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This is the second entry in the ongoing 52-Week Prosperity Plan. Each week has its own different concept for readers to concentrate on, in an attempt to open one’s mind to new thoughts, ideas, and perspectives. For more information on the 52-Week Prosperity Project, including tips on how to stay focused, read the introduction to the plan. For past entries in the series, click here.

This week we focus on the value in you.

Most people go through the motions of work and family life in the same way they did the day before. And the day before that, they pretty much operated the same way as the day before that one. Why is that?

Let’s get the obvious reasons out of the way first. There’s time constraints, financial constraints, prior obligations, errands to run, the routine medical procedure you’ve been putting off… lot’s of potential reasons to not really change anything up and try something new.

Let me suggest another reason for this lack of change and new experiences. It has to do with how much you value yourself, what you feel your worth to be.

First of all, let me just say that I had a hard time separating the concept of valuing yourself and having confidence in yourself. There’s a fine line between the two, but it’s important to understand.

Confidence is knowing you can (or just have enough guts), to try something different, to break the mold and do something new, uncomfortable, and possibly scary, based on what you’ve done in the past and what you’ve experienced and learned from.

But the value in yourself is something a bit deeper, something based not on your past actions but on what unique traits, character, and sheer personality you possess. The good thing about this value thing is that everyone has it. Just by the mere fact that we’re all different means we each have value.

Think about the free market; if there’s only one of something, one unlike anything in the entire world, and it can’t be duplicated, doesn’t that make it exceedingly rare? Perhaps even valuable?

 It’s simply recognizing that value and knowing you have it that is the battle.

Throughout our interactions in society on a daily basis, we get bombarded with the message that we must conform to a certain societal norm, a certain framework, depending on what our status in society is. For example, it’s a bit odd for a soccer mom to shuttle the kids around in a Ferrari. She’s expected to drive something similar to a minivan or a SUV.

For those whose personality, beliefs, character, and unique traits fit well into the societal norm, they have a fairly easy time. But the one’s that must struggle more to conform to this accepted social framework are the ones who have it rough. Their actual value may be in conflict with the value that society assigns them or tells them they should have.

Those in the rough position must realize and believe that they inherently have as much value as the next person; it just may be that for whatever reason, the over-riding value that society places on that person may not be quite the same.

Getting back to my original point, those who value themselves the most, who truly feel as if they’re worth more than anything in the world, have the gusto to change things, to do new activities and try the scary stuff, because they know that it’s not about what society says about them, but how they feel about themselves and how they know themselves to be.

That doesn’t mean they won’t fail or make mistakes. That just means they’ll be objectively able to analyze what went wrong and try to correct it, instead of just assuming they’re not good enough or cut out for whatever it is they’re trying to accomplish.

Your focus for the week is on what you think you own value is. How strongly do you feel as if you are worth more than anything in the world?  How much of your own person can you be, living a life in line with your true value, with your true character, beliefs, and convictions? How much has society and your daily life warped or manipulated your sense of value in yourself?

Tips to stay focused on the week’s concept:

1.       Write the week’s concept down on a post-it or a scrap piece of paper and post it somewhere you will see it on a daily basis, such as your fridge, the bathroom mirror, or even the dashboard of your car (people who ride with you think it’s weird, but it works!). The point is to be reminded of the theme often throughout the day.

2.       Each night before bed, brainstorm two or three ways to apply the week’s theme, and jot them down in a notebook, in your planner, or E-Mail them to your office E-mail address. Then, actually apply them the next day.

3.       In the morning before your day begins, take a moment to think about the weekly concept and how you will apply it throughout your day.

4.       Every night, reflect on how you actually implemented the weekly concept and how it has positively changed your way of thinking or behavior.

5.       During lunch or sometime half-way through your day, take a moment to sit in a quiet place and re-commit, reminding yourself to view the rest of the day through the lens of the concept of the week.