Self-worth is a value that is often lacking among our more important attributes. It can lead to depression, low self-esteem and even missing out on opportunities because we’re just not confident enough to engage in worthwhile challenges.
These effects, of course, have further problems and add to even more negative points in our lives. But it is important to know that we are not alone when we begin to doubt ourselves.
No matter what you tell yourself, no matter what your closest friends tell you and no matter what the stranger sitting across from you says, we all feel self-doubt from time to time. How much and how often generally depend on a lot of environmental factors that may not even have anything to do with us or our level of accomplishment.
In the farthest reaches of this world, this issue is prevalent. And even then, there is also the emotional opposite of this particular level of self-consciousness: over-confidence.
In either of these extremes, there is one characteristic that links them both and which is undeniable — once we know what we’re looking at.
What you’re worth becomes much clearer once you’ve found out where your limits are. Traveling, by way of expanding our horizons, gives us a direct line into that better, more expanded version of ourselves. And once we look back over that amazing mountain that we’ve just climbed, or trace our fingers over the map delineating the long trek we just made, our level of self-worth seems just as large and impressive as the feat itself.
Therefore it is not only a natural effect that travelers are, themselves, better people than what they left at home, but that they also begin to see that they have a much greater sense of what they can achieve for themselves. Seeking the approval of others, then, becomes about as useful as the pair of hiking boots that they destroyed after 5,000 miles of hikes through distant lands and over many mountains.
And, metaphorically speaking, the approval of others served its purpose for us when we were in these previous shoes. Shedding them and donning our new shoes, however, is what is necessary and ultimately inevitable, the “further” we go in our lives.
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Insights from the Pavement is a new style of blog that I am trying out. These will be posted a couple times per week for the next few months. And I am interested in what my readers and passersby think of them. So be sure to let me know your thoughts in the comments section.