The other day, two new clients—a therapist and a consultant— both told me the same thing (in separate conversations):

I need to know my value.

I interrupted them and pushed back.

I told them that I believe that trying to “find your value” is harmful. Here’s why:

Merriam Webster defines the noun value as the monetary worth of something and a numerical quantity assigned or determined by calculation or measurement.

When you say that you need to know your value, you’re inadvertently saying that you need to know your monetary worth.

The notion floating around in the personal development world that says we must know our value is inaccurate and dangerous.

The story that humans have value is rooted in the capitalist paradigm, which assigns a price tag to everything and purports that we can commodify Life itself.

The notion that people have “value” perpetuates the oppression that gives rise to the lack of wellbeing, work-life balance, and awakeness that many coaches and therapists see themselves (ourselves) as being in the business of dismantling in the first place.

So. The next time you find yourself thinking I need to know my value, I invite you to try on an alternative story. (See how this feels in your body.)

The payment we receive is not the same as the worthiness of what we offer.

Our prices and our incomes are NOT our value.

How much we get paid is related to many factors, including (but are not limited to):

  • How much money you need.
  • Your skill and experience.
  • What mainstream society (and all its capitalist, patriarchal, racist nonsense) says has “value.”
  • How much the people you want to serve are willing and able to pay.
  • What other providers in your space charge.
  • Where you live and work.
  • And many others.

Stop trying to identify your value. Put down the story that says that you have monetary worth.

You do not have a price tag.

You are worthy because you exist. You matter because you’re alive.

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