The Value of Self

I was raised to be humble. As a kid, I’ve been taught to put yourself in others’ shoes and consider others before yourself. I was taught to always help others, even if it means going a bit out of your way.

This idea has shaped me into the person I am today, and for the most part I’m happy and proud to be this person — someone who genuinely cares about the world; someone who understands the importance of giving unconditionally.

The thing with that is, over the course of the past thirty years I’ve somehow managed to gradually lose myself. Not so much in that I’ve lost sense of who I am as a person, but rather how I can rightfully fit in to this world.

If everyone else should come before me, when is it my turn to step up to the plate? Just how much is my life worth when I consistently put everyone around me at a (much) higher priority than my own?

In ways, I am in dire need to (re)construct the value of myself.

In the beginning of year, I mentioned in a blog post that part of my new year resolution was to Be Okay. It’s halfway through the year and truthfully, I still very much struggle with that.

I struggle with how I can offer my all while potentially having to hold myself back. I struggle with how I can stay humble without letting my self-esteem take a dive. And I struggle to unlearn the past thirty years of unhealthy habits, so one day I can be as genuine to myself as I already am with others.

So I have a bit under six months to reverse this trend to accomplish my goal, and here’s what I’m thinking:

Be the duck, not the rabbitI’m going to be more optimistic. Beyond confidence and self-esteem, though they’re very much related, I will actively work to put my focus on the silver lining, to sit on the greener side of the lawn, and to be the duck and not the rabbit. (A reference from How I Met Your Mother.)

And to ensure this is going to happen, there are specific goals set for myself as well as anchors from those around me to call me out and cheer me on. In discussing with my colleague today, she summarized her feedback for me brilliantly:

“Don’t expect the worst. Instead, expect the best and prepare for the worst.”

This is precisely the problem. So together we came with concrete plans to help me reach the next level. No, fuck that, reach the next world. Turning thirty this year, I no longer have the luxury to reach 1-2 when I should be gunning for 2-1. (And clearly that’s a Super Mario Bros. reference.)

The value of self should include the positive as much as the negative, strength just as well as weakness. And with this I unveil my new motto:

My New Motto

❤ wins

Winson Shuen works at IGN but is not an editor. All opinions expressed here are solely his own and do not represent his employer by any means. You can follow him on Twitter @vdot90.

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