Dr. Sebi knew that learning to value yourself is one of the most worthwhile things you can do.
Self-value helped Dr. Sebi overcome opposition and controversy, standing firm in his mission to heal. Let’s learn to treat ourselves like we really deserve.
“...my grandmother was one hell of a Black woman. She was uncompromising. She didn’t care how big or how small you were. In her eyes, you were the same. But she had this sense of value about herself that I seldom see in people.” - Dr. Sebi.
What is Self-Value?
Your level of self-value determines the actions you take to help or harm yourself. It also determines how you think others should behave towards you. When we value ourselves, we notice the positive qualities we offer others, like kindness, honesty, and respect, and feel that we deserve to be treated the same way.
Sadly, low self-value is ‘normal’ in our modern world. People work jobs they hate or stay in bad relationships because they don’t value themselves highly enough. While it’s normal that we live in a society of people who undervalue themselves, it’s not natural. We can collectively aim higher and learn to value ourselves much more.
People who have low self-value, or derive it from external factors (looks, popularity, income, etc.) experience more anger, stress, and conflict in their relationships. They have a greater risk of depression, substance abuse, and eating disorders.
Low self-value makes us accept poor treatment from others (including people in authority who represent us) and poor habits from ourselves. Fortunately, self-value is like a muscle you just need to learn to stretch.
Here are some signs you need to work on your self-value muscle:
- Needing others to feel happy or alive.
- Spending time with people who bring you down.
- Feeling there’s nothing worth living for.
- Having critical and negative internal dialogue.
- Being a pushover (not standing up to others.)
- Always putting other people’s needs first.
- Assuming arguments are always your fault.
- Not having a strong sense of identity.
- Not knowing what you want from life.
- Accepting less than you deserve (e.g. pay).
- Being trapped in destructive or addictive behaviors.
- Depressed and unable to take care of basic needs.
Self-value is driven by your actions, and your actions drive self-value, making the cycle easy to interrupt!
“And growing up in a Garvey house you get this pride, this sense of value that you add to yourself, that this Black man that you are following could do these great things.” - Dr. Sebi.
1. Value Your Body
Without health nothing else matters. Dr. Sebi dedicated decades to researching and sharing optimal methods for valuing your body with nutrition and restoring it on a cellular level.
Do you treat your body like a luxury car that needs premium fuel? Do you get sufficient sleep? Do you pamper your body with healing gifts and natural herbs?
2. Question Your Choices
The next time you’re feeling indecisive, or are in danger of making a decision not in your best interests, ask yourself:
“If I loved myself, what would I do?”
Asking this question reveals the answer you know deep inside, but are too conflicted to admit to yourself! Making decisions in full awareness by asking this question will help you value yourself a little more each time.
3. Direct Your Dialogue
Our minds focus on problems for our survival. But, the negative voice is just one of many “selves” representing aspects of our personality. You are a ‘team’ of conflicting ideas, opinions, wants, and desires – that team needs an assertive and positive inner voice to take charge.
By identifying and labeling the negative, critical or less-helpful ‘team members’ (e.g. “the bossy guy” or “the dictator”) you can acknowledge when they take charge and put somebody else in the driver’s seat!
“I don’t follow leaders. The only leader I follow is my mind.” – Dr. Sebi.
4. Forgive it All
Forgiveness helps us to love ourselves, accept our imperfections, and accept responsibility for the things we’ve done, adding to our self-value.
Forgiveness does not condone another person’s negative actions towards us (their behavior) but it forgives the person (who makes mistakes), releasing us from the weight of holding a grudge. Remember, toxic thoughts are just as harmful as toxic foods.
5. Stop Comparing
“First of all, I’m your brother. No less, no more than you.” - Dr. Sebi.
Popular culture is centered on comparisons – making one life seem less valuable than somebody else’s. This is designed to keep us in a state of perpetual low self-value and we spend money on material goods to fill the perceived gap.
The only person you should be comparing yourself to is yourself! Decide how you would like to see yourself grow, then compare yourself to your own vision, and forgive any mistakes along the way.
6. Focus on Love
We often ignore the mundane blessings in life and all the beautiful things we experience. We don’t take the time to be truly grateful for all we have.
The simple act of saying ‘I love you’ to yourself in the mirror is like re-writing the price tag you put on yourself. Say it to believe it, even if it feels fake at first!
How will you enhance your self-value? How will you appreciate and celebrate the unique person you are? Exercising self-value will help you stand strong to overcome challenges, guiding your actions in alignment with the best possible version of yourself. Self-value enhances natural healing.