Learn To Value Yourself First, Others Will Follow

When you start valuing your emotions first, others follow your way.

Abhi Thakur
3 min readMar 31, 2021
Photo by Etty Fidele on Unsplash

A professor entered a class of 20 students. Everyone stood up to greet him good morning. “Good morning students,” he replied, “please have a seat.”

“Before I start taking your class, let me ask you a question.”

“Ok sir,” everyone nodded their head in agreement.

He took out a $20 note in his hand and asked,” Can you tell me the value of this note?”

“$20,” the class replied.

The professor folded the note in his hands and asked,” Again, tell me the value of this note.”

“$20, sir,” the answer came.

He again folded the note four times, making it look like thick paper, and asked the same question. The answer was still the same.

This time, he threw the note in the ground and crushed it with his shoes making it dirty with dust and soil. He picked up the dirty note and asked, “One last time, tell me the value of this note.” The class replied,” It’s $20, sir.”

The professor put the note back into his pocket and said, “My motive was not to waste your valuable time. Instead, I wanted to deliver a message that this note holds its value, no matter how many times you fold it, how much you crush it. It remains a $20 note. Likewise, you all also hold the same value. Remember, no matter how many times life crushes you, your value is not lost or erased. Your value is as important as this note holds.”

I was watching a video by Jay Shetty when he conveyed this story in his YouTube video. I was speechless. The words came like an arrow piercing my heart. He was right. Our value is as important as everyone holds. No one is inferior or superior. People often lose themselves while valuing others more superior to them which they aren’t. We need to understand this: no one is going to value us if we do not start it ourselves first.

I have seen people crossing their limits in convincing others only to lose themselves in the process. Be it a relationship or your career, you need to first start valuing your ethics and decisions. Believing I’m not made for this or I can’t do this only puts you in the comfort zone and prevents you from growing into someone whom you can trust and value.

I had a friend who was in a toxic relationship (she still is). Every day she used to call me and cry because her boyfriend either used to betray her or annoy her. But still, she believed she can change him. So did I.

I saw her blocking him on social media only to unblock him after some days. The block-unblock game continued for many days. I advised her to get out of this toxic relation immediately. It was hampering her studies (she had to study the same class again because she failed in her first year).

I suggested her to get out of the relationship and focus on her studies. Her mental state was traumatic and didn’t allow her to concentrate. Yet, I helped her in her mean times and she managed to pass her first year with flying colors.

She was still in the relationship when I left her. You may think why I left her at such a crucial time? I can explain. I was losing myself while helping her to get out of the toxicity. I learned she valued her boyfriend more than me. That was a turnoff for me. I decided not to involve in their internal matter as it was making me stressed. I left her in her own world where she wanted to be. It’s been one year now since we talked.

The point of narrating the story here is to show how people lose themselves in others. When we value their decisions, problems, and emotions more than ourselves, our own thoughts and problems get lost somewhere in the middle. It may sound selfish but my only motto is — keep yourself first, then others. When you start valuing yourself, others follow your way. That’s the only way to keep yourself happy.

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