When we use the word value it means something very specific to us here at AOC. For us, value is how we derive attention, approval, and acceptance, which humans need to feel good about themselves. You can think of it as oxygen for the human soul.
Think about it; ever since the time you were born you have devised ways to achieve attention, approval, and acceptance for yourself. Unfortunately, some of those ways are low value while some of those ways are high value. Attention, approval, and acceptance allow us to feel connected, respected, and important to those around us. When we have the respect and attention of those around us, we have social proof and power, and it’s those things that allow us to be attractive to everyone. People want to be around those who everyone wants to be around. It assures us that we’ll always have resources.
How We Add Value
As we get older, we have to develop ways of gaining this value. If we don’t develop these skills, we’re doomed to exhibit low-value ways of achieving attention, which will have the effect of repulsion rather than the desired effect of attraction.
An easy way to think about this is to think back to when you were a child; how did you get attention for yourself? When we were children we tended to beg or cry for it…these tactics do not work as an adult. In fact, as I mentioned earlier, they repel people rather than attract them.
Also, think about the idea of value as a magic code for your daily life, as well as attracting a mate, as these things go hand-in-hand. In order to build value for yourself, you’re going to have to gain the respect and attention of others, and the best way is to allow the people around you to feel good about themselves!
How Respect is Earned
Everything you want in life you’re going to have to earn through the cooperation of others. Giving value is the easiest way of achieving that. Let me paint a picture for you: Imagine you had a sheet of paper with a hundred small circles on it and that you were the center circle. Everything you want in life is somewhere else on that sheet of paper. In order to gather these other things in life, you’re going to have to maneuver through all the other circles. I think it’s easy for us to figure out that being “nice” to the other circles should make it easier to move to where we need to move to.
However, all the other circles need to move to other areas as well, because they’re looking to gather things they want in their lives too. What we will quickly find out is we could easily be taken advantage of. When this happens it tends to force us in the opposite direction: to toughen up around the other circles in order to protect ourselves, but this causes our movement to slow down as well. Our attitude is now making it difficult for others to want to work with us. So now what happens is we try to figure out who the people are who would help and move towards them while trying to decipher who are takers and try to avoid those people. Unfortunately, it’s terribly difficult to figure this out as it is difficult to truly understand people’s motives. After all, it’s not like they have them written across their forehead.
So, what’s the best way to maneuver through the circles in a manner that will not take its toll on your spirit and will? The answer is to develop internal value for yourself in order to work through the circles that are giving value, so you are able to gather their support, without being taken advantage of and wearing yourself down in the day-to-day grind. This is a fun, smart way to gain value for yourself rather than trying to trick people into thinking you hold value that you don’t have.
So how do we go about earning this internal value for ourselves? Start by taking some responsibility for what you want and how you’re going to go about getting it.
By building self-responsibility and discipline, you’ll slowly begin to earn it from others. Think about it: how can you really build boundaries for others if you can’t build them within yourself? Starting with yourself first allows you to develop these ideas internally which will inevitably extend to those around you.
It’s through this work that you will slowly start building the confidence you’ll need to throw yourself into the fray of life’s circles.
Want another tip to gain confidence? Here is an episode about Emotional Bids that might help with the transition from having this knowledge, to actually using this knowledge in your everyday life.