Mas Amor, Por Favor (thoughts on self-worth)

We are the product of our upbringing, our culture and our own self-imposed beliefs. Most of these are developed through childhood and as we become adults it is up to us to figure these out. We are what we think and what we tell ourselves every day.

I was skyping today with a badass, brilliant girlfriend who is killing it at her job but is looking for the next step in her career and wanted my advice. Let’s call this beauty Kristina. She started speaking about her immediate plan and her various options and the interview process she’s going through with various companies. She was also possibly looking at starting a digital nomad journey.

Intuitively, I asked Kristina 2 questions:

1. Do you have any savings and how long you think they will last you?2. Where do you want to be in the future? What’s your end goal?

I shared my personal story that when I started “nomading” I didn’t have any savings (dumb action plan but quite doable if you are not risk-averse and don’t have the patience to wait) but I had an arrangement with my company to start working remotely for at least 6 months. This gave me the safety net I needed in terms of money and time to figure out what to do next while traveling. It also gave me something to hold on to when I started this crazy, unpredictable and exhilarating journey.

I didn’t have a big grand vision or a plan when I started traveling but Kristina does. She told me she is looking for a job right now because it’s time to move on, then get a master’s degree in a Western country in order to move there permanently. I then asked her whether there is another way to get to where she needs to get…

Kristina said that there probably is but studying in that country will be the easiest route to remaining there permanently (needless to say that Kristina’s passport does not allow her to permanently reside in many countries… she doesn’t have an EU passport like me so life becomes a bit more complicated.)

Anyhow, one thing led to another and I saw myself in Kristina about 2 years ago. I have shared that although I was pretty awesome at what I did and my projects and I have done my own podcast and did great at school and people were always telling me how awesome I am… there was something missing.

I was getting an average salary. I didn’t ask for more money, although I knew I am worth more. I watched others getting where they wanted while I knew I could do the same thing much better. I saw people with not much common sense getting ahead… and I was like “What am I missing?” In Russian there is a saying that goes something like this “Either I am stupid or the skies do not ski.” LOL This “translates” into something like “Is it me or is it them?!”

Mind you, I was one of the most confident, go-getter girls you could meet. In short, I had balls and I was going for what I wanted. Always. No excuses. I had A LOT of masculine energy. So confidence was not something I lacked for sure… or so I thought.

When one digs deep enough to find an answer, one finds what he’s looking for.

And so I started digging and boy, my digging led me to a couple of discoveries that turned out to be limiting beliefs buried so deeply I was astonished at how I’ve managed to get to where I am now having all this in my head buried deep inside (these didn’t come all at once but over time, of course).

- I don’t really deserve to be wealthy and rich. Money is evil and anyone who has made a lot of money either bought someone else, stole or made it through a scam. (More on money issues and how I overcame them in my next post.)- I am not worthy of great love, great life and great success. This is for other people and not me. Who am I anyways to even want these things?- I should work hard and one day… one day someone will notice and this will be my moment to shine. I should not “boast” about my success, I should always be humble and appreciate what I have. - I am never doing anything right. 

Through my work experience in online marketing in the personal growth industry for 4,5 years I’ve learned that it’s not just me. Pretty much the whole world has issues of self-worth and deservedness and lack of love. Tony Robbins is all about “people just want to be loved.” The whole personal growth industry is tackling these limiting beliefs and how to overcome them. And those who master it, succeed in life.

We are the product of our upbringing, our culture and our own self-imposed beliefs. Most of these are developed through childhood and as we become adults it is up to us to figure these out. We are what we think and what we tell ourselves every day.

Now back to my conversation with Kristina. I shared with her that it took me a long time and lots of reading and listening to start telling myself and realizing that I am worthy and I am enough. That I should not expect other people to treat me with respect and pay me what I deserve. It is up to me. If I think I am worth $$$, that is what I am worth. If I think I am awesome, I behave like I am awesome and other people think I’m awesome too! BOOM!

I don’t owe anyone anything. But I owe it to myself to work on these issues.

So I started digging and realized that I was raised by parents who have lived in a communist and post-soviet era where you should not boast and tell everyone how great you are. You should just work hard and in time they will see. They will know and they will appreciate you for who you are.

I was also raised and brought up in a country where money is considered dirty and if you have a lot of it you are selfish and greedy. If you have money you are pretty much evil.

I was also raised to believe that I am never enough. I didn’t get enough love, attention, and care. And the list goes on.

Slowly and with time I realized that is not true (or better said it was only true in my head). I saw models of behavior in business and in life where money can be earned in a decent and honest way. Where a relationship with a man could be built on trust and that cheating is not the norm. Where people are open and vulnerable and can accept you for who you are.

And so my advice to Kristina was to, first and foremost, work on discovering what’s sitting deep inside and stopping her from getting what she wants. The figuring out what to do about it. To build up the confidence and to reaffirm daily that she is worthy of everything she wants and that she deserves to be happy, free and rich.

I do not have all the answers and if you ask me how to overcome these issues, honestly, I do not know the exact steps you need to take. There is a whole industry out there that tries to tackle these issues.

(At one point I just started writing in my daily journey “I love myself.” That worked, I think!)

For now, I am living a whole, happy and free life that fits me. Kind of... I guess so… I am still figuring it out and I believe the process never ends.

That is the beauty of this journey.

And that’s what Day 4 of the #99daysofwander is about.

I shall end with my favorite phrase at the moment:

“Mas amor, por favor.”

In Spanish, it means “More love, please.”

Because we all deserve it. Because love is something that is free to give and take. Love just is. And the world needs more love. Love is all we need.



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