant list of happiness quotes!
- My book, The Happiness Infinity Gauntlet, is full of habits that will help you fight for your happiness. You can purchase it here on Amazon in paperback, Kindle, or as an audiobook. And I think you’ll love my sweet, sweet voice!
- If you’d like more ideas for your fight, enjoy these 29 Ways to Increase Your Feeling of Self-Worth.