What does value mean to you? Is it just the price of something? Some expensive things are actually not valuable, if you really think about it.

Have you ever tried to shop for the basics—bread, milk, and eggs—when a bad storm is brewing? When the shelves are bare, you might have to stand outside the store and wait for those items while also paying double and triple what they normally cost. Why? Because they are now at a higher value than when the sun is shining and there is no desperate need for them. The thought of not having them seems to cause people to do whatever they can to get the items of survival. Well, I know for a fact that relationships with people in our lives and our own self-worth are even more valuable than that last loaf of bread on the shelf.

People are important to me: new people I meet, my family, my friends, and the people I interact with in my work.

I am an extremely outgoing person. I have never met a stranger. Going out into a crowd of people is comfortable for me. Going into a large mass of people, my common goal is to leave there having met new people and growing my network of people. I consider myself a connisseur of people, if you will. I value networking, connections, and growth.

Family time is everything to me. My parents are divorced, and sadly, our family members are spread out all around the United States. My time with them is rare, but man, when I am with them, it makes my heart sing. I value quality time with my family.

Also, the relationships I have built with friends, whether new or old, have become a vital part of who I am. I can’t go a day without talking to a few of my closest friends to discuss life, love, and other mysteries. I make sure to maintain constant communication even with those who live a world away from me. I value my friendships and knowing someone is there for me to depend on in the easy and the hard times.

My job is something I sort of fell into. I worked retail for fifteen years and then was introduced to digital marketing. It was like a light bulb just flicked on in my mind. Everything made sense, and I uncovered a passion I never knew existed. I value my job and a company that believed in me enough to get me to where I am now.

In a world where everyone is so negative about literally everything, positivity is scarce, and positivity in our values is even more unusual. Being a people pleaser, I have always thought about how I can make others happy, ensure they are enjoying their time, and help them feel valued. But sometimes I forget to fuel myself and confirm that I am happy, enjoying my time, and making sure I feel valued.

I find myself on Instagram or other social media sites, following people like Gary Vee or Jay Shetty to help fuel my motivation and help me find value in my day. I will read a quote I have seen so many times before about knowing my worth and striving for more and convince myself that “Yes! This is what I needed today…” but then I won’t apply it to my life due to distraction or pure laziness. I find myself in the same life-sucking hole the next day, in need of a motivational-quote boost.

I have realized that I place value on everyone and everything else, but what value am I applying to myself? Do I truly value who I am, who I have become, and who I intend to be?

To remedy this imbalance, I have started not only reading those quotes, but then allowing them to truly soak in and applying them to my life.

One of my favorite quotes is from Oscar Wilde: “Nowadays, people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.” We are so concerned with monetary costs, but what we value might actually be free, such as time, experiences, and relationships.

When I think about the value of something, I often think about what is something worth. When you value something, it is worth so much more! For example, my Nana passed away about fifteen years ago. When she passed, my Papa gave me her owl collection. To others, it is just a group of owl figurines, but to me, it is a memory of her incredible spirit and how she was always so wise and always knew the right answer. They aren’t worth much, but to me, they mean the world. Every time I have moved, I have put them in a special box to ensure they are safe, not to be harmed by someone with clumsy hands.

We do whatever we can to make sure we protect what is valuable to us, so what are we doing to protect the value of ourselves?

One of my favorite mantras is from The Help: “You is kind. You is smart. You is important.”

Here are four things I do regularly to find value in myself. Do them on your own, and see how the value you place on yourself changes:

Set priority to yourself. Remember your needs, goals, and desires. Pamper yourself, go for a run, read a book, rest and relax.

Set and maintain boundaries. Know the value you bring to the table. Don’t allow others to treat you less than you’re worth.

Set goals. Don’t just walk through life day by day; set goals that are attainable daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly. Give yourself something to strive toward.

Set purpose in your actions. When you make a decision, make it with pride. Make decisions according to what is best for you and your family.

“Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.”

—Oscar Wilde

Value is written by Candace Gingrasso

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