When I was a young mother doing unpaid work looking after my children, I was doing a worthwhile job bringing up my children but the message I got from the wider society and even my husband was different. I was made to feel  that as my work was unpaid it was not important, and I would see people’s eyes glaze over when I said I was a mum.

When I had my bookshop, I measured my value by the fact I owned and managed my shop. It was my whole life. When I no longer had the shop I felt the loss dearly, not just for all the beautiful books that were destroyed but because I felt I no longer had a purpose, a value, a worth. I invested so much emotion into being a bookseller I forgot who I was as a person. I still say when people ask me what do I do, I say I used to own a bookshop.

A friend of mine has a successful career but when she goes home at Christmas, she feels her self-worth is devalued by her family as she has no children or a husband. This makes family functions awkward.

Do you think when we measure our self-worth by another’s expectation it can have an impact on our life?

Does it change over the years?

How does one get self worth from oneself without depending on others approval?

I would like to hear your stories positive and not so positive about what determines your self-worth.

A Moodscope member.

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