Who is holding your measuring stick?

What measuring stick?  What is this lady babbling about this week?  Who even uses a measuring stick anymore?  Is she talking about the ones people use to stick horses for how tall they are?


Nope, I’m talking about measuring our self worth and whos voices we allow in our lives to decide if we measure up or not. 


We have a tendency to measure ourselves against one another which is very self destructive, but most importantly, we let the words and actions of others affect the opinions of how we measure or feel about ourselves.


What is Self-Worth?


Self-worth is an internal state of being that comes from self-understanding, self-love, and self-acceptance.


To have a high level of self-worth means having a favorable opinion or estimate of yourself. It means having unshakable faith in yourself and in your ability to follow through and get things done.


Having a high degree of self-worth means feeling worthy of good things. It means feeling deserving of happiness, health, wealth, success, and love — irrespective of the difficulties you face, the disappointments you experience, or of people’s opinions. In a word, it’s unflinching.


To have a high level of self-worth means accepting yourself wholeheartedly at all times despite your flaws, weaknesses, and limitations. It’s about recognizing the real value of who you are — right here, right now, at this present moment.

See https://blog.iqmatrix.com/self-worth for more great information and defining self worth


I’d be a liar if I said I didn’t fall into the trap of letting others hold my stick and skew my vision of my self worth every once and awhile.  See, that’s the bigger issue here, is I let them do it.


No one can affect your feeling of self worth unless you let them.  Social media has made strangers (sometimes we know OF these people, but that doesn’t mean we Know them), more accessible to our selves and our personal lives and it seems unfounded opinions are as common as belly buttons (I really wanted to use another comparison here, but thankfully I pulled this off the internet to keep it a little more PG).


A good start to keep a firm grasp on your own self worth, is not to feel inclined to tell others about your opinion of themselves.  “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” is a saying that comes to mind.  We want to help others, so we tangle ourselves up with others concerns and try to grab hold of their stick.

In our program, we talk about how important it is to focus on changing your actions, not yourself. 


You, yourself, as a person, aren’t broken. 

Please read that last sentence at least 20 times.  Please, just do it


Yeah, we all have some bits and pieces that maybe aren’t quite up to code, but that doesn’t mean as a whole human you are lacking or you aren’t enough.


A desire to be “Social Accountable” is one of the easiest ways to sabotage yourself and degrade your feeling of self worth.  People get caught up trying to make sure they are living up to the life they are projecting to social media and lose themselves in the process.




Have a listen to your own internal dialogue and see what kind of things you are saying to others and yourself.  If you say more unkind things to yourself, that you would never dream of saying to anyone else, we have a problem. 


We fall in the trap of telling ourselves we don’t deserve things, are bad riders, not good enough and the list goes on and on.  The bigger issue is, we actually start to believe this in our core.  When we believe this (even on an unconscious level) we make it happen.  This is full on self sabotage.


Think of the person you love the most and think of the things you say to yourself that you wouldn’t say to that person, especially in regards to making a run and competing. 


Don’t mistake me for asking you to blow sunshine where the sun doesn’t shine here. 


We all make mistakes and misjudgments or sometimes things don’t pan out.  I think my favorite saying is “Ah shucks, that sucked, but thankfully we’re still on the right side of the ground to do it all over again” when a run goes terrible wrong. 


When you are talking to yourself and others, start listening in to your own dialogue and recognizing when the conversation in your own head or coming out of your mouth about yourself, turns from constructive to destructive.  You see, no one does better athletically when they are beat up, either physically or emotionally and your mental and emotional health plays a big part in your success.


Choking in sports is a form of self sabotage and in a nut shell, it is when we allow our mind to get ahead of our actions.  Over riding your horse in a competition run is a perfect example of choking.  In our program we talk about how to put the pieces together in a run and how to identify the symptoms of choking in a run.


We also teach you how to start looking at cause and effect with a constructive set of eyes, more like a good mystery solving adventure than an interrogation on your run.




It is difficult to make a man miserable while he feels worthy of himself. – Abraham Lincoln


Whether you win or not on any given day should have zero connection or effect on your feelings of self worth and ONLY YOU should determine if what you did the arena on any given day was a success. 


You are the only person who knows what you were trying to achieve, so you should be the only person who decides if what you do on any given day was or was not a success.   If your success in the arena determines your worth to another human, that person is toxic and you need to have a long, hard look at why you are allowing that in your life.

Be your own biggest real life advocate.  Start talking to and encouraging yourself as you do others around you.  Look to add people in your circle who hold you accountable to the bull shit you tell yourself about yourself and put a stop to it.  Keep those people close and keep your own hands on your own measuring stick.

Originally published March 20, 2019 on the Take Time off the Clock Website