I really believe that every human has value. They’re like little bundles of potential, fascinating and unique, with their own ideas and energy and the ability to contribute to the world – if they choose to. We can’t do a lot about all the others, but we can think about you. If every person has value, wait – that means you have value.

You may not always feel like that’s true, and you may even sometimes think that the world would be a better place if you weren’t in it. (I disagree.) Seems like it’s easy to see how other people have value (OK, sometimes it’s easier to decide certain people have no value at all, especially in traffic) and you can probably even come up with a bit of a ranking system of how valuable everyone else is. Be careful – when we do this, we almost always overestimate other people and underestimate ourselves. We are used to seeing their public face and comparing it to what we know of our own internal lives. We don’t come off very well in this unfair comparison and this is where our unbalanced ideas of our own worth come from.

So what worth do we have? For me, some of the picture is about the potential for contribution. Inside you is a bunch of ideas and skills and strength that can one day be offered to create something or add value to someone’s life. It can be really hard to see what that value might be, or who the person is who needs that value. But it’s there. It’s wrapped up in your experience and your story – and sometimes your story is itself exactly what someone needs to get through this part of your life.

Every choice you make brings you one step closer to being who you are going to be. And listen to this – you will only be useless if you choose to be. If you choose to believe what you might have been told about what little value you have, or how you feel when you compare yourself to someone else who’s ‘better’ or ‘ worth more’. This will only stop when you decide to break out of that label, see yourself as someone who has value, and keep taking steps into the potential you have.