For the majority of my life I felt like people didn't see me.
When I was younger and in school, it was feeling like I had no real friends (I really only had a few sporadically), like people were always more "into" or interested in everyone else, or like no one cared about really knowing me deeply, even within my own family.
Throughout my first serious relationship with my high school sweetheart, I felt like he didn't know me one bit, nor care to know anything more about me than what he decided he wanted to see and hear. The core of who I was and what made me me simply wasn't welcome in that space.
Throughout all my jobs after college, I always felt like my opinion and expertise was either undervalued or ignored. Because I was generally much younger than my co-workers, I often felt treated like the "youngin'" or like the intern who had to do all the grunt work. Even when I knew in my bones what I was saying was important and valuable, I was often dismissed.
And just three years ago during a retreat with my mastermind group, I had an epic and powerful breakdown during one of the exercises designed to make us uncomfortable so we could move through our personal blocks. I spent the entire weekend feeling unseen, and when my coach called me out on it, I burst into tears and sobbed uncontrollably in front of the group, nearly hyperventilating. What I realized that weekend shifted everything and laid the foundation for me to come to a place where I feel very seen in life and work.
How to Be Seen, Loved, Appreciated, and Valued for Who You Really Are:
1) See, love, and appreciate yourself first.
The biggest shift for me has been learning to see, love, and appreciate myself, regardless of whether or not anyone else does. I know myself incredibly well, including my strengths, talents, passions, and purpose in life. Believe me when I say it makes a world of difference. Work is a perfect example. For many years I believed on some level I wasn't good enough, that maybe I had no real gifts, and that I wasn't worthy of being valued. This lead to people reflecting those beliefs and energies back to me through their dismissing actions. Since I learned to value and own my expertise, talents, skills, and gifts, others have begun to value them as well.
Other people can't see and value you until you see and value yourself. They also can't love and appreciate you until you love and appreciate yourself! Self care, owning every bit of who you are, cultivating confidence, and showing yourself love and appreciation is key. We show others how to treat us by how we treat ourselves. Those confident people that others are drawn to simply see and appreciate themselves fully at their core. They exude an attractive energy because they're attracted to and love themselves. It doesn't make you "full of yourself" and self centered, it makes you smart, powerful, and focused on what matters most to your fulfillment and happiness: you.
2) Know your worth.
It's also incredibly important to know your own value as a person. We're all amazing, unique, gifted individuals, and yet we don't inherently know that. We tend to place our worth in the hands of others, and usually people who don't deserve any say in how worthy we truly are. Your worth isn't defined by whether or not someone else loves, sees, values, appreciates, or adores you, it's inherent. You are worthy because you're alive. Regardless of your mistakes and failures, you're worthy of an amazing life and complete happiness. If you want others to see and appreciate you for who you truly are, know and honor that worth. Never settle for less than you deserve, don't tolerate being treated like garbage, and always demand the absolute best for yourself in every situation.
3) Be willing to put yourself out there.
This is one I'm still working on in many ways, but have become more comfortable with over the years. The more you put yourself out there and get vulnerable, the more others are able to truly love and appreciate you. How can they if they don't truly know you at your core? It's uncomfortable, absolutely, but it's worth it. It's worth the risk of someone deciding they don't really love and appreciate who you are at your core, because then you don't have to waste time with them. It removes those people from your life so you have the space to attract the right people. Rejection can be painful, but it's temporary. And the right people? Well ,they're worth the wait and hundreds of rejections along the way. Trust that.
Take action now!
Where in your life or work do you feel unseen or under appreciated? Where are you not fully seeing, loving and accepting yourself first? Where are you teaching others how to treat you by how you treat yourself? Where do you need to embrace your worth or value? Where aren't you getting real and vulnerable? Remember, other people are simply reflections of our own inner beliefs and blocks. Pay attention and you'll learn a ton about yourself.
Stephenie Zamora is the founder of www.stepheniezamora.com, a full-service, life-purpose development, design and branding boutique and author of Awesome Life Tips book. Through her Mastery program, she merges the worlds of personal development and branding to help men and women build passion-based lives and businesses they love. Click here to access her free Foundations for Unshakable Joy™ video training series and learn the unexpected trick to transforming your life with one single question!
For more by Stephenie Zamora, click here.