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Confusing Work With Worth?

It starts with apathy and equal parts withdrawal. Days when you close the blinds, slip deep into the bathwater, drink or sleep more than you should, and disengage with the people and parts of your life that normally bring you joy.

Our inner emotions influence our outside world and the environment we build. Those who consider themselves “creatives” know this intimately, as they can take those unedited emotions a step further and put paint to canvas, words to page, ingredients to recipe, bringing ideas to life. Those creatives who turn their passion into profit become entrepreneurs who are carving a life with innate drives marked by what they value. Values vary from entrepreneur to entrepreneur but undoubtedly act as strong motivators for why the reward is greater than the risk; why the leap requires faith. Some of us value money, while others may value time and freedom; many place emphasis on social justice and so forth. These are the pillars that support our passions.

However, when a passion is deeply judged along varying degrees of “success” by oneself and others, it is easy to link what you do with who you are. That connection without separation is lethal to self-worth. Who you are is what allows you to create the way you do and push for your business, your brand, and your enterprise. 

The biggest lie you can tell yourself is that you are alone in this. That you should keep quiet if you are suffering from low self-worth or self-doubt. So, how do you combat these feelings? How do you bring the light to this overwhelming darkness? You must be willing to be vulnerable; to crack yourself wide open and reveal the deep truths about your moods. You find a safe space in a friend, a partner, or even a group that will allow you to share at your own speed and free of judgment. Willing to be heard and understood creates three key concepts that will positively support your mental health: universality, community, and accountability.

The biggest lie you can tell yourself is that you are alone in this. That you should keep quiet if you are suffering from low self-worth or self-doubt.

Universality

  • The idea that another person shares with you something you thought individual, rare, and the exception.
  • Feelings of universality is why group therapy exists, it’s why when you speak a feeling aloud and someone mutters “me too”— you feel understood beyond the superficial.
  • You are reminded of what being authentic and courageous feels like because to share this deeply is an act of bravery.

Community

  • When you share, you build trust in others and mutual trust builds connection that will become even more vital as each day living with depression unfolds.
  • As you find your voice, so do those around you. A beautiful cycle of support begins to feed and strengthen you. You are no longer alone.

Accountability

  • Once you share your depression in the safety of another, a reciprocal system of support is formed and accountability allows for its maintenance.
  • Accountability provides the promise of “follow-up,” of someone looking out for you and you for them on a regular basis. Care and concern is built willingly and consciously.

If you find yourself confusing your work with your worth, losing sight of the joy that your business brings to you, or deeply suffering from depressive moods, take the steps to talk about it. No one should suffer, especially not in silence. If this sounds like someone you know, then be the safe haven, be the loving support, and provide the accountability to support your friend’s journey towards stability on his or her terms. Understanding and respect begins with a willingness to dialogue and demystify our feelings.

For additional advocacy, support and statistics on those affected by depression and anxiety, use the national resource Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) by visiting www.adaa.org.

By Leah “Lou” Zorn