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Why do you let your salary or weight define your self-worth?

I hate math.

There are aspects of it that I’ve liked, such as playing with fake money as a kid, Pythagorean Theorem and finding the value of X in basic algebra, but other than that, math and I haven’t gotten along.

As a teenager I thought my relationship with math was a clue that my career would have no future in accounting, but as an adult, I’ve realized that my disdain for numbers runs deeper than I originally thought.

Numbers are unavoidable. In adulthood they are highly regarded, as though the numbers in our lives contribute to our worth.

Think about what emotions the question, “how much do you make?” stirs inside of you. Do you proudly say the amount or do you have a speech prepared justifying the number?

I’ve been on both sides of that question, feeling proud and feeling embarrassed. When I was on the upside of that question, feeling confident about the number my salary represented, I didn’t acknowledge how many negative emotions I was hiding subconsciously under the surface.

You see, numbers are like a glacier, they only show about 10% of the truth, the other 90% we are blind to.

Another example of this is shown by our weight. Simple question, how much do you weigh? Right now, 5 months post partum I am 132 lbs. (about 12 lbs. heavier than I was pre pregnancy.) Now to some people that number might seem fine or not fine post partum. The number isn’t the important piece of information though. The fact is that I had a baby a few months ago and it takes some time for our bodies to transform into their pre pregnancy form (I’m not sure they ever completely go back to the way they were before), and most people on this planet understand that. But what if you didn’t hear that I was a few months post partum? What if I only told you I was 132lbs, that I was 12 lbs. heavier than I was a year ago and that I felt fat and disgusting? Aha, you’d probably have a different POV about those numbers right?

The math (while logical) doesn’t have space for the important variables that live beneath the surface. That’s why it pains me when women (when really anybody) attaches their self-worth to a number.

99.9% of the time, that number only accounts for 10% of your story, the other 90% isn’t being acknowledged.

It’s one of the reasons why I recommend to women not to fixate on losing a certain amount of weight or being a specific number on the scale. That number doesn’t represent all of the other aspects of your overall wellness (physical, mental, emotional or spiritual).

When I was I working in the city as an Interior Designer, I was making a comfortable living. Now, starting a new career as a Life Coach and being a fitness trainer at Orangetheory Fitness, my finances look a lot different. But what my bank account from 2019 to 2022 doesn’t tell you is how much better my health is. I used to suffer from crippling anxiety when working in the city. I would wake up crying to my husband Eddie, overwhelmed by how much I didn’t want to go to work. I was on the fence of seeing a doctor for medication and even looking into an emotional support animal. But now, following my passion for helping others to feel like their best selves, nourishes me in a way money never could. Making more doesn’t always equal happiness.

So the next time you are beating yourself up about how much money you make or how much you weigh, I challenge you to consider if you are only looking at 10% of the number in front of you.

You are MORE than what’s on the surface.

Xx,
Elena

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