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Personal Net Worth – What Makes You Valuable?

In Uncategorized on August 2, 2010 at 1:31 pm

Have you ever been in a relationship where you felt like you couldn’t live without the other person? Have you ever felt the burning desire to influence the world or be recognized for something? It may seem like these two questions have nothing to do with each other, but in reality they both address your basic needs and personal net worth.

How well you meet your basic needs determines your personal net worth. Your personal net worth boils down to how valuable you consider yourself to be. How important are you in your own eyes?

Larry Crabb encapsulates all basic needs into two categories:

Security – Love, Acceptance, Safety, Stability
Security leaning individuals need strong interdependent relationships in order to feel valuable. What’s important to them is reciprocity and their significance is dictated by how secure their relationships are. The more stable (permanent/committed) the relationship is the more accepted, loved and secure the individual feels.

Significance – Impact, Competence, Purpose, Esteem 
Significance leaning people need to accomplish things in order to feel important. They don’t require anything in return when doing things for others because just knowing they have the skills to complete tasks and create things makes them feel significant. Their security is dictated by the opportunity to impact their environment.

Note: No one can go without meeting both needs. The difference only lies in which need is primary.

If I had all the recognition and wealth in the world. If I had everything I wanted, would I consider myself significant? Probably. Now what if everyday I woke up, there was a 50% chance that I could lose it all. Would I feel secure? Probably not. The point is I need significance and security. I need to feel significant so that I have faith in my ability to provide for myself and others. I need to feel secure so that I can spend time doing what makes me happy and not spend time worrying about losing what makes me happy.

If your primary need is security, then it must be you who feels secure. Many times we seek to make others secure by giving away a great deal of ourselves. In our minds, we say:

“This person needs me, so I am important. I am significant.”

In actuality, you are attempting to meet someone else’s basic need. You are trying to help them become secure but your security is not based on how much you give. Your security is based on how much you receive. It’s also based on the amount of faith you have in receiving love and feeling safe in the future.

If your primary need is significance, then it must be you who deems yourself significant. Everyone likes to be applauded. Everyone likes praise, but attempting to meet your basic needs on the whims of others’ opinions is a recipe for failure. While praise is good for our self-esteem and ultimately our significance, it’s not sufficient to maintain either. You must decide for yourself what makes you significant.

Many times we are mistaken as to what we need to meet our basic needs. There are people who truly do feel significant when they help others, but it’s because they value just that: helping others. Then there are others who only value being valuable to others. What happens when someone no longer considers you valuable or important. Now the basis of your significance no longer exists and your security has been shaken to its core so you end up worthless by someone else’s meaurement.

There are plenty of examples for people not realizing their basic needs and mistaking superfluous ideas for serious necessities. Classic example is the mistaken belief that money provides significance when it’s actually a tool used to attain security (albeit, financial security).

Ask yourself whether you prefer having secure significance (I’m important and will continue to be) or whether you prefer having significant security (I’m safe and loved the way I should be). Then ask yourself whether you are comfortable deeming yourself significant or whether you are comfortable loving and accepting yourself?

Maybe a little perspective is all you need in order to truly be valuable.



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